Rivers as a Storyteller

Graduate student Jaime Ortega samples water in Lookout Creek, November 2022.

Jaime Ortega, an OSU graduate student who grew up in Panama, shares that one of his greatest memories at the Andrews Forest, specifically in the Upper Lookout Creek catchment, was admiring the fascinating changes in the forest throughout the four seasons and how rivers respond to storm events.

“As a foreigner coming from tropical latitudes, I have never had the opportunity to see how a landscape and rivers change throughout the seasons. During my water sampling campaign (May 2022- May 2023) as part of my research project, I was delighted by the colorful leaves of autumn, the fresh snow and quietness during the winter, and the high flow events as a result of snowmelt or intense rain. Each season has its own story and rivers are mirrors to understand how processes occur across the landscape. Through the use of water stable isotopes and stream chemistry, we hope to unveil the importance that geology and snow contribution from high elevations have in the streamflow contribution of some headwater streams (Cold, Longer, Nostoc Creeks) in the Upper Lookout Creek catchment.”  You can find photos of Jaimie in the Lookout Creek Water Sampling 2022 album.

First published September 2, 2023