Great Salt Lake Wetland Condition Assessment and Profile
Though wetlands constitute a minor component of the landscape in Utah, they provide diverse ecosystem services including flood attenuation, water quality enhancement, sediment storage, and nutrient cycling, as well as providing critical habitat for biota. Great Salt Lake wetlands represent one of the most unique and prominent wetland features in the state. Because of the importance of this resource, the Wetland Section of the Utah Geological Survey is focusing on mapping and assessing condition in these wetlands. We are currently developing a tool for assessing condition in Great Salt Lake wetlands and hope to work on updating spatial data for wetlands in the next few years. We hope that these products can be used by the broader scientific community doing work around the lake and provide a better understanding of status and trends in Great Salt Lake wetlands.
Jennifer Jones is a Wetland Ecologist with the Utah Geological Survey where she leads various projects for the Wetland Section. In this role, she and the other members of the wetland group are targeting a variety of wetland needs for the state. The main focus of current projects is the development of a rapid condition assessment tool for Utah Wetlands. Other focal components of the Utah Geological Survey’s Wetland Program include expanding wetland mapping area and capabilities, developing wetland outreach products, and collaborating with other state, local, and interest groups to develop wetland program planning that serves the broader group of wetland scientists in the state. Though new to Utah, Jennifer has worked in wetlands in the western US for the past 8 years with projects in the Southern Rockies of Colorado and Sierra Nevada. She earned a BS from North Carolina State University in Botany and Horticulture and an MS from Colorado State University in Ecology with a focus on wetland plant community ecology.
Antelope Island courtesy Woodruff