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.

EBDA Sea Level Rise Adaptation Planning Project (Project)

Historically, freshwater was an important component of the baylands ecosystem, creating salinity gradients that added physical and ecological diversity to the baylands landscape as well as facilitating rapid vertical marsh growth. Today, the extent, magnitude, and seasonality of freshwater to the baylands has been greatly altered. This project brings together diverse stakeholders to further the conversation on using treated wastewater as a resource for a resilient East Bay shoreline.

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.

Lower Laguna de Santa Rosa and Mark West Creek: Changes in Historical Channel Alignment (Project)

Over the past century and a half, the hydrology of the Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed has been altered by a variety land use changes, including urbanization, agricultural development, draining and filling of wetlands, and channelization of streams. These changes have impacted the function of the Laguna and Mark West Creek and contributed to a range of contemporary management problems, including habitat degradation, impaired water quality, altered sediment dynamics, salmonid stranding, flooding, and trash accumulation.

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.

Western Santa Clara Valley Historical Ecology Study (Project)

This study produced GIS layers and a report describing historical habitats in the Guadalupe, West Valley, and Lower Peninsula Watershed Management Areas of Santa Clara County (the valley floor from Palo Alto to San Jose).

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.

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Historical Ecology Study (Project)

The San Francisco Estuary Institute-Aquatic Science Center, in collaboration with the California Department of Fish and Game, has completed a historical ecology study of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The project improves understanding of what the Delta looked like and how it functioned prior to the significant modification that has occurred over the last 160 years.