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Sheila F Murphy

Research Hydrologist

Office of the Chief Operating Officer

Office Phone: 303-541-3023
Fax: 303-541-3084
ORCID: 0000-0002-5481-3635

University of Colorado - Building 6
3215 Marine Street
Suite E-127
Boulder , CO 80303

Supervisor: Jennifer L Keisman
Atmospheric deposition of reactive nitrogen (Nr) due to human activities can have measurable effects on ecosystem processing and export of nutrients, groundwater and surface-water quality. Rates of Nr deposition to lower-elevation forests immediately adjacent to the Denver/Boulder urban area, however, have only recently been measured. The focus of this study was to determine the extent of urban and agricultural N pollution transport to the Colorado Front Range. In conjunction with the Network for Urban Atmospheric Nitrogen Chemistry (NUANC) and the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP), we measured wet-plus-dry Nr deposition and evaluated spatial and seasonal variations in N deposition along an elevational...
This is a multi-disciplinary community of scientists who study the effects of wildfire disturbance on the built and natural environment. The mission is to understand natural processes such as infiltration, rainfall-runoff, erosion, sediment and chemical transport, and water quality effects. The focus is on obtaining field-based measurements that can be used to improve or develop models for use by emergency, land and water supply managers as tools for decision making.
In response to the 2010 Fourmile Canyon fire near Boulder, Colorado, the U.S. Geological Survey collected data to support investigations into the magnitude and critical drivers of water-quality impairment after wildfire. We analyzed chemistry of stream water, sediment, wildfire ash, soil, dust, and mine waste for metals and other parameters in order to evaluate the effects of legacy mining and wildfire on stream chemistry in the Colorado Front Range, USA. This data release includes data that were published earlier (McCleskey et al., 2012; Murphy et al., 2018).
My primary objective is to characterize the hydrology and water chemistry of watersheds and how they are affected by both natural factors and disturbance. I study the role of precipitation type, intensity, and spatial distribution in driving runoff and transport of sediment, carbon, nutrients, and major ions in both disturbed and undisturbed sites. My research incorporates field research and existing climate, hydrologic, and water-quality data to distinguish between the roles of climate, land-cover change, and disturbance in driving watershed processes. I strive to communicate research findings to scientists, regulators, and the public in order to support the management of water resources.
Supplementary data for studies conducted in the Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF), eastern Puerto Rico include measurements of temperature, relative humidity and cloud immersion at 30-minute resolution. Temperature and relative humidity were measured at five sites; two primary sites have records from March 2014 to June 2019; other sites have shorter records within that period. From these data, derived values of dew point, vapor pressure deficit (VPD), and evaporative fraction were calculated. Daily 13:00 temperature and VPD gradients with elevation along the windward forested slope were calculated using the 2 primary sites from from March 2014 to November 2014, then on days with data from at least 3 of the 5...
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