News and Announcements

Open Applications for Spring 2016 Ecogeomorphology Class

The Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology and the Center for Watershed Sciences are offering a unique Spring quarter course in Applied Watershed Science. Similar to the Shlemon Courses taught in previous years through the Geology department (see, this course is a multidisciplinary study of the ecology, geomorphology and management of rivers in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California.

Center to Host Speaker Series on Drought

The Center for Watershed Sciences and UC Davis School of Law is hosting a weekly series of public speakers on California water policy this winter, beginning Jan. 4, 2016.

The California Water Policy Seminar Series is on Mondays, 4:10 pm to 5:30 pm, at 2303 King Hall.

Welcome Nicholas Pinter

Nicholas Pinter

A nationally recognized expert in flood risks and management has joined the Center for Watershed Sciences, bringing to UC Davis a Midwestern perspective on rivers and plans for collaborating with river researchers worldwide. 

A geology professor, Nicholas Pinter arrives from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale where his research on natural hazards, geomorphology and flood hydrology took him to many distant lands, including the northern coast of Chile, south-central Europe and California’s Channel Islands.

Nov. 18: 'Facing El Nino – Challenges & Opportunities'

WHAT: Interdisciplinary presentations and panel discussions on the prospects, challenges and opportunities of California having an El Niño event with heavy precipitation this winter.

WHEN: 3:30 p.m.— 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015

WHERE: Walter A Buehler Alumni Center, UC Davis

PLEASE NOTE: Seating is limited. Advanced registration required. Registration is free and available by emailing

Nov. 3: Watershed Sciences Communications Workshop

Chris Austin

With meager resources, Chris Austin has made Maven's Notebook the go-to place for staying current on California water science, policy and management. On Tuesday, Nov. 3, Chris will share many of the simple, inexpensive and effective ways students, researchers and faculty can engage with California’s water community – as well as journalists and the public at large.

Pre-registration required.

Fisheries scientists honor Peter Moyle

Peter Moyle, the Center's Associate Director, has been named to the inaugural class of American Fisheries Society Fellows.

Moyle, a UC Davis Distinguished Professor Emeritus in fish biology, is one of 83 AFS members recently so honored by their peers for "outstanding or meritorious contributions" to fisheries science and management, according to an AFS news release.

Campus to host global water event, Oct. 5-6

The Shed's Jay LundThomas Harter and Helen Dahlke are scheduled to present the California story at the global Water for Food Security conference, Oct. 5-6, which will bring together policymakers, researchers, industry leaders and investors at the UC Davis Conference Center.

New edition: Fish Species of Special Concern in CA

Tule Perch caught in Suisun Marsh, 2008/UC Davis

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) this week released the third edition of "California Fish Species of Special Concern" by the Shed's Peter Moyle, alums Rebecca Quiñones and Jacob Katz and

Extinction by drought

The Shed's Peter Moyle has identified 18 resident California fishes that are likely to vanish if the drought drags on another year or two. See the list of fishes

Drought bites harder, but agriculture remains robust


The drought is tightening its grip on California agriculture, squeezing about 30 percent more workers and cropland out of production than in 2014, according to the latest drought impact report by the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences. In 2015, the state’s agricultural economy will lose about $1.84 billion and 10,100 seasonal jobs because of the drought, the report estimated, with the Central Valley hardest hit. The analysis also forecasts how the industry will fare if the drought persists through 2017.

Keeping California's salmon wild

The Shed's Peter Moyle and Carson Jeffres and alum Jacob Katz describe the perils of hatcheries and the promise of floodplain nurseries in sustaining California's native runs of salmon in the latest edition of Comstock's.

Up a river without a paddle

Accounts from this year’s ever-popular rivers course, taught by Center for Watershed Sciences staff, read more like the Chronicle for Drier Education — thanks to this fourth year of extreme drought.

The spring 2015 class had to forgo plans to reach study sites by rafting the Wild and Scenic section of the Tuolumne River (“Wild” as in Class 4 and 5 rapids), because of reduced flows from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. They otherwise immersed themselves snorkeling.

Welcome Jon Herman

Say hello to Jon Herman, a new assistant professor in water resources systems engineering who will be working with the Center for Watershed Sciences.

"Jon's expertise in large-scale multi-objective modeling and optimization for water resource systems is ideal for California's water management needs," said Jay Lund, director of the Center.

Herman joined the UC Davis Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in June after completing his PhD dissertation at Cornell University.

Harsher drought forecast for California agriculture

UC Davis researchers present estimates of drought impacts on California agriculture

The drought is expected to be worse for California’s agricultural economy this year because of reduced water availability, according to preliminary estimates released today by the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences.

Amber Manfree lauded for 'highly original' dissertation

Amber Manfree of the Center for Watershed Sciences on Wednesday (May 27) will be awarded the Kinsella Memorial Prize for her dissertation on the changing landscape of Suisun Marsh, a vast wetland in the San Francisco Estuary important for fish and water birds.

The annual UC Davis award recognizes the most outstanding doctoral dissertation in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, where Manfree studied under Peter Moyle, a distinguished professor of fish biology.

Commentary: Let fish sell water during drought

During drought, California often loosens its fish protections in order to free up more water for cities and farms. The Center's Jay Lund and Peter Moyle question this practice in the latest California WaterBlog and the San Francisco Chronicle's Opinion pages, saying it is better for California's environment and economy to sell rather than give away the environmental water for free. 

A salmon success story during the drought

Average returns of fall-run Chinook salmon on the Shasta River in the past four years have quadrupled, even during the drought. No one knows for sure why. However, the condition of the habitat dramatically improved soon after cattle were fenced out of an ecologically important spring-fed tributary, Big Springs Creek. Ann Willis, a Center researcher who has monitored the changes for several years, tells the story to Capital Public Radio's environment reporter Amy Quinton.

Could California survive a mega-drought?

UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences Director Jay Lund told KXTL News 10 (ABC, Sacramento) Thursday that if California faced a 100-year drought, it could lose up to half of its agriculture.

"But most of the urban economy, while it would be painful, would get through pretty well," Lund said. "We'd certainly use a lot less water on our lawns, pay more for water, do a lot more water conservation, do a lot more waste water re-use."

Center pumps out groundwater talks

You don't have to be a water wonk to appreciate our current series of public talks on California's groundwater, in person or on video.

Fogg busts groundwater myths

In the opening talk of this winter quarter's California Water Policy Seminar, UC Davis hydrology professor Graham Fogg debunked several common myths about groundwater:

Public speakers series: Get grounded on groundwater

Policymakers, hydrologists, legal experts, economists and water managers will discuss California's management of groundwater -- past, present and future -- in a series of nine presentations, starting Monday, Jan 5, at the UC Davis School of Law, Room 2303. All sessions open to public.

Peter Moyle: Saving species in a post-wild Delta

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh are "novel ecosystems" that function almost completely differently than the ecosystems in which they evolved.


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