Dan Myers defends his thesis investigating erosion and ecological impacts on a coldwater stream
On July 17, 2018, graduate student Dan Myers successfully defended his Master's thesis, titled "Investigating Erosion and Ecological Impacts to an Urban Coldwater Stream Using Multiple Techniques". His committee included Drs. Rick Rediske, Jim McNair, and Eric Snyder of GVSU, as well as Wendy Ogilvie of the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council.
Dan studied Indian Mill Creek, a beautiful coldwater trout stream in Kent County, MI that is unfortunately impaired by degraded fish populations and aquatic life, which was caused by altered hydrology and sedimentation from agricultural and urban developments. First, he inventoried fish and aquatic bugs in the watershed and found them to be degraded by habitat loss from sedimentation. Second, he modeled where runoff and sediment problems originate and found streambank erosion to be a major source of sediment to the creek. Third, he compared techniques to measure streambank erosion, including a terrestrial laser scanner, and found that choice of technique is important because measurements are affected by bank conditions. These findings show the importance of low impact development and agricultural best management practices to control runoff in the watershed and will aid the restoration efforts of the Friends of Indian Mill Creek.
Dan will be going to the Geography PhD program at Indiana University Bloomington this fall in the Ficklin Lab. His research will model the effects of climate change on stream temperature, flow, and suitability for fish in North America as part of a National Science Foundation funded project called HydroClim.
Check out the Indian Mill Creek study’s blog for more info! https://indianmillstudy.wordpress.com.