Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Systems Ecology

Department or School/College

College of Forestry and Conservation

Committee Chair

Ulrich Kamp

Commitee Members

Len Broberg, Vicki Watson


riparian, habitat, assessment, ecosystem, disturbance


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Monitoring | Natural Resources Management and Policy


Riparian ecosystems are the transition zones between river systems and uplands. They provide many valuable ecological functions including creating habitat for wildlife, stabilizing banks from erosion and providing a buffer that prevents excess nutrients from entering streams. Fires and other disturbances alter the function of these ecosystems. Currently, there is a lack of broadly used standardized assessments and monitoring methods in riparian areas within our current water policy framework. This study aims to examine this gap in riparian ecosystem protection by reviewing the assessment methods currently in use, selecting one method for field testing, and analyzing the effort involved in using that method as a potential tool for the citizen science model to compare three riparian systems with different recovery times since last fire.



© Copyright 2017 Rachel Powers