Select Publications

  • Simenstad, C. A., and T. Yanagi (eds.). 2012. Chap. 1—Introduction to Classification of Estuarine and Nearshore Coastal Ecosystems, Treatise on Estuarine and Coastal Science, Elsevier. More info.
  • Spilseth, S. A., and C. A. Simenstad. 2011. Seasonal, diel, and landscape effects on resource partitioning between juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) in the Columbia River estuary. Estuaries Coasts 34:159-171.
  • Simenstad, C.A., Burke, J.L., O’Connor, J.E., Cannon, C., Heatwole, D.W., Ramirez, M.F., Waite, I.R., Counihan, T.D., and Jones, K.L. 2011. Columbia River Estuary Ecosystem Classification—Concept and Application. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011-1228, 54 p. Available online.
  • Simenstad, C.A., M. Ramirez, J. Burke, M. Logsdon, H. Shipman, C. Tanner, J. Toft, B. Craig, C. Davis, J. Fung, P. Bloch, K. Fresh, S. Campbell, D. Myers, E. Iverson, A. Bailey, P. Schlenger, C. Kiblinger, P. Myre, W. Gerstel, and A. MacLennan. 2011. Historical Change of Puget Sound Shorelines: Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Project Change Analysis. Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project Report No. 2011-01. Published by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia, Washington, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle, Washington. Available online (pdf).
  • Pittman, S.J., R.T. Kneib, and C.A. Simenstad. 2011. Practicing coastal seascape ecology. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 427:187-190.
  • Miller, J. A., V. L. Butler, C. A. Simenstad, D. H. Backus, and A. J. R. Kent. 2011. Persistent life history variation in Columbia River Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha): a comparison using modern and ~500 yr-old archaeological otoliths. Canadian J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 68:603-617.
  • Howe, E.R. and C.A. Simenstad. 2011. Isotopic determination of food web origins in restoring and ancient estuarine wetlands of the San Francisco Bay and Delta. Estuaries Coasts 34:597-617.
  • Bottom, D. L., K. K. Jones, C. A. Simenstad, and C. L. Smith. 2009. Reconnecting social and ecological resilience in salmon ecosystems. Ecol. Society 14: 5. Available online.
  • Maier, G. O., and C. A. Simenstad. 2009. The role of marsh-derived macrodetritus to the food webs of juvenile Chinook salmon in a larger altered estuary. Estuaries Coasts 32: 984-998.
  • Howe, E.R., and C. A. Simenstad. 2007. Characterizing restoration trajectories through food web linkages in San Francisco Bay’s estuarine marshes: A manipulative translocation experiment. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 351:65-76.
  • Simenstad, C. A., D. Reed, and M. Ford. 2006. When is restoration not? Incorporating landscape-scale processes to restore self-sustaining ecosystems in coastal wetland restoration. Ecol. Engineer. 26: 27-39.

This faculty member is potentially considering one new graduate student (Research Assistant) position for admission in 2013.

As a Research Professor at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, I study shallow-water community and food web structure, and restoration ecology, of estuarine and coastal marine ecosystems along the Pacific Northwest coast, from San Francisco Bay, the Oregon and Washington coasts, Puget Sound, and Alaska. Ecosystems that have especially attracted my interests include: coastal marshes, mudflats and eelgrass of Pacific Northwest estuaries; nearshore, kelp-dominated shores of the Aleutian Islands, Alaska; and San Francisco Bay-Delta. Much of my recent research is involved in the Columbia River estuary, where I am particularly intrigued by ecological processes associated with estuarine turbidity maxima and the importance of brackish marshes and forested wetlands to juvenile Pacific salmon. The underlying question in my research is often "What controls variability in the capacity of these ecosystems and landscapes to support ecologically- and socioculturally-important consumer organisms, particularly juvenile Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), and what alters the integrity of these relationships?"

Much of this research has focused on the role of ecosystem structure and change, and the associated ecological (e.g., food web) interactions that are regulated by strong ecological interactions (e.g., keystone species such as sea otters), natural disturbance, or sensitivity to anthropogenic effects, such as wetland alteration. I've become increasingly interested in large-scale interactions across landscapes that alter fundamental ecosystem structure and processes at local scales, such as river flow diversion and regulation influences on estuarine communities and food webs, and the strategic planning of ecosystem restoration and preservation at different scales.
Recent research emphasis has included:

Since 1990, I have been particularly dedicated to coordinating the Wetland Ecosystem Team (WET), a small team of research scientists, educators, and graduate students that conducts both basic and applied research on these topics. Current research initiatives include: (1) leading WET's CALFED research on tidal freshwater wetland restoration patterns and rates in the Sacramento-San Joaquin rivers delta (BREACH studies); (2) evaluating the importance of estuarine life history diversity of juvenile Pacific salmon in population resilience and recovery, and the potential role of estuarine habitat restoration in increasing life history diversity; (3) restoration of natural ecosystem processes as a sustainable approach to recovery of endangered salmon; and, (4) the practical application of landscape ecology concepts and quantitative metrics to planning and implementing coastal ecosystem restoration. Much of my concentration is presently focused on strategic planning restoration of nearshore ecosystems in Puget Sound under the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project (PSNERP), under which I chair the Nearshore Science Team (NST).