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Symposium on Western Water Quality Issues


Plant Biology Symposium to Discuss Nitrogen Buildup

UCR Extension Gathering Tackles Nutrient Build-up that Spawns Algae Blooms in Western U.S. Bodies of Water

(January 12, 2005)

Chlorophyll concentration measured during an algae bloom in the Skagerrak region of Denmark. Image: Remote Sensing Group, Centre for Coastal and Marine Sciences, Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

Chlorophyll concentration measured during an algae bloom in the Skagerrak region of Denmark. Image: Remote Sensing Group, Centre for Coastal and Marine Sciences, Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — www.ucr.edu — The 23rd Plant Biology Symposium, titled Symposium on Nitrogen Eutrophication in Xeric Wildland and Agricultural Systems, is scheduled Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 19 and 20 at the University of California, Riverside Extension, 1200 University Ave., Riverside. The symposium is open to the public — for more details, e-mail sciences@ucx.ucr.edu or call (951) 827-5804.

The two-day gathering will take place in Extension conference rooms D and E from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Jan. 19 and from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 20.

The cost to attend is $99 for both days or $55 for one day and includes a continental breakfast, lunch and refreshments. Students pay $20 for one day or $40 for both days.

The study of sources and impacts of excess nitrogen in the arid regions of the western United States has become a hot topic because so little is known about it in this region and because of its potentially damaging effects. Much research has been done to address the problem of global nitrogen eutrophication or buildup, caused by increased agricultural fertilizers, domestic animal wastes, and nitrogen emissions from industry and internal combustion engines.

However, less is known about the magnitude and impacts of nitrogen eutrophication specifically in the arid environments of the western United States. This symposium will address the problems unique to such ecosystems ranging from deserts to seasonally dry coniferous forests.

The symposium will bring regulators, land managers, environmental economists, and researchers from the western U.S. together to discuss the issues, to identify topics on nitrogen pollution that require further investigation, and to promote improved regulations and management based on the latest scientific findings.

Presentations will reflect a variety of viewpoints, to identify the problems of nitrogen excesses faced by regulators and managers and consequently deal with them from scientific, regulatory, and management perspectives. A book based on the symposium talks and discussions will be published.

  • Day one will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a welcome, introduction, and objectives layout by Mark Fenn from the U.S. Forest Service. The day’s second segment will discuss measuring and modeling nitrogen losses and deposition. The final segment of day one will include presentations on nitrogen management in agriculture.

  • Day two of the symposium will also begin at 8:30 a.m. with presentations on the elevated nitrogen in the hydrological cycle, followed by presentations on the impacts on wildland communities. The day will conclude with general discussions on all topics.


The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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