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Climate change in our backyard: The water towers of the West

Wednesday, October 09, 2019, 7:00PM - 8:00PM


Kate Hale



Fiske Planetarium

Hello from Fiske Planetarium!

Kate Hale of the CU Geography Department will be presenting a talk in the Fiske series Climate Change in Our Backyard, open to all members of the public and free to all students with valid ID. We hope to see you there!


Mountains: the calling, the climb, the view, the conquering, the highs, the lows, the navigation, the holy ground, the power, the unknown, the beauty, the intensity… the greatest water resource in the west? Yes, the mountains that we call our backyard serve as our greatest water towers, holding the vast majority of all water in the region. This water comes to us in the form of snow, and its availability and seasonal patterns are changing. On this topographically rich journey, we will explore the history and role of snow in the mountainous west, its relationship to weather, climate, elevation, and its effects on downstream humans, our infamous wildflower season, and the local elk and pika. We will look into downstream water rights, the culture and politics of the ski industry in response to snow, and the current and publicly-sourced conservation initiatives meant to halt the changing snowpack. We will come together over gained insight and adoration for our mountains and our seasonal snow; more than just a force of life, but a source of life.


Kate Hale is a midwesterner at heart, hailing from Wisconsin, currently exploring professional and personal interests in a land of intensified topography. She is a PhD student in Geography, studying snow science and the relationship between rain, snow, snowmelt and streamflow. She cares greatly about local water resources, and when hydrologic modeling becomes tedious, she explores her backyard recreationally. Movement is her M.O., particularly on foot, and she loves adventures that start or end in the dark.