Yarnell wins NSF grant for river study

The Center’s Sarah Yarnell has won a $193,000 National Science Foundation grant to fund three years of streamflow research that could benefit river restoration efforts.

Yarnell and fellow rivers researcher Elowyn Yager at the University of Idaho will investigate how unsteady flows characteristic of dammed and diverted rivers affect the movement and grain size of sediment – features important to the health of aquatic ecosystems.

Measurements in field and laboratory experiments will be used to test and validate computer models used to predict how variable flows influence sediment transport and the size of grains on a channel bed. Such knowledge would help water resource managers properly design improvements to fish habitat below dams, Yarnell said.