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 ...


Last updated on : 04/05/2019