Welcome to palustine paradise. Pack Forest, WA, USA

About Me

I am an applied ecologist and river scientist who works at the intersection of plant and forest ecology, hydrology, and fluvial geomorphology. I examine how plant ecological and successional processes are driven by changes in hydrology, disturbance, and environmental stress, and use this information to design and evaluate ecosystem restoration and conservation strategies.

My research links anthropogenic global change, including land and water management, to concepts in plant ecology and wetland, riparian, and stream restoration and conservation. I am currently working to understand how hydrologic variability, watershed management, and climate change influence floodplain forest communities across central California, the Great Basin, interior Pacific Northwest, and northern Rockies.

I take a variety of research approaches, including analyzing ecological, hydrological, and physical habitat monitoring data and implementing experimental field trials or on-the-ground restoration. I have worked on natural and restored wetlands, streams, forests, and novel ecosystems from New Zealand to Alaska with most of my work occurring in the American Pacific Northwest and the central Rocky Mountains.

In addition to my day-to-day work restoring and researching floodplains, I have served as president of the Society of Wetland Scientists' Pacific Northwest Chapter, organized numerous conferences and research collaborations, and generally worked to build a community of river scientists through outreach, professional meetings, and ongoing professional development.


I earned my B.A. through the University of Washington's Program on the Environment and my M.S. in ecosystem analysis through what is now the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. I completed my Ph.D in Ecology at Utah State University, where I worked with Dr. Joe Wheaton and collaborators.

During my Ph.D I worked for the USDA Forest Service, as an EPA STAR Fellow, as a research assistant at USU, and as a private consultant. This non-traditional path to my Ph.D, allowed me to collaborate with researchers and land, water, and fish and wildlife managers from the USDA Forest ServiceColumbia Habitat Monitoring Program, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, and numerous universities.

In 2017 I will be wrapping up a professional certificate in the National Environmental Policy Act at Utah State University.


My professional experience has revolved around conducting and synthesizing research to inform decision-making in watershed, floodplain, forest, and wetland management. This includes using research to plan, design, implement, and monitor restoration and conservation plans for various ecosystems. I take pride in being a well-rounded scientist who can conduct independent field- and model-based research and also synthesize diverse information that falls outside my primary expertise. While much of my research is eventually presented in peer-reviewed publications, I conduct much of my scientific research and synthesis in support of land, water, and endangered species planning under the National Environmental Policy, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

In short, I strongly believe in linking a strong scientific foundation with partnership building to inform policy-based conservation and restoration that occurs within state, federal, tribal, and non-profit agencies.


nate (a) natehough-snee.org

Fen Life...