Colorado College: State of the Rockies 2011 research focus topic is ‘The Colorado River: Agenda for Use, Restoration and Sustainability as if the Next Generation Counts’

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An July 15, 2011 email from Rhiannon Hendrickson got buried in my inbox. She describes the students’ research topic this year. A thousand pardons. From her email:

I’m working with Colorado College to help promote its State of the Rockies project which seeks to increase public understanding of vital issues affecting the Rockies. This year’s research focus topic is “The Colorado River: Agenda for Use, Restoration and Sustainability as if the Next Generation Counts.” I thought you might be interested to know that a group of Colorado College students are currently on a research road trip following the Colorado River from high in the Rockies down through the southwest. Stops along the route will include:

– Glenwood Springs, CO
– Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
– Moab, UT
– Canyonlands National Park
– Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam
– Grand Canyon National Park
– Las Vegas and Boulder City, NV
– Imperial Valley of California
– Yuma, AZ
– The Navajo Indian Reservation

The two-week trip wraps up on July 24. You may follow the student’s travels and progress on their blog, as well as on Facebook and YouTube. More information about the State of the Rockies Project can be found at http://www.coloradocollege.edu/stateoftherockies/index.asp.

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Check out this excerpt from Natalie Triedman’s post from Glen Canyon Dam:

As we descended hundreds of feet in the Glen Canyon Dam elevator, our knowledgeable tour guide led us through the history of the dam. Construction lasted only three years, in part due to the around the clock work regimen. While efficient, this construction approach was grueling, taking the lives of 18 workers. We were able to see one of the twelve enormous buckets that were used to carry an aggregate five million cubic yards of cement during construction.

After our initial elevator descent, our group travelled down even further in order to see the powerplant’s eight generators. Each generator produces 165 mega watts when the reservoir is near capacity. Annual output from hydroelectric power is about five billion kWh- enough to support the annual electrical needs of 400,000 houses. In addition to the turbines that are currently in use, we saw one that had been recently removed after logging 41 years so it could be replaced by a more efficient and durable design.

More education coverage here.

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