We design our Earthwatch Teen Expeditions specifically and exclusively for 15- to 18-year-olds. They’re unlike any other experience a teenager can have.
The Sierra Nevada Mountains run 400 miles long and 50 miles wide across eastern California and supply two-thirds of the state’s water supply. The snow that melts from these mountains also provides water to the meadows below. Like sponges, these meadows collect water runoff during periods of snowmelt and high rainfall. They also operate as natural filters, removing excess sediment and nutrients. Streams that run through these meadows slowly drain them, eventually releasing clean water late into the summer and fall when it is needed most.
Ecosystems like this are susceptible to alterations by human activities including climate change, grazing cattle that can alter the landscape, stream alteration due to mining, and the encroachment of trees due to fire suppression. All of these factors can negatively impact the meadows in the surrounding region by degrading its streams, drying its surface, and increasing its susceptibility to invasive species.
Join scientists in the Sierra Nevada and help understand how this important ecosystem will be impacted by a changing climate. You will also have the opportunity to work with local organizations including the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), the Tahoe National Forest, and others to actively restore these meadows in an effort to protect this important water system