David F. Meyer, Alaska Section AWRA South-Central-Region Director

Welcome to the South-Central Region of the Alaska Section. This page announces upcoming sessions of the Brown Bag Lunch Meetings. We can easily expand it to include additional information, as it becomes available. Please feel free to send feedback or suggestions.

The lunch meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month, September through May. The annual state meeting, normally held in April of each year, will be superceded this year by the national specialty meeting. The title and theme of the conference will be: "Water Resources in Extreme Environments". Please visit the announcement on the National AWRA web site. The Conference Chair is Jim Thrall. The Technical Chair is Doug Kane. If you would like to help with this conference, please send email to Doug or Jim.

Lunch meetings are held in the 16th floor conference room of the Denali Towers, noon to 1:00 PM. Denali Towers are at 2550 Denali Street, between Fireweed Lane and Northern Lights Blvd.

The south-central region membership includes faculty, staff, and students of the University of Alaska Anchorage, federal, state, and municipal government, and private industry water-resource professionals. We hope you can come and bring a colleague.

Fall 1999/Spring 2000 Brown Bag Lunch Meeting Agenda

  • October 20, 1999, Christy Miller, of the Alaska Department of Community & Economic Development will discus the Interagency Hydrology Committee, Flood Coordination Committee plans and goals. This will be a round-table discussion rather than the normal lecture format.

  • November 17, 1999, Scott Wheaton, Municipality of Anchorage, Department of Public Works, Anchorage Stream Mapping Program

  • December 15, 1999, Julie Meka, USGS, Biological Resources Division (Julie_Meka@usgs.gov) Rainbow trout population ecology in a southwest Alaska watershed

  • This study was designed to determine whether the prized rainbow trout populations of the Alagnak National Wild River and the various streams, lakes, and tributaries of the watershed consist of a single population with interbreeding spawning groups, or whether there are discrete, independent spawning populations. Another goal was to describe any variations in migration patterns among possible population groups. During 1997 and 1998, 133 adult rainbow trout over 440 mm were radio-tagged in the Alagnak River drainage and radio-tracked for various periods until March 1999. Range of the total detected upstream and downstream movement varied between less than 1 km to 122 km. The telemetry data indicate that multiple migratory and non-migratory groups may exist. Migratory groups apparently move independently, suggesting different life-history patterns. Rainbow trout within the watershed may have evolved observed seasonal movement patterns to optimize food availability during the summer and thermal refugia in the winter. This work is helping to establish a new paradigm for rainbow trout population structure and movement patterns in southwest Alaska and could have significant management implications.
  • January 19, 2000, Dave Blanchet, U.S. Forest Service, Watershed Analysis of the Cooper Creek Watershed

  • Abstract: Cooper Creek is a 49 square mile watershed tributary to the Kenai River near Cooper Landing Alaska. This watershed received considerable placer mining use starting in the late 1800's and continuing into this century. In 1957 Chugach Electric Association received a permit to develop a hydroelectric project on Cooper Lake within the watershed. This project diverts water from Cooper Lake down into Kenai Lake for generating power. This project is likely to start its FERC relicensing process within the next two years. Much of the project area lies on National Forest lands. In preparation for this pending relicensing, the Forest Service has undertaken a Watershed Analysis to try to better understand processes and resources within the watershed and potential changes that have occurred. This presentation looks primarily at the hydrologic regime within the watershed and discusses possible effects in changes to this regime.
  • February 16, 2000, Brett Jokela, Montgomery Watson, will present a talk entitled "Nitrate occurence in rural residential wells in Anchorage, Alaska"

  • The Municipality of Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services(DHHS) is charged with regulating development of private on-site water and wastewater systems for areas outside of the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility service area. The Municipality collects data on nitrate in private wells as part of the Health Authority Approval process at the time any property with a private well changes hands. Nitrate occurence is thought to be indicative of wastewater influence in the groundwater, and is a regulated contaminant with respect to State of Alaska drinking water standards, based on U.S. EPA criteria. DHHS retained Montgomery Watson to map nitrate occurrence in wells throughout Anchorage, and seek means to identify areas at-risk for future nitrate occurrence. Nitrate occurence was compared to certain types of hydrogeologic settings, types of well construction, and development density through statistical analysis, as allowed by available data. Selected areas of rural residential Anchorage were identified for in-depth analysis, with detailed comparison of nitrate occurence to interpretations of local hydrogeology from well log information. Historic data was insufficient to develop a reliable model of vulnerability of wells to nitrate occurrence. The analysis was augmented with additional field work in the Scimitar subdivision in the Peters Creek area of Anchorage to overcome concerns regarding use of historic data. The U.S. Geological Survey provided additional assistance in characterizing aspects of chemical water quality of sampled wells, providing insight into the sources of water in individual wells. Findings suggest that nitrate is more likely to occur in shallow aquifers affected by on-site wastewater system discharges, but that site-specific conditions are very important indetermining the vulnerability of wells tapping localized aquifers.
  • March 15, 2000, Rick McClure, Natural Resources Conservation Service, will present his annual Spring Snow update

  • April 30 - May 4, 2000, AWRA Spring Specialty Conference, "Water Resources in Extreme Environments"

  • May 17, 2000, Eric Knudsen, USGS, Biological Resources Division, will present a talk entitled "Colonization and development of stream communities across a 200 year gradient in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, USA"

  • Alexander M. Milner - 1 & 2, E. Eric Knudsen - 3, Chad Soiseth - 4,
    Anne L. Robertson - 5, Don Schell - 6 , Ian T. Phillips - 1, and Katrina Magnusson - 1

    1. School of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston,
    Birmingham B15 2TT, UK.

    2. Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775, USA.

    3. U.S.Geological Survey, Alaska Biological Science Center, Anchorage,Alaska 99503, USA.

    4. National Park Service, Glacier Bay National Park, P.O. Box 140, Gustavus, Alaska 99826, USA.

    5. School of Life Sciences, Roehampton Institute, West Hill, London SW153SN, UK.

    6. Institute of Marine Science, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775, USA."

    Abstract: During May of 1997 we studied both physical and biological variables within 16 streams of different ages and contrasting stages of development following glacial recession in Glacier Bay National Park, southeast Alaska. The number of microcrustacea and macroinvertebrate taxa, and juvenile fish abundance and diversity were all significantly greater in older streams. Mircocrustacea diversity was related to the amount of instream wood and percent pool habitat while the number of macroinvertebrate taxa was related to bed stability, instream wood and pool habitat. The percent contribution of Ephemeroptera to the stream benthic communities increased significantly with stream age which resulted in higher levels of coarse benthic organic matter. Juvenile Dolly Varden were dominant in the younger streams but juvenile coho salmon abundance was greater in older streams due to increased pool habitat. Lakes were found to significantly influence channel stability, percent Chironomidae, total macroinvertebrate and meiofaunal abundance, and percent fish cover in downstream reaches. Stable isotope analyses indicated N enrichment from marine sources in juvenile fish and macroinvertebrates in older streams with established salmon runs. The findings are summarized in a conceptual model of stream development proposing that stream community assemblages are determined by direct interactions with the terrestrial, marine and lake ecosystems.