Erin Beller's picture

Erin Beller

Environmental Scientist
Resilient Landscapes Program
510-746-7301

Erin Beller joined SFEI's Resilient Landscapes team as a historical ecologist in 2006. Her work focuses on documenting how California landscapes and ecosystems have changed over time, and using this information to guide the development of landscape-scale restoration and management strategies across the state. Erin received her B.S. in Geological and Environmental Sciences from Stanford University, where her studies emphasized landscape evolution and environmental history of the Western U.S. Prior to joining SFEI, Erin worked with a statewide environmental nonprofit on water and land use issues, and conducted architectural history research for the History, Architecture, and Landscapes branch of Yosemite National Park.

Related Projects, News, and Events

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The Northern San Diego County Lagoons Historical Ecology Investigation draws on hundreds of historical documents to analyze and reconstruct historical landscape conditions for six northern San Diego County estuaries prior to the major modifications of the late 19th and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

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)

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.

John Muir/Mt. Wanda Historical Ecology Reconnaissance Study (Project)

The Mt. Wanda Historical Ecology Investigation assembled historical landscape data for the Mt. Wanda unit of the John Muir National Historic Site (NHS), located in the Alhambra Valley just south of downtown Martinez, CA. The John Muir NHS preserves the home and property where John Muir lived from 1890-1914, including the 326-acre Mt. Wanda parcel, where Muir frequently took walks with his daughters Helen and Wanda.

Napa Valley Historical Ecology Atlas (Project)

The Napa Valley Historical Ecology Atlas takes readers on a richly illustrated tour of the iconic Napa Valley landscape from 200 years ago to the present and future.

Using the pioneering SFEI Historical Ecology approach, the Atlas challenges many preconceived notions about the nature of California landscapes, and suggests strategies to increase the health and resilience of local watersheds based on an understanding of how natural systems function. The Atlas is designed to support a broad range of local efforts for ecological restoration and watershed stewardship in Napa Valley, while providing a new and accessible model for historical ecology studies in other regions.

KTVU consults SFEI about the role of historical ecology in advancing modern flood protection (News) KTVU's Steve Paulson interviewed Robin Grossinger and Erin Beller of SFEI to learn how their historical ecology work in Napa has shed light on ways that natural processes might help, rather than hinder, flood protection strategies.
SFEI's new Landscape Resilience Framework outlines attributes of ecological resilience (News)

SFEI's Resilient Landscapes Program has developed a Landscape Resilience Framework, with the goal of facilitating the integration of resilience science into environmental management, urban design, conservation planning, and ecological restoration. The framework proposes seven key landscape attributes that contribute to ecological resilience, providing details and examples on each.

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).

Re-Oaking Featured in New York Times (News)

The re-oaking concept developed by SFEI was featured in an article about Oakland and Silicon Valley.  First conceived in a paper in Restoration Ecology by SFEI and UC Santa Barbara scientists, re-oaking is the strategic reintroduction of oaks and other native trees to California's urban, suburban, and agricultural valleys to recover lost functions and values.

Novato Creek Baylands Historical Ecology Study report now available (News)

SFEI recently completed an historical ecology study of lower Novato Creek in Marin County. The study was conducted as part of the larger Flood Control 2.0 project and was aimed at illustrating the change in creek and bayland habitat conditions over the past 120 years following the installation of flood control levees.