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Projects Worked On

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.
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.