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Join our FEN TALK Thursday, August 11th at 5:30pm on the library terrace.

Come learn about a really cool and unusual type of wetland called a fen, which we happen to have here in the San Juans!  Fens are perennially saturated wetlands that are important indicators of watershed hydrologic and ecological health. Dr. David J. Cooper, Senior Research Scientist and Scholar Professor, Colorado State University, began to study the fens in Prospect Basin in 2000 to determine whether the development of ski runs and infrastructure would have any long term effect on them.

This talk will include presentations by Dr. Cooper and Eduardo Oyague of Colorado State University and Dr. John Hribljan and Kate Miller of University of Nebraska Omaha. The presentations will review the current work on fen hydrologic processes in order to better understand the importance of winter snowpack and monsoon rains on fen water tables. The team will also present on fen carbon dynamics that illustrate the excellent current conditions of the fen complex’s peat accumulation processes. The presentations will culminate in a discussion about the future for high elevation wetlands in the San Juan Mountains.  A Q & A will follow.

FEN HIKE Saturday, August 13th at 9:00am. Meet at the Village Market in Mountain Village.

Want to see a fen up close and personal? Join us for a hike to the fens on Saturday, August 13th at 9:00 am led by Dr. Cooper.  Please sign up on Telluride Library’s website in advance.

Brought to you by the Watershed Education Program of Telluride Institute and Wilkinson Public Library.

Dr. David J. Cooper, Senior Research Scientist and Scholar Professor, Colorado State University

I work on ecosystems characterized by a perennial, seasonal or periodic abundance of water, including peatlands (fens and bogs), streams/rivers and their floodplains, marshes, springs, wet meadows, and salt flats. My specialty is mountain wetland ecology and hydrology and I have ongoing and recent projects in the Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevada, Cascades, Coast Range, Andes, and Carpathian Mountains (Poland and Slovakia). Study sites range from the wettest to the driest climate regions, from the arctic to the tropics, from lowland to mountain tops, and wilderness to urban landscapes. Research projects address theoretical issues in ecology and hydrology, as well as applied problems in land and water management and restoration. We work with all levels of government (federal, state, county, city), for large and small for-profit and non-profit companies, as well as water management agencies, ski areas and mining companies, individuals and conservation organizations to address questions and problems in wetland ecosystem formation, persistence, functioning, management and restoration. Almost all of my work involves graduate students at Colorado State University.

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