Assessing and forecasting watershed ecosystem status within a consistent Bay Area wide framework

Publication Type  Conference Presentation
Authors  Christina M. Sloop
Affiliations  Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation
Year  2009
Key Words  Watershed assessment framework; watershed core card; watershed report; climate change

A changing climate will alter watershed ecosystems by affecting species distributions, community composition, habitat connectivity, water quality & quantity, and ecosystem services. Assessing and forecasting ecosystem status will become an important and necessary tool within and across watersheds as climate change unfolds. Coordination of a standardized framework for implementation of regular on-going watershed assessments and the development of annual or biennial health score cards and reports will not only allow scientific evaluation over time, but will also serve to inform the public and watershed stakeholders on the status and progress toward watershed goals. I will share models of ecosystem assessments implemented elsewhere and discuss an initial vision of a Bay Area wide framework for standardized, watershed-focused evaluations. Such a framework will have to be supported by consistent data collection networks, including appropriate indicator thresholds, data gathering protocols, and data sharing technology.


Christina Sloop, Ph. D. is the Director of Research at the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation and also serves as Adjunct Biology Faculty and Staff Special Consultant at Sonoma State University. Using science to address the critical problems facing biodiversity Dr. Sloop’s research program evaluates and constructs workable solutions to issues of invasive species, habitat loss, degradation & connectivity, endangered species recovery, water quality impairment, and sedimentation within the Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed. Dr. Sloop earned her Ph.D. in Ecology at University of California, Davis, investigating the population genetics and dynamics of spread of a hybrid swarm of cordgrasses (Spartina sp.) in San Francisco Bay. She also holds a Masters degree in Conservation Biology from San Francisco State University. Her 20-year experience spans across multiple disciplines and includes research on the conservation ecology of rare and endangered species, the population genetics and dynamics of invasive species, conservation ecology and population genetics of vernal pool plant species, public-access impacts on bird diversity, restoration efficacy of riparian plantings, invasive species control, endangered species recovery, and conservation planning.

Conference Name  2009 State of the Laguna Conference and Science Symposium
Presentation Type: 
1_Sloop_ Fri Session 1.pdf896.06 KB