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Graduate Research

 Mineral Bottom Boat Launch on the Green River

Mineral Bottom Boat Launch on the Green River

 Green River in Canyonlands National Park, looking downstream at Hardscrabble Bottom from the Labyrinth Campground.

Green River in Canyonlands National Park, looking downstream at Hardscrabble Bottom from the Labyrinth Campground.

My thesis research was an assessment of channel change on the Green River. Over the last century, the Green River near Canyonlands National Park has been impacted by anthropogenic events. Construction of Flaming Gorge Dam changed peak flow and mean daily discharge on the river. Compared to pre-dam data, the typical yearly hydrograph measured at Green River, UT has higher flows during summer and lower peak flows during the spring snowmelt. The second major human impact is invasive species infiltration by the plant groups tamarisk and Russian olive. Both have colonized large parts of the floodplain, stabilizing banks and limiting erosional processes. Evidence suggests that dam emplacement and vegetation infiltration are happening within a greater climatic shift in the Western United States, one that has brought decreasing flows since the late 1920s. My research combined spatial analysis, hydrologic investigations and field work to understand the links between anthropogenic impacts and climatic shifts and how they contributed to channel change on the Green River in Canyonlands National Park.  

I also contributed to Fill Mead First: A Technical Assessment, a report analyzing the Fill Mead First reservoir management proposal and it's potential for water savings. A PDF of the report can be found here