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 >

Manager: Robin Grossinger

Meetings and Events

Featured Projects

News and Notables


Within the tributaries that drain to San Francisco Bay, there exists a transition between fluvial and tidal processes and conditions. The upstream boundary of this transition, called the head of tide (HoT) zone, can be defined as the inland limit of the effects of average high tides on tributary flows and water surface elevation. This zone is characterized by unique and diverse assemblages of plants and animals, cultural resources, as well as a vulnerability to out-of-channel flooding during high river flow and high tide conditions. As many Bay Area municipalities are built near the HoT zone, there is a growing concern about managing the flooding risk as well as the aquatic resources in the HoT zone...


New study points the way to habitat restoration and steelhead recovery on Alameda Creek, the Bay Area’s largest local watershed.


The Resilient Landscapes (RL) team delivered a number of presentations during the last quarter highlighting recent accomplishments and initiatives.

At the Salmonid Restoration Federation conference in March, Senior Scientist Robin Grossinger presented on the use of spatial tools for determining salmonid habitat condition, while Geomorphologist Scott Dusterhoff co-convened a session on southern and central California steelhead habitat rehabilitation.

In May, Scott Dusterhoff delivered a presentation at the Society for Ecological Restoration (SERCAL) conference on Flood Control 2.0, an initiative to restore San Francisco bayland habitat using innovative approaches to flood control channel design and management...


Bayfront water levels are forecast to rise 1 foot by 2050


California's $1.9 trillion economy is at risk. Leading water experts and policy makers will discuss their plans to secure California's water future at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.


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.


The Resilient Landscapes team is poised to complete several major projects and reports in the near future.

Through the Delta Landscapes project, the RL team is developing a set of tools to facilitate landscape-scale restoration of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem. Funded by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the project uses the historical perspective of the Delta developed in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Historical Ecology Investigation as a basis to evaluate changes in landscape scale patterns and ecological functions. The forthcoming report presents quantifiable metrics, conceptual models, and other planning tools...


Hold the Shoreline: Coastal Experts look for Soft Solutions at the Edges of of San Francisco Bay


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.