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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Kate Dwire - Research Riparian Ecologist

Kathleen A. Dwire

Research Ecologist
240 West Prospect Road
Fort Collins
United States

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

Some Recent Publications: See the "Publications and Products" tab for more publications.

Dwire, Kathleen A.; Mellmann-Brown, Sabine. 2017. Climate change and special habitats in the Blue Mountains: Riparian areas, wetlands, and groundwater-dependent ecosystems [Chapter 7]. In: Halofsky, Jessica E.; Peterson, David L., eds. Climate change vulnerability and adaptation in the Blue Mountains. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-939. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. p. 251-323.

Foster, Adrianna C.; Shuman, Jacquelyn K.; Shugart, Herman H.; Dwire, Kathleen A.; Fornwalt, Paula J.; Sibold, Jason; Negron, Jose. 2017. Validation and application of a forest gap model to the southern Rocky Mountains. Ecological Modelling. 351: 109-128.

Sutfin, Nicholas A.; Wohl, Ellen E.; Dwire, Kathleen A. 2016. Banking carbon: A review of organic carbon storage and physical factors influencing retention in floodplains and riparian ecosystems. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 41: 38-60.

Ruffing, Claire M.; Dwire, Kathleen A.; Daniels, Melinda D. 2016. Carbon pools in stream-riparian corridors: legacy of disturbance along mountain streams of south-eastern Wyoming. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 41: 208-223.

Dwire, Kathleen A.; Meyer, Kristen E.; Riegel, Gregg; Burton, Timothy. 2016. Riparian fuel treatments in the western USA: Challenges and considerations. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-352. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 156 p.  |   Stream Notes (The Technical Newsletter of the National Stream and Aquatic Ecology Center) May 2017 Issue.

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, B.A. Environmental Biology 1975
  • University of California, Davis, M.S. Plant Ecology 1983
  • Oregon State University, Ph.D. Fisheries 2001

Featured 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 ...


The Region 4 — RMRS Science Partner Program: Working to improve management strategies and communication through shared stewardship

In 2016, the Rocky Mountain Research Station launched the Region 4—Rocky Mountain Research Station Science Partner Pilot program. The program' ...


Last updated on : 03/27/2021