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About Sarah E. Null

My research program addresses the potential to enhance aquatic and riparian ecosystems while maintaining water resource benefits for people in water scarce regions, particularly the American West. Specific branches of research include:
* evaluating climate change impacts and potential adaptations for water resources management,
* improving water system efficiency and reliability by modifying operations, analyzing dam removal or other changes to infrastructure, and restoring rivers,
* stream temperature and habitat modeling, and
* improving information-sharing between policy-makers, water managers, and researchers.
Field studies, mathematical models, and systems analysis are methods I use to improve understanding of systems and explore promising solutions to problems.
I received my PhD in Geography from University of California, Davis in 2008. I then worked as a postdoctoral scholar at UC Davis’ Center for Watershed Sciences prior to coming to USU. Past projects include evaluating water supply changes from removing O’Shaughnessy Dam in Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley, managing environmental water quantity and quality for coho salmon in California’s Shasta River, and evaluating the vulnerability of Sierra Nevada (CA) watersheds to climate change. I continue to develop my research program in water resources modeling to better manage water for people and ecosystems.


Present Associate Professor, Utah State University Quinney College of Natural Resources, Watershed Sciences

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

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Honors and Awards

  • Invited Scholar to Dissertation Initiative for Climate Change Research (DISCCRS), 2010
  • Invited Next Generation Project Fellow (Terry Tempest Williams’ environmental leadership program), 2007 – 2009
  • EPA STAR Fellow, 2005-2008
  • American Water Resources Association’s William R. Boggess Award (best paper), 2006
  • Geography Graduate Group block grant award, 2002 – 2003, 2004 – 2005
  • U.C. Davis’ Universal Award Scholarship, 2001-2002


2008 Ph.D., University of California, Davis ‐ Geography
2003 M.A., University of California, Davis ‐ Geography
1998 B.A., University of California, Los Angeles ‐ International Economics

Contact Information

Department of Watershed Sciences Utah State University
5210 Old Main Hill, NR 210 Logan, UT. 84322-5210
(435) 797-1338


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