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Dr. Tamara Wood, Hydrologist

Helping all of us learn the complex environment at play at Malheur Lake is hydrologist Dr. Tamara Wood. Dr. Wood first experienced Malheur Lake in 2016 and has been studying the lake’s water quality for the past two years. She’s a Hydrologist at Oregon Water Science Center with degrees in mechanical engineering, physical oceanography as well as environmental science and engineering.

Dr. Wood would tell you that she really enjoys grand landscapes like what we have at Malheur and the challenges at Malheur Lake are right up her alley. She enjoys doing applied, earth science-based work, that helps people solve problems, like how best to implement restoration. “[Research at Malheur Lake is] interesting because there’s a real possibility that we can do something to fix the problem. The research informs decision making, and it allows us to use our resources in the best way. Very little of this kind of work has been done at Malheur, like collecting light, turbidity, and phytoplankton samples, so when you get a new dataset it’s like opening up a present; you’re bound to learn something new and that’s exciting.”

Dr. Wood has been at this type of work for many years, since 1993, which includes projects at nearby Klamath Lake and Crater Lake. “I always hope that I can come into a situation and provide new observations and new ways of thinking that open up new approaches to the problem. Observation is the basis for what we do, and then we follow up with analysis. With this work we are looking for a new way of understanding what is happening on the landscape, potentially describing an ecosystem and its problems with a new narrative, in the hope that this will open up new options for restoration.”

Read more about  Dr. Wood from her U.S. Geological Survey bio and about Dr. Wood’s Malheur Lake research in the article from High Desert Partnership's June's newsletter.