2016 California WaterFix Aquatic Science Peer Review Panel Biographies


2016 California WaterFix  Aquatic Science Peer Review


2016 California WaterFix Aquatic Science Peer Review Panel Biographies


Charles “Si” Simenstad (Chair)

Charles (“Si”) Simenstad is a Research Professor in the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Science, where he coordinates the Wetland Ecosystem Team.  Prof. Simenstad is an estuarine and coastal marine ecologist who has studied the organization and function of estuarine and coastal marine ecosystems throughout Puget Sound, Washington, Oregon and California coasts, and Alaska for over forty years. Much of this research has focused on the functional role of estuarine and coastal habitats to support juvenile Pacific salmon and other fish and wildlife, the associated ecological processes and community dynamics that are responsible for enhancing their production and life history diversity, and whether restoration of estuarine ecosystems can contribute to the recovery of depressed salmon populations.  Si’s most recent research focus is on developing and testing an estuarine ecosystem classification system for the Columbia River estuary, and employing it to delineate juvenile Pacific salmon habitat through the estuary gradient.


Prof. Simenstad is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Co-Editor-in-Chief for Estuaries and Coasts, and Associate Editor for San Francisco Estuary & Watershed Science, Revue Paralia and the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. He also serves on the Chief of the US Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Advisory Board and Washington Department of Natural Resources, Commissioner of Public Lands’ Expert Council on Climate & Environmental Change. He has authored or co-authored 85 peer-reviewed scientific papers, 22 book and proceedings chapters, 34 miscellaneous publications and >125 workshop proceedings and technical reports. He has served as academic advisor for 32 M.S./Ph.D. graduate students, and served on an additional ~47 graduate student committees.

Si holds a B.S. (1969) and M.S. (1971) from the School of Fisheries at the University of Washington.


John Van Sickle, Ph.D. (Lead Author)

Dr. Van Sickle is a consulting environmental statistician, recently retired from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development. Since 1998, his research has focused on the monitoring and assessment of freshwater ecosystems, with an emphasis on indicators of health for multispecies biological assemblages, and on estimating the risks of aquatic stressors to biota. Prior to 1998 Dr. Van Sickle taught and did research in systems modeling, mathematics, statistics and ecology at Oregon State University and the University of Zimbabwe. Dr. Van Sickle earned his B.S. and M.S. in mathematics, and his Ph.D. in systems science, from Michigan State University, and also received an M.S. in statistics from Oregon State University.


Hannah Gossnell, Ph.D.

Dr. Hannah Gosnell is an Associate Professor of Geography in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University. Her research focuses on agricultural landscape change, water resource management, climate change and environmental governance in the context of rural working landscapes; and how laws and institutions might evolve to better reflect changing geographies and facilitate social-ecological transformation when necessary. Her PhD research focused on implementation of Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and the development of a Reasonable and Prudent Alternative for the Animas-La Plata Project in the Colorado River Basin. Previous research also includes an examination of social and institutional processes leading to the development of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement in 2010. A member of the Resilience Task Force of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management, Dr. Gosnell has authored or co-authored over 40 peer-reviewed scientific articles and was Associate Editor for Rangeland Ecology & Management. She has served as a social scientist on several scientific review panels for the National Science Foundation’s Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program and is the Lead Social Scientist at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest LTER Program. She is currently a member of the Adaptive Water Governance Project funded by NSF’s Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center and a Fellow at Colorado State University’s Center for Collaborative Conservation. She was the 2015 recipient of the Quivira Coalition’s Radical Center Research Award for “remarkable and enduring leadership in the difficult job of working in the radical center - the place where people are coming together to explore their common interests rather than argue their differences.” Dr. Gosnell earned MA and PhD degrees in Geography from the University of Colorado, and a BA in American Civilization from Brown University.


Nancy Monsen, Ph.D.

Dr. Monsen’s research has focused on multi-dimensional hydrodynamic modeling of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Bay for the last twenty years. Her Ph.D. research was based on the TRIM3D hydrodynamic model and recently she has been working on Stanford’s SUNTANS hydrodynamic model. She also has consulting experience with the DELFT3d hydrodynamic model. Nancy Monsen joined Stanford University in August 2011, having worked previously with Philip Williams & Associates, Ltd. (now ESA PWA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Funding for her Stanford research ended in August 2014 but she continued part-time as a visiting scholar at Stanford until August 2015, writing papers and assisting current PhD candidates and Post-Doctoral researchers in the Environmental Fluid Mechanics Laboratory. She has recently been on several science review panels including the Independent Review of the Draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan Effects Analysis (2014), the State of the Science Workshop on Fish Predation on Central Valley Salmonids in the Bay-Delta Watershed (2013), and the Independent Review Expert Science Panel of the Collaborative Adaptive Management Team (CAMT) Proposed Investigations on Understanding Population Effects and Factors that Affect Entrainment of Delta Smelt at the State Water Project and Central Valley Project (2014). Dr. Monsen earned her doctorate in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University.


Ernst Peebles, Ph.D.

Dr. Ernst Peebles is a professor of Marine Science at the University of South Florida. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Tulane University in his native New Orleans, and his Master’s and doctoral degrees from USF in Tampa. After receiving his doctoral degree, Dr. Peebles worked as summer faculty at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and also served as adjunct graduate faculty at Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers, Florida. His 82 publications reflect more than thirty years of experience working with dynamic coastal fish and shellfish habitat, with an emphasis on freshwater inflow effects, life history, and biomass pathways. Dr. Peebles and his students are currently developing a new method for reconstructing the geographic and food-web histories of individual fish using stable-isotope records that are stored within fish eye lenses.


Gregory Ruggerone, Ph.D.

Dr. Greg Ruggerone has investigated population dynamics, ecology, and management of Pacific salmon in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest since 1979.  Most of his research involves factors that affect growth, age at maturation, and survival of salmon in freshwater and marine habitats.  For the past 10 years, he has evaluated management of salmon fisheries in Russia, Alaska, British Columbia and California for sustainability using Marine Stewardship Council criteria.  He recently served as the fish ecologist on the Secretary of Interior review of dam removal on the Klamath River.  He is currently the Chair of the Columbia River Independent Scientific Advisory Board and member of the Independent Scientific Advisory Board.