Summer in the meadow

Summer in the meadow
Beaver Creek, Idaho, USA

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

@AlanKasprak wins best student paper at #SEDHYD2015 @FluvialWheaton

One of the best things about living in the research world, is working with really sharp, motivated people. I've been extremely fortunate to be the slow, ugly one in any given room of researchers since I embarked on a career in ecological research and restoration. Within the ET-AL, my lab mates are remarkably sharp and motivated, talented and fortuitous, which always fuels me to stay on my game.

Keeping with this trend, ET-AL PhD Student Alan Kasprak just won the best student paper award at the annual interagency sedimentation and hydrologic modeling conference in lovely, Reno, NV. While this may seem like a fitting tribute to Alan's phenomenal dedication to high quality fluvial geomorphology research, it also provides the unforeseen burden of trying not to double his money at the sports book.
Kasprak doing field work.
Congratulations, Alan - now be sure to get your bet in before the Cavs (1:3 Eastern Conference champs/11:5 NBA title odds) tip-off at 6pm Pacific!


Monday, April 20, 2015

SWS-Rocky Mountain in the books

I was fortunate to be invited to deliver a talk last week at the Society of Wetland Scientists' Rocky Mountain meeting in Golden, CO. Thanks to Andy Herb for the invite and the enthusiastic crowd of wetland folks from Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, and Utah for the engaging discussion and kind words regarding process-based stream restoration. It was great to see the other speakers' diverse work in research, regulation, restoration, and policy, and meet Colorado's wetland community.

Before I hit I-80 and head home to northern Utah, I took the time to post my slides at Figshare:

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Open letter to urge #ecological journals to publish online lay summaries by @lkwander @oldenfish @EarlyCareerEcol

Figure from Kuehne and Olden and reproduced without permission.

Lauren Kuehne and Julian Olden over at the University of Washington are circulating a petition to increase general communication of ecological studies. This is a great, tractable and easy to implement idea that could really build research communication directly into the academic incentive system of publishing. Check it out!

Summarized over at Early Career Ecologists

The original opinion article in PNAS

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Highs and lows: photos from a short #winter

The busy, productive research life is back. Here are some images of days with friends and family in the high country. There's nothing like balance, whatever that may be, and no place like home, wherever that may be. Next stop, spring.

High Peaks of Arizona
Little Colorado River, Arizona 
Allison Clay, Kachina Peaks, Arizona

Northward expansion, Kachina Peaks, Arizona
Sardine, sun and fog, Wellsville Range, Utah
This was peak valley snow for the year, Wellsville Range, Utah
Naomi Ridge, Utah
Bear River Range, Utah
Inner Basin, Kachina Peaks, Arizona
Late season - pray for rain, Bear River Range Utah
Elmer and clouds, Utah
CROWBAR Booter and the Beav, Utah
Everyone finished. CROWBAR, Utah

Thanks Wayne! Utah.

Volunteers make things happen, CROWBAR, Utah
Racers happen, CROWBAR, Utah
PowKeg, first, last, fun, Brighton, Utah
CROWBAR superheros, Utah
Greene Machine scouts for CROWBAR
The day-long inversion of 2015, Utah
SPF 50, Utah
Young Weezy, Utah
Family, Washington State
Long roads home, Utah
November, Bear River Range, Utah
The avalanche disturbance line, Utah
Lost, cold, and found again, Utah. Thanks Tyler, Andrew and Alex!
Same mountain, the weekend before getting lost, Utah
Go Vikings, Utah
Get up time, Arizona

Thursday, March 12, 2015

PrePrints for #ecology and #watershed science @PeerJPrePrints @PeerJ

This last year from 2013 to 2014, I made a commitment to try and be more open, transparent, and accessible in how I went about my scientific business. This effort has taken a dual approach for now, and a three-pronged approach in the long run. The prongs are easy steps that I both hope and think will increase the availability and potential to reproduce my work. They go a little something like this:

  1. Make preprints available for all submitted manuscripts at venues like PeerJ PrePrints, etc.
  2. Submit at least half of my work to rigorous, peer-reviewed journals as open access articles. This includes venues like PLoS OneEcosphere, Ecology and Society, PeerJ, etc.
  3. Archive data products, posters, conference talks and grey literature at venues like Figshare, etc.

First, I'm trying to target more and more open access journals for my work (see discussions on this blog here, here, here, and here). I was able to put a paper into the newish OA journal, Riparian Ecology and Conservation (Also, here) last year, and also submitted a paper to ESA's EcosphereThe former went through a pair of reviews and the latter is currently in revision after two helpful reviews. While open access journals are a key in moving academic publishing away from the paywall, the lag times associated with scientific publishing can lead to delays in creating and exchanging information, building partnerships and working groups. Hence step number two, use preprint servers to archive submitted drafts.

The PrePrint model serves multiple purposes. By archiving a preprint, you have a citeable DOI for work that may be in review. This provides a link to conference audiences who otherwise might see "in review" or "submitted" and then have to directly email for the work being presented. It also provides transparency in results. No longer can one just present controversial or groundbreaking "preliminary" results without being expected to be held accountable and show their work. Lastly, an archived preprint sets a date of record in competitive fields where researchers are worried about being scooped. Preprints are usually versionable, meaning that you can update, correct or otherwise revise your paper to reflect peer-review, conference talk comments or any comma splices you may find.

So, if you're wondering what I've been up to in a research capacity, you can check out my coauthors and my PeerJ PrePrints. Here's one from November on riparian vegetation guild diversity and environmental filters that was submitted to Ecosphere:

Here's another one from this week comparing stream classification frameworks:

It was submitted to AGU's Water Resources Research
See Alan Kasprak's post on this paper as well.

The final step in the three-tiered approach, archiving of data and other research products, usually follows formal peer-review and publication. While journals are increasingly likely to request raw data and code as a part of an individual paper, it's nice to be able to archive data in a dedicated space for all applications (e.g. Figshare). Since the final step is often making the data publicly available, it can easily slide into the lowest priority spot. After all, the academic reward structure is usually focused on papers first and everything else behind it. At this stage in my newly identified research workflow, making preprints available, submitting work preferentially to open access journals and then completing the process of archiving data are all important.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Society of Wetland Scientists talks: 2015 is another big year! @SWS_org #SWSMembers


After a quick winter, basically, December with throes of snow in January, my mind has shifted to spring in northern Utah. For many local ecologists, this includes running, skiing corn, getting reviews of pre-holiday papers, and, my favorite, conference planning. Abstract deadlines start to roll in, talks get outlined and travel plans are all made as winter turns to spring. Usually a symposium needs organized, or a meeting facilitated and the planning has to begin. Usually, this would entail a mid-March conference mindset, but this year abstracts are due a little earlier, winter has faded (hopefully just for now), and friends and colleagues are already fired up.

This year I'm preferentially participating in a pair of regional Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) meetings and heading to the national SWS meeting. In chronological order, I will be hitting the road to participate in the...

...Society of Wetland Scientists Rocky Mountain Chapter, Golden, CO, USA, April 15, 2015

At SWS-RM, I''ll be giving a talk on how the Fluvial Habitat Center uses beaver to reconnect incised streams to their floodplains and create diverse aquatic and riparian habitats. This meeting is organized almost entirely by SWS-RM president, Andy Herb and features some great talks from the Colorado, Montana and Utah wetland research and regulatory communities.

The SWS-RM meeting will take place at the American Mountaineering Museum in Golden, CO, USA

...Society of Wetland Scientists Annual Meeting, Providence, RI, USA, May 31- June 4, 2015

This year, I'll be giving a pair of talks at SWS National in Rhode Island. Both will be symposium talks, one of which is organized by the SWS Women in Wetlands Section's Ellen Hartig (NYC Parks), Martha Carlson Mazur (Bellarmine), and Christne VanZomeren (U. Florida) and focuses on wetland career development and personal branding. The other symposium is being put on by Dave Merritt (USFS) and Daniel Sarr (USGS) and focuses on applications of functional guilds in riparian and wetland ecosystem assessment and modeling. For the third year running, I'll also be serving as a mentor in the Society's fantastic undergraduate mentoring program and helping out with their graduate school Q&A panel. This meeting is an annual highlight for me, and many SWS members.

Guilds for the Colorado River have been created and are being modeled by folks at the USGS. Here's the often overlooked dorky running dude guild. This guild's probability of occurrence increases as seasonal tourist density decreases.

...Society of Wetland Scientists Pacific Northwest Chapter, Olympia, WA, USA, October 6-8, 2015

The Society of Wetland Scientists Pacific Northwest Chapter, my home SWS chapter since much of my work occurs in the Snake and Columbia River Basins, is having their annual meeting this October 6-8. I'm tentatively organizing a session for the meeting, and it will focus on conserving and restoring riparian ecosystems in a changing climate. The call for abstracts will roll any day now and remain open through mid-summer. 

Save the date!

Friday, January 23, 2015

#Wilderness Act 50-year recap videos (@pewtrusts @forestservice @sierraclub)

Last year the Wilderness Act turned 50. It was a monumental piece of legislation that was advocated for by many, opposed by some, and has arguably been one of America's greatest and most contentious acts of environmental and cultural preservation. The anniversary celebration's multimedia PR is arriving (has arrived) with bells on. For example, see the Sierra Club's video:

And this one by the Pew Charitable Trusts:

Many U.S. agencies celebrated the occasion as well, including the US Forest Service who manages 193-million acres, 36-million of which are designated as wilderness:

Happy belated 50th and early 51st birthday to our nation's wilderness.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

@CrowBarSkiRace January 31, 2015 in #LoganCanyon, #Utah #CROWBAR2015

Crowbar 2015 will be run and skied January 31st, 2015.
Each year Nordic United, northern Utah's premier, non-motorized, winter recreation organization, holds a race. This race is the Cache Regional Overland Winter BAckcountry Race, or the CROWBAR in short. CROWBAR is a ski-mountaineering race, in which participants skin uphill, transition to downhill (ski) mode, and then continue racing down the mountain. This year's CROWBAR is a USSMA-sanctioned category II race and will have the usual 6,000 feet of vert, a pair of bootpack hikes, and some fast downhills.

It's all uphill from here...and then downhill...and back again...
CROWBAR takes place entirely off the resorts, and is run on backcountry terrain near Peter Sinks just east of Beaver Mountain, UT and south of the Idaho border. The race has three divisions, a race division for the elite and ambitious, a rec division for the weekend warriors (half the vertical, and six miles horizontal distance) and a kid's division.

CROWBAR is a non-profit race that benefits Nordic United and the Logan Citizen's Ski Mountaineering Series. The race is a great challenge, great fun, and supports the great initiatives of NU. Hopefully we'll see CROWBAR's usual ultra sport friends from the Wasatch, Jim and Liz Knight, the Brackelsbergs, and our proud crew of local NU volunteers, as well as a fantastic and diverse racer turnout.

David, Erik, John, Jim, Mark, and the rest of the course setting volunteers
Erik, John Koudelka, and I, heavy with flags.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Today in pretty #watershed #science #infographics... are a few comparing stream classification frameworks on monitored reaches of the John Day Watershed. Alan Kasprak, Martha Jensen and I have been hard at work on a manuscript, and some of the preliminary figures are too good not to share.
The Middle Fork John Day Watershed, Oregon, USA. Points are CHaMP-monitored reaches from the 2012-13 field campaigns.

A four-way comparison of multiple stream classification frameworks: River Styles (Brierley and Fryirs 2005), Natural Channel Classification (Beechie and Imaki 2014), Natural Channel Design (Rosgen 1994) and a partitioning around medoids statistical clustering (k-means clustering).

Principal components analysis of the partitioning around medoids clusters of stream channel form. CHaMP-monitored reaches were clustered using form data including: gradient, bankfull width, bankfull width: depth ratio, integrated wetted width, and D16, D50, and D 84 particle sizes.

Hopefully we'll get this through our co-authors and have it on our target journal's editor's desk by President's Day.