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Feb 29 talk: “Impacts of National Flood Insurance Program on Endangered Species and Floodplain Management”

Monty Schmitt, a Senior Scientist and San Joaquin River Restoration Project Manager of the National Resources Defense Council, will talk about the impacts of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) on endangered species and the implications for floodplain management in California.

Several biological opinions from agencies such as the National Marine Fisheries Service and the 2017 federal reauthorization of the FNIP “represents an opportunity to reform the NFIP to improve floodplain management, restore natural floodplain functions and protect fish and wildlife habitat.”

What lies behind the dam?

Recent research shows that Chinook salmon stocked as sport fish in California reservoirs are successfully spawning. K. Martin Perales’ research has shown there is good reason to believe there are multiple populations of landlocked Chinook salmon are completing their life cycle above Central Valley dams.

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 http://watershed.ucdavis.edu/education/classes/ecogeomorphology), 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.

Click here for the series schedule, topics, and speakers.

The series is open to the public and available for credit. [For an extended graduate seminar on water policy (1 unit ECI 298) contact Professor Lund at jrlund@ucdavis.edu.]

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 elninosummit@ucdavis.edu

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.

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.

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.

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."