Welcome to the Pasternack Lab.
We help society manage and restore hydrogeomorphic processes in support of enhanced ecosystem functioning. We do this through a combination of basic physical and ecological science to understand how the naturally complex landscape works and technology transfer to get the methods we develop into the hands of practitioners, regulators, and stakeholders. Teaching, service, and outreach are also important.
Please choose an item from the menu to the left or click on any image or link on this page to learn more.
For more information on the science and activity behind the gravel augmentation project shown in the video above, see the gravel/cobble injection web page.
You cannot truly understand something, if you cannot create it, too.
"Water in Popular Culture" is a general education class I will teach in Fall 2014
- Submitted a large funding proposal in collaboration with several colleagues on campus and around the U.S. to help the Federal governmental plan, design, implement, and monitor a river restoration effort in one of our nation's spectacular parks.
- Began producing video podcasts for HYD151 (Field Methods in Hydrology) so that I can "flip" the class to spend more time in class working individually with students.
- Just spent the week at the AGU conference in S.F. Bobby, Michael, Sandy, and I all had posters about our research.
- Bobby and I submitted a journal manuscript base don his MS thesis research today. great job Bobby!
- Spent 2 days mapping velocities on the lower Yuba River using traditional wading methods. We were able to wade in velocities up to ~4.2 ft/s, but that's about it. We saw several fish spawning as well.
- Spent 3 days in the Battle Creek watershed installing turbidity stations as part of a project to assess watershed scale sediment flux and river changes in response to a large wildfire in a mountains, Mediterranean-climate system.
- Today we had whole segments of the Yuba River flown for combined terrestrial and bathymetric LiDAR, which will yield decimeter to meter scale digital maps of different features of the river. This ushers in the next iteration of near-census science shifting the resolution firmly down to the submeter scale.
- Welcome to Luke Tillman to begin an MS program assessing the nexus between mountain hydrology and streamwood flux. Now all 4 new graduate students are onboard and ready to take off for 2014-2015!
- Today my student Michael Strom and I reconned the brutally rugged North Yuba River from new Bullards Bar Dam to the confluence with the Middle Yuba. The bedrock/boulder channel terrain was so rugged it took us over 6 hours to go 2 miles in the canyon, and then we had to hike out by walking up a 1,100' vertical ascent on a steep dirt road. Beautiful, but brutal. Thank you bears for not eating me ;)
- Spent yesterday and today with my colleagues Helen, Sam, and Yufang demonstrating field technology for data collection using aerial imagery (drone and blimp), sediment samplers/traps, field fluorometer, and other modern tools of the trade.
- Congrats to Dr. Rocko Brown for getting the bell rung on his PhD dissertation, "The Analysis and Synthesis of River Topography".
- Welcome to Matthew Weber to begin an MS program blending hydrology, hydraulics, geomorphology, and salmonid fish rearing.
- Our group successfully submitted 4 AGU abstracts yesterday and today, so we'll have a busy and exciting conference in December.
- Welcome to John Childs from the U.S. Army Corps ERDC branch to begin a PhD to figure out ecologically beneficial use of dredge sediments! Only > 1,095 days to go! ;)
- Today Dr. Andy Gray began a 1-yr postdoc remaining in our group, but now addressing watershed scale sediment flux and deposition in a agriculture-dominated region.
- Today begins the 2014 gravel/cobble injection of 5,000 short tons into the Yuba River below Englebright Dam. This continues progress toward the overall goals in the plan we developed in 2010.
- Today we had the 2014 Yuba Accord Symposium at the UC Sierra Foothills research and extension center. This one was geared toward local stakeholders and the public. Turnout was ~60 people. We were all very pleased with how it worked out.
- I just arrived in Trondheim, Norway for the 2014 IAHR conference on Ecohydraulics. Beautiful landscape and the weather is like S.F. on a rainy February day, except for the 20 hours of daylight.
- Graduation day!
- Congrats to Dr. Andrew Bruce Gray for filing his PhD dissertation today!
- Made it up to Portland, OR for the JASM 2014 conference. Totally different cohort of scientists, so very exciting opportunity to learn and grow.
- Today I signed off on Andy Gray's PhD dissertation. Well done Andy!
- Today Elsevier alerted me that in the 1st month our article on a new method for spatially mapping river landforms was downloaded 244 times!
- This quarter I produced 1,100 minutes of video podcasts for my class on hydrological processes in ecosystems (HYD143). It's all available free for the public to watch here
- A cold call I received a few weeks ago resulted today in UCD approval of ~$110,000 of new research contracts to study watershed-scale sediment processes. This will all help fund a new postdoc and a new PhD student. Moral of the story: always answer the phone with a happy and hearty greeting :)
- Today I embark on the next stage of teaching evolution- flipping the classroom! I am video podcasting all lectures for HYD143 and then hosting in class assignments with more direct interaction. Now anyone in the world can view the educational video podcasts for free on this website. Enjoy.
- Sadly, my dog companion for the last 12 3/4 years passed away today. Hetchy loved rivers and was a great lab-group mascot.
- Hosted a terrific session on river restoration at AGU with my academic grandson Alan Kasprak in which I offered up a nice warm piece of science apple pie and my senior colleague (and PhD committee member) Peter Wilcock offered a "benediction" on restoration success. How fun!
- MS student Matt Vaughan is getting a lot of attention for his provocative GU poster entitled, "Large Wood Storage Does Not Decrease Downstream Through a Watershed."
- Heading out to explore the Tuolumne River after it was burned over by the Rim Fire.
- Today for the first time two of my PhD students had journal manuscripts accepted on the same day! Well done.
- Welcome potential future graduate students! Email me if you share common interests. If you are interested in a PhD in our program, consider our climate and water IGERT
- Successfully submitted reports to Federal sponsors before government shutdown.
- First meeting of discussion sections for SAS004. The start of a new academic year is always exciting.
- Welcome to Scott Burman, a new scientist working in our group to address links between riparian ecology, fluvial geomorphology, and river hydraulics.
- Dr. Pasternack is celebrating the 100th conference abstract he has collaborated on during his career thus far.
- Dr. Pasternack is receiving the 2012 Editors’ Citation for Excellence in Refereeing for Water Resources Research.
- Thank you to Dr. Josh Wyrick as he moves on after a 3 year postdoc.
- Prof. Pasternack's HYD151 class conducted a hydrological assessment for a newly planned Putah Creek Parkway in the UC Davis Arboretum. Read more
Book For Practitioners
Video podcasts to go with the book are
freely available here.