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Projects as the Primary Contact

Mountain meadows inhabited by beavers have an important role in mitigating climate change. As carbon sinks, they store remarkably large amounts of greenhouse gases for the long term. However, degradation from livestock grazing and conversion to dry grasslands has greatly diminished the carbon-storing capacity and biodiversity of meadows in the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada of California.
The California Environmental Flows Framework (CEFF) provides an approach for determining ecological flow criteria and guidance for developing environmental flow recommendations that can accommodate a variety of stream types and biological communities, while supporting regulatory and management agency programs aimed at protecting beneficial uses for aquatic life. CEFF applies a Functional Flows approach and provides ecological flow criteria based on the natural variability of ecologically-relevant functional flow metrics. It provides a process for considering physical and biological constraints within a stream system and provides guidance on developing environmental flow recommendations that balance ecological and water management objectives.
This study compares commonly used methods of defining habitat suitability criteria and applying those to instream flow models for R. boylii in the Sierra Nevada of California. First, regional habitat suitability criteria (HSC) are developed using standard univariate and multivariate techniques, and the predictive performance and transferability of different HSC methods are evaluated. Second, three of the most commonly used instream flow assessment techniques are evaluated: (1) one-dimensional habitat modeling, (2) two-dimensional hydrodynamic modeling, and (3) expert habitat mapping (judgement-based mapping by species experts). A comparison table is provided to aid resource managers in selecting the most appropriate habitat assessment method for R. boylii given the specific conditions of a hydropower relicensing project.
Building from a 2011 National Center for Earth Surface's (NCED) Visitor's Program Grant completed in collaboration with colleagues at University of Idaho's Center for Ecohydraulics Research, this project seeks to understand the impacts of hydrographs on sediment movement.
The health and function of montane riparian and aquatic ecosystems should be monitored using quantitative, process-based, repeatable metrics in order for resource managers to consistently and affordably maintain, restore and conserve these dynamic environments. To increase our understanding and better assess the condition of riparian and aquatic ecosystems, we must link metrics of hydrologic alteration with quantitative assessments of physical habitat (geomorphology and water quality) and biotic communities.
In this project, we seek to improve our understanding of the impacts of varying spring flow regimes on stream ecology, through empirical field studies, and water management, through hydropower optimization modeling.
Over the last half century, the Foothill Yellow-legged Frog (R. boylii) has declined dramatically, especially in Southern California and the southern Sierra Nevada mountains.
Mountain meadow wetlands provide disproportionally important ecological services as compared to the area they cover in the Sierra Nevada by providing wetland-associated biodiversity, attenuating floods, and by contributing to downstream water quality and flow. However, degradation and loss of hydrologic function are widespread in Sierran meadows due to past and continuing anthropogenic effects including grazing management, diversions, roads and culverts, as well as non-native species.
StreamLapse is a software system to build videos from time lapse river photos and data. It allows for rapidly viewing a season of rivers and cross-comparison between sites and years.
 

Collaborating on the following Projects

Mountain meadows inhabited by beavers have an important role in mitigating climate change. As carbon sinks, they store remarkably large amounts of greenhouse gases for the long term. However, degradation from livestock grazing and conversion to dry grasslands has greatly diminished the carbon-storing capacity and biodiversity of meadows in the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada of California.
The California Environmental Flows Framework (CEFF) provides an approach for determining ecological flow criteria and guidance for developing environmental flow recommendations that can accommodate a variety of stream types and biological communities, while supporting regulatory and management agency programs aimed at protecting beneficial uses for aquatic life. CEFF applies a Functional Flows approach and provides ecological flow criteria based on the natural variability of ecologically-relevant functional flow metrics. It provides a process for considering physical and biological constraints within a stream system and provides guidance on developing environmental flow recommendations that balance ecological and water management objectives.
This study compares commonly used methods of defining habitat suitability criteria and applying those to instream flow models for R. boylii in the Sierra Nevada of California. First, regional habitat suitability criteria (HSC) are developed using standard univariate and multivariate techniques, and the predictive performance and transferability of different HSC methods are evaluated. Second, three of the most commonly used instream flow assessment techniques are evaluated: (1) one-dimensional habitat modeling, (2) two-dimensional hydrodynamic modeling, and (3) expert habitat mapping (judgement-based mapping by species experts). A comparison table is provided to aid resource managers in selecting the most appropriate habitat assessment method for R. boylii given the specific conditions of a hydropower relicensing project.
Building from a 2011 National Center for Earth Surface's (NCED) Visitor's Program Grant completed in collaboration with colleagues at University of Idaho's Center for Ecohydraulics Research, this project seeks to understand the impacts of hydrographs on sediment movement.
The health and function of montane riparian and aquatic ecosystems should be monitored using quantitative, process-based, repeatable metrics in order for resource managers to consistently and affordably maintain, restore and conserve these dynamic environments. To increase our understanding and better assess the condition of riparian and aquatic ecosystems, we must link metrics of hydrologic alteration with quantitative assessments of physical habitat (geomorphology and water quality) and biotic communities.
In this project, we seek to improve our understanding of the impacts of varying spring flow regimes on stream ecology, through empirical field studies, and water management, through hydropower optimization modeling.
Over the last half century, the Foothill Yellow-legged Frog (R. boylii) has declined dramatically, especially in Southern California and the southern Sierra Nevada mountains.
Mountain meadow wetlands provide disproportionally important ecological services as compared to the area they cover in the Sierra Nevada by providing wetland-associated biodiversity, attenuating floods, and by contributing to downstream water quality and flow. However, degradation and loss of hydrologic function are widespread in Sierran meadows due to past and continuing anthropogenic effects including grazing management, diversions, roads and culverts, as well as non-native species.
StreamLapse is a software system to build videos from time lapse river photos and data. It allows for rapidly viewing a season of rivers and cross-comparison between sites and years.