Julie Zimmerman, Lead Scientist, The Nature Conservancy
Presenting: What is the future for our favorite river? Managing for the effects of climate change on the American River ecosystem
Climate change is a threat multiplier, contributing to more frequent drought, floods, longer dry seasons, and higher temperatures. These changes in hydrology and temperature interact with water management and human modifications in the American River, complicating the restoration of aquatic ecosystems and our iconic salmon and steelhead. River scientists use a combination of environmental flows, temperature management, and habitat restoration to protect and restore native species in regulated rivers. Scientists have been working with the Water Forum for years to implement key restoration projects to protect native salmon and steelhead and restore healthy populations. Our collaboration is even more crucial as we look to the future where climate change increases the stress on our river ecosystem and the people who depend on it for water, recreation, and a connection to nature in a changing landscape.
Julie Zimmerman is Lead Scientist for The Nature Conservancy’s Water Program in California and is based in Sacramento. Julie’s focus is to develop collaborative, science-based approaches to water management and river restoration. Before joining TNC in California, Julie worked on salmon restoration with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Sacramento and approaches to defining and restoring environmental flows with The Nature Conservancy’s Connecticut River Program and Chesapeake Bay Program. Julie has published articles on environmental flows and river ecology and contributed to several state and federal processes addressing water management. Julie holds a bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara, master’s degree in Ecology from Colorado State University, and Ph.D. in Fisheries from University of Minnesota.