Action: Request from NCRWQCB to give input on Temperature Policy

An invitation to review this project … dive in.

Do take care, stay well.

I’m writing to offer a chance to collaborate on some interesting science with direct policy relevance.

My full-time job is at the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board where we implement state and federal clean water laws. A project I’m part of has the need for some external review, and I’m reaching out to the SRJC community for some potential help and/or leads. My colleague, Dr. Le, is lead on the project and put together a short description of the work, which is pasted below.

Please reach out to me at either this email address or the one below if you have any questions, are interested in providing any assistance with the project, or know someone who might be able to help.



Kelsey C. Cody, Ph.D.
Environmental Scientist, NCRWQCB
Adjunct Instructor, SRJC

Regional Water Board (RWB) staff are seeking informal comment and review of an ongoing research project being conducted to estimate shade under a vegetative canopy. The research project is the development of a GIS-based riparian shade model that takes in elevation, vegetation, and canopy GIS data along with solar position to estimate the attenuation of a direct beam of sunlight through the tree canopy. This project will serve as a tool implement the RWB’s Temperature Policy[1], which protects streams with cold-water habitats from excessive thermal loading. Shade is a significant aspect of addressing excess temperature. The riparian shade model is based on Heat Source, a stream temperature model that considers factors beyond shade such (e.g. streamflow). RWB staff intend to use this model—once validated and properly reviewed, of course—in the Laguna de Santa Rosa Temperature TMDL.

Specifically, the RWB staff would like the review of any of the following:

conceptual model underpinning the riparian shade model[2], including
the idea that attenuation follows Beer’s Law that states that light reduces in energy (or is scattered) through a medium proportional to that medium’s density
the method by which above canopy solar irradiance is calculated, i.e. the attenuation of solar radiation by Earth’s atmosphere before reaching the Earth’s surface
the Python and/or R code that implements the model, specifically:
review whether the code implements the concepts appropriately and correctly
review whether the code is sufficiently optimized or follows coding/style conventions
any other comments or ideas that the reviewer deems relevant
RWB staff understand that any one of these requests could consume a considerable amount of time, so we do not expect potential reviewers to exhaustively do all (or any of) of the above tasks, but we would appreciate any and all input. For individuals or groups who are particularly interested in this project and want to be more involved, RWB staff intend to publish this model as a peer-review journal along with the release of the code/model to the wider public; we are very open to co-authorship and collaboration.