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Welcome to the Tague Team Lab at UCSB!

The Tague EcoHydrology lab focuses on watershed research, addressing the feedbacks among terrestrial vegetation, surface hydrological processes, and atmospheric conditions. We use a variety of techniques to examine the impact of changes in climate and land use on ecosystem health and water resources.
Please scroll through our blog below to see what we’ve been up to!

All are welcome to attend our weekly lab meetings and take part in presentations and scientific discussions. See our Lab meeting schedule & events page for information on each week’s topic or presenter. Meetings are held in the Bren hall lab wing, room 1005.

PhD student Julian Reyes successful defense – Congratulations Dr. Reyes!

ReyesWe congratulate Julian Reyes, PhD student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Washington State University – and Tague Team Lab friend and collaborator – on successfully defending his PhD “Characterizing rangeland ecosystems and their sustainable management in a changing climate”. Dr. Reyes developed a new approach to modeling carbon allocation and his research led to additional new functionality being included in RHESSys code.

Post Doc opportunity

Postdoctoral Scientist in Montane Forest and Snow Hydrology at the University of Nevada, Reno

Posting: We seek a dynamic and innovative postdoctoral scientist that works at the intersection of snow and forest hydrology in mountain systems. Our project seeks to understand the potential role of landscape-scale forest thinning on the west shore of Lake Tahoe and Sagehen Creek watershed on snowpacks and streamflow dynamics. The project combines innovative use of hydrological models, remote sensing, and field work to tackle critical management questions critical to the future of montane forests. The candidate would be based primarily out of the Nevada Mountain Ecohydrology Lab at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) The project is a collaboration between UNR, the Desert Research Institute, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, and will include travel to the Tague Lab at UCSB . A variety of physically-based models will be employed for investigations at different spatial and temporal scales, including snowpack energy budget (SnowPALM), hydrological (GSFLOW), and ecohydrological (RHESSys) models. Ideal candidates would combine expertise in modeling, data analysis, and field data collection. Candidates with experience in snowpack energy budget modeling or RHESSys type ecohydrological modeling are preferred. Demanding field work may be necessary. The project requires interacting and collaborating with a large team, including resource managers and scientists that will require excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Ph.D. in hydrology related field such as engineering, environmental science, or forestry required by start date. Experience with hydrological modeling platforms and related scripting/coding required in model application and development.

The position is potentially extendable to 30 months. The desired start date is August 1st. The salary and benefits are competitive for Reno’s cost of living.

The University of Nevada, Reno is the State of Nevada’s land grant and historic flagship institution of higher. Located in the Truckee Meadows at the base of the Sierra Nevada to the west with the Intermountain West to the east, the University of Nevada, Reno, is 45 minutes from Lake Tahoe. Numerous outdoor activities can be found in and adjacent to the city, including skiing, mountain biking and trails, water sports, and other mountain sports. The region is also home to many culturally and socially rich activities, including the Reno Philharmonic and Chamber orchestras, the Nevada Museum of Art, and Reno Artown; Shakespeare, Jazz, Reno/Tahoe Music, Nevada Chamber Music, Pacifica, Aloha, Cinco de Mayo, Basque, Sculpture, and River Festivals to name just a few; Hot August Nights and Street Vibrations; the Reno Balloon Race, and many other diverse events and traditions. Northern Nevada is home to a growing food culture, with many small farms feeding the farm to table movement and local restaurants, including a dozen micro-breweries/distillers/vintners in the region.

To apply:
Please send an email to with subject line: “Application for WCB postdoctoral scientist position” that includes a CV and a short (one page) letter about your qualifications and interest for the position. Review of applications will be begin May 1 and will be open until filled.

Event: Drought, Fire, & Flood: Climate Change and Our New Normal

Dr. Naomi Tague will be presenting at an event hosted by the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts at The Granada Theatre on April 25, at 7:00 PM. Bren, the Community Environmental Council, the Santa Barbara Foundation, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History are taking part in this town hall event in oder to begin a community conversation about the potential impacts of climate change on our community, and how to improve our readiness and response in policy and practice. Please join us for this free event – tickets are available at the door.

New approach to model initialization of vegetation published

New publication from Tague Team Lab member Dr. Erin Hanan et al. about a new approach for initializing vegetation stores in a watershed model. Typical initialization methods such as spin‐up to steady state (which assumes uniform vegetation age across a landscape) or remote sensing with allometric relationships (which are species and region specific and do not account for the effects of local resource limitation) are evaluated along with this new method, which uses the mechanistic stability of model spin‐up to match spatially explicit targets established by remote sensing data. This new approach shows potential for improving biogeochemical projections, particularly in heterogeneous, disturbance‐prone watersheds.

Hanan, E.J., Tague, C., Choate, J., Liu, M., Kolden, C., Adam, J. (2018) Accounting for disturbance history in models: using remote sensing to constrain carbon and nitrogen pool spin‐up, Ecological Applications

Bren PhD Student Symposium

Tague Team Lab members Will Burke, Chris Heckman, and Rachel Torres will be taking part in the 2018 Bren PhD Student Symposium that will be held Friday, February 16, from 12 -4 in Bren Hall. They and other students will be making presentations about their research through talks and posters on a diverse variety of topics. The event is free and open to the public – RSVP appreciated for reception.

Will Burke: Characterizing Neighborhood Exchanges in Disturbed Landscapes
Chris Heckman: Plant Water Storage Capacity’s Role in the Interaction Between Climate and
Vegetation Productivity

Rachel Torres: The Impact of Urban Vegetation on Stormwater Management

Tague an instructor in CUAHSI’s fall 17 virtual university

Dr. Naomi Tague taught the module ‘Hydrologic Modeling for Hypothesis Generation and Scenario Development: Tools in R’ as part of the CUAHSI VIRTUAL UNIVERSITY SPECIAL TOPICS IN HYDROLOGY: CUAHSI SPECIALIZED ONLINE HYDROLOGY COURSES during the Fall of 2017.

Touching the Void: Hydrology community bands together to launch first multi-university graduate course
CUAHSI partnered with six universities nationwide to offer new topics in hydrology research.

Cambridge, Mass. – The first Virtual University was piloted in the Fall 2017 semester by six major universities across the U.S.

Undergraduate students have access to a wide-range of in-person and online courses, but graduate students have few to no online options. This is especially the case for graduate students in hydrology. To fill this void, the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI) stepped in and launched the CUAHSI Virtual University in Fall 2017.

The CUAHSI Virtual University is a national online course, consisting of a diverse set of 4-week modules on highly specialized hydrology topics on recent research advances, including coastal hydrogeology, ecohydrology of groundwater dependent ecosystems, and use of drones and remote sensing applications. CUAHSI partnered with six universities for the Virtual University: Michigan State University, University at Buffalo, University of California-Santa Barbara, University of Delaware, University of Nevada-Reno, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The Virtual University is the brainchild of Dr. Steven Loheide, an Associate Professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Director on CUAHSI’s Board.

“With the virtual university model, students from each university can learn the most up-to-date content from leading faculty around the country who are developing the science they teach in their modules,” Loheide, said. “This puts a broad array of research breakthroughs of today into the hands of the hydrologists of tomorrow much sooner than is possible with non-collaborative models of graduate education where these new and emerging ideas have to work their way into the textbooks.”

Forty-five students from across the participating universities registered for the pilot course. Each student enrolled in modules of their choosing, and received course credit at their home university, which facilitated collaborations between instructors and students at different universities. “I thought it was really valuable and instructive to collaborate with and hear perspectives of other students from across the country who are working in very different systems from those we generally tend to work in at my home institution,” said Christine Albano, a student from the University of Nevada-Reno.

CUAHSI plans to continue the Virtual University in Fall 2018, expanding to eight modules.

“CUAHSI is pleased to be able to support the water-science community through this unique educational service,” said Dr. Jerad Bales, Executive Director of CUAHSI.

For more information on the Virtual University, please visit


The Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science (CUAHSI) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit with the mission to advance water science by strengthening interdisciplinary collaboration, to empower the water-science community by providing critical infrastructure, and to promote education in the water sciences at all levels. For more information, please visit

New publication – carbon allocation representation in models

New publication just out in JAMES where RHESSys was used to compare carbon allocation strategies in different grassland sites: “Assessing the Impact of Parameter Uncertainty on Modeling Grass Biomass Using a Hybrid Carbon Allocation Strategy“.

Reyes, J. J., Tague, C. L., Evans, R. D., & Adam, J. C. (2017). Assessing the impact of parameter uncertainty on modeling grass biomass using a hybrid carbon allocation strategy. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 9.

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