Ann Willis

Profile image for Ann Willis

Position Title
Senior Researcher


Ann Willis is a senior staff researcher at the Center for Watershed Sciences, and a Fellow of the UC Davis John Muir Institute for the Environment and Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center. She focuses her research on working lands conservation - finding ways to incorporate conservation into working, agricultural landscapes. She has worked on streams and reservoirs in northern California, including the Shasta River and Big Springs Creek, and the Sacramento Basin. 

As communications director from 2016-2018, Ann launched Scientists for Public Engagement and Knowledge (SPEAK), the Center's outreach program. SPEAK aims to make science accessible, engaging, and influential by connecting scientists with communication professionals and opportunities to publish on the Center's multiple outreach platforms. 

Ann also volunteers as a guide with CWS' ecogeomorphology class. Get a sense of her feelings about science education from the Capitol Public Radio documentary of the 2016 Grand Canyon expedition class. She has first-hand experience with stream hydraulics from rafts and kayaks in rivers throughout the Western US, Australia, and Nepal.

Ann was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship to pursue her doctoral degree in 2016. She was also named a UC Davis John Muir Institute for the Environment Fellow for her innovations in science communication, and a Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center Fellow for her research looking at headwater ecosystems and their relationship to downstream water resources. Follow her on Twitter (@watershedwillis) for her thoughts on science, water, and being a woman in STEM.


Research Interests & Expertise
  • Water Resources Planning
  • Working Lands Conservation