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Gordon Grant

Gordon Grant
Research Hydrologist
Ecological Process and Function
3200 SW Jefferson Way
Corvallis, OR 97331-8550
United States
Current Research
Increasing and often competing demands for water for agriculture, urban uses, and aquatic habitat requirements highlight the importance of understanding waterflow regimes and their sensitivity to climate and land use change. Research hydrologist Gordon Grant’s work on these interactions is of great interest to land managers and communities across the West and beyond.

Grant began working for the Forest Service at the Pacific Northwest Research Station in 1985, and received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in geomorphology in 1986. His contributions to river science are abundant and diverse, including landmark studies on the interactions among hydraulics, sediment transport, and channel morphology; sediment impacts on salmon; effects of clearcutting on river systems; dynamics and effects of large woody debris in rivers; river restoration; the importance of groundwater resources and how they are driven by rain and snowmelt; and recent work on volcanism and watershed flow structure in the Cascades.
Research Interest

Grant’s work on the hydro-ecological impacts of dams, such as those on the Deschutes, Sandy, and Clackamas Rivers, has provided a comprehensive understanding of the hydrogeomorphic and geologic effects of dam removal, which is becoming a rising concern and opportunity for river management in the United States.

Grant has always dedicated himself to outreach and has been consulted by state legislatures, the Chief of the Forest Service, and members of Congress. He also pursues a broad range of communication activities and public science education and is deeply committed to serving as a mentor to junior faculty and graduate students. He now has over 130 published papers, many of which have become required reading in university classes on fluvial geomorphology.

  • Johns Hopkins University, Ph.D., Geomorphology, 1986
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Research Highlights

FLOwPER: A New Mobile App for Collecting Stream Data Essential for Management

Year: 2020
The western Oregon stream FLOW PERmanence (FLOwPER) projectis using the latest technology to more accurately characterize headwater streams in western Oregon as seasonal or year-round flows. The presence of year-round water determines the size of riparian buffers that are required by the Northwest F...

A New Tool Manages Salmonid Response to Climate Change

Year: 2019
Salmonids, like endangered Coho salmon in Washington and Oregon, have a complex life history that is tied to environmental cues such as river temperature and flow. As human development and climate change lead to altered river conditions, salmonids may find themselves in unsuitable conditions. The ic...

New Maps Detail Areas Sensitive to Reduced Summer Streamflows as a Result of Climate Warming

Year: 2013
New maps assist resource planners in the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board in assessing risk to water resources from a changing climate.

Cascade volcanoes may be at greater risk for debris flows as climate warms

Year: 2011
Scientists with the Pacific Northwest Research Station discovered previously unreported links between receding glaciers, areas of stagnant and debris-mantled ice, and initiation zones for debris flows. These findings are helping the Forest Service and National Park Service reassess the risk to downs...

Deep groundwater mediates streamflow response to climate warming and will provide a major source of summer streamflow for the western U.S. in the future

Year: 2010
Prior efforts to model streamflow trends, and hence the availability of water, under future climate scenarios in the Western United States focused on snowpack dynamics. But snowpack is only one source of water. Station scientists found that groundwater dynamics exert a comparable, or even larger, co...

Dam Removal Produces Largest Release of Sediment in History

Year: 2012
Four years of research on the Sandy River after the removal of the Marmot Dam provides guidance for future dam removals