Thursday, August 17, 2017

GLEES turns 30!

Guest Post by Elizabeth Traver

On Friday 28 July, the Rocky Mountain Research Station celebrated the 30th birthday of the Glacier Lakes Ecosystem Experiments Site, or GLEES.  It is located off the Brooklyn Lake Road in the Snowy Range, about 35 west of Laramie.  It was established in 1987 and, since 1989, scientists have been gathering data on everything from water chemistry to soil and air temperature, from relative humidity to solar radiation and wind speeds and directions.  In addition, permanent vegetation plots have been periodically sampled for more than 25 years offering an long-term resource for researchers.

On that Friday, Forest Service folks offered talks on the history and significance of the GLEES site, while others gave mountain tours and talked about the lake cores and vegetation plots as well as the ongoing field research for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program and stream flow measurements.  Another offered tours and talks about the ~100’ scaffold tower that holds a large number of sensors including though which are part of FLUXNET a system of 800 Ameriflux towers that measure a  variety of atmospheric components around the world.  GLEES tower is the windiest and I think the highest in elevation.

After all the tours and talks, everyone headed to the Forest Service cabin located just outside Centennial which has room to house collaborating researches and has both wet and dry labs as well as a site-specific herbarium.  We all enjoyed the cook-out and cake and mingled with both current and retired FS researchers and several from U W who have done many projects within the GLEES area.

Panoramic view of GLEES. Aerial photo (L) and this photo: Josh King, University of Wyoming