ARCHIVED CONTENT: In December 2020, the CZO program was succeeded by the Critical Zone Collaborative Network (CZ Net) ×



NSF Blog: No soils, no life

27 Oct 2020 - They’re beneath our feet, but we seldom hear important signals in the soils

2020 CZO Webinar Series on Sustainability

17 Jun 2020 - For an updated listing of these talks, including abstracts, see /national/education-outreach/sustainability-2020/ The U.S....


CZOs at AGU 2019

19 Nov 2019 - A list of CZ-related sessions, abstracts and events at the 2019 AGU Fall Meeting.

CZ colleagues: Please contact us about proposals for NSF’s CZ Collaborative Network, due 02 Dec 2019

08 Jul 2019 - CZO will end Nov 2020, succeeded by the “CZ Collaborative Network”. Let’s explore how the CZ community can build upon the CZOs via new NSF proposals.


CZOs at AGU 2018

19 Nov 2018 - The 2018 AGU Fall Meeting will be held December 10-14 in Washington, D.C.

In drought and heavy rains, ecosystems function like information communication networks

29 Aug 2018 - Connectivity explains ecosystem responses to extreme events

Call for proposals: Research Coordination Networks (RCNs) Driving Convergent CZ Science

12 Jul 2018 - NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Research Coordination Networks (RCNs) for Driving Convergent Science in the Critical Zone

How Mesquite Trees Gain a Competitive Edge in Arid Arizona

06 Jul 2018 - A new study shows that mesquites employ hydraulic redistribution to move water between soil layers in the savannas of Santa Rita.

NSF Discovery articles focus on the CZOs.

10 May 2018 - The Discoveries section of the National Science Foundation's website on Critical Zone Observatories (CZOs).

Urban Sewers Evolve Similarly to River Networks

10 Jan 2018 - Like river systems, engineered drainage networks become increasingly fractal as they grow.

Water Resources Research: Call for Papers on Dynamics in Intensively Managed Landscapes

02 Jan 2018 - Call for papers for “Dynamics in Intensively Managed Landscapes: Water, Sediment, Nutrient, Carbon, and Ecohydrology”

White paper of 2017 CZ Science Meeting in Arlington, VA

01 Jan 2018 - New Opportunities for Critical Zone Science Following the June 2017 Arlington Meeting for Critical Zone Science (hosted by CZO), a white booklet...


CZOs at AGU 2017

05 Dec 2017 - Information on CZO award recipients, events, presentations, etc. at the 2017 AGU Fall Meeting.

Water Resources Research Special Collection: Concentration-discharge relations in the critical zone

30 Oct 2017 - Water Resources Research published a new special collection in September 2017 featuring concentration-discharge research from multiple CZOs.

What Causes Ecological Shifts?

17 Oct 2017 - A new information partitioning methodology allows researchers to identify the factors that drive behavior in an ecohydrologic system.

Stories in the Soil

17 Oct 2017 - A series of field experiments in the U.S. Midwest is investigating how past, present, & future human activities and climate affect the health of soil.

NSF News Release: Changes in non-extreme precipitation may have not-so-subtle consequences

18 Sep 2017 - Analysis of more than five decades of data leads to new conclusions

NSF Discovery: Corn better used as food than biofuel, study finds

21 Jun 2017 - Scientists obtain comprehensive view of agricultural ecosystems

What’s Good for Crops not Always Good for the Environment

17 Apr 2017 - What's good for crops is not always good for the environment. Nitrogen, a key plant nutrient, can cause problems when it leaches into water supplies.

2017 CZO Webinar Series: Critical Zone and Society

06 Apr 2017 - 2017 CZO Webinar Series: Critical Zone and Society.

’Weather Whiplash’ Triggered by Changing Climate Will Degrade Midwest’s Drinking Water

03 Apr 2017 - One consequence of global climate change is the likelihood of more extreme seesawing between drought and flood, a phenomenon dubbed “weather...


Soybean plants with fewer leaves yield more

23 Nov 2016 - Scientists predict that modern soybeans produce more leaves than they need to the detriment of yield—made worse by rising atmospheric CO2.

CZOs at AGU 2016

22 Nov 2016 - CZOs at AGU 2016: Agenda and award recipients

AGU Abstracts due August 3: List of CZ Sessions

24 Jul 2016 - AGU 2016 sessions related to CZ science. Submit your abstract by August 3.

Clear Creek Watershed Research & Conservation Efforts: Katie Goff

07 Jul 2016 - Katie Goff is a masters student studying earth and environmental sciences at the University of Iowa. As part of her research, Goff collects data and...

Clear Creek Watershed Research & Conservation Efforts: Rai Tokuhisa

29 Jun 2016 - Rai Tokuhisa is a master's student studying hydraulics and water resources engineering at the University of Iowa. As part of her research,...

IML-CZO Investigator Profiles: Marian Muste (University of Iowa)

15 Apr 2016 - During his first two years in the United States, IML-CZO investigator Dr. Marian Muste experienced two events that would become major news stories...

IML-CZO Investigator Profiles: Aaron Packman (Northwestern University)

08 Apr 2016 - Journalist Michael Pollan once said: “In one handful of soil there are more organisms than there are humans on earth and we are only beginning...

IML-CZO Investigator Profiles: Andrew Stumpf (Illinois State Geological Survey)

01 Apr 2016 - Between roughly 2 million years ago and 10,000 years ago, during the Pleistocene Epoch or “Ice Age,” massive glaciers swept across...

Video: Critical Zone Observatories help U.S. plan for the future

21 Mar 2016 - The short video features the Intensely Managed Landscapes Critical Zone Observatory (IML-CZO) with commentary from IML Co-Director Praveen Kumar.

IML-CZO Investigator Profiles: Adam Ward (Indiana University)

18 Mar 2016 - Farming in the Midwest provides food and energy for the rest of the United States and even other parts of the world but some of the agricultural...

IML-CZO Investigator Profiles: Neal Blair (Northwestern University)

11 Mar 2016 - While urban and rural areas are seemingly polar opposites the two different areas depend greatly on one another, according to IML-CZO investigator...

IML-CZO Investigator Profiles: Art Bettis (University of Iowa)

26 Feb 2016 - Iowa poet laureate Mary Swander once said that the Hawkeye State has “the most altered landscape in the United States.” This...

Logjam Clogs Sangamon River, just as it did in the 1930s and ‘40s

06 Feb 2016 - About half a mile of logs and other debris stretches across the Sangamon River in Cass County about two miles from where it joins the Illinois...

BTN LiveBIG: Iowa students research water and wildlife in the ‘Big Muddy’

05 Feb 2016 - By Tony Moton | Jul 30, 2015 In the writings of Mark Twain, one of the activities Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn enjoyed most was doing a...

Iowa City Press-Citizen: Conference focuses on watershed, farmland management

05 Feb 2016 - Nick Fetty, For the Press-Citizen 7:27 p.m. CDT July 30, 2015 MUSCATINE – In both sports and academics, universities often compete with...

On the Radio: Big Ten schools team up in Iowa for the environment

05 Feb 2016 - August 17, 2015 | Nick Fetty This week’s On the Radio segment looks at a partnership between Big Ten schools to improve farmland and...

Midwest researchers come together for research project

05 Feb 2016 - Nick Fetty | July 30, 2015 Roughly 30 students, professors, and researchers from six different institutions met in Muscatine this week to discuss...

EOS Spotlight: Conservation Farming Shown to Protect Carbon in Soil

04 Feb 2016 - A closer look at cultivated land informs actions to protect the vitality of our soil.

The Coming Blue Revolution

03 Feb 2016 - Review of P. Kumar's journal publication, "Hydrocomplexity: Addressing water security and emergent environmental risks" in Water Resources Research.

U.S.-China EcoPartnership for Environmental Sustainability Conference Summary

01 Feb 2016 - Summary of a conference and workshop dedicated to Critical Zone Science, Sustainability, and Services in a Changing World hosted by Purdue University.


EOS: Taking the Pulse of the Earth’s Surface Systems

04 Dec 2015 - Taking the Pulse of the Earth's Surface Systems In September of 2014, Laurel Larsen (UC Berkley), Elizabeth Hajek (Penn State), and others...

Critical Zone Profiles - Meet the people doing CZO science (IML CZO)

28 Nov 2015 - Get a sense of the people and the work. Several members of the Intensively Managed Landscapes (IML) CZO are profiled here.

Critical Zone Profile - ANDREW STUMPF (Quaternary geologist, senior investigator)

28 Nov 2015 - Associate Quaternary Geologist, Illinois State Geological Survey; Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Critical Zone Profile - LAURA KEEFER (fluvial geomorphologist, senior investigator)

28 Nov 2015 - Head of Surface Water Hydrology & Hydraulics, Illinois State Water Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Did Dust Bowl’s ravages end in the 1940s? New study says no

13 Nov 2015 - A new study has shown that soil quality actually continued to decline until the 1980s and even now isn't back to pre-Dust Bowl levels.

FIML Art-Science Rendition of IMLCZO

04 Nov 2015 - This video portrays an artistic rendition of Critical Zone Observatory for Intensively Managed Landscapes (

IML-CZO Offers Short Course on Organic Matter

25 Aug 2015 - The Role of Runoff and Erosion on Soil Carbon Stocks: From Soilscapes to Landscapes instrument training short course Oct 20-21, Purdue University

Joint AGU-ESA Event Brings Together Collaborative Networks

17 Aug 2015 - Members of AGU and the Ecological Society of America came together in their first joint event to discuss opportunities for research collaboration.

IMLCZO Director Praveen Kumar Featured in International Innovation

14 May 2015 - Researchers in the University of Illinois’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering are studying vulnerability across the Earth’s surface.


Using a CZO network to explore the architecture, dynamics and evolution of the Critical Zone

03 Nov 2014 - The US CZO National Office has organized a webinar on December 8, 2014 at 11AM - 12:30 PM ET.

Floods Strike Clear Creek Watershed in Southeastern Iowa

02 Jul 2014 - Recent flooding in southeastern Iowa has brought high water and wind damage to the Clear Creek watershed in the IML-CZO. Researcher Art Bettis took...

2014 All Hands Meeting

24 Apr 2014 - Information for the 2014 All Hands Meeting for the CZO Network on 21-14 September, including registration information and abstract submission.

Reactive Transport Modeling Survey – Community Needs for Biogeochemical Studies

08 Apr 2014 - Reactive Transport Modeling Survey – Community Needs for Biogeochemical Studies The below survey is designed by Alexis Navarre-Sitchler, Kate...

“What’s so critical about the Critical Zone?” webinar

02 Apr 2014 - March 31, 2014. Dr. Enriqueta Barrera (NSF CZO program director) and Dr. Gordon Grant (USFS; CZO Steering Committee chairperson)

Soil sampling begins at Clear Creek

01 Apr 2014 - Soil sampling is underway at the Clear Creek watershed.

Introducing Intensively Managed Landscapes (IML) CZO

03 Mar 2014 - The IML-CZO focuses on intensely managed agricultural and urban landscapes in Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota.

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