Integrating Climate Change Into Design & Permitting Of Water Crossing Structures


Timothy Quinn, George Wilhere, Jane Atha, WDFW

Webinar Date: 5/18/2016

Viable, self-sustaining salmon populations depend upon unobstructed passage to and from spawning and rearing habitats. When culvert size relative to stream size is too small, the result is often a barrier to fish movement. Climate change models project significant increases in stream flows in much of Washington but climate change information is rarely incorporated into culvert design. The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) has regulatory authority over most culvert and bridge projects in Washington State. Currently, WDFW’s design guidelines do not incorporate future climate-related changes and impacts.

This project translates projected future changes in regional climate to stream width, a key parameter for fish passage culvert design and sizing. Join presenters from WDFW as they discuss their modelling results and ideas for how to apply them to site-scale decisions.

About the Presenters:
Timothy Quinn
Timothy Quinn is Chief Scientist of the Habitat Program at WDFW, adjunct faculty at The Evergreen State College (TESC), and a member of the Science Panel for the Puget Sound Partnership. Tim received his master degree in physiological ecology in 1988 and doctorate in wildlife ecology from the University of Washington in 1992. Tim manages the Science Division for the Habitat Program who is responsible for providing technical expertise and scientific study support for all Habitat Program needs. Tim has also taught Conservation Biology in the Masters of Environmental Studies program at TESC since 2005.

George Wilhere
George is a Senior Research Scientist at WDFW where he does various types of quantitative analysis and modeling. He’s applied his modelling expertise to spotted owl populations, snag dynamics, forest growth, habitat quality of various wildlife species including salmon, ecoregional assessments, conservation planning, and culvert design. He earned his master’s degree in conservation biology from Duke University where he developed population models for red-cockaded woodpeckers. In the distant past, he was a biomedical engineer, high school biology teacher, and Outward Bound instructor.

Jane Atha
Jane is a geomorphologist in WDFW’s Habitat Science Division. She received her BA in Geography from the University of Texas at Austin, her MS in Geography from Texas State University – San Marcos, and her PhD from the University of Oregon at Eugene. She is currently focused on hydraulic structures and river restoration research in Washington State.