Geology undergraduate student Nolan Marshall and environmental engineering student Alyssa Virgil survey the uplands of the Upper Ramuschaka Watershed above Zurite, Peru. | Photo courtesy of Jazmin Sandoval

HSU Students and Professors Plunge Into Peruvian Water Project

Students and professors across multiple majors worked together throughout the last few years to bring water from the peaks of the Andes Mountains in Peru to a small town below

Zurite, Peru — a tiny town nestled in between ginormous mountains in the heart of Peru. For many in this agriculture-based community, getting water on a regular basis had been a struggle due to constant landslides and other factors out of their control. Bonanza en Los Andes sought to fill that void.

A several-year-long project that wrapped up funding in December of 2020 involving students and professors from the College of Natural Resources and Sciences at HSU. The group was twenty members strong and helped plan, design, and build irrigation canals connecting the mountains to Zurite. The project wrapped up funding in December of 2020. One of these students, geology graduate student Wyeth Wunderlich, helped oversee the technical side of things.

“Our goal is to say ‘Okay — this is an agrarian town that relies heavily on agriculture,” Wunderlich said. “So how do we connect the water resource availability upstream basically up in this watershed with what the water resource demands are in the community?”

Wunderlich explained that around the world, water resources are incapacitated to an extent and there is not a lot of knowledge on how these hydrological systems operate. For him, this is where his wheelhouse comes into play but he did not want to be too aggressive.

“We don’t want to tell anyone what to do, but if we can develop good quantitative estimates of what happens when and where in the landscape water is coming from,” Wunderlich said. “Then hopefully it can help inform management decisions for Zurite and other communities like Zurite.”

Wunderlich would like to take what he learned from Bonanza en Los Andes to future endeavors.

“I hope to bring the same skill set that I’ve used here in the project with Zurite and the Ramuschaka watershed to our local water and groundwater-surface water systems here in Humboldt and the California coast,” Wunderlich said.

Jasper Oshun, a geology professor, was the principal investigator for this project. He emphasized the value of forming bonds across cultural boundaries.

“It’s important to foster these types of relationships between college and younger students in terms of providing the opportunity for students to travel in see the similarities and differences in different parts of the world,” Oshun said.

Staying on the same topic, Oshun appreciated the collision of different disciplines at HSU when it came to this project.

“These types of environmental issues — issues of water, issues of water quality and quantity or land management — they all require a diverse set of viewpoints in terms of the stakeholders involved in the differences of science,” Oshun said. “And people need to come together on the same page and there’s a lot of value in having different perspectives.”

As someone who wrote the grant for this project, Oshun is frustrated that there aren’t more opportunities for his students in the College of Natural Resources and Sciences to travel abroad.

“I think it’s not necessarily on the radar of students in CNRS that there is an opportunity for them to travel abroad,” Oshun said. “And that their skills are valued or their skills could be immediately applied in a way that could benefit a community.”

Nolan Marshall, a senior and geology major, was a major force in Bonanza en los Andes. In addition to drafting geologic maps, taking stream discharge measurements, cataloging soil samples and testing them in his critical zone lab for water content, Marshall also created 2-dimensional cross-sections of peatlands. He is grateful to have had the opportunity to take part in a bridge-building project with the local Peruvians.

“They were not only a joy to be around but local professionals and students contributed so much to the project — it wasn’t possible without them, ” Marshall said in an email interview. “One of my favorite work days was when I logged core with the all Peruvian drill crew. I’ll never forget it. “

Share This Post

More Stories

Nina G uses comedy to start conversations

During the virtual comedy event held by the SDRC, Nina Ghiselli tells her story and emphasizes the importance of student disability resources within schools.

It’s not just the Capitol Police

As the world watched from their televisions on January 6, we witnessed scenes unfold before our eyes that were, to many, unimaginable: supporters of President Trump swarmed the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, then proceeded to break in and

The San Jose State University Football Team Comes to Humboldt

On a day’s notice from administration, the SJSU football team spends a week and a half in Humboldt practicing because their county did not allow it. Students react to their presence on campus in the midst of a pandemic. Directed

Homelessness in Humboldt, CA

This is the first trailer of a homeless documentary created by HSU students. We have spent months filming and will continue to film throughout the next year. Follow the heartbreaking stories of the homeless community around Humboldt county and the

Thrifty Arcata

Taking a tour of the local thrift shops in Arcata during the COVID-19 pandemic. Directed and produced by Skylar Gaven.

House Plants Generate Peace and Meaning During the Pandemic

Three different people with the same love for plants! House plants have become quite popular these days especially since we’re all basically stuck inside during the pandemic. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but these beautiful green oxygen-makers provide more

Prop 22 represents political favoritism of money over workers’ rights

California’s passing of proposition 22 on Nov. 5 represents a frustrating history of workers’ rights being trampled by the overwhelming influence of greed in politics.  This proposition forces app-based workers to be classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. This

Remembering Evelyn Andrews 10 months after her passing

By Katelyn Dendas It has been 10 months since my friend, teammate and freshman year dorm mate, Evelyn Andrews, passed away. I don’t remember what the grief counselor said or what transpired after that Monday, but I do remember arriving

Protestors seek to defund HSUPD

Two local, activist organizations work together to stage a sit-in against Humboldt State’s police department.

Getting stuck on the Trump train

Writer Anthony Aragon details his experience of accidentally joining a pro-Trump car rally.

Justin Turner exposes the World Series to COVID-19

Justin Turner didn’t need to be the story in the wake of the Dodgers’ first World Series victory in 32 years. Instead here we are, wondering what sort of, if any, punishment Major League Baseball will decide to hand down

Four more years of fear

News Editor Carlos Holguin explains why he is worried about the next four years.

Dismal democracy

The Lumberjack editorial staff comments on America’s flawed electoral system As the world watches the United States 2020 election results, waiting for our pseudodemocratic process to churn out a new president, historically unprecedented voting methods misrepresents the reported Election Day

The Mario triple pack invokes a nostalgia attack

When I was a child, the first video game system I owned was a Nintendo 64. Among the games I played was Super Mario 64. I played it all the time and when I wasn’t playing it, I was lying

Women’s lacrosse drops their competitive season

Greta Roberts, president and player of Humboldt State University’s women’s lacrosse team, made the decision with her coach and teammates to cancel the upcoming spring season. The team decided that not being able to recruit in the fall would be

Dobby’s proposition opinions

Haven’t voted yet? Well, you’re running out of time. Here’s a quick rundown of California’s propositions on the ballot this year

Corporations buy out propositions

In a series of general and misleading advertisements, corporate backers of Propositions 22 and 23 show their grubby hands

CDOR continues virtually

The Campus and Community Dialogue On Race returns covering global justice for Black Lives.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Local food management practices of the Tolowa Dee-ni, Yurok and other indigenous peoples.

Humboldt State Admin attempts to discredit the Lumberjack

***A Lumberjack editorial represents both the majority opinion of the student newspaper’s editorial board, nine editors, as well as the overwhelming majority of Humboldt State University’s student body. Collectively, an editorial echos, embodies and advocates for community beliefs.*** Insensitive communications

Music of the Moment 6

21 Savage and Metro Boomin drop a classic with “Savage Mode II”

Spartans arrive at HSU despite campus concerns

***Editor’s note: SJSU football program was tested in congruence with Mountain West conference guidelines*** The Spartans have arrived and this time they’re not carrying spears or shields. Instead the San Jose State football team stepped onto the Humboldt State campus

Music of the Moment 5

After shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez cancels himself

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Comparisons between episodes of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone and our own dismal reality

Music of the Moment 4

YoungBoy Never Broke Again dodges the sophomore slump with his new album “Top.”

Self-Care Cuts

Changing your hair to change your life

HSU Seaweed Farm sets sail

The first commercially-approved seaweed farm in California will be on the map.

Music of the Moment 3

For better or worse, Big Sean is likely gone for good.

More Layers, More Protection?

Humboldt State demands double masking on campus, does more layers equal more protection?

The Ethnic Studies Bill is a Blessing

Ethnic Studies will thankfully become mandatory for all California State University students – as it should be.

The Complex Interface of Humans and Wildfires

How fire suppression is a mixed bag in Humboldt County Every fire season, blankets of smoke roll over Humboldt County. Here on the coast, that’s as close to wildfires as some of us get. But our practice of fire suppression

Defund HSU’s Police Department

Incidents of racism from the former UPD Chief, past examples of excessive force from current officers and a shrinking university budget.

How Not To Be Bitten By A Kitten

Please prepare to be prey Congratulations, a baby feline has recently come into your life. If they’re anywhere from 2-18 months, they bite. They see you as prey. Because you are prey. You always have been. You always will be.

Graduating Into Uncharted Waters

HSU graduates attempt to navigate a world turned upside-down by COVID-19 In May, Humboldt State University graduated hundreds of students, as it does every year. Unlike past years, graduates didn’t get to shake hands with their respective dean and receive

HSU Cultural Center Budget Slashed

Associated Students leaves student body devastated after significant reductions in cultural center’s budget.

All aboard the plague ship

Unprecedented times are met with normalized behavior, HSU puts students and community members at higher risk after reopening campus and student housing.

Music of the Moment

The hip-hop community rallies behind the Black Lives Matter Movement

Inside the Immune System

How the body uses multiple levels of defense against foreign intruders

Catcalling Can’t Continue

Verbal harassment toward women is about control and the assertion of gender discrimination

Major League Marijuana

Why I don’t think marijuana is everything it’s cracked up to be in baseball

Pigs Compost on Campus

CCAT tries to reduce HSU’s food waste footprint through new pig program