Springs —where groundwater reaches the Earth’s surface—are one of the most biologically, socio-culturally, and economically important ecosystems, yet they are poorly studied and inadequately protected. Despite their relatively small size, springs support 20% of endangered species in the U.S. as well as untold thousands of rare or highly restricted species. Springs are highly sacred to indigenous cultures that use them for water supplies, medicinal, ceremonial, and other purposes. Given the interactions between temperature, precipitation, infiltration, and aquifer dynamics, springs are also sensitive indicators of global climate change.
The Springs Stewardship Institute (SSI) is a global initiative of the Museum of Northern Arizona. SSI seeks to improve our understanding of springs ecology, to educate the public and resource managers about the importance of springs stewardship, and to partner with other organizations, agencies, tribes, and researchers who are working to protect these critically endangered ecosystems.
SSI accomplishes our goal through:
- Springs Inventory Workshops and Trainings
- Springs Inventory Assessments and Monitoring
- GIS and data Management Support
- Groundwater Sampling and Modeling
- Biological Inventory and Assessment
- Stewardship Advisement and Planning
- Proposal Development
- Technical and Scientific Peer Review
- Restoration Planning and Implementation