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Joint Earth Seminar: Lani Tsinnajinnie - Collaborative hydrologic research on the Navajo Nation

Friday, December 04, 2020, 12:00PM - 1:00PM


Lani Tsinnajinnie

University of New Mexico

The Geography Department is hosting this talk in the Joint Earth Seminar Series.


Lani Tsinnajinnie, Assistant Professor in Community and Regional Planning, University of New Mexico

Full title

Collaborative hydrologic research on the Navajo Nation: Investigating the role of mountainous springs in watershed resilience


Dr. Tsinnajinnie will discuss her experience working collaboratively with the Navajo Nation and some of the hydrologic research she has done in the Chuska Mountains. The Navajo Nation, located in the Four Corners region, has the largest reservation in the United States. Since 2008, Dr. Tsinnajinnie has worked collaboratively with the Navajo Nation to understand snowpack variability, groundwater-surface water interactions, streamflow generation, and impacts of climate change to water resources in the Chuska Mountains. The Chuska Mountains, which lie at the center of the reservation along the Arizona/New Mexico border, are the only source of perennial streamflow generated within the Navajo Nation. Springs in the mountains are important water resources as they provide drinking water to nearby communities and are primary contributors to streamflow. Vegetation recovery around springs in the Asaayi Creek watershed after the 2014 Asaayi Lake wildfire exemplified the ecological importance of springs and their potential to act as both fire and climate refugia. Dr. Tsinnajinnie’s research demonstrates how collaborative hydrologic research can be used to inform water management and watershed planning for tribes and local communities.


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