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Joe to give talk to Utah Geological Association on Beaver

posted Feb 8, 2015, 8:58 AM by Joe Wheaton   [ updated Feb 8, 2015, 3:30 PM ]

On February 9th, 2015, Joe will give a talk to the Utah Geological Association as part of their luncheon series titled 'The many hats of beaver: Ecosystem Engineer, Geologic Agent and Restoration Practitioner'. 

North American beaver (Castor canadensis) were once trapped to near extinction for their pelts, which made fashionable top hats. Fortunately, for beaver and us, though extirpated in many areas top hats went out of fashion. Beaver populations are now recovering and we increasingly recognize their value as ecosystem engineers. Specifically, their dam building activities cause a cascade of hydrologic, geomorphic and ecological feedbacks that in-turn are critical to creating and sustaining complex, healthy habitat in rivers, streams and wetlands for a diverse range of flora and fauna. This recognition has elevated their status to a restoration practitioner in many parts of the country, including here in Utah, where beaver are actively used to help restore streams. From a geologic perspective, beaver excavate modest amounts of sediment to pack into their dams, but their dams and associated wetlands, floodplains and overfllow channels are sinks for massive quantities of sediment. In fact, in many of Utah's headwater streams (e.g. first to third order), the presence of valley bottoms is difficult to explain without the presence of beaver over the Holocene. That is, in what would otherwise be confined valleys, layers upon, layers of relic beaver dams filled in with sediment have raised up the valley floor. These beaver-pond and floodplain deposits do not have the same characteristics of traditional floodplains, and tend to exhibit a stepped morphology longitudinally, representing the forced nature of the flooding (i.e. forced by dams).  We have taken advantage of these characteristics in incised channels and are using beaver to aggrade degraded systems and restore such channels. A mix of stories and anecdotes will be shared about the many hats of beaver, as well as some data and findings from some of our ongoing research into beaver and the profound geomorphic impact they have.

Joe to lead a 'Living an Working with Beavers' Workshop for the Klamath Watershed Parntership

posted Oct 11, 2014, 10:30 AM by Joe Wheaton

On October 14-15, Joe will join up with the Klamath Watershed Partnership to lead a workshop on Living and Working with Beavers. Thanks to Ginny Monroe for organizing this event.

Associated Press Coverage on Beaver

posted Oct 11, 2014, 10:21 AM by Joe Wheaton   [ updated Nov 16, 2014, 4:31 PM ]

Joe was interviewed  recently for a recent AP article by Phuong Le on the relocation of 'nuisance' beaver in the Yakima Watershed in Washington for use as a restoration tool. The article, 'Often Pesky Beavers Put to Work Restoring Streams' was picked up by many news outlets, and resulted in an interesting interview of Mel Babik on NPR's Weekend Edition titled 'Researchers Say Beavers Are More Than Simple Pests'. This is another promising example of getting the word out on beaver as a restoration partner.

Joe and Phillip to Deliver a GCD Short Course at RRNW

posted Sep 12, 2014, 2:18 PM by Joe Wheaton

Joe Wheaton and Philip Bailley will teach a one-day version of the popular GCD Workshop at the 2015 River Restoration Northwest Conference on February 2, 2015 in Washington. Information on the short course and registration can be found here.

Joe Involved in Recent Radio Interviews About Beaver

posted Aug 5, 2014, 8:54 AM by Joe Wheaton

The interest in the applied aspects of our lab's work on beaver has been getting lots of interest as of late. On August 4th, Joe did an interview with Nick Burns on KRCL (90.9 FM)'s RadioActive all about Beavers: Nature's Engineer. Listen to the interview here.

Earlier this summer, colleagues Brain Greene from USU Water Watch, Nick Bouwes (Eco Logical Research), Wally MacFarlane (USU ETAL), Martha Jensen (USU ETAL) and Joe all did a field visit up Logan Canyon with KCPW producer Ross Chambless. Ross put together a radio segment   based on the visit that aired July 13th, 2014 on 'Beaver Dam Mapping App Now Available for Citizen Scientists' . 

http://www.exploreutahscience.org/science-topics/environment/item/148-citizen-scientists-can-now-use-an-app-to-help-map-beaver-dams-in-utahThe Chambless Explore Utah Science interview talks partly about a Beaver Monitoring App that is hosted by USU Water Watch, and partly about BRAT - the Beaver Restoration Assessment Tool. For more information, also see http://beaver.joewheaton.org.

River Restoration? Leave it to Beavers say USU Scientists

posted May 16, 2014, 12:51 AM by Joe Wheaton

See recent post in USU Today on ET-AL researchers work published in Bioscience.

See also ET-AL post on Bioscience Article.

  • Pollock, M., Beechie T , Wheaton JM, Jordan C,  Bouwes N, Weber N, and Volk C. 2014. Using Beaver Dams  to Restore Incised Stream Ecosystems. Bioscience. DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biu036.

Citizen Science - Beaver Monitoring App

posted May 13, 2014, 8:22 PM by Joe Wheaton   [ updated May 16, 2014, 12:46 AM ]

In partnership with Utah Water Watch, and with a grant from the USU Extension, we recently launched a citizen science mobile app for iOS devices to allow volunteer scientists to track and record their observations on beaver dam building activity. If you'd like to help improve BRAT and help UDWR better manage beavers, take part in monitoring beaver using our new Beaver Monitoring App (developed by EcoTech Solutions in Partnership with Utah State University Extension)!

Powell Center Workshop on High Resolution Topography

posted Mar 28, 2014, 12:48 AM by Joe Wheaton

Joe Wheaton and Patrick Belmont (USU)  joined a working group of researchers at the USGS's Powell Center in Fort Collins, CO to explore 'Exploiting high resolution topography data for advancing the understanding of mass and energy transfer across  landscapes: Opportunities, challenges, and needs'. The group is led by Patrick Belmont and Paola Passalacqua, and will meet three times over the next year to work on a state of the science synthesis and potential edited volume. Thanks to the USGS Powell Center for their support of this important effort. 

ET-AL's Wally MacFarlane's Research Featured in Huffington Post

posted Jan 31, 2014, 6:23 PM by Joe Wheaton

Wally MacFarlane is a researcher in the ET-AL, who's ongoing research on the decline of the white bark pine was recently featured in a cover article of the Huffington Post. The article is titled 'In The American West, A Battle Unfolds Over Bugs, Climate Change And The Fate Of An Iconic Species'. 

Joe will speak at Restoring the West Conference

posted Oct 3, 2013, 8:31 AM by Joe Wheaton   [ updated Nov 26, 2013, 11:35 AM ]

Joe will give a talk at the Restoring the West conference on October 17th from 2:00 to 2:30 on "Beaver: Restoration liaison between riparian and upland systems". 

See here for talk:

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