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

© Margot Wholey, 2015

SSCZO works to improve public awareness and understanding of the critical zone and Sierra Nevada ecosystem services. Researchers and staff often participate in public presentations, field outings, local and national newspaper articles, radio and television interviews, and film projects. Sierra forests and water cycle are often highlighted, particularly focusing on forest health, snowpack quantification and other components of the critical zone that affect California’s resources. Read below to learn more about our work.

Public Presentations 

Students, staff, and volunteers demo critical zone processes at the Merced River Fair.

Team members from SSCZO give public presentations at a variety of venues. Our team has given presentations at Yosemite Forum and regional Master Gardener programs. You can find us demonstrating models and instruments at events like the Merced River Fair and leading Junior Ranger activities in Stanislaus National Forest. SSCZO also partners with UC Merced to sponsor the Merced Science Cafe, directed by our Field Manager Erin Stacy. Upcoming public programs are available on our events page.

We're always happy to share our work with audiences of all ages. Contact us if you have an event that you'd like us to participate in.



Featured Presentations: 

  • How Heat and Drought Control the Growth and Death of Sierra Forests. Presentation by Anne Kelly at Yosemite Forum. 14 February 2017.
  • Where Rock, Soil, Water, Air, and Life Connect: Understanding and Measuring the Critical Zone. Exhibit Booth by Melissa Thaw, Joe Rungee, Kimber Moreland, and Michelle Gilmore at the Merced River Fair, Riverdance Farms, Livingston CA. 4 June 2016.
  • Nature and Properties of Soil. Presented by Toby O'Geen at the Sonora, Tuolume and Calaveras Counties' Master Garderners Program. 18 February 2016.
  • Geologic Limits on Life in Mountain Landscapes. Presented by Cliff Riebe at Yosemite Forum, Yosemite National Park. 13 January 2015.



Field & Facility Tours 

Researchers and staff host trips to the field to learn about our projects, instruments, and sites where our research is focused. Research laboratory tours are also offered to show the work we do when we're not in the field, including sample preparation and analysis, data processing, and modeling.

Would you like to tour our facilities or field sites? Contact us to arrange a visit.




In the Media

SSCZO research and personnel are frequently featured in the media, often covering California’s ongoing drought, snowpack levels, and forest mortality. Researchers have written articles in San Joaquin Valley newspapers and been featured in The New York Times and Desert Sun. You can find our investigators on radio and television programs, including KQED Forum and Lou Dobbs Tonight. SSCZO technology, sites, and researchers have also been featured in widely received video productions such as NBC Learn and Onward California. Check out our videos and photo galleries to learn more about our work.









Students, staff, and volunteers demo critical zone processes at the Merced River Fair.

SSCZO investigator Martha Conklin leads a discussion about the hydrology of Yosemite Valley to members of the UC Merced University Friends Circle. 

Field tour

Winter instrument data download


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