10,000 Years Institute - scientific research for natural resource management from Seattle, WA to Lake Baikal, Russia.
10,000 Years Institute - scientific research for natural resource management from Seattle, WA to Lake Baikal, Russia.
Watershed Ecology

Although we know that the ecology of a river is dependent on the character and condition of its watershed, many of the ways watersheds and rivers function together are not well understood. Our knowledge of pristine rivers is limited because most rivers and their watersheds have been altered by human activity. As a result, it can be difficult to set benchmarks for maintenance or restoration of watershed health. In spite of these uncertainties, management decisions and development initiatives proceed, sometimes in ways that are not sustainable or appropriate.

How we can help
The connectivity of rivers with their surrounding landscapes, including upland forests, lakes, estuaries, and marine systems, is at the heart of 10,000 Years Institute's research interests. We investigate both the natural processes of watersheds and the ways that human activities alter these processes. 10,000 Years Institute is involved in the cutting edge work needed to address key uncertainties relevant to management of endangered ecosystems. Our current work in this area includes:
  • Conducting research to describe the role of large wood in sediment dynamics of headwater streams that will help clarify how headwaters function to maintain long term habitat-forming processes.
  • Investigating the role of large wood in river morphology and channel change, and helping improve sustainability of development adjacent to rivers by creating a working definition of channel migration zones in the state of Washington.
  • Data mining for historical information, developing sampling and analysis designs for new studies, and developing a monitoring and data management system for the Hoh River Basin on Washington's Olympic Peninsula.
  • Research and analysis on the ecology, prevention, and management of invasive species. For example, our staff is currently engaged in a collaborative projects on Washington’s northwest and central coast, developing protocols and programs to end invasions of Eurasian plants in native upland riparian and wetland ecosystems.