Rivers are formative in both how they shape the landscape and interact with human and ecological communities that live in or near them. Understanding how the drivers of flow and sediment influence the form of different rivers is a fundamental and ongoing question in river science and management; one which I am exploring.
My current research involves characterizing river response to floods. I am working with remote sensing and hydrologic data collected from before and after the September 2013 floods to identify what hydraulic and geomorphic variables best predict how much Colorado Front Range rivers moved in response to the floods. I am also working with a team to develop a protocol for the State of Colorado to map these “fluvial hazards” for better planning and management of development andi infrastructure within river corridors.
I obtained my PhD in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Colorado State University where worked with Dr. Brian Bledsoe to study how different ranges of flows (common to infrequent) balance sediment inputs in coarse and fine bedded rivers. I investigated this question using theoretical relationships between flow frequencies and sediment movement in rivers as well as data-driven analyses of flow and sediment movement relationships on rivers across the U.S. this work informs when the concept of dominant discharge applies for channel design in rivers.
Outside of my PhD research, I have work on a range of river-related issues as a consultant, teacher, and scientist from stream restoration design, floodplain modeling and management, sediment transport and continuity, and reach- to watershed-scale geomorphic assessments.