WASR 8980: River Restoration Seminar

Spring 2015


Time:�������������� ����������� Monday 3:35-5:30pm

Location:�������������������� Forestry Complex, Building 1, Room 209

Instructor: ������������������ Kyle McKay, skmckay@uga.edu, 601-415-7160

Office � Warnell, Building 4, Room 115

Office hours by appointment

Pre-requisites:������������� None

Syllabus:��������������������� Version_2015-01-05


Course Objective

         Become familiar with the general context of the $1B / year stream restoration industry, including: motivations for restoration, restoration planning processes, alternative disciplinary viewpoints, and key restoration techniques and methods.


Course Format

         Each week, students will read assigned papers on a focal subject in river restoration.One paper will emphasize broader concepts, while others will present case studies of the subject matter.

         At each class meeting, the instructor will present a short lecture on the subject (i.e., less than 15 minutes) with paper discussion to follow.


Responsibilities and Expectations

         Read all assigned papers and participate actively in discussions.

         Lead discussion on a minimum of 4 papers over the course of the semester (either alone or in teams depending on enrollment).

         Conduct a 500-2,000 word writing assignment in one of the following themes.The goal of this assignment is for students to explore non-traditional scientific writing (i.e., moving beyond Intro-Methods-Results-Discussion).The subject matter will be approved by the instructor prior to initiation of activities.

o   A short position paper on topics such as: success or failure of mitigation, socio-economic v. ecological motivations, or novel funding mechanisms for restoration.

o   An opinion-editorial (op-ed) for an appropriate popular press outlet.

o   A letter to an elected official.

o   A detailed case study report on the success (or failure) of an ecosystem restoration project or state/regional/national program.

o   A book review in the style of a peer-reviewed journal.

o   A published discussion of a journal article on stream restoration.


Grading policy


Grades will be composed of the following elements:

         60% class participation (presence, contribution, originality, enthusiasm, preparation)

         20% leading discussion (preparation, thoughtful questions, enthusiasm)

         20% writing assignment (content, writing style)


Course Schedule (Subject to modification)


Unit 1: Stream Restoration Overview





Other Information



Status of freshwater ecosystems



Household water budget

Freshwaters Illustrated: The Last Dragons

Water Under Pressure

Amazing International Rivers site

NPR: Monthly Water Delivery in the U.S.



What is �restoration�?

Structure v. function v. services


Leader: Kyle

Bradshaw (1996)

Palmer and Filoso (2009)

Palmer and Febria (2012)

Mace (2014)

Miller et al. (2014)

Tallis, Lubchenco, et al. (2014)


Discussion Tips

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment




Martin Luther King Jr. Day






Defining �success� in stream restoration


Leaders: Katie, Justin

Palmer et al. (2005)

Bennett et al. (2011)

Palmer et al. (2014)


Discussion Intro

Discussion Questions



Restoration decision making


Leaders: Shannon, Jessica

Visitors: Clint Moore, Brian Irwin

Gregory and Keeney (2002)

Reichert et al. (2007)


Discussion Intro






Leaders: Carson, Laura

Visitor: Bruce Pruitt

Doyle and Shields (2012)

Palmer and Hondula (2014)

Pruitt (2010)

Pruitt (2013)


Discussion Intro

Mitigation Example

Palmer on Colbert Report

NPR Marketplace: The high price of cheap water


Unit 2: Discipline-Driven Perspectives





Other Information



Hydrology and geomorphology


Leaders: Joel, Seth, Alan

Visitors: Todd Rasmussen, Rhett Jackson

Shields et al. (2003)

Resop et al. (2014)

Schwartz et al. (2014)


Discussion Intro

eRAMS Comprehensive Flow Analysis

Rapid Hydraulic Assessment (RHA-Trap)



Biogeochemistry and ecology


Leaders: Jessica, Shannon

Visitor: Alan Covich

Tullos et al. (2009)

Filoso and Palmer (2011)


Class Activity



Human dimensions of design


Leaders: Carson, Laura

Visitors � Bynum Boley, Alfie Vick

Subject for writing assignment is due.

Kondolf and Yang (2008)

Doyle and Fuller (2011)

Paine et al. (2009)

Eagle-Phenix Website 1
Eagle-Phenix Website 2


Discussion Guide



Spring Break


Optional Beach Reading:

The Big Thirst (Charles Fishman)

Chasing Water (Brian Richter)

Wild Hope (Andrew Balmford)

A Sand County Almanac (Aldo Leopold)



Unit 3: Restoration Techniques





Other Information



Urban streams


Leaders: Seth, Katie, Joel

Visitor: Seth Wenger

Wenger et al. (2009)

Kenney et al. (2012)


Discussion Guide

Conceptual Model Paper


Symposium on Urbanization and Stream Ecology (SUSE)




Natural Channel Design


Leaders: Joel, Justin, Laura


Simon et al. (2007)

Rosgen (2008)

Simon et al. (2008)


Wildland Hydrology


The River Doctor





White Dam

River Basin Center Environmental Practicum Report

Fischenich (2008)

American Rivers dam removal guide for Tennessee




Dam removal and fish passage


Leaders � Dam Removal: Katie, Jessica

Leaders � Fish Passage: Justin, Carson

Visitor: Duncan Elkins

Dam Removal: Pohl (2002), Warrick et al. (In Press)

Fish Passage: Noonan et al. (2011), Franklin et al. (2012)


American Rivers Dam Removal Resource Center

Conte Lab

UN Fish Passage Report



Course Review and Synthesis


Draft writing assignment is due.


Review Notes



Environmental flow management


Leaders: Shannon, Alan

Poff et al. (1997)

Kiernan et al. (2012)





Large wood


Leaders: Seth, Alan

Final writing assignment is due.

Abbe and Brooks (2011)

Hafs et al. (2014)









Interesting papers on topics we didn�t get to:

         Bank stabilization

         Large river restoration: Gore and Shields (1995), Dahm et al. (1995), Bentley et al. (2014)

         Spatial planning and analysis to inform river conservation and restoration: Eros et al. (2012), King and O�Hanley (2015)

         Riparian zone restoration

         Watershed best management practices (BMPs)

         Effects of stream restoration on coastal zones

         Invasive species management: Great Lakes Interbasin Management Study


Papers Discussed:


Abbe T. and Brooks A.2011.Geomorphic, engineering, and ecological considerations when using wood in river restoration.In Stream Restoration in Dynamic Fluvial Systems (Eds. Simon, et al.).American Geophysical Union.


American Rivers.2014.Removing small dams in Tennessee: A basic guide for project managers.American Rivers.


Bennett S.J., Simon A., Castro J.M., Atkinson J.F., Bronner C.E., Blersch S.S., and Rabideau A.J.2011.The evolving science of stream restoration.In Stream Restoration in Dynamic Fluvial Systems (Eds. Simon, et al.).American Geophysical Union.


Bradshaw A.D.1996.Underlying principles of restoration.Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 53, 3-9.


Doyle M.W. and Fuller R.L.2011.Quantitatively evaluating restoration scenarios for rivers with recreational flow releases.In Stream Restoration in Dynamic Fluvial Systems (Eds. Simon, et al.).American Geophysical Union.


Doyle M.W. and Shields F.D.2012.Compensatory mitigation for streams under the Clean Water Act: Reassessing science and redirecting policy.Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 48 (3), 494-509.


Filoso S. and Palmer M.A.2011.Assessing stream restoration effectiveness at reducing nitrogen export to downstream waters.Ecological Applications, 20 (6), 1989-2006.


Fischenich J.C.2008.The application of conceptual models to ecosystem restoration.ERDC/EBA TN-08-01.US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, Mississippi.


Franklin A.E., Haro A., Castro-Santos T., and Noreika J.2012.Evaluation of nature-like and technical fishways for the passage of Alewives at two coastal streams in New England.Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 141, 624-637.


Gregory R.S. and Keeney R.L.2002.Making smarter environmental management decisions.Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 38 (6), 1601-1612.


Hafs A.W., Harrison L.R., Utz R.M., and Dunne T.2014.Quantifying the role of woody debris in providing bioenergetically favorable habitat for juvenile salmon.Ecological Modelling, 285, 30-38.


Kenney M.A., Wilcock P.R., Hobbs B.F., Flores N.E., and Martinez D.C.2012.Is urban stream restoration worth it?Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 48 (3), 603-615.


Kiernan J.D., Moyle P.B., and Crain P.K. 2012. Restoring native fish assemblages to a regulated California stream using the natural flow regime concept. Ecological Applications, 22(5), 1472-1482.


Kondolf G.M. and Yang C.N.2008.Planning river restoration projects: Social and cultural dimensions.In River Restoration: Managing the Uncertainty in Restoring Physical Habitat (Eds. Darby and Sear).John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Mace G.2014.Whose conservation?Science, 345, 1558-1560.


Noonan M.J., Grant J.W.A., and Jackson C.D.2011.A quantitative assessment of fish passage efficiency.Fish and Fisheries, doi: 10.1111/j.1467-2979.2011.00445.x.


Miller B., Soule M.E., and Terborgh J.2014.�New conservation� or surrender to development?Animal Conservation, doi: 10.1111/acv.12127.


Paine J., Newton S., and Baghman D.2009.Chattahoochee River dam removal and aquatic ecosystem restoration: Design considerations.Georgia Water Resources Conference, Athens, Georgia.


Palmer M.A. and Febria C.M.2012.The heartbeat of ecosystems.Science, 336, 1393-1394.


Palmer M.A. and Filoso S.2009.Restoration of ecosystem services for environmental markets.Science, 325, 575-576.


Palmer M.A. and Hondula K.L.2014.Restoration as mitigation: Analysis of stream mitigation for coal mining impacts in Southern Appalachia.Environmental Science & Technology, 48 (18), 10552-10560.


Palmer M.A., et al.2005.Standards for ecologically successful river restoration.Journal of Applied Ecology, 42, 208-217.


Palmer M.A., Hondula K.L., and Koch B.J.2014.Ecological restoration of streams and rivers: Shifting strategies and shifting goals.Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 45, 247-269.


Poff N.L.,Allan J.D., Bain M.B., Karr J.R., Prestegaard K.L., Richter B.D., Sparks R.E., and Stromberg J.C.1997.The natural flow regime.Bioscience, 47, 769-784.


Pohl M.M.2002.Bringing down our dams: Trends in American dam removal rationales.Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 38 (6), 1511-1519.


Pruitt B.A.2010.Freshwater wetlands: Integrating science and policy.Winter 2010 Newsletter, Environmental Law Section, State Bar of Georgia.


Pruitt B.A.2013.Compensatory mitigation: Success rates, causes of failure, and future directions.Environmental Law Summer Seminar.


Reichert P., Borsuk M., Hostmann M., Schweizer S., Sporri C., Tockner K., and Truffer B.2007.Concepts of decision support for river rehabilitation.Environmental Modelling & Software, 22, 188-201.


Resop J.P., Hession W.C., and Wynn-Thompson T.2014.Quantifying the parameter uncertainty in the cross-sectional dimensions for a stream restoration design of a gravel-bed stream.Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, doi: 10.2489/jswc.69.4.306.


Rosgen D.L.2008.Discussion of Simon et al. (2007).Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 44 (3), 782-792.


Schwartz J.S., Neff K.J., Dworak F.E., and Woockman R.R.2015.Restoring riffle-pool structure in an incised, straightened urban stream channel using an ecohydraulic modeling approach.Ecological Engineering, doi: 10.106/j.ecoleng.2014.06.002.


Shields F.D., Copeland R.R., Klingeman P.C., Doyle M.W., and Simon A.2003.Design for stream restoration.Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 129 (8), 575-584.


Simon A., Doyle M.W., Kondolf M., Shields F.D., Rhoads B., and McPhillips M.2007.Critical evaluation of how the Rosgen classification and associated �natural channel design� methods fail to integrate and quantify fluvial processes and channel response.Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 43 (5), 1117-1131.


Simon A., Doyle M.W., Kondolf M., Shields F.D., Rhoads B., and McPhillips M.2008.Reply to discussion by Rosgen (2008).Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 44 (3), 793-802.


Tallis H., Lubchenco J. et al.2014.A call for inclusive conservation.Nature, 515, 27-28.


Tullos D.D., Penrose D.L., Jennings G.D., and Cope W.G.2009.Analysis of functional traits in reconfigured channels: Implications for the bioassessment and disturbance of river restoration.Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 28 (1), 80-92.


University of Georgia (UGA).2014.Potential legal and permitting issues in the removal of White Dam.Environmental Law Practicum.


Warrick J.A., Bountry J.A., East A.E., Magirl C.S., Randle T.J., Gelfenbaum G., Ritchie A.C., Pess G.R., Leung V., and Duda J.J.2015.Large-scale dam removal on the Elwha River, Washington, USA: Source-to-sink sediment budget and synthesis.Geomorphology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.01.010.


Wenger S.J., Roy A.H., Jackson C.R., Bernhardt E.S., Carter T.L., Filoso S., Gibson C.A., Hession W.C., Kaushal S.S., Marti E., Meyer J.L., Palmer M.A., Paul M.J., Purcell A.H., Ramirez A., Rosemond A.D., Schofield K.A., Sudduth E.B., and Walsh C.J.2009.Twenty-six key research questions in urban stream ecology: An assessment of the state of the science.Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 28 (4), 1080-1098.