You are here:

Environmental Science

Rio Mesa provides placed-based, long-term research related to ecological, hydrological and natural resource management relevant to the Colorado Plateau. Located along almost 3 miles of the Dolores River, the Center is superbly positioned to be at the forefront of ecological and environmental reserach for water-related, low-land and upland systems.

Current Projects

Wildlife Conservation through Camera Trapping

Mark Chynoweth (University of Utah, Biology Department)

Passive Interrogation Array (PIA) in the Dolores River at the University of Utah’s Bonderman Field Station at Rio Mesa
David Speas (Bureau of Reclamation) and Peter MacKinnon (Utah State University/BioMark)

Predicting the Importance of Seed Source When Restoring Plants with Differing Life History Traits
Magdalena Eshleman and Andrea Kramer, Chicago Botanic Garden & Northwestern University

Sporobolus airoides selection in response to Acroptilon repens invasion
Nora Talkington and Andrea Kramer, Chicago Botanic Garden & Northwestern University

Russian Knapweed (Acroptilon repens) Restoration Experimental Trials
Andrea Kramer, Chicago Botanic Garden

Integrating science, environmental education, public outreach, conservation, and capacity-building through hands-on bird ecology research at the Bonderman Field Station at Rio Mesa
Cagan H. Sekercioglu & Evan R. Buechle, Department of Biology, University of Utah. (summary PDF)

Ecological study to trace origins of dust using biological markers
Jim Ehleringer. Department of Biology, University of Utah. (summary PDF)


Community and ecosystem ecology of two species of harvester ants
Donald Feener. Department of Biology, University of Utah. (summary PDF)


Tending the Utah Bottoms: exploring human-ecosystem interactions
Josh Trammell, Department of Anthropology. University of Utah. (summary PDF)


Riparian ecosystems and the saltcedar beetle
Kevin Hultine, Phil Dennison, Jim Ehleringer, Susanna Pearlstein. Northern Arizona University, University of Utah, USGS Tucson, Arizona.

Impacts of saltcedar beetle on tamarisk transpiration

Remote-sensing of saltcedar beetle activity along the Colorado and Dolores Rivers (PDF)

Ecohydrological consequences of non-native riparian vegetation in the southwestern United States: A review from an ecophysiological perspective (PDF)


Water use by non-native tamarisk and native greasewood (Sarcobates)
Susanna Pearlstein, University of Arizona. (summary PDF)

Riparian ecosystems and the saltcedar beetle
Long-term environmental monitoring of:

Water flow of the Dolores River
Water quality of the Dolores River


Assembling biological collections for teaching and research

Plant collections
Insect Collections

Last Updated: 2/16/17