Sierra Science Series presents: Creating a model of plant-water relations in Van Norden Meadow | TheUnion.com
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Sierra Science Series presents: Creating a model of plant-water relations in Van Norden Meadow

Catherine Schnurrenberger will discuss Creating a Model of Plant-Water Relations in Van Norden Meadow, Headwaters of the South Yuba River.
Submitted photo |

As part of the NCC Science Series, Catherine Schnurrenberger will discuss “Creating a Model of Plant-Water Relations in Van Norden Meadow, Headwaters of the South Yuba River.”

The presentation and discussion will take place from 6:30-7:30 p.m. April 14, at the Sierra College Nevada County Campus, in the Multipurpose Center, building, N-12. It is free and open to the public. A meet and greet with refreshments will begin at 6 p.m.

Van Norden Meadow, located at the headwaters of the South Yuba River, is the second largest subalpine meadow in the Sierra Nevada.



Mountain meadows store and filter water, and provide valuable habitat for plants and wildlife. These meadow ecosystems will become increasingly important with projected climate change.

Alteration to the hydrology supporting these meadow ecosystems can affect their function and resilience.




Vegetation is a key component of the ecosystem, it both exerts an effect on local hydrology and is affected by local hydrology.

This presentation will discuss how data collected on the plant species growing within the Van Norden meadow can be related to shallow groundwater to develop an interactive map which may be used to detect changes and predict how climate change and proposed restoration projects will affect the Van Norden Meadow and downstream water flow.

Schnurrenberger is a botanist/plant ecologist with a master’s degree in Hydrology. Much of her work has focused on the interaction between meadow or riparian ecosystems and their underlying hydrology.

Meadows and riparian areas represent an important component of the arid West providing valuable wildlife habitat and water storage.

Schnurrenberger has worked with local conservation organizations on river and meadow restoration projects.

She is working with the South Yuba River Citizen’s League, UC Davis, Gateway Mountain Center and the Truckee Donner Land Trust to map the meadow vegetation within Van Norden Meadow and relate these plant communities to local groundwater levels creating an interactive predictive model which may be used to investigate how climate change, restoration and other factors affect composition and diversity within the meadow ecosystem.

The Nevada County Campus is located at 250 Sierra College Dr., Grass Valley. There is a $3 parking fee on campus. Parking permits are available for purchase at the dispenser located at the main campus entrance.

For more information about this seminar and others in the series, contact the series coordinator Jason Giuliani at jgiuliani@sierracollege.edu.


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