Riverscape Refugia Project

The Riverscape Refugia project is the primary focus of my doctoral dissertation at the University of Wyoming.

Part 1:
Determine which fish species in Montana and Wyoming are vulnerable to stream warming and where they may be able to persist as climate change worsens. Production of the FishTemp webpage is the core product of this work. The NorWeST stream temperature model for eastern Montana (EMonSTeR) was developed as part of this project.

Part 2:
With master’s student Elizabeth Rieger and other project partners, determine which species are vulnerable to drought and update the refugia app to include drought refuge habitat. Also, incorporate stream barriers to identify possible translocation or passage opportunities to aid climate vulnerable species.

Part 3:
Determine if process-based restoration (e.g., beaver mimicry) benefits climate-vulnerable, native species or invasive species in rangeland streams. Also, compare fish communities at beaver-mimicry restoration sites to those in natural beaver ponds.

Process-based Restoration Project in northern Utah (credit: Marshall Wolf)

Part 4:
Provide a written guide for low-tech climate adaptation in rangeland stream systems.

Project Partners: Annika Walters, Elizabeth Rieger, Braxton Newkirk, Mike Mischke, Jake Stout, Christina Stuart, Tom Probert, Alden Shallcross, Gordon Edwards, Travis Cundy
Project Funders: Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative, North-Central Climate Adaptation Science Center