Joseph M. Wheaton

Joseph M. Wheaton
Utah State University | USU · Department of Watershed Sciences

PhD

About

280
Publications
197,879
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Introduction
Joe Wheaton is a Professor of riverscapes at Utah State University and a fluvial geomorphologist with over two decades of experience in river restoration. Joe runs the Ecogeomorphology & Topographic Analysis Lab in Utah State University's Department of Watershed Science and is a leader in the monitoring and modeling of riverine habitats and watersheds.
Additional affiliations
July 2015 - present
Utah State University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2009 - June 2015
Utah State University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
July 2008 - June 2009
Idaho State University
Position
  • Research Assistant Professor
Education
September 2003 - May 2020
University of Southampton
Field of study
  • Geography
June 2002 - June 2003
University of California, Davis
Field of study
  • Hydrologic Sciences
September 2000 - June 2002
University of California, Davis
Field of study
  • Hydrology

Publications

Publications (280)
Article
Repeat topographic surveys are increasingly becoming more affordable, and possible at higher spatial resolutions and over greater spatial extents. Digital elevation models (DEMs) built from such surveys can be used to produce DEM of Difference (DoD) maps and estimate the net change in storage terms for morphological sediment budgets. While these pr...
Article
[1] Previous flume-based research on braided channels has revealed four classic mechanisms that produce braiding: central bar development, chute cutoff, lobe dissection, and transverse bar conversion. The importance of these braiding mechanisms relative to other morphodynamic mechanisms in shaping braided rivers has not yet been investigated in the...
Article
Full-text available
Fluvial geomorphologists use close to a 100 different terms to describe the landforms that make up riverscapes. We identified 68 of these existing terms that describe truly distinctive landforms, in which form is maintained under characteristic conditions and fluvial processes. Clear topographic definitions for these landforms to consistently ident...
Article
Abstract The construction of beaver dams facilitates a suite of hydrologic, hydraulic, geomorphic, and ecological feedbacks that increase stream complexity and channel–floodplain connectivity that benefit aquatic and terrestrial biota. Depending on where beaver build dams within a drainage network, they impact lateral and longitudinal connectivity...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The purpose of this design manual is to provide restoration practitioners with guidelines for implementing a subset of low-tech tools —namely beaver dam analogues (BDAs) and post-assisted log structures (PALS)—for initiating process-based restoration in structurally-starved riverscapes. While the concept of process-based restoration in riverscapes...
Article
Full-text available
Rivers have been diminished, simplified, and degraded globally by the concentration of agriculture, transportation, and development in valley bottoms over decades and centuries, substantially limiting their ecological health and value. More recently, climate change is steadily increasing stress on aging traditional, gray infrastructure. Recent tren...
Preprint
Full-text available
Rivers have been diminished, simplified, and degraded globally by the concentration of agriculture, transportation, and development in valley bottoms over decades and centuries, substantially limiting their ecological health and value. More recently, climate change is steadily increasing stress on aging traditional, gray infrastructure. Recent tren...
Article
Full-text available
Adult salmonids are frequently observed building redds adjacent to in-channel structure, including boulders and large woody debris. These areas are thought to be preferentially selected for a variety of reasons, including energy and/or predation refugia for spawners, and increased hyporheic exchange for incubating embryos. This research sought to q...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) jointly promulgated regulations revising and clarifying requirements to improve the quality and success of compensatory mitigation (Mitigation Rule; 33 CFR Parts 325 and 332 and 40 CFR Part 230) under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, including fo...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In order to characterize physical and biological conditions across the four planning segments of the Yampa Basin that comprise the geographical extent of the Yampa IWMP, a set of hydrogeomorphic and ecological indicators and associated metrics was developed. Each indicator described in this report was assessed based on remotely measurable metrics t...
Presentation
Full-text available
Presentation on the opportunity to scale river ecosystem restoration by using river and source water wetland ecosystems as natural infrastructure to address increasing threats of climate-related hazards and aging gray infrastructure.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Talk on use of LTPBR for post fire recovery.
Presentation
Full-text available
Guest Lecture to Greg Pasternack's UC Davis ESM 198 River Conservation Class. I cover an introduction to low-tech process-based restoration of riverscapes with a focus on beaver-assisted approaches.
Presentation
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A talk for the Wisconsin Wetlands Association. See recording here: https://youtu.be/abE25ekLt4M
Article
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Hydropower is considered a renewable form of energy production, but generating electricity from rivers is not always environmentally benign. The global demand for renewables is increasing rapidly as fossil fuels are gradually phased out, so rivers will continue to be subjected to the pressures imposed by hydropower for decades to come. Finding ways...
Presentation
Full-text available
Presentation to California Rangeland Coalition Summit 2021
Presentation
Full-text available
This was a seminar for Portland State University's School of Environment Seminar Series.
Technical Report
Full-text available
Following the Sharps Fire in summer 2018 140 low-tech restoration structures were constructed along Sheep Creek, Hailey Creek and Baugh Creek, in the lower Baugh Creek watershed (Shahverdian and Wheaton, 2018). That effort, referred to as phase I, took place on private lands and benefitted from a diverse group of partners including, the Idaho Gover...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The following document outlines a low-tech process-based (LTPBR) restoration design for a 0.7 - mile section of Whychus Creek, a tributary to the upper Deschutes river in Jefferson and Deschutes Counties. The following restoration design for the Willow Springs Preserve was developed following low-tech process-based restoration (LTPBR) principles (...
Presentation
Full-text available
A quick overview of beaver-assisted and inspired restoration of riverscapes focused on low-tech process-based restoration.
Presentation
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Part of ASWM Beaver Webinar Series: https://www.aswm.org/aswm/aswm-webinarscalls/3355-2020-past-beaver-restoration-webinar-series This second webinar in the ASWM-BLM Beaver Restoration Webinar Series focuses on making decisions about where beaver restoration and/or the use of beaver dam analogs (BDA) can have the greatest positive and least negati...
Presentation
Full-text available
Presentation at 2020 British Society for Geomorphology. See video here: https://youtu.be/IRPAtGxMrP4
Presentation
Full-text available
These slides are from a webinar to Society for Ecological Restoration (https://www.ser.org/page/SERWebinars) and audience of ecological restoration practitioners. It focuses on three themes of health, healing and hope through the lens of some principles of what constitutes healthy riverscapes and principles of low-tech process based restoration.
Presentation
Full-text available
Seminar for Alberta Cows & Fish
Article
Full-text available
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) populations are expanding across Europe. Depending on location, beaver dams bring multiple benefits and/or require management. Using nationally available data, we developed: a Beaver Forage Index (BFI), identifying beaver foraging habitat, and a Beaver Dam Capacity (BDC) model, classifying suitability of river reaches...
Article
Full-text available
Stream ecosystems can be dramatically altered by dam‐building activities of North American beaver (Castor canadensis). The extent to which beavers’ ecosystem engineering alters riverscapes is driven by the density, longevity, and size (i.e. height and length) of the dams constructed. In comparison to the relative ubiquity of beaver dams on the land...
Presentation
Full-text available
A talk in a Stage Zero Restoration Session on low-tech restoration design principles.
Technical Report
Full-text available
In November 2018, Anabranch Solutions, LLC (AS) worked with partners at the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), the Idaho Governor’s Office of Species Conservation (OSC), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Trout Unlimited (TU), Idaho Soil & Water Conservation Commission, and two private landowners to implement...
Article
High Resolution Topography data sets have improved the spatial and temporal scales at which we are able to investigate the landscape through the analysis of landform attributes and the computation of topographic changes. Yet, to date, there have been only limited attempts to infer key geomorphic processes in terms of contributions to shaping the la...
Article
Badland landscapes exhibit high erosion rates and represent the main source of fine sediments in some catchments. Advances in High Resolution Topographic methods allow analysis of topographic changes at high temporal and spatial scales. We apply the Mapping Geomorphic Processes in the Environment (MaGPiE) algorithm to infer the main geomorphic proc...
Article
River restoration practice frequently employs conservative designs that create and maintain prescribed, static morphology. Such approaches ignore an emerging understanding of resilient river systems that typically adjust their morphology in response to hydrologic, vegetative and sediment supply changes. As such, using increased dynamism as a restor...
Presentation
Full-text available
Some slides to preface a panel discussion on Beaver Dam Analogs and Using Beavers
Presentation
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This was a talk at the Restoring the West Conference 2019 (theme: Managing Water by Managing Land) highlight how low-tech process-based restoration (http://lowtechpbr.restoration.usu.edu) can be used to manage for water resources that are more resilient to drought, fire and floods.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report presents an application of the Beaver Restoration Assessment Tool 3.0.20 (BRAT; http://brat.riverscapes.xyz/) a tool for building realistic expectations for partnering with beaver in conservation and restoration (Macfarlane et al., 2017). In this application, we analyzed all the perennial rivers and streams of the Greater Yellowstone Ar...
Article
In an era of big‐data acquisition and semiautomation of geomorphic river surveys, it is timely to consider how to better integrate this into existing and widely used conceptual frameworks and approaches to analysis. We demonstrate how Stage 1 of the River Styles Framework, which entails identification and interpretation of river character and behav...
Presentation
Full-text available
Introductory talk to Aspen Alliance - Aspen Regeneration Workshop on beaver and aspen interactions.
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Low-Tech Process Based Restoration of Riverscapes Pocket Guide is an illustrated and condensed version of the Design Manual (http://lowtechpbr.restoration.usu.edu). The pocket guide is designed to fit in your pocket (4 x 6") to use as a reference in the field.
Technical Report
Full-text available
BRAT was developed to provide more realistic expectation management for beaver assisted restoration and serves as a planning tool intended to help resource managers, restoration practitioners, wildlife biologists and researchers better manage expectations about where beaver might be useful. Specifically, BRAT is a spatially explicit network tool th...
Presentation
Full-text available
An update to the Utah WRI on low-tech riverscape restoration and how it can be used in post-fire recovery.
Article
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Numerical models that predict channel evolution are an essential tool for investigating processes that occur over timescales which render field observation intractable. The current generation of morphodynamic models, however, either oversimplify the relevant physical processes or, in the case of more physically complete codes based on computational...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we demonstrate the application of a continuous confinement metric across entire river networks. Confinement is a useful metric for characterizing and discriminating valley setting. At the reach scale, valley bottom confinement is measured and quantified as the ratio of the length of channel confined on either bank by a confining marg...
Technical Report
Full-text available
- Riverscapes are composed of connected floodplain and channel habitats that together make up the valley bottom. - The scope of degradation of riverscapes is massive. Tens of thousands of miles of riverscapes are in poor or fair condition. - Structural-starvation is both a direct cause of degradation, as well as a consequence of land use changes...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Chapter 3 of of Low-Tech Process-Based Restoration of Riverscapes: Design Manual (http://lowtechpbr.restoration.usu.edu) Planning for low-tech process-based restoration is similar to planning for other forms of restoration. •We adapt the Conservation Planning Process to show what aspects of the process are distinctive to low-tech process-based re...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Chapter Two of Low-Tech Process-Based Restoration of Riverscapes: Design Manual (http://lowtechpbr.restoration.usu.edu) Low-tech process-based restoration principles are critical to understand as both the basis for effectively applying low-tech restoration treatments and managing expectations about timing and magnitude of outcomes. We propose an...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Chapter 6 of Low-Tech Process-Based Restoration of Riverscapes: Design Manual (http://lowtechpbr.restoration.usu.edu) •Key phases of restoration project implementation include obtaining regulatory consultations and permits, construction, monitoring and adaptive management. •Application of beaver dam analogues (BDAs) and post-assisted log structure...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Chapter 7 of the Low-Tech Process-Based Restoration of Riverscapes - Design Manual (http://lowtechpbr.restoration.usu.edu)
Technical Report
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Chapter Four of Low-Tech Process-Based Restoration of Riverscapes: Design Manual (http://lowtechpbr.restoration.usu.edu Post-assisted log structures (PALS) and beaver dam analogues (BDAs) are hand-built structures. PALS mimicand promote the processes of wood accumulation; whereas BDAs mimic and promote beaver dam activity. •PALS and BDAs are perme...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Chapter 5 of Low-Tech Process-Based Restoration of Riverscapes: Design Manual (http://lowtechpbr.restoration.usu.edu) • A complex is a group of structures designed to work together to mimic and/or promote specific processes to achieve one or more project objectives. Complexes are the building blocks of a low-tech restoration design. • The low-tec...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report presents an application of the Beaver Restoration Assessment Tool 3.0.20 (BRAT; http://brat.riverscapes.xyz/) a tool for building realistic expectations for partnering with beaver in conservation and restoration (Macfarlane et al., 2017). In this application, we analyzed all the perennial rivers and streams within the John Day basin (6-...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The first comprehensive Geomorphic Assessment of the Lower White River, Utah and Colorado, including valley landform delineation, river reach typing, geomorphic condition, 80-year channel change record, results of riparian condition assessment (R-CAT), and case study scenarios of endangered fish and invasive vegetation removal.
Presentation
Full-text available
Presentation to Cache Water District Board of Trustees.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report presents an application of the Beaver Restoration Assessment Tool 3.0.20 (BRAT; http://brat.riverscapes.xyz/), a tool for building realistic expectations for partnering with beaver in conservation and restoration (Macfarlane et al., 2017). In this application, we analyzed all the perennial rivers and streams within the Panther Creek wat...
Presentation
Full-text available
This talk was for a session on "Using Beavers and Beaver Dam Analogs (BDAs) as Tools for Riparian Restoration" at the Weber River Partnership's annual Confluence Meeting: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/confluence-2019-tickets-52020744447?aff=efbeventtix. I was asked to speak about some of the recent science and concepts behind beaver dam analogues.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report presents an application of the Beaver Restoration Assessment Tool 3.0.20 (BRAT; http://brat.riverscapes.xyz/), a tool for building realistic expectations for partnering with beaver in conservation and restoration (Macfarlane et al., 2017). In this application, we analyzed all the perennial rivers and streams within the Burnt River water...
Presentation
Full-text available
Presentation to NRCS Utah State Technical Team
Presentation
Full-text available
Slides from a presentation shared with stakeholders during field tour and meeting to Spring Hollow with Upper Deschutes Watershed Council.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report presents an application of the Beaver Restoration Assessment Tool 2.0.0 (BRAT; http://brat.riverscapes.xyz/), a tool for building realistic expectations for partnering with beaver in conservation and restoration (Macfarlane et al. 2017). In this application, we analyzed all the perennial rivers and streams within the Yakama Nation Reser...
Presentation
Full-text available
This was a conceptual overview of the expanded river health analogy and how low-tech process based restoration can be used to achieve better river health.
Technical Report
Full-text available
In summer 2018, the Sharps Fire burned major portions of the Baugh Creek Watershed in central Idaho. Prior to the Sharps Fire a stream restoration project was planned for lower Baugh Creek. Following the fire, the project was expanded to include two additional streams in the lower watershed and to address the risks posed post-fire, as well as ident...