Divisions – Geosciences – Dr. Kirsten Menking

Impact of climatic changes and urbanization on stream flow

Dr. Kirsten Menking, Vassar College, is interested in the impact of climatic changes and urbanization on stream flow. She is collecting data in a local drainage basin that includes the Vassar Farm Ecological Preserve. The data are used to calibrate a hydrologic model of the area. Dr. Menking will use this model to run climate and land use change experiments. She has involved several students in this project over the last four years. A senior thesis student helped build a meteorological station. Funding for these materials was provided by the Priscilla Bullit Collins Faculty Research Fund at Vassar, an internal competitive grant. The whole meteorological station cost about $4000 to put together. The students seen in these photos installed a stream gage on Casperkill stream as part of a Geomorphology course. The stream gaging station was funded by Dr. Menking’s faculty start up funds and some departmental funds. 

Students from Dr. Menking’s Geomorphology course during trench digging to install a stream gage on Casperkill stream.Proof that real geologist do get their finger nails dirty.

Students from Dr. Menking’s Geomorphology course displaying their finished shelter (wooden box in center).The shelter houses the data-logger for the stream gage, which collects and stores water depth information each hour.

Krzyzstof Sakrejda, a student, proudly displays the finished stream gage. Stream water enters the pipe through a horizontal pipe below that leads to the stream. The water level in the vertical pipe is determined by a pressure sensor submerged near the bottom of the pipe.The electronic data are sent to the data logger via a cable that comes out of the top of the pipe.