The CZO program began in 2007 with 3 CZOs, with the number increased to 6 CZOs in 2008. At that time efforts transformed a program of independent CZO sites into a broader community research network, and the network expanded to 10 CZOs in 2013. Initial efforts focused on: i) developing common measurements and data to facilitate cross-CZO research, ii) forming cross-CZO working groups around various issues, iii) articulating shared conceptual models for the critical zone, iv) promoting cross-CZO dialog and research activities, v) establishing a common data portal for the 10 CZOs, and vi) sharing of ideas and resources to create additional opportunities for community research on the critical zone.
Researchers investigating critical zone properties and processes at the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory conduct research at other Critical Zone Observatories in the United States of America and other countries such as France, Germany, and China. By relaying data and research findings within the network of Observatories and throughout the critical zone research community, we are catalyzing rapid development and refinement of earth systems models.
A key goal of research at our and other Critical Zone Observatories is to construct whole-watershed energy, water, carbon and other mass balances for a variety of environmental settings. Having these data and models available allows critical zone researchers to create and use a uniform research platform.
Several cross-CZO research efforts are ongoing, including studies of organic matter quantity and quality within observatories, hydrologic processes within ecosystems, ecological changes due to climate changes, and regulation of critical zone formation.
The National Science Foundation’s U.S. Critical Zone Observatory Network was designed to create common research methods, allowing for comparable data across CZOs and with other local, regional, and global monitoring efforts.
1. CZ structure and evolution; including 3D spatial distribution and characterization of bedrock, soil, water, vegetation, and topography; regolith and drainage valley evolution; rates of soil production, differentiation, erosion, and deposition.
2. Event-based and continuous fluxes across CZ interfaces; including bedrock-soil; soil-atmosphere; soil- vegetation; vegetation-atmosphere; landscape surface-soil-water.
3. Changes in storage (i.e., budgets) of major CZ reservoirs at the catchment scale;
Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI) is a National Science Foundation program with funding opportunities that can be used for national and global cross-CZO research.
SAVI serves as a catalyst to foster many activities efficiently and economically, and seeks to:
2018 (In Press)
Beyond clay: towards an improved set of variables for predicting soil organic matter content. Rasmussen C., Heckman K., Wieder W.R., Keiluweit M., Lawrence C.R., Berhe A.A., Blankinship J.C., Crow S.E., Druhan J.L., Hicks Pries C.E., Marin-Spiotta E., Plante A.F., Schädel C., Schimel J.P., Sierra C.A., Thompson A., Wagai R. (2018): Biogeochemistry (online) Cross-CZO
How soil water storage moderates climate changes effects on transpiration, across the different climates of the Critical Zone Observatories. Heckman, C.; Tague, C. (2017): Fall Meeting, American Geophysical Union, December 2017. Abstract H23H-1777. Cross-CZO National
New Opportunities for Critical Zone Science. Sullivan, P.L., Wymore, A.S., McDowell, W.H. et al. (2017): 2017 CZO Arlington Meeting White Booklet Cross-CZO National
Snowmelt controls on concentration‐discharge relationships and the balance of oxidative and acid‐base weathering fluxes in an alpine catchment, East River, Colorado. Winnick M.J., Carroll R.W.H., Williams K.H., Maxwell, R.M., Dong, W., Maher K. (2017): Water Resources Research 53, 2507–2523 Cross-CZO National
Growing new generations of critical zone scientists. Wymore Adam S., Nicole R. West, Kate Maher, Pamela L. Sullivan, Adrian Harpold, Diana Karwan, Jill A. Marshall, Julia Perdrial, Daniella M. Rempe and Lin Ma (2017): Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 42 (14): 2498-2502 Cross-CZO National
Regional sensitivities of seasonal snowpack to elevation, aspect, and vegetation cover in western North America. Christopher J. Tennant, Adrian A. Harpold, Kathleen Ann Lohse, Sarah E. Godsey, Benjamin T. Crosby, Laurel G. Larsen, Paul D. Brooks, Robert W. Van Kirk, Nancy F. Glenn (2017): Water Resources Research 53 Cross-CZO National
Designing a network of critical zone observatories to explore the living skin of the terrestrial Earth. Brantley, S.L., McDowell, W.H., Dietrich, W.E., White, T.S., Kumar, P., Anderson, S., Chorover, J., Lohse, K.A., Bales, R.C., Richter, D., Grant, G., and Gaillardet, J. (2017): Earth Surface Dynamics, 5, 841–860 Cross-CZO National
Reviews and syntheses: on the roles trees play in building and plumbing the critical zone. Brantley, Susan L., David M. Eissenstat, Jill A. Marshall, Sarah E. Godsey, Zsuzsanna Balogh-Brunstad, Diana L. Karwan, Shirley A. Papuga, Joshua Roering, Todd E. Dawson, Jaivime Evaristo, Oliver Chadwick, Jeffrey J. McDonnell, Kathleen C. Weathers (2017): Biogeosciences, 14, 5115-5142 Cross-CZO National
Prevalence and magnitude of groundwater use by vegetation: a global stable isotope meta-analysis. Jaivime Evaristo and Jeffrey J. McDonnell (2017): Scientific Reports 7 Cross-CZO National
Controls on deep critical zone architecture: a historical review and four testable hypotheses. Riebe, C. S., Hahm, W. J., Brantley, S. L. (2017): Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 42 (1): 128–156 Cross-CZO National
Representation of diffusion controlled carbon stabilization in reactive transport models. Thompson, A., Druhan, J.L., Keiluweit, M., Wagai, R., Plante, A.F., Lawrence, C.R., Berhe, A.A., Sierra, C.A., Rasmussen, C., Marin-Spiotta, E., Blankinship, J.C., Schimel, J., Heckman, K.A., Crow, S.E., and Wieder, W.R. (2016): American Geophysical Union 2016 Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA Cross-CZO
Using Scientist-Teacher Partnerships to Create Student-Driven Environmental Field Research Experiences in Primary and Secondary Education Classrooms. Gilmore, M., Stacy, E.., Meadows, M. and Sullivan, L. (2016): The Earth Scientist XXXII, no. 3 (Fall 2016): 28–32 Cross-CZO National
Special issue of The Earth Scientist about the Critical Zone and the US NSF Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) program. CZO Education/Outreach team (2016): The Earth Scientist, Volume XXXII, Issue 3, Fall 2016 Cross-CZO National
29 Jan 2018 (National, Boulder, Calhoun, Catalina-Jemez, Eel, IML, Luquillo, Reynolds, Shale Hills, Sierra) - In the January 2018 issue of Physics Today, writer Toni Feder explores the scope of CZ research in the article, “Earth’s skin is an...
01 Jan 2018 (National, Boulder, Calhoun, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Eel, IML, Luquillo, Reynolds, Shale Hills, Sierra) - New Opportunities for Critical Zone Science Following the June 2017 Arlington Meeting for Critical Zone Science (hosted by CZO), a white booklet...
01 Jan 2018 (National, Boulder, Calhoun, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Eel, IML, Luquillo, Reynolds, Shale Hills, Sierra) - A 15-week semester-long upper-level undergraduate course curriculum entitled “Introduction to Critical Zone Science” is now available free online.
05 Dec 2017 (National, Boulder, Calhoun, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Eel, IML, Luquillo, Reynolds, Shale Hills, Sierra) - Information on CZO award recipients, events, presentations, etc. at the 2017 AGU Fall Meeting.
02 Nov 2017 (National, Sierra) - UC Merced scientists are sharing their research, stories, and expertise at Merced City School District's new STEAM Center.
30 Oct 2017 (National, Boulder, Calhoun, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Eel, IML, Luquillo, Reynolds, Shale Hills, Sierra) - Water Resources Research published a new special collection in September 2017 featuring concentration-discharge research from multiple CZOs.
25 Oct 2017 (National, Boulder, Calhoun, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Eel, IML, Luquillo, Reynolds, Shale Hills, Sierra) - The CZO National Office's quarterly newsletter CZNews: Fall 2017.
27 Jul 2017 (National, Boulder, Calhoun, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Eel, IML, Luquillo, Reynolds, Shale Hills, Sierra) - CZO National Office's quarterly newsletter CZNews: Summer 2017.
21 Jun 2017 (National, Sierra) - University of California Television (UCTV) features Bales, Conklin, Glaser, Safeeq, and others on the new Sustainable California channel
22 May 2017 (National, Boulder, Calhoun, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Eel, IML, Luquillo, Reynolds, Shale Hills, Sierra) - Contribute a classroom or field activity to Teach the Earth.
21 Apr 2017 (National, Boulder, Calhoun, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Eel, Luquillo, Reynolds, Shale Hills, Sierra) - AGU has published a collection of commentaries highlighting the important role Earth and space science research plays in society.
06 Apr 2017 (National, Boulder, Calhoun, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Eel, IML, Luquillo, Reynolds, Shale Hills, Sierra) - 2017 CZO Webinar Series: Critical Zone and Society.
24 Mar 2017 (National, Boulder, Calhoun, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Eel, IML, Luquillo, Reynolds, Shale Hills, Sierra) - The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a professional scientific society, made up of soil scientists, educators, and consultants focused on...
22 Nov 2016 (National, Boulder, Calhoun, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Eel, IML, Luquillo, Reynolds, Shale Hills, Sierra) - CZOs at AGU 2016: Agenda and award recipients
19 Oct 2016 (National, Boulder, Catalina-Jemez, Reynolds, Sierra) - University of Nevada Reno's Adrian Harpold reflects on his past and present time researching at Critical Zone Observatories.
16 May 2016 (Shale Hills, Sierra) - Jorden Hayes (Southern Sierra CZO) was an invited speaker and visitor to the Shale Hills CZO All-Hands meeting in May 2016
23 Mar 2016 (National, Sierra) - Assistant Professor, Earth Sciences, Dickinson College
19 Jan 2016 (National, Boulder, Calhoun, Sierra) - CZO community members were chosen as keynote speakers at Colorado State University's Hydrology Days 2015.
14 Jan 2016 (National, Sierra) - Report reveals inner worlds of snow and winter, and their importance to humans and ecosystems
04 Dec 2015 (National, Boulder, Calhoun, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Eel, IML, Luquillo, Reynolds, Shale Hills, Sierra) - Taking the Pulse of the Earth's Surface Systems In September of 2014, Laurel Larsen (UC Berkley), Elizabeth Hajek (Penn State), and others...
10 Nov 2015 (National, Eel, Sierra) - San Francisco's KQED public television features the Eel River and the Southern Sierra CZOs in a production of QUEST, a science and technology...
07 Sep 2015 (National, Sierra) - Get a sense of the people and the work. Several members of the Southern Sierra CZO are profiled here, including students and professors.
07 Sep 2015 (National, Sierra) - PhD Student, Systems Engineering, University of California Berkeley
07 Sep 2015 (National, Sierra) - PhD Student, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Wyoming
07 Sep 2015 (National, Sierra) - PhD Student, Environmental Systems, University of California Merced
07 Sep 2015 (National, Sierra) - Assistant Research Scientist, Sierra Nevada Research Institute, University of California, Merced.
20 Aug 2014 (National, Sierra) - Answers to frequently asked questions.
08 Apr 2014 (National, Boulder, Calhoun, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Eel, IML, Luquillo, Reynolds, Shale Hills, Sierra) - Reactive Transport Modeling Survey – Community Needs for Biogeochemical Studies The below survey is designed by Alexis Navarre-Sitchler, Kate...
02 Apr 2014 (National, Boulder, Calhoun, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Eel, IML, Luquillo, Reynolds, Shale Hills, Sierra) - March 31, 2014. Dr. Enriqueta Barrera (NSF CZO program director) and Dr. Gordon Grant (USFS; CZO Steering Committee chairperson)
06 Mar 2014 (National, Boulder, Calhoun, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Eel, IML, Luquillo, Reynolds, Shale Hills, Sierra) - Presentations describing the Integrated CZO Data system and how to use it; for interested CZO investigators, students & staff.
29 Jul 2013 (National, Boulder, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Luquillo, Shale Hills, Sierra) - International CZ science community outlines interdisciplinary research needed to address land use changes, climate change, and biodiversity decline
11 Jul 2013 (National, Boulder, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Luquillo, Shale Hills, Sierra) - The National Science Foundation's Cheryl Dybas recently finalized a new report entitled "Discoveries in the Critical Zone: Where Life meets...
06 Jun 2013 (Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Luquillo, Shale Hills, Sierra) - During the week of May 19, five faculty members interested in Critical Zone science traveled to Northfield, MN to participate in an InTeGrate...
11 Jan 2013 (National, Boulder, Catalina-Jemez, Sierra) - Harpold awarded an NSF Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship for a research and education program that spans 3 western Critical Zone Observatories
02 Jan 2013 (National, Boulder, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Luquillo, Shale Hills, Sierra) - Frederick Scatena, PI of the Luquillo CZO, died peacefully at home on January 2, 2013 after a brief battle with cancer. We mourn the loss.
30 Aug 2012 (National, Boulder, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Luquillo, Shale Hills, Sierra) - The European magazine, International Innovation Environment, published bi-annually, focused the August issue on "How science must lead the way to a...
Relationships between elevation, climate, and ecosystem properties in the Sierra CZO
Snowmelt as a Driver of Ecohydrological Processes: Low-hanging Fruit for Cross-CZO Research
EarthCube Domain Workshop: Engaging the Critical Zone community to bridge long tail science with big data
University of Delaware, Newark, DE.
Webinar offered April 18th on research from the Sierra Nevada range in California
Session 16B: Probing the Critical Zone (and related Session 19C) will be held at Goldschmidt 2013 in Florence, Italy 25-30 August 2013.
Postponed until 2014. 2nd Biannual National CZO Network All-Hands Meeting
University of Delaware, Clayton Hall.
Drilling, Sampling, and Imaging the Depths of the Critical Zone: NSF Workshop
Geological Society of America, 2013 Annual Meeting - CZO presentations
Colorado Convention Center, Denver, Colorado.
2013 AGU Fall Meeting - Southern Sierra CZO abstracts & presentations
San Francisco, Moscone Center.
A short course for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows Sponsored by CUAHSI and the University of Arizona
Biosphere 2 near Tucson, Arizona.
Speakers: Dr. Enriqueta Barrera (NSF) and Dr. Gordon Grant (USFS)
2014 Goldschmidt meeting in Sacramento, CA
Sacramento Convention Center Complex, California.
CZO Town Hall at 2014 Goldschmidt Conference
Sacramento Convention Center Complex, California..
2014 All Hands Meeting for the CZO Network
Tenaya Lodge, Fish Camp, California.
Using a CZO network to explore the architecture, dynamics and evolution of the Critical Zone
Southern Sierra CZO and the CZOData team will discuss sharing data.
Online: 11-1 EDT / 10-12 CDT / 9-11 MDT / 8-10 PDT.
AGU 2015: A Town Hall for the Network of Critical Zone Observatories (TH25D)
San Francisco, CA - Moscone Center, Moscone West - 2010.
CUAHSI Watershed Science Master Class
Biosphere2, Oracle, Arizona.
Review of CZO network by NSF will occur in Fall 2016
National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA
Moscone Center, San Francisco, California .
Town Hall: Critical Zone Observatories: Platforms for Collaborative Science
AGU Meeting, San Francisco, CA.
Critical Zone Services webinar presented by David Breshears and Jason Field
Blue Revolution: Water scarcity in a changing world webinar presented by Praveen Kumar.
Drought resilience and water security presented by Roger Bales
Forecasting of Earth surface processes webinar presented by Jon Pelletier.
Policy Relevance of Critical Zone Science webinar presented by Steve Banwart
"Critical Zone Science: Current Advances and Future Opportunities”. Arlington, VA (near NSF).
DEADLINE: 01 APRIL 2017 for registration & optional abstract.
Hilton Hotel, Arlington, Virginia.
Town Hall: Critical Zone Observatories: Platforms for Collaborative Science
New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.