CW3E Welcomes Ava Cooper

October 1, 2019

Ava Cooper joined CW3E as a Field Researcher in September 2019. In 2017, Ava earned her BS in Climate Science from Oregon State University where she conducted snow surveys in the Mackenzie River basin. Ava completed her Masters in Hydrology at the University of Nevada, Reno in August 2019 as part of Adrian Harpold’s Nevada Mountain Ecohydrology Lab. She conducted her research in the beautiful Sagehen Creek watershed, north of Lake Tahoe, where she focused on snowmelt-driven differences in tree water use in the Sierra Nevada. During this time, Ava deployed sensors to measure sap flow, snow, and surface meteorology in Sagehen Creek watershed. Her thesis work was comprised of an empirical analysis of tree water use using the sap flow data as well as a model intercomparison project on land surface model skill in predicting key characteristics of seasonal transpiration. The research showed that earlier soil moisture limitations on tree water use, driven by earlier snow disappearance, shifted peak tree water use earlier in the growing season and earlier snow disappearance led to longer durations of soil moisture limitations on tree water use. The model intercomparison found that more complex representations of transpiration were necessary to simulate the timing of seasonal peak tree water use.

As part of the field research team at CW3E, Ava will support observational efforts in the Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations (FIRO) Program. Ava is excited to support snow-related research efforts and continue studying snow hydrology, meteorology, and climate science in the Sierra Nevada, California.