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Science Questions

Specific Aims

Planning Area

The hydrologic observatory planning area is the greater San Joaquin Watershed encompassing the American River to the north through the Kings River in the south. The watershed covers a total area of 59,900 km2. The test basins for the current project, the Merced and Tuolumne, together cover an area of 11,230 km2.

Design Concept and Challenges

Link to Applications

This project addresses the gap between the demonstrated demand for new hydrologic information on the part of decision-makers, researchers and other stakeholders versus the ever increasing supply of information, especially new information from satellite remote sensing, embedded sensor networks & numerical models that help integrate satellite and ground-based measurements. The potential impact on the management of water & other natural resources is enormous.

Main Activities


Example Data


Observatory Design Team

Roger BalesUC Merced (PI and team leader)
Elizabeth BoyerUC Berkeley (catchment biogeochemistry)
Dan CayanUC San Diego/Scripps (hydroclimatology)
Martha ConklinUC Merced (groundwater-surface water interactions & education)
Jeff DozierUC Santa Barbara (satellite remote sensing & cyberinfrastructure)
Graham FoggUC Davis (groundwater hydrology)
Thomas HarmonUC Merced (water quality & sensor networks)
Jim KirchnerUC Berkeley (geomorphology & catchment biogeochemistry)
Norman MillerBerkeley National Lab (hydrologic modeling)
Noah MolotchUC Los Angeles (snow hydrology & measurement design)
Kelly RedmondDesert Research Institute (climate & cyberinfrastructure)