snow surveying around Pingree Park, Colorado Byers Peninsula, Antarctica
Steven R. FASSNACHT [CV]
Professor, Snow Hydrology
Fellow, Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere
Senior Research Scientist, Natural Resources Ecology Laboratory
Associate Director, Geospatial Centroid at CSU
Associate Director, VIP at CSU (Snow Varies)

office: Natural and Environmental Sciences Building Room B260
laboratory: Natural Resources Building Room 315
ESS - Watershed Science
Colorado State University
Fort Collins CO USA 80523-1476
voice +1.970.491.5454 / fax +1.970.491.1965
Steven (dot) Fassnacht (at) colostate (dot) edu


News:


curriculum vitae . abstracts . research . courses . links
current students . former students


research:
My research interests include improving our understanding of snow and cold land hydrological processes (
Fassnacht and Soulis, 2002), especially considering different complexities of models (Fassnacht, 2006). These models are used for water resources forecasting, hydrological simulations, and climate modelling. My focuses are improving the data used for modelling (e.g., Repass, McKim), and understanding the sensitivity of process formulations (Fassnacht et al., 2006). We have tried to improve weather radar estiamtion of snowfall (Fassnacht et al., 2001) for hydrological modelling (Fassnacht et al., 1999). We have created a time series of snow water equivalent maps for the Western United States (Fassnacht et al., 2003) that together with fractional snow covered area data (Bales et al., 2008) have been assimilated into a hydrological model (Dressler et al., 2006). We have examined how wind influences precipitation measurements (as snow) compared to snowpack losses via sublimation and blowing snow (Fassnacht, 2004).

Hydrological and meteorological data exist at various spatial and temporal scales that can influence our analysis (Fassnacht, 2007). Use of specific data can tell us a specific story that may not be relevant in the bigger picture. For example, a series of large snow storms in January of 1999 created havoc for transportation in Southern Ontario and early indications were that severe flooding was likely. However, due to several preceeding dry years and a dry spring, the lowest peak flows on record were observed (Fassnacht et al., 2004).

We have examined the scales for snow depth sampling using fractal analysis (Deems et al. ,2006), looked at averaging and sub-setting of large datasets (Fassnacht and Deems, 2006), and investigated the interannual consistency of snowpack distribution patterns (Deems et al., 2008). Together with Nolan Doesken at the Colorado Climate Center, we have examined the measurement of snow depth using Ultra Sonic Snow Depth Sensors (Ryan et al., 2008a; 2008b).

I am fascinated with fresh snow crystals (Fassnacht et al., 1999). Recently this has translated into investigating snow surface roughness. We have developed a method to use digital photography to analysis snow surface roughness and have compared different evaluation metrics (Fassnacht et al., 2009). We have shown how the snowpack surface roughness changes over time, has directionality, scales over space, and is influenced by dust on snow (Fassnacht et al., 2009).

the location of research projects past and present:
1989 New Brunswick Canada: Noranda Mine Seismics 1991 to 1994 Mackenzie Delta Northwest Territories Canada: Hydraulics and Sediment Transport 1995 to 2000 Grand River Basin Ontario Canada: Weather Radar and Snowpack Hydrology Modelling 2000 to present Salt-Verde Basin Arizona United States: Snowpack Mapping and Hydrological Modelling 2002 to present Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona: Snowpack Processes, Variability, Distribution 2008 to present Outer Mongolia and Inner Mongolia (China): HydroClimatic Change in Rangelands with Commmunity Based Management 2008 to 2013 Byer's Peninsula, Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands, Maritime Antarctica: Climate Change, Hydrology and Snowpack Processes 2009 to present Pyrenees Mountains, Spain/France: Snowpack Distribution 2010 to 2015 Hawai'i: Climate Change and Water Resources 2015 to present Alaska: Archaelogical Resources in Snowpatches in GAAR research_locations_map2015
A: 1989 New Brunswick Canada: Noranda Mine Seismics

B: 1991 to 1994 Mackenzie Delta Northwest Territories Canada: Hydraulics and Sediment Transport

C: 1995 to 2000 Grand River Basin Ontario Canada: Weather Radar and Snowpack Hydrology Modelling

D: 2000 to present Salt-Verde Basin Arizona United States: Snowpack Mapping and Hydrological Modelling

E: 2002 to present Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona: Snowpack Processes, Variability, Distribution

F: 2008 to present Outer Mongolia and Inner Mongolia (China): HydroClimatic Change in Rangelands with Commmunity Based Management

G: 2008 to 2013 Byer's Peninsula, Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands, Maritime Antarctica: Climate Change, Hydrology and Snowpack Processes

H: 2009 to present Pyrenees Mountains, Spain and France: Snowpack Distribution

I: 2010 to 2015 Hawai'i: Climate Change and Water Resources

J: 2015 to present Alaska: Archaelogical Resources in Snowpatches in GAAR



courses:
Fall Semester: WR474 Snow Hydrology Spring Semester: WR406 Seasonal Snow Environments (odd years) Summer Semester: NR 220
WR574 Advanced Topics in Snow Hydrology WR575 Snow Hydrology Field Methods
WR486 Watershed Practicum WR674 Data Issues in Hydrology (even years)
GR100 Introduction to Geography WR440 Watershed Problem Analysis
GR210 Physical Geopgraphy ESS130 Systems Thinking and Information Management
IU193 Snow and Society


current students:
PhD:
Douglas Hultstrand - Improving Water Balance Estimates
Sara Simonson - Avalanches and Vegetation
Glenn Patterson - Seasonal Snowpack Trends about Rocky Mountain National Park
Graham Sexstone - Snow Sublimation and Seasonal Snowpack Variability
Douglas Bailey - Snow Distribution and Wildlife Habitat
Molly Tedesche (at UAF ) - Snow in the Gates of the Arctic National Park (with David Barnes )
Anna Pfohl - to be determined
MS:
Tyler Carleton - Assessing Flow Alteration and Channel Enlargement Due to Augmentation and Dam-regulation at Hog Park Creek, Wyoming
Allen Gilbert - Sampling Logistics
Chenchen Ma - Mountain Temperature Time Series Discontinuity
Lindsey Marlow - to be determined

former students:
PhD:
Niah Venable 2016 - Trends and Tree-rings: An Investigation of the Historical and Paleo Proxy Hydroclimate Record of the Khangai Mountain Region of Mongolia {download dissertation}
Jeff Deems 2007 - Quantifying scale relationships in snow distributions {download dissertation} [started with U. Washington Civil and Environmental Engineering, then NSIDC]
MS:
Anna Pfohl 2016 - Trends in Snowmelt Contribution to Streamflow in the Southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado {download thesis} [started as a PhD student at CSU]
Benjamin von Thaden 2016 - Spatial Accumulation Patterns of Snow Water Equivalent in the Southern Rocky Mountains {download thesis}
David Kamin 2015 - Exploration of a Geometric Approach for Estimating Snow Surface Roughness {download thesis} [started with Coal Creek Canyon ]
Sharla Stevenson 2015 - Precipitation and Temperature Changes and Their Effect on Groundwater along the Kona Coast of Hawaii {download thesis} [started with NPS ]
Alyssa Hendricks 2015 - Spatial Precipitation Trends and Effects of Climate Change on the Hawai'ian Hualalai Aquifer {download thesis} [started with Metstat ]
Rosemary Records 2013 - Water Quality Benefits of Wetlands under Historic and Potential Future Climate in the Sprague River Watershed, Oregon (with Mazdak Arabi CSU Civ&Env Eng) {download thesis}
William Milligan 2013 - Social Perceptions Versus Meteorological Observations of Snow and Winter along the Front Range {download thesis} [started with U.S. Geological Survey ]
David Deitemeyer 2013 - Using Snow Telemetry (SNOTEL) Data to Model Streamflow: A Case Study of Three Small Watersheds in Colorado and Wyoming {download thesis} [started with City of Colorado Springs ]
Johannes Beeby 2012 - Water Quality and Survivability of Didymosphenia geminata (with John Stednick CSU FRS) {download thesis} [started with Civil Engineering, Colorado State University ]
Tumenjargal Sukh 2012 - Local understanding of hydro-climatic changes in Mongolia {download thesis} [started with Ministry of Environment and Green Development , Mongolia]
Graham Sexstone 2012 - Evaluating the Spatial Variability of Snowpack Properties Across a Northern Colorado Basin {download thesis} [started as a PhD student at CSU]
Evan Blumberg 2012 - Spatial variability of snow depths measurements at two mountain pass Snow Telemetry stations {download thesis}
Jigjsuren Odgarav 2012 - Changes in Mongolian Snowpack Properties {download introduction of thesis} (with Gelegpil Adyabadam Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology, and the Environment) [started with Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology, and the Environment , Mongolia]
Amir Kashipazha 2012 - Practical snow depth sampling around six snow telemetry (SNOTEL) stations in Colorado and Wyoming, United States {download thesis} [started with Schlumberger ]
Jared Heath 2011 - Motorized Vehicle Impacts on Snowpack Properties {download thesis} [started with Loch Vale Watershed Long-Term Research and Monitoring Program ]
Molly Tedesche 2010 - Snow Depth Variability in Sagebrush Drifts in High Altitude Rangelands, North Park, Colorado {download thesis} [started with Three Parameters Plus ]
Harold Moore 2010 - Bio-fouling and Well-head Protection
Jeffrey Derry 2008 - Regional Patterns of Snow Water Equivalent in the Colorado River Basin Using Snowpack Telemetry (SNOTEL) Data {download thesis} [started with GW Scientific ]
Patrick Ewing 2007 - From the Tree to the Forest: the Influence of a Sparse Canopy on Stand Scale Snow Water Equivalent {download thesis}
Anne Sawyer 2007 - Snowpack Depletion Modeling Using Fast All-season Soil Strength (FASST) and SNOWMODEL in a High-elevation, High Relief Catchment in the Central Rocky Mountains {download thesis} (with Kelly Elder US Forest Service) [started with NOHRSC ]
Mark Corrao 2007 - Spatial, Temporal and Directional Changes in Snow Surface Roughness [started with Hydro Construction Co. Inc. ]
Douglas Hultstrand 2006 - Geostatistical Methods for Estimating Snowmelt Contribution to the Annual Water Balance in an Alpine Watershed {download thesis} (with John Stednick CSU FRS) [started with Metstat ]
Jennifer Mann 2006 - Instream Flow Methodologies: A Validation of the Tennant Method for Higher Gradient Streams in the National Forest System Lands in the Western U.S. {download thesis} [started with In-situ]
Scott McKim 2006 - The Effects Of Input Data Degradation On Hydrological Model Performance For A Snowmelt Dominated Watershed {download thesis} [started with NWS-AKRFC - Alaska]
Wendy (nee Brazenec) Ryan 2005 - Evaluation of Two Ultrasonic Snow Depth Sensors To Predict Six Hour Snowfall at National Weather Service Automated Surface Observing Sites {download thesis} (with Nolan Doesken CSU Atmospheric Sciences) [started with CSU Atmospheric Sciences]
Julie Repass 2005 - Assessment of Digital Land Cover Maps for Hydrological Modeling of the Yampa River Basin, Colorado, USA {download thesis} [started with Red Hen Systems, Fort Collins, then ESRI]
Bruce Davison 2004 - Snow Accumulation in a distributed Hydrological Model {download thesis} (with Ric Soulis U. Waterloo Civ Eng) [started with Environment Canada - NHRI Saskatoon]
Julie (nee Holcombe) Koeberle 2004 - Modeling Snowcover Depletion and Soil Moisture Recharge at Two Different NASA Cold Land Processes Experiment Sites {download thesis} (with Kelly Elder USFS) [started with NWS - Seattle, then NRCS - Boise]



professional links:
[
Colorado Avalanche Information Center] [ Snow, Weather, and Avalanches: Observational Guidelines for Avalanche Programs in the US]
[ Western Snow Conference] [ Eastern Snow Conference]
[ American Geophysical Union] [ Canadian Geophysical Union] [ European Geosciences Union]
[ International Association of Hydrological Sciences]
[ Professional Engineers Ontario]



local ski-related links:
[ Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol] [ Powderbuzz]

Local links:
[ Fort Collins ]





©2002-2016 S.R. Fassnacht
Last update: SRF, 2016-05-11

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