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Interagency Ecological Program (IEP) - Special Studies/Research

IEP Science Advisory Group (SAG)

The IEP Science Advisory Group (SAG) is a standing panel of independent external experts that was established in the 1990s. IEP regularly calls on the SAG to review IEP elements and provide advice on scientific issues. In addition to its permanent members, the SAG often includes additional "special members" with complementary expertise for individual reviews.

2013 SAG Member Profiles:

Stephen Monismith - Permanent SAG member. Professor Monismith received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the UC Berkeley Department of Civil Engineering. After Berkeley, he did a postdoc in Western Australia focusing on the fluid mechanics of stratified flows in lakes and reservoirs. Prof. Monismith has been at Stanford University in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering since 1987, and has been the director of the Environmental Fluid Mechanics Laboratory at Stanford since 1996. Through his work on estuarine dynamics, he has been active in Bay-Delta issues, including chairing the IEP Science Advisory Group and helping to develop the scientific underpinnings of the Bay-Delta Accord. His current research uses field, lab, and computational experiments to look at estuarine and lake physics as well as nearshore flows with waves and stratification, focusing on mixing and transport processes that are central to ecology, biogeochemistry and environmental management. In recent years, much of his efforts have focused on coral reef flows, work that he is beginning to extend to kelp forests of California. Through his coral reef work, he has had the opportunity to serve as the project director for a unique NATO-supported collaboration between Israeli and Jordanian scientists studying the northern Gulf of Aqaba.

Charles "Si" Simenstad - Permanent SAG member. A Research Professor at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, Professor Simenstad studies shallow-water communities and food webs 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 his 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 his recent research is involved in the Columbia River estuary, where he is particularly intrigued by ecological processes associated with estuarine turbidity maxima and the importance of brackish marshes and forested wetlands to juvenile Pacific salmon. Through 2011, Professor Simenstad served as Chair of the Nearshore Science Team (NST) of the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Research Program (PSNERP) that is providing scientific guidance for restoration of estuarine and nearshore ecosystems in Puget Sound. His present research includes: 1) NOAA-NWFSC studies of juvenile salmon rearing in wetlands and restoring shallow-water ecosystems of the Columbia River estuary; 2) developing and testing an estuarine ecosystem classification system for the Columbia River estuary; 3) completing an interdisciplinary study of restoration process at Liberty Island in the Sacramento River delta. Si Simenstad is a fellow of the AAAS, author or co-author of >250 publications including 20 book and proceedings chapters, associate editor for Estuaries and Coasts, San Francisco Estuary & Watershed Science, Revue Paralia and the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound, and recipient of the 2009 NOAA-AFS Nancy Foster Award for Habitat Conservation.  A member of the IEP SAG since its founding, he has participated in numerous scientific reviews of estuarine and wetland projects and programs across the United States.

Samuel N. Luoma, – Permanent SAG member. Dr. Luoma is a research ecologist with the John Muir Institute of the Environment at the University of California, Davis and emeritus senior scientist with the US Geological Survey. He is the Editor-in-Chief of San Francisco Estuary & Watershed Science and is also a Scientific Associate with The Natural History Museum in London, UK. In 2000-2003, he served as the first Lead Scientist for the CALFED Bay-Delta program. Dr. Luoma’s specific research interests are in the bioavailability and ecological effects of metals in aquatic environments and he has been recognized for his work in unraveling some difficult contamination issues in the Delta, particularly those related to mercury and selenium, shedding light on their important implications for policymakers. He was a W.J. Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in the UK in 2004 and is a fellow of the AAAS. He is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed publications, many of which dealt with water quality issues in the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. With co-author Philip Rainbow, Dr. Luoma recently completed the book, Metal Contamination in Aquatic Environments: Science and Lateral Management, published by Cambridge University Press in October 2008. Dr. Luoma’s awards include the President’s Rank Award for careers accomplishments as a senior civil servant, the U. S. Department of Interior's Distinguished Service Award, the University of California at Davis Wendell Kilgore award for environmental toxicology, the first CALFED Brown-Nichols Award and American Society of Limnology and Oceanography’s 2010 Ruth Patrick Award. He has served nationally and internationally as a scientific expert or advisor on issues at the interface of science and environmental policy and management, including National Research Council committees on Bioavailability of contaminants in soils and sediments, Sustainable water and Environmental Management in the California Bay-Delta and Progress toward restoring the Everglades.  He has served on seven US Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board sub-committees, Bioavailability of Contaminants in Soils and Sediments  for the Canadian National Research Council; UNESCO committee on mining in tropical lands; the Global Mining Initiative; as well as advising on  selenium issues, environmental monitoring, and metal effects. From 2010 through 2012 Dr. Luoma was Chief Advisor Environment, Africa for the multi-national mining company Rio Tinto and lived in Richards Bay, South Africa.  He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in zoology from Montana State University and a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Hawaii.


Josh Korman,- 2013 Special SAG member.  An Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Korman is also the principal of Ecometric Research, a small Vancouver-based consulting firm that does contract work for the US geological survey, BC Hydro, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Ministry of Environment. His main research interest is in understanding the effects of physical and biological processes on recruitment in freshwater fishes. In particular, he is interested in how flow regimes in regulated rivers influence habitat use, growth, movement, and survival of early life stages. He has been running field efforts to address these questions for steelhead in the Cheakamus River, BC, and for rainbow trout and humpback chub the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, since the mid- to late 1990s. Dr. Korman spends much of my time organizing and participating in field efforts, and developing and applying models to analyze data from these programs. His other main research interest is the development of models for stock assessment and management. Examples include: 1) estimation of stock-recruitment relationships and management strategy evaluation models to evaluate alternate harvest strategies; 2) Bayesian spatial hierarchical models to estimate capture probability, abundance, and survival; 3) Bayesian spatial and temporal hierarchical models to estimate effort and catch in the BC sport fishery; 4) integration of mark-recapture and radio telemetry data to estimate steelhead and salmon escapement; 5) integration of genetic stock identification and coded wire tag data to estimate basin-wide Chinook escapement; and 6) population viability models. He also has expertise in developing experimental designs and monitoring programs to support larger Adaptive Management efforts. Dr. Korman received an M.S. in Biological Oceanography and a Ph.D. in Zoology from UBC.


Jessica Miller - 2013 Special SAG member.  Dr. Jessica Miller is as an Associate Professor in Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University,  a member of the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station (COMES), and stationed at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon. She leads the Marine and Anadromous Fisheries Ecology Program within the COMES, which was established in 1989 as the first marine experiment station in the USA. Her research focuses on the ecology and management of marine and anadromous fishes, including 1) early marine residence of Pacific salmon; 2) mixing and migration in marine and anadromous fishes; 3) early life history of fishes; and 4) the application of biogeochemical markers in fisheries ecology. She combines complementary methodologies, such as population genetics and otolith chemistry, to provide novel information on marine and anadromous fishes with the goal of contributing to their management and conservation. Over the last six years, she has worked on Chinook salmon populations in the Columbia River, along the coast of Oregon, and within the Central Valley. With the assistance of several students, she has focused on identifying mechanisms of mortality during early marine residence for both subyearling and yearling Chinook salmon from several genetic stock groups within the Columbia River. She also teaches an undergraduate and graduate course, the “Early Life History of Fishes”, and is an Associate Editor for the Environmental Biology of Fishes. She received a B.A. in Zoology from the University of Montana, a M.S. in Fisheries from University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from University of Oregon.


Previous SAG Members not participating in 2013 IEP SAG activities:

Ed Houde, U. Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Thomas "Zack" M. Powell, UC Berkeley
Alan F. Blumberg,  Stevens Institute of Technology
Peter Goodwin, P.E., U. Idaho and Delta Lead Scientist, DSC
Susan Sogard, NOAA, Southwest Fisheries Science Center
Steve Gaines, UC Santa Barbara
Jim Cloern, USGS Menlo Park
Alan Jassby, UC Davis
Jonathon Sharp, U. Delaware
Terry Short, USGS WRD