Summer in the meadow

Summer in the meadow
Beaver Creek, Idaho, USA

Friday, September 18, 2015

Society of Wetland Scientists Pacific Northwest Chapter Meeting Program Announced @SWS_org

Schoenoplectus maritimus. Photo by Lexine Long
I'm pleased to announce that the final program is now available for the SWS-PNW Chapter Meeting:

The conference runs October 6-8 in olympia, WA.

The Dr. Joy Zedler is keynoting. The full program is embedded below:

For more information, see the SWS-PNW website.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Article alert: Hydrogeomorphic and Biotic Drivers of Instream Wood Differ Across Sub-basins of the Columbia River Basin, USA

Full article:
Please email me or link to Researchgate for PDF of final version.
My ET-AL teammates Alan Kasprak and Becca Rossi, Fluvial Habitat Center bosses, Joe Wheaton and Nick Bouwes, and USFS fish biologist, Brett Roper and I recently finished up an effort to model the abundance of instream large wood across the Columbia River Basin, USA. Instream wood, also known as large wood, large woody debris, etc., is an important component of stream and river evolution, and is monitored in many habitat programs across North America. As water flows over and around wood jams and pieces, local velocity changes, causing heterogeneous areas of erosion and deposition around the wood. For example, as water is forced around a piece of wood, velocity increases around the edges and porous root networks. Immediately downstream of a large piece of wood, this increase in velocity may cause sediment scour that forces pools to form. Similarly, as a flood over the wood recedes, velocity over wood slows allowing sediment to deposit and forming bars. Because of how wood causes heterogeneous velocity across a stream, it is an important driver of stream planform and channel complexity that provide diverse and dynamic aquatic and riparian habitats.
Site photos from each of the seven sub-basins.

This project, a part of the Columbia Habitat Monitoring Program (CHaMP), looked at wood loads, and the hydrogeomorphic and ecological factors that correspond to them in seven CHaMP-monitored watersheds. Historically, models of wood have been site specific, providing detailed inference into the processes that shape wood recruitment, transport, and storage at a single reach or a few reaches. In contrast, watershed managers, including habitat restoration biologists and stream restoration practitioners, often need to know what processes or pattern correspond to a given habitat attribute at broad scales. In the Pacific Northwest of the continental United States, numerous sub-basins are monitored for trends in their condition over time. Because wood may be the primary element shaping aquatic habitats in small streams, reaches or entire watersheds, areas that lack wood should be identified for restoration. More importantly, areas that are inherently wood-limited by the processes that grow trees, recruit them to the channel, and move them throughout a stream network should be identified. By identifying these patterns, basin-specific hypotheses (and models) can be constructed
Study reaches within the Wenatchee (A), Entiat (B), Tucannon (C), John Day (D), Grande Ronde (E), Lemhi (F), and South Fork Salmon (G) basins, USA. 
In this research, we identified that wood loads differ between sub-basins of the Columbia River Basin, and that the processes responsible for growing and transporting wood also differ between these sub-basins. Accordingly, a sub-basin without sufficient climate to grow forest vegetation or the hydrology and channel form to accumulate, rather than transport, wood will be intrinsically wood-limited. If wood is part of a habitat restoration or management plan in these wood limited streams, then restoration that introduces wood to channels (sensu Camp's HDLWD), restores forests that grow trees, or retains wood that is already in channels, may be necessary. In unconfined, valley bottoms where wood typically arrives from upstream forested areas, actions that encourage wood retention could include reintroducing beaver, maintaining keystone large wood, or using post lines to collect wood. In many cases, targets for wood should shift away form homogeneous, one size fits all approaches, instead targeting the mechanisms or processes that limit wood, and it's influence on habitat dynamism.
Instream wood differed in volume and frequency across the seven monitored sub-basins. Note that the John Day and Lemhi have much less wood than the other sub-basins.
For example, the South Fork Salmon is a wet, forested sub-basin with abundant wood while the Lemhi and John Day (and even the Wenatchee and Upper Grande Ronde) have less discharge, fewer high magnitude floods, and less precipitation and forest cover that result in lower wood growth and reduced wood movement. Accordingly, in areas where disturbance (e.g. grazing, logging, wildfire) has removed riparian forest, channels have been levied or straightened (e.g. near roads), and forest vegetation is unlikely to naturally recover, restoration of wood may be difficult and rely on forest restoration to increase local wood loads.

For more information, check out the full article at River Research and Applications or look at the PeerJ pre-print. Please email me for a pdf of the final version, or download via Researchgate if you're unable to access it directly via RRA.

I thank Dr. Simon Dixon for a particularly thoughtful and generous review that greatly improved the manuscript.
Non-metric multidimensional scaling ordination (first two of three axes) shows that hydrology and forest growth, etc. differed (right side) across the seven basins (left side)

Friday, September 11, 2015

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.