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Richard T. Edwards

Emeritus Scientist
Land and Watershed Management
11175 Auke Lake Way
Juneau, AK 99801-8791
United States
Current Research
My current work is focused on developing new effectiveness monitoring metrics to assess the impact of riparian and stream restoration programs; studying soil-water interactions and their role in regulating the export of carbon and nutrients from coastal temperate rainforest watersheds; developing watershed classification methods to predict the effects of climate change; studying carbon fluxes from coastal temperate rainforest watersheds; and studying the ecology of hyporheic zones and retention and transformation of salmon-derived nutrients in streams.
Past Research
My past work has focused on microbial ecology, microbial carbon cycling, dissolved organic matter processing and chemistry, stream nutrient cycling, stream trophic ecology, invertebrate feeding ecology, ecology of blackwater rivers, and development of methods to measure aquatic bacteria and biomass.
Research Interest
Stream ecology, nutrient cycling, carbon cycling, riparian-stream interactions, hydrology and ecology of surface-groundwater interaction zones, global warming and its effects on streams and stream habitat, terrestrial-near shore coastal zone interactions, fate of carbon in streams and estuaries, and the functional role of wetlands in watersheds.
Why This Research Is Important
Understanding the management of aquatic ecosystems and watersheds requires an understanding of the fundamental energy and nutrient cycles and their controls. Human activities and natural disturbances all affect the underlying physical and biological processes within ecosystems in interacting ways. To anticipate and mitigate the long-term impacts of changes on ecosystem structure and function requires a better understanding of how the ecosystem works, what supports biological production, and how a habitat's physical characteristics respond to disturbance.
  • University of Georgia, Ph.D., Aquatic ecology, 1985
  • University of South Carolina, B.S., Biology, 1974
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Research Highlights

Destabilization of glacial rock faces causes tsunami in alpine lake

Year: 2018
This hazard will likely become more common as glaciers recede. Documentation of this still rare event provides insight to the dynamics of alpine tsunamis and will lead to better risk assessments across southeast Alaska.

New methods quantify fluxes of carbon from terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in southeast Alaska

Year: 2010
Scientists in southeast Alaska have established methods for quantifying fluxes of carbon from terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems across a gradient of forest structures. It provides a powerful approach to understanding short- and long-term aspects of carbon sequestration on the forest, which can then...