US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Kathleen A. Dwire

Research Ecologist
240 West Prospect Road
Fort Collins, CO 80526
Phone: 970-498-1016
Fax: 970-498-1212
Contact Kathleen A. Dwire

Current Research

Riparian  Ecology

  • Comparison of forest attributes and fuel loads in riparian vs. upland stands in beetle-infested watersheds
  • Influence of canopy condition on instream water temperature regimes in cutthroat trout streams, CO
  • Fuels management in riparian areas of the interior west

Watershed Processes

  • Effects of wildland fire on stream-riparian processes and biota; post-fire recovery of riparian vegetation
  • Influence of disturbance (fire, insects) on large wood dynamics in Rocky Mountain  streams
  • Characterization of riparian, alpine, and slope wetlands and linkages to streams in Rocky Mountain headwater basins.
  • Mechanisms of carbon storage and evaluation of carbon pools along headwater streams 

Recent Publications: 

Caskey, S.T; Blaschak, T.S.; Wohl, E.; Schnackenberg, E.; Merritt, D.M.; Dwire, K.A. 2014. Downstream effects of stream flow diversion on channel characteristics and riparian vegetation in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, USA. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. doi: 10.1002/esp.3651.

Dwire, K.A.; Hubbard, R.; Bazan, R. 2015. Comparison of riparian and upland forest stand structure and fuel loads in beetle infested watersheds, southern Rocky Mountains. Forest Ecology and Management. 335 (2015) 194-206. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2014.09.039.

Mayer, P.; Dwire, K.A.; Okay, J.A.; Vidon, P.G. 2014. Featured Collection Introduction: Riparian Ecosystems and Buffers II. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 50(3): 529-532. DOI: 10.1111/jawr.12212.

Ruffing, C.M.; Daniels, M.D.; Dwire, K.A. 2015. Disturbance legacies of historic tie-drives persistently alter geomorphology and large wood characteristics in headwater streams, southeast Wyoming. Geomorphology. 231: 1-14. doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2014.10.029

Briefing Papers and other documents:

Adaptation for Wildland Aquatic Resources - Science Briefing

Carbon Storage in Mountain Rivers - Science Briefing

Upper Verde River: Review of Stream-Riparian Monitoring Efforts

Research Interests

  • Riparian forest structure, canopy condition and fuel loads in beetle-infested watersheds; 
  • Impacts of forest disturbance (insects, fire, wind) and climate change on riparian function; 
  • Distribution of riparian plant species and communities in relation to disturbance and hydrologic, climatic and geomorphic variables; 
  • Influence of management and disturbance on large wood dynamics in Rocky Mountain streams; 
  • Effects of prescribed and natural fire on stream-riparian processes and biota;
  • Carbon stocks and organic matter dynamics in wetlands, and stream-riparian ecosystems;
  • Characterization of groundwater-dependent ecosystems (springs;  riparian, alpine, and slope wetlands) in Rocky Mountain headwater basins;
  • Assessment and monitoring of wetland, stream and riparian condition; impacts of management on structure and function of wetlands and riparian areas.


  • University of California, Santa Barbara, BA Environmental Biology, 1975
  • University of California, Davis, MS Plant Ecology, 1983
  • Oregon State University, Ph.D. Fisheries, 2001

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

Research Highlights


Carbon Storage in Mountain Rivers Studied

Findings show that low-gradient, broad valley bottoms with old-growth forest or active beaver colonies store the majority of above- and below-gr ...


Last updated on : 03/04/2015