NERTO Students

Gabriela Morales

Gabriela Morales
M.S, Geography, Graduate

Internship Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Internship Date: Summer 2019


Morales received her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA in Geography. She was interested in earth and environmental sciences early on by an AP Environmental Science in high school. She hopes to take advantage of the interdisciplinary nature of geography by combining remote sensing, GIS, and hydrological analysis with social science theory and methods

NERTO Research Project Title:

Evapotranspiration Forcings within the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center Hydrologic Model

NERTO Project Details :

Synopsis: The Imperial Valley in southern California, a highly productive agricultural region serves as a large source of winter crops on both national and international levels. The region receives little annual rainfall; and high crop productivity is enabled by irrigation with water from the Colorado River. The enactment of the Quantification Settlement Agreement of 2003, however, reduced the volume of water being transported to the Imperial Valley from the Colorado River, which not only may have impacted crop production, but also farmer livelihoods that depend on a now further- limited water supply.

NERTO Outcomes:

My NERTO experience allowed me to explore new subject matter (hydrologic models) while contributing to the CBRFC’s understanding of a specific and relevant issue (the National Water Model).

Value of NERTO to the Line Office:

While the results from my NERTO project mainly opened up more complex questions for future research on the National Water Model, my data analysis provided a potential framework for evaluating NWM performance against a regional model.

NERTO Skills:

I worked with R extensively during my NERTO which allowed me to sharpen my computer programming and data analysis skills.