dr. Joe wheaton
principal, anbranch solutions
Joe is a principal and co-founder of Anabranch Solutions. Joe is an Associate Professor of Riverscapes at Utah State University and a fluvial geomorphologist. His experience in river restoration as both a design practitioner and researcher spans back to 2000, and prior to that he worked in engineering consulting. Joe's research is focused on better understanding the dynamics of riverscapes, how fluvial processes shape instream and riparian habitats, and how biota modulate and amplify those processes. For example, some of Joe's research focuses on how the dam building activity of beaver alter physical habitat for their own benefit, but also to the benefit of a slew of other fauna and flora.
Much of Joe's work focuses on taking such understandings and translating them into useful applications. For example, Joe has helped pioneer the development of new stream restoration approaches (e.g. low-tech process-based restoration techniques like using beaver as a restoration agent), building large scale monitoring programs that leverage the latest technologies (e.g. Columbia Habitat Monitoring Program and Big Rivers Monitoring Program), and building new analytical software apps (e.g. Geomorphic Change Detection Software) and simulation models (e.g. MORPHED, BRAT) to help scientists and practitioners alike. Joe's work straddles the interface between physical and ecological sciences.
Joe runs the Ecogeomorphology & Topographic Analysis Lab in Utah State University's Department of Watershed Science and his group is a leader in the monitoring and modeling of riverscapes. He worked four years in consulting engineering before completing his B.S. in Hydrology (2002, UC Davis), an M.S. in Hydrologic Sciences (2003, UC Davis), and a Ph.D. in Geography (2008, University of Southampton, UK). He worked as a lecturer in Physical Geography (University of Wales 2006-08), Research Assistant Professor in Geology (Idaho State University, 2008-09) before becoming an Assistant Professor at Utah State University (2009-Present) where he teaches courses on geomorphology, fluvial hydraulics, ecohydraulics, GIS, geomorphic change detection, and river restoration.