Julia Nicholson

Time Series Analysis of Groundwater in the Sierra Nevada

Groundwater is essential to ecosystems in Sierra Nevada meadows. Flora and fauna depend on groundwater cycles for a reliable source of water. Climate change is expected to disrupt groundwater supply, so understanding precisely how groundwater responds to temperature change, and how groundwater affects surrounding flora is an integral part of protecting meadow ecosystems in the face of climate change. This summer, I will develop a mathematical model to analyze time series of meadow groundwater, in order to study the relationship between groundwater and the ecosystems it fuels. I will study what local factors influence how groundwater levels respond to temperature, and how vegetation responds to varying groundwater. I have the support of a graduate student, Jen Natalie, who collected this groundwater and greenness data, as well as Professor Albert Ruhi, who taught me all I know about time series analysis. As a mathematics major who is passionate about climate change, this research is an intersection of my analytic skills and my love for the environment!

Message to Sponsor

Thank you so much for your generosity. For the past year, I have been interested in doing this research, and haven't had the time or resources to do it. I'm really excited to sink my teeth into this analysis this summer!
  • Major: Mathematics
  • Sponsor: Chen Fund
  • Mentor: Albert Ruhi