Save the date for the 15th Annual Berkeley River Restoration Symposium! This will include a keynote talk, presentation of graduate student research in river restoration, and discussion by expert panel. Our keynote speakers this year will be:
Hervé Piégay – ‘Revitalizing rivers: learning from the European experience?’
Damion Ciotti – ‘Process-Based Design Criteria for Ecological Restoration’
More details to come.
Join us at American Geophysical Union (AGU) fall meeting in the session “Managing multifunctional watersheds for the 21st century‘ (Session # GC052). Organized by Rafael Schmidt (RiverLab alum), P. James Dennedy-Frank, and Dr. Kondolf, this session will tackle the increasing demand for watershed services and capacity of green-grey solutions to meet this demand. We invite submissions to this session that showcase both exemplary case studies and systematic cross-site analyses addressing key questions for an integrated and strategic management of multifunctional watersheds: (1) at what scales and contexts do green solutions provide tangible benefits to society; (2) and how can combined grey and green infrastructure portfolios be designed to maximize benefits for both nature and people?
The deadline for abstract submission is 31 July 2019 23:59 EDT/03:59 +1 GMT.
The American Geophysical Union (AGU) annual fall meeting will be held 9 – 13 December 2019 in Moscone Center, San Francisco. The Fall Meeting is the largest international Earth and space science meeting in the world, with speakers from around the globe presenting and facilitating discussion on cross-disciplinary geophysical topics, including atmospheric and ocean sciences; solid-Earth sciences; hydrologic sciences; and space sciences.
You might find us at one of these sessions:
A changing climate and growing population will lead people to demand more and potentially different watershed services, including water resource regulation, energy generation, and geomorphic hazard reduction. Green solutions such as watershed restoration and improved agricultural practices have been shown to have important benefits for local livelihoods and biodiversity. These solutions are a corrective to grey infrastructure such as dams and levees that provide valuable services but may also produce major environmental externalities. However, alone these green solutions may not provide the magnitude of services required. We invite submissions showcasing both exemplary case studies and systematic cross-site analyses addressing key questions for an integrated and strategic management of multifunctional watersheds: (1) at what scales and contexts do green solutions provide tangible benefits to society; (2) and how can combined grey and green infrastructure portfolios be designed to maximize benefits for both nature and people?
Rivers are naturally dynamic systems, characterized by a suite of biophysical processes that are regularly subject to exogenous factors. Under ranges of natural variability, the physics and biota of rivers are resilient to external changes. However, river basins globally are undergoing landscape-scale changes. These changes, which are associated with widespread land use, water management, and climate change, can fundamentally alter biophysical processes. This session focuses on the science and management of integrated biophysical processes in river systems undergoing changing variability, including greater and/or more frequent extremes. Topics may address questions such as: How do changing and extreme events (e.g. streamflow magnitude, frequency, timing, temperature) influence river processes or form and resultant ecosystem structure and function (e.g. habitat quality and availability, egg survival, food webs, algal blooms)? How should management and restoration of rivers be designed and prioritized to mitigate and/or be resilient to these large-scale changes?
Rivers are the main source of water, food and energy for billions of people, but the (mis-)management of this critical resource has deteriorated aquatic ecosystems globally. Quantifying how much flow is needed to maintain the ecological integrity of rivers, especially during low flow periods, has become a point of conflict and convergence, particularly in arid regions where most large rivers are regulated. Better managing tradeoffs between environmental flows and consumptive demands requires an improved understanding of watershed hydrology and the low flow characteristics of riverine systems, along with cascading effects on fluvial geomorphology, aquatic ecology, and social systems. This session invites contributions demonstrating recent advances in understanding and resolving competing water demands together with methodological advances on novel ways to define and simulate low flows. We invite contributions that bridge across scientific disciplines and that represent a diversity of regions around the world where water management conflicts are emerging.
Aging infrastructure and loss of water storage capacity due to sedimentation will cause the social, economic, environmental, and political importance of reservoirs to increase progressively. Reservoirs provide flood control, water supply, and power generation but may hinder survival of anadromous fish. Sediment regimes in disturbed and contaminated landscapes, including the hydraulic mining-impacted Sierra Nevada, complicate efforts to restore storage capacity due to concern about contaminant mobilization. The best available science on mercury fate and transport can stimulate new discussion about sediment removal and maintenance activities. Measures to address sedimentation at reservoirs nearing total storage loss need to be identified and solutions evaluated, including installation of upstream traps, sediment pass-through, flushing or mechanical removal. Site-specific reservoir sedimentation surveys that account for unique sediment regimes of disturbed landscapes are needed to inform cost-benefit analysis of maintaining aging infrastructure at the expense of restoring volitional fish passage.
You are invited to submit an abstract for a presentation or poster to any of these sessions; the abstract submission deadline is 31 July 2019 23:59 EDT/03:59 +1 GMT.
SFEI’s Resilient Landscapes program is hiring for an applied ecologist and a physical scientist. The positions are at the Associate Environmental Scientist level (MS/PhD with some experience) and will work in a dynamic team setting advancing strategies for climate adaptation, urban ecology and ecosystem services, and stream/wetland restoration.
>>applied ecologist position
>>physical scientist position
As demand for clean energy soars across many developing nations, governments face difficult decisions. Should they spend billions of dollars on hydropower, or invest in emerging solar, wind and energy-storage technologies? With the price of renewable energy dropping over the past decade, strategic replacement of energy from future dam sites with renewable energy sources is becoming more economically viable.
UC Berkeley Riverlab PostDoc Alum Rafael Schmitt, with collaborators Noah Kittner, Mathias Kondolf, and Daniel Kammen, had the opportunity to highlight this vision in Nature, as a call to action for the participants of the bi-annual International Hydropower Congress. This article describes how low-carbon alternatives to hydro power can be coupled with strategic dam planning to maximize free-flowing rivers while providing low-carbon energy.
Schmitt, R. J. P., Kittner, N., Kondolf, G. M., & Kammen, D. M. (2019). Deploy diverse renewables to save tropical rivers. Nature
(7756), 330. https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-019-01498-8
The Columbia River Treaty between the US and Canada has been recognized as an innovative example of the bi-national management of the water resources of an international river. However, when the Treaty was ratified in 1964, it did not adequately consider the rights and responsibilities of tribes and First Nations or local residents, ecological functions such as fish and fish habitat, instream flow needs, river processes and ecology, etc. Additionally, the treaty did not address issues such as water requirements for municipal, industrial and agricultural uses, river transport and recreation, water quality, or potential changes in runoff characteristics and water temperature as a result of climate change. The United States and Canada are currently renegotiating the Columbia River Treaty and incorporating ecosystem function into the agreement, which was originally designed for hydropower generation and flood control, is a central theme. Both parties agree that an adaptive management framework will be critical to achieving these multiple objectives and treaty renegotiations are widely seen as providing an opportunity to modernize the treaty by including consideration of the above issues.
On May 9, 2019 the UC Berkeley Canadian Studies Program, Institute of International Studies, and Riverlab hosted a workshop on incorporating adaptive management (AM) into a modernized Columbia River Treaty. Scientists, policy experts, and representatives of First Nations and Tribes from Canada and the US met at UC Berkeley to present and discuss principles of adaptive management, successful precedents, and consider issues of legal perspectives, climate change, and power management relevant to revising the 55-year old treaty.
Reflecting the conclusions of the workshop was a one-page communiqué sent to US and Canadian negotiators in Washington and Ottawa. A more detailed summary of the workshop recommendations will be posted in the near future.
The program for the workshop is available here, and PDF versions of the presentations from the workshop are available below:
Hydrologist position open at USGS until 04/12/2019
See here for more details
We are excited about a recent study co-authored by RiverLab masters student Tyler Nodine, which was recently published by the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences!
Using a combination of remote sensing and machine learning algorithms, the study estimates the potential benefit of floodplain reconnection throughout the Columbia River Basin (CBR) to Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) parr. The study found that connected floodplain width was the most important factor for determining side channel presence, and estimated a 26% decrease in side channel habitat area from historical conditions. Reconnection of historical floodplains currently used for agriculture could increase side channel habitat by 25% and spring Chinook salmon parr total rearing capacity by 9% over current estimates.
This publication came out of the Tyler’s work at NOAA at the Northwest Science Center. The paper is can be downloaded directly here.
Bond, M. H., Nodine, T. G., Beechie, T. J., & Zabel, R. W. (2018). Estimating the benefits of widespread floodplain reconnection for Columbia River Chinook salmon. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfas-2018-0108
Michel Lussault, University of Lyon
Monday 22 April 4-530pm, 315A Wurster Hall
A 2004 publication of the IGBP (Global Change and the Earth System) postulated that the Anthropocene really began with what was called “the great acceleration” of the 1950s, based on a clear break in the evolution of societies and the economy, and in the functioning of the earth system. Lussault argues that this break was linked to the start of massive urbanization of the planet. The Anthropocene would thus be an “urbanocene”, that is to say, a spectacular evolution of the earth system, with urbanization as a primary driver. The seminar is sponsored by the UC Berkeley Global Metropolitan Studies Program and co-sponsored by the Institute of International Studies interdisciplinary faculty seminar Water Management: Past and Future Adaptation.
Michel Lussault is a geographer and professor of urban global studies at the University of Lyon, (Ecole Normale Supérieure), France. A well-known specialist in urban studies and theoretical geography, he has published many books and scientific papers, and given lectures in universities throughout France and elsewhere. Since 2005 his research has centered on global urbanization as a new “milieu” for people, issues of urban vulnerability, “spatial care” as a framework for understanding global change adaptation, and the urban anthropocene. He received an 8-year grant from the French National Program “Investments For Future” to create a new intensive and elite scientific and graduation program, Lyon School of Urban Anthropocene Studies (https://ecoleurbainedelyon.universite-lyon.fr).