Historical Ecology

Historical Ecology synthesizes diverse historical records to learn how habitats were distributed and ecological functions were maintained within the native California landscape. Understanding how streams, wetlands, and woodlands were organized along physical gradients helps scientists and managers develop new strategies for more integrated and functional landscape management. more >

Program Manager: Robin Grossinger

Meetings and Events

There are no scheduled events.

Featured Projects

Rebuilding Habitat and Shoreline Resilience through a New Generation of Flood Control Channel Design and Management

Management Tools for Landscape-Scale Restoration of Ecological Functions

This historical reconstruction documents habitat types throughout the Delta to better understand the native landscape. Knowing how different parts of the vast historical Delta looked and functioned provides information for future restoration.

This study will assess watershed conditions prior to significant Euro-American modification, as a basis for understanding subsequent changes in watershed structure and function, and potential options for future environmental management.

The tidal-terrestrial transition zone has been recognized as an important component of the San Francisco Bay, and has been identified as a high priority for restoration in the South Bay and for the Bay as a whole. This project reconstructs the approximate extent of the South Bay T-zone and characterizes it in terms of the adjoining terrestrial and intertidal habitat types and features that were historically prevalent in the region.

The study area encompasses the estuarine and alluvial portions of the Tijuana River watershed from the river mouth in southern San Diego County to the U.S.-Mexico international border. Limited research will also be conducted on an approximately 10 mile stretch of the river extending through Tijuana, Mexico.

Six coastal wetland systems in north San Diego County: Buena Vista, Agua Hedionda, Batiquitos, San Elijo, San Dieguito, and Los Peñasquitos lagoons

Bringing Native Trees Back into the Bay Area’s Suburban Landscapes.

a richly illustrated tour of the iconic Napa Valley landscape from 200 years ago to the present and future. Now available from University of California Press

Related Projects

News and Notables


SFEI scientists are participating in two sessions at the 2014 Salmonid Restoration Federation conference


The award honors those who have significantly increased the public's understanding of, and concern for, the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary.


Join Robin Grossinger as he describes Flood Control 2.0 and how bay area environmental organizations are rethinking the way that flooding is controlled around San Francisco Bay.


Above and Below: Stories from Our Changing Bay draws extensively on SFEI expertise in water quality, mapping, indigenous knowledge, and Bay history. SFEI partnered in the development of the show over the past two years, with Senior Scientist Robin Grossinger serving as guest co-curator.


"Restoring the San Joaquin River and Recalling Its History"