Robin M. Grossinger's picture

Robin M. Grossinger

Resilient Landscapes Program Director
Senior Scientist
510-746-7380

Robin Grossinger is a Senior Scientist at the San Francisco Estuary Institute, where he directs SFEI’s Resilient Landscapes program. For over twenty years, Robin has analyzed how California landscapes have changed since European contact, using these data to guide landscape-scale restoration strategies. Robin and his team lead efforts throughout the state to reintegrate natural processes within our highly modified landscapes, creating healthier and more adaptive neighborhoods, cities, and surrounding landscapes.

The innovative work of Robin and his colleagues to synthesize history and science has been acclaimed for helping scientists, managers, and the public appreciate both the dramatic transformation and the impressive resilience of the state's ecosystems. Robin’s many publications include the Napa Valley Historical Ecology Atlas, released by the University of California Press in 2012, and his work has been featured by NPR, KQED’s QUEST, Saving the Bay, and The New York Times. Among his popular science communication efforts, Robin served as guest-co-curator for the award-winning multi-disciplinary exhibit on San Francisco Bay Above and Below at the Oakland Museum of California. He has been recognized with a Local Hero award from Bay Nature magazine and the Carla Bard Bay Education Award from The Bay Institute and Aquarium of the Bay.

Related Projects, News, and Events

Delta Landscapes Project (Project)

The Delta Landscapes Project seeks to develop a set of tools for facilitating landscape-scale restoration of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem. The project will use the historical perspective of the Delta as a basis to identify landscape scale patterns and characteristics that provided ecological functions (based on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Historical Ecology Investigation).

Resilient Silicon Valley (Project)

Drawing on resilience science, regional data, and local expertise, we will develop the vision and tools that will allow stakeholders in the region ensure that local actions contribute toward the creation of a high-functioning and resilient Silicon Valley ecosystem.

National science experts gather to discuss Flood Control 2.0 (News)

A panel of nationally and internationally renowned scientists gathered in the Bay Area at the beginning of June 2015 to provide feedback on the EPA-funded Flood Control 2.0 project. SFEI hosted a two-day meeting with the panel that included a focused technical discussion with the project team and a broader discussion about future flood control and ecosystem management challenges at the Bay interface with invited guests from Bay Area flood control districts and natural resources agencies.

SFEI scientists present at national Living Future conference (News)

In April 2015, Robin Grossinger and Erin Beller traveled to Seattle to present at Living Future, a national conference focused on green building, landscaping, and design. Robin and Erin co-presented with Audrey Davenport, Google's Ecology Program lead. Their session, titled "Healthy habitats from the Googleplex to Silicon Valley: Designing for Ecological Resilience Across Scales," centered on emerging findings from SFEI's Resilient Silicon Valley project.

Historical Tidal-Terrestrial Transition Zone in South SF Bay (Project)

First there was the great salt marsh, with all its winding sloughs and creeks, covered with samphire grass [Salicornia] and tufts of Grindelia; next was a line of natural salt pan; next again was a strip of land of varying width, from a few hundred yards to one fourth mile, with a short wiry hard grass [Distichlis]… (Beardsley, in Cooper 1926)

Alameda Creek Historical Ecology Study (Project)

The Alameda Creek Historical Ecology Study assesses 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 geographic focus is the floodplains, valleys, and alluvial plains adjacent to Alameda Creek (to the diversion dam) and its tributaries. This includes the Livermore and Amador valleys, Sunol Valley and Niles Canyon, and the Niles cone and adjoining baylands. A pilot portion of the project also focuses on documenting landscape changes in the uplands of the San Antonio Creek watershed.

North San Diego County Lagoons Historical Ecology Study (Project)

The Northern San Diego County Lagoons Historical Ecology Investigation draws on hundreds of historical documents to analyze and reconstruct historical landscape conditions for six northern San Diego County estuaries prior to the major modifications of the late 19th and 20th centuries.

Three SFEI Scientists Present at Major Climate Change seminar (News)

Although climate change is one of many threats facing the San Francisco Bay-Delta region, it has the potential to dramatically alter ecosystem health and function on a vast scale. Among the challenges facing resource managers is to understand what the specific impacts will be and what the options are for managing the mitigation of those impacts. A range of strategies are under consideration for mitigating the impacts of sea level rise, changes in watershed inputs and changes in temperature, salinity and sediment loading.

Ventura County Historical Ecology Study (Project)

This project investigated the historical ecological patterns and hydrological dynamics of most of lowland Ventura County.

Flood Control 2.0 (Project)

Flood Control 2.0 is an ambitious regional effort aimed at helping restore stream and wetland habitats, water quality, and shoreline resilience around San Francisco Bay. The project leverages local resources from several forward-looking flood control agencies to redesign major flood control channels so that they provide both future flood conveyance and ecological benefit under a changing climate. This timely project will develop a set of innovative approaches for bringing environmental benefits and cost-savings to flood protection efforts at the mouths of creeks that drain to San Francisco Bay.