Summer in the meadow

Summer in the meadow
Beaver Creek, Idaho, USA

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

@AlanKasprak to defend dissertation September 4, 2015 @USUAggies

Alan Kasprak, fellow grad student in the ET-AL with whom I've been privileged to work, will defend his dissertation, "Linking form and process in braided rivers using physical and numerical models." The first paper from his dissertation is already out over at JGR, so check it out in advance.

On a second note, Alan is Joe Wheaton's first PhD student to finish up since he arrived in 2009. September fourth will be a big day, so if you're around northern Utah/USU/The Owl, don't miss it!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Article Alert: "#Geomorphic mapping and taxonomy of #fluvial landforms" in press at #Geomorphology

 The ET-AL continues their collaborations with geographers/geomorphologists down under, Kirstie Fryirs (Macquarie), and Gary Brierley (Auckland), as the much anticipated,"Geomorphic mapping and taxonomy of fluvial landforms" has been accepted and is now in press at Geomorphology.  This paper, which presents a classification and taxonomy of fluvial landforms, clarifies the terminology used to describe landforms in and around rivers, and their evolution. The paper features numerous ET-Al/FHC personnel, including Sara Bangen, Gary O' Brien, and Nick "the Bouwes" Bouwes. 

Check it out at Geomorphology:

*This post is a rebroadcast from, phones are not live, so please don't call.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday media break: #Salmon #restoration videos from the Pacific Northwest

After basking in some good news (paper accepted!), I took a quick break to look at some recent media from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, the parent organization of the Salmon Recovery Funding Board*. These videos were put together to explain, in common language, how endangered salmon and their fluvial habitats are faring in Washington State. Check out this video insight into what an "ISEMP" reach is or how an "IMW" is monitored.

*For the record, I got my start as a riparian ecologist working on Salmon Recovery Funding Board funded restoration projects in the Stillaguamish Basin. I have many friends and colleagues who work to restore, monitor, and regulate these runs of fish across Washington State and the Pacific Northwest, many of whom are part of the Columbia Habitat Monitoring Program

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Climate-Aquatics Blog: discussing the latest research in Rocky Mountain watersheds, climate & change @DanIsaak @forestservice @usfs_rmrs

If you have any interest in climate change, streams, ecology, fisheries, water, or public land, then you may be interested in the Climate-Aquatics Blog. Dan Isaak, a research fisheries biologist with the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station, has been pumping out timely reviews of all things climate and streams, largely as it pertains to watersheds of the American West. He highlights numerous ongoing USFS projects, including regional models of streamflow, temperature, and geomorphology, but also highlights myriad papers external to the federal research system. By blogging, Dan has created a real-time literature review of many rapidly developing topics in stream ecology and watershed management. Topics are broken into modules so readers can get right to their topic of interest. Current modules include the thermal, hydrology, biology, management, and "cool stuff."
How hot is it, and what are the timing, duration and magnitude of common floods...
and how will these things change in the future?
You can read the Climate-Aquatics Blog here or check out the introduction to the blog that Dan wrote for Fisheries, follow real time updates on Twitter or join the discussion group.

Thanks to Dan for his efforts to communicate these important issues to audiences far and wide!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Society of Wetland Scientists Pacific Northwest Chapter abstract deadline extended @SWS_org #Wetlands

The new deadline for SWS-PNW chapter meeting abstracts is 17 August 2015 for presentations and 31 August 2015 for posters. Student scholarships close 17 August 2015.

The conference is filling out nicely, so please submit an abstract for your talk or poster and be a part of the festivities!

Click through below to submit an abstract.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Joan Ehrenfeld Award for Best Student Presentation in Urban Ecology

Here's an opportunity for urban ecology students, in honor of the late, great urban and restoration ecologist, Dr. Joan Ehrenfeld.

For students giving an oral presentation at the annual Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD in August: At this year's meeting the Urban Ecosystems Ecology (UEE) section of ESA will be awarding its 4th annual award in honor of the late Dr. Joan Ehrenfeld. The award is open to both undergraduate and graduate students giving an oral presentation in the field of urban ecology at the annual meeting. Students do not have to be a member of the UEE section to be eligible for this award. If you are interested in being considered for this award, send the following items to the UEE section vice-chair (Emilie Stander) by Friday, July 31, 2015: first and last name, title of talk, time and location of presentation, degree being sought (BA/BS, MS, PhD), your accepted abstract, and e-mail address. We will only be considering urban ecology presentations for the award.

Below is a brief description of the award:
Title: The Joan Ehrenfeld Award for Best Student Presentation in Urban Ecology
Section:  Urban Ecosystems Ecology Section of ESA
Short Summary: Joan Ehrenfeld was one of the pioneers of urban ecology whose contributions helped shape our knowledge of urban ecosystems. Her work spanned many taxa and systems, ranging from novel work on urban wetlands to the role of people in shaping urban ecosystem processes. Her former students and postdocs are continuing this work around the globe. In recognition of her many contributions to urban ecology, the best oral presentation in urban ecology given at the annual Ecological Society of America meeting is named in her honor.

Please send your application materials with the subject line
"Ehrenfeld Award" to: Emilie Stander, UEE Section Vice-Chair,
If you have any questions, please feel free to Dr. Stander.


Emilie K. Stander, PhD
Assistant Professor, Environmental Science
Dept. of Science and Engineering
Raritan Valley Community College
p: 908-526-1200 ext. 8344

Friday, July 24, 2015

Wrapping up one season to begin another - 2014 (part one)

Preface: I started this post when I thought ski season would take off, fill in the mountains and leave running a seasonal memory in the fall of 2014. Because this year's snowpack was up and down (mostly down in 2015), I've actually kept at it on the trails and been working hard to improve my form and nutrition, strengthen up, and get pre-qualified this spring for a 100-miler. In short, splitboarding, fastpacking/peakbagging, and running are all starting to blend together in the West's new winter season. I'll do a continuous set of posts until I'm caught up with the 2015 season.

In 2014, I wanted to write an end of the year summary on a new hobby that kind of sprang up last year: running. So, I should start by saying that I'm not really a runner. Actually, I've never considered myself "a __________." From playing drums in a couple two-bit youth crew bands to skiing (splitboarding) pretty hard the last few years, I've never considered myself a "splitboarder" or a "drummer." Hell, most weeks, I barely consider myself an "ecologist," and I do that at least a little bit every day. I might deny claiming titles to remind myself to be flexible, portable, and open-minded in case I land somewhere that doesn't lend itself to a certain lifestyle or activity. I can do new and different things, I'm not stuck in one thing or another. In that vein I like to be adaptable to my setting, finding challenges and interesting things to do wherever I end up. Anyhow...last year...after taking up running to get in shape for splitboarding and to see more and new mountains around the West, I sort of had a "running season." It was great.

I ended up seeing more mountains and trails than I thought I might, burned through way more shoes than I thought I would, and in the end made some new friends, spent time with old friends, and saw some ridiculous athletes do some ridiculous things. All while helping to keep Hammer Nutrition and First Endurance in business and maintaining a solid excuse to wear compression tights and short shorts all summer. Here's my breakdown by month (1 of 5 parts):

Faster than they look, Andy and Brian

May - after a nice, extended corn snow season, I looked up at my beloved Logan Peak, checked to see if the (~28-mile) Logan Peak race had filled up (it hadn't) and said, "why not?" With a 50-50 shot on whether I would actually sign up, I headed to the Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting in Portland. The plan had been to head up to Hood for a quick ski ascent, but between Society of Wetland Scientists business, my research, warm weather, and hanging out with old friends, I knew it would be a stretch. Conditions got warm that week and a climber died on the mountain while Andy Dorais set the Mt. Hood ski ascent/descent record in under two-hours. I stayed in the city and ran all week, hitting up more pavement than I usually do, and getting on trails at Lake Forest Park. I also met (Dr.) Eric Chapman, a super nice guy, marathoner, and wetland biogeochemist who is (now was) doing his PhD at Arizona State. We went for a run, exchanged emails, and went our separate ways. I signed up for the Logan Peak race on my phone at the Portland airport while I waited to board. I was just over four weeks out from the Logan Peak race and hadn't run more than 12 miles in one pitch since I was 13 or 14 years old.
Flagstaff "family weekend" 2014
June - as an ecologist with field ambitions, I was obligated to a field season in rural Utah. I ended up spending a lot of time near Utah's Raft River Mountains, snagging total station points and looking at a couple small streams. My mileage was increasing, but I had a hard time getting 40 plus mile weeks in without running every day. I made a list of all the places I wanted to run between 10 and 20-miles, and tried to check every trail off. Wood Camp, Preston Valley, Cherry Creek, Stump Hollow, Green Canyon, Dry Canyon, Spring Hollow, Mill Hollow, and other winter ski routes got run, mostly multiple times and in distances from 10-15 miles. My big run was from my office at USU to the River Trail, hit lower Spring Hollow, Crimson Trail and back. I think I maybe touched 16 miles for my long run, but was getting more climbing down than I thought I was. In the end, I was more worried about resting while working the field full-time and trying to finish some simple writing and analysis tasks (spoiler alert: 75% of it got done).

I toed the line at the Logan Peak race that month as more of an experiment than a "race." Uneventfully enough, I got excited, ran too hard out of the gate, cramped up, walked some sections that I hadn't planned to, and finished at a slow pace that had me on the course for over five hours. With a steep learning curve, I was mentally all in for another chance to keep improving my fitness, fueling, strategy, and running form. Some new and old friends and acquaintances absolutely crushed the course that week, and with trail running being a small world, it wouldn't be the last time I'd see any of them around the Bear River Range or the race scene.

July Flagstaff "family weekend" 2015. Same mountain, different route.
July - Somehow, Erik Syrstad, skier, CROWBAR organizer, UW PhD, engineer, and all around mountain badass mentioned El Vaquero Loco to me in an email. EVL is a challenging 50k in the Salt River and Wyoming Ranges of western Wyoming, just outside of Afton, the childhood home of Olympic Greco-Roman wrestler, Rulon Gardner.  It was also on my birthday in August, and I was stoked to do a "real" ultramarathon. I got to do a couple memorable training runs to prep for this one included setting shuttle and checking off the Wellsville Traverse, a frosty, late-July Beirdneau ascent via Green Canyon, some hikes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness with Lexine and her dad, and a power hike/dog training mission with Lexine up to Humphrey's Peak, AZ. I also got to check out some of the excellent singletrack around the Flagstaff area, which led to some serious consideration of running the Flagstaff Sky Race in October.
Wellsville single track
Next post, part two: August, September, October and November 2014!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

#PrePrint: Hydrogeomorphic and biotic drivers of instream wood in the Columbia River Basin, USA @PeerJPrePrints @AlanKasprak @FluvialWheaton

The questions: how much wood occurs in monitored streams of the Pacific Northwest? What processes - wood growth (forest composition and structure), climate, hydrology that contributes and evacuates wood from channels - correspond to these wood loads?
The study sub-basins: the Wenatchee, Entiat, Tucannon, John Day, Grande Ronde, Lemhi, and South Fork Salmon.

Based on demand for a recent paper that Alan Kasprak, Rebecca Rossi, and I, et al. submitted, I recently archived a preprint of our manuscript "Hydrogeomorphic and biotic drivers of instream wood differ across sub-basins of the Columbia River Basin, USA."

This manuscript breaks down how wood loading, and the hydrogeomorphic and ecological processes that govern it, differ across seven Columbia River sub-basins that are monitored for salmon and steelhead habitat. Read the whole thing at PeerJ PrePrints.

The punchline: not all watersheds have the same process domains to contribute wood...and the water to move a stream.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Scholarships to attend the Society of Wetland Scientists' Pacific Northwest Chapter Meeting (@SWS_org)

The Society of Wetland Scientists Pacific Northwest Chapter is offering four scholarships for students to attend their 2015 fall meeting in Olympia, WA. These awards offer $500 to defray the costs of conference attendance. Awards are available to any student who wishes to present her/his wetland-related research. Abstract submissions and registration are both open now.

The full announcement can be found here and is also listed below:

Student Travel Scholarship Available for 2015 Society of Wetland Scientists' Pacific Northwest Chapter Meeting

To encourage student participation at the 2015 Chapter meeting, From a Watershed Perspective: Integrating Science into Policy, the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Society of Wetland Scientists is sponsoring student travel awards. These funds are available to assist students with the costs associated with traveling to and from the meeting to present their research.

Awards: The Pacific Northwest Chapter will make four $500 awards for the upcoming SWS-PNW Meeting this October 6-8, 2015 in Olympia, WA. Awards can be used for travel, hotel and conference registration costs.

Eligibility: This competition is open to all currently registered graduate and undergraduate students regardless of location. However, preference will be given to students living, performing research or attending a university within the Pacific Northwest Chapter region (Washington, Oregon, and Idaho). Students must submit an abstract online and present their work as a poster or talk at the Chapter meeting. Submit presentation abstracts here.

To apply, email your application with “SWS-PNW 2015 Scholarship” as the subject line. All applications must be received by 11:59pm (PST) Monday August 17, 2015 and should include:

A one-page cover letter describing your background, research and/or education, career goals, and how an award from the SWS-PNW chapter would help you to meet these goals. Please paste this letter into the body of your email with your contact information.

A one-page resume

A copy of your submitted SWS presentation title and abstract

Please stitch the letter, resume and abstract into a single Word or pdf document and attach it with your email.

Students that receive awards are expected to provide a brief biosketch for the SWS-PNW newsletter and website. The conference talk or poster and any publications resulting from the work presented at the conference should acknowledge support from the Society of Wetland Scientists Pacific Northwest Chapter.

Students that are not offered awards will be offered the chance to volunteer at the meeting to defray registration costs. If interested in volunteering, please email with the title “SWS-PNW Chapter Meeting Volunteer” expressing your interest.

Please address scholarship questions to SWS-PNW Scholarship Committee co-chairs, Tom Kohl (KohlT (at) and Nate Hough-Snee (Nate (at)