Alison Whipple

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General Information

Raised in a small Northern California agricultural community, Alison has long been aware of the need to balance human and ecosystem requirements, which has motivated her academic and professional career.  

Her interests encompass the impacts of climate change and management strategies on hydrologic and floodplain inundation regimes and their ecological implications. Broadly, Alison’s research explores land-water connections. Her dissertation research addressed river flood regimes and floodplain inundation patterns, involving the application of 2D hydrodynamic modeling to understand spatial and temporal variability of flood characteristics, including extent, depth, velocity, duration, timing, frequency, connectivity, as well as related habitat. Overall, her research provides needed information to improve integration of flow management and restoration science.

She recently received her PhD in Hydrologic Sciences here at UC Davis and was part of the Climate Change, Water, and Society IGERT. She has been involved in the Center’s research activities within the lower Cosumnes River floodplain. Previously, she studied historical ecology with the San Francisco Estuary Institute, where she developed in-depth understanding of links between physical and ecological processes in California’s early 1800s landscapes. Her experiences leading the SFEI’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Historical Ecology Study inspired her pursuit of how to achieve more functional landscapes, particularly through land-water interactions. Alison received her B.S. and M.S. in Stanford University’s interdisciplinary environmental science major, Earth Systems, with her thesis focused on low-flow characteristics of small tributary streams to the Russian River, California. 

Positions and Roles: 
Graduate Student Alum
Research Interests: 
Water resources management; Floodplain restoration; Landscape ecology
Department Affiliation: 
Hydrologic Science