Joel Sholtes

Joel Sholtes



Joel came to CSU from the hot and humid south where people mostly worry about what to do with all the water falling out of the sky; of course that is changing these days. He took a circuitous path to arrive at fluvial geomorphology as a profession, starting out remediating old industrial sites along the Hudson River and looking wistfully out at the water, which sometimes flowed south and sometimes north. A brief stint with a conservation organization and some time at a municipal water utility made him realize that his calling was to work on the technical aspects of water resource and ecosystem management. In his search for a graduate program, he discovered the field of fluvial geomorphology and was hooked. Joel studied with Martin Doyle at UNC-Chapel Hill (now at Duke) in a truly interdisciplinary group of ecologists, geographers, and hydrologists. There he worked on a number of projects related to assessing the efficacy of North Carolina's state-run stream and wetland mitigation program, from a technical and governance standpoint. His masters work involved a hydraulic analysis of stream restoration's potential to attenuate flood waves. After two years at an environmental engineering firm navigating the turbid waters of suburban Atlanta, he and his wife turned their gazes west to her home state of Colorado. At CSU, Joel hopes to draw on the technical strengths of the engineering program and the rich heritage in geomorphology and ecology here to develop new methods for evaluating how channels might respond to future climate change and water withdrawals within a basin. He is working with Brian Bledsoe and the students and professors of the IWATER program to develop this research topic and is excited about tying his research interests in with the other represented disciplines.



Organizing Concept

The primary mission of I-WATER is to prepare Ph.D. students to work in an interdisciplinary team-based activity. Our research themes involve interacting teams of hydrologists, meteorologists, ecologists, and management experts. I-WATER features problem-focused research to bridge basic and applied science by combining fundamental research on scientific problems with application of scientific knowledge to actual resource issues.

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