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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.

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.

Lab members talk about water issues

Naomi Tague took part as a faculty panel member at the “Lets Talk About Water” event last week, organized by Tague Team Lab members Ty Brandt and Kate Voss, who also gave flash talks of their research, along with lab member Chris Heckman. This campus and community wide water event, co-funded by CUASHI, ERI, and Bren, was designed to promote a better understanding of water issues in the west and share faculty and student research through four short films, a faculty panel discussion and PhD student flash talks, followed by a reception that allowed guests from the general public, students, and local environmental organizations & water practitioners to discuss water issues.

Lab members present at Fire Prediction Conference

Last week, Tague Team Lab members Erin Hanan and Ryan Bart presented their research at the 2017 Conference on Fire Prediction Across Scales, a Columbia University Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate event.

Bart’s presentation: Development of a coupled model for investigating the effects of forest management and climate on wildfire regimes in the western U.S.

Hanan’s presentation: Effects of fire suppression and climate change on wildfire activity in the Pacific Northwest

Hanan’s poster: Using remote sensing to account for disturbance history in process-based, carbon cycling models

Let’s Talk About Water – Film and Discussion

Let’s Talk About Water – The Challenge of Water Management in the West. Come for an evening of short film screenings, a Bren School faculty panel (Naomi Tague, Jeff Dozier, Arturo Keller, Samantha Stevenson and Bob Wilkinson), UC Santa Barbara graduate student flash talks, and discussion with local water practitioners and environmental groups to explore both the problems and solutions for water management in the American West, and how UC Santa Barbara is answering the call.

Please join us for this free event on November 2 from 6:00-8:00 pm, in UCSB Bren Hall 1414, and the reception that follows.

Hanan Awarded Outstanding Paper Award

Congratulations to Tague Team lab member Erin Hanan on being awarded the Elizabeth Sulzman Award for research conducted while a graduate student, and published within two years of graduation. She received the award for her paper entitled, “Nitrogen cycling and export in California chaparral: the role of climate in shaping ecosystem responses to fire“.

Hanan EJ, Tague C, Schimel JP (2017) Nitrogen cycling and export in California chaparral: the role of climate in shaping ecosystem responses to fire. Ecological Monographs. 87(1):76-90.

RHESSys used to analyze catchment response to forest thinning – new publication

In this new publication, RHESSys was used to assess the effects of forest thinning on water balance in the central-Sierra American River headwaters.

Saksa, P. C., M. H. Conklin, J. J. Battles, C. L. Tague, and R. C. Bales (2017), Forest thinning impacts on the water balance of Sierra Nevada mixed‐conifer headwater basins, Water Resour. Res, 53(7), 5364–5381, doi:10.1002/2016WR019240.

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