riparian rap

Sagehen restoration workshop highlights.

I’m back from a stream restoration workshop at the Sagehen Creek Field Station in California. Lily was a student and TA, and we both taught using an Emriver model.

The Station’s run by Jeff Brown; his wife Faerthen works there too. It’s a magical research/teaching site with ~8,000 acres in the Sierra  about 20 miles north of Tahoe.  From the website:

The roughly 8,000 acre Sagehen Creek watershed includes yellow pine, mixed conifer, and red fir forests, brushfields, scattered mountain meadows and fens. Deep snow is typical of the winter season, and dry, warm weather is typical of the summer period. Sagehen Creek is about 8 miles long, extending eastward from near the crest of the Sierra to Stampede Reservoir on the Little Truckee River.

Matt Kondolf and Peter Wilcock talked about river management; Peter has been doing some cool management-oriented work on sediment transport. We also heard from local scientists and consultants, and Sarah Kupferberg (from Mary Power’s lab at UC Berkeley) gave captivating talks on stream inverts and geomorphology.

We looked at the very intersting Pliestocene geomorph along the Truckee River through Reno–crazy stratigraphy left behind from ice dam breakups in Tahoe and Pyramid Lake. And a river that doesn’t lend itself to simple management solutions.

And also river-driven water park in Reno. I was impressed. A lot of clever hydraulics, politics, financing, and people management made this inner city park something unique. Here you see Jim Litchfield of Fluid Concepts Reno, the main designer/driving force behind this. He’s made some very impressive Trompe-l’Oeil hydraulics–big, surfable standing waves designed so even little kids can safely play in them.

Here’s Lily on the Truckee in Reno.

I met two incredible young students. Kristen Podolak , who’s finishing her PhD (and working on waterparks like this one) was the workshop’s workhorse. Ricardo Sousa, from Portugal (and fresh off the plane, still jet lagged), who’s starting a doctorate at Berkeley. Here you see Kristen and Ricardo discussing drawings he made of the Reno site.