Education
PhD Candidate, School of Environmental and Forestry Sciences, University of Washington (July 2018)
M.S., Biodiversity, Conservation, & Policy, State University of New York at Albany (2004)
B.S., Biological Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2001)
B.S., Environmental Sciences & Conservation, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2001)

Courses Taught
As Instructor of Record
Wildland Hydrology (ESRM 426) & Advanced Wildland Hydrology (SEFS 525)                (2016 -)
Environmental and Resource Management – Stream module (ESRM 304)                      (2015 -)
Introduction to GIS (ESRM 250) & Graduate Introduction to GIS (SEFS 520)                   (2015 -)
Introduction to GIS Online (ESRM 250b)                                                                           (2015 -)
As Teaching Assistant
Introduction to GIS (ESRM 250) & Graduate Intro to GIS  (SEFS 520)                             (2014-15)
Introduction to Biology                                                                                                        (2002-04)

Professional Experience
Research Fellow, Northwest Climate Science Center (2017 – present)
Executive Director, Beavers Northwest  (2013 – present)
Pre-Doctoral Instructor, SEFS, University of Washington  (2015 – 2017)
Teaching Assistant, SEFS, University of Washington  (2014 – 2015)
Ecologist, Surface Water Management (SWM), Snohomish County, Everett, WA  (2007 – 2013)
     Managed Nonlethal Beaver Management Program
     Managed Critical Areas Monitoring and Adaptive Management Program, including:
     Land Cover Classification and Change Detection Project
     Intensive Catchment Study: Functions and Values Assessment of Critical Areas
     Snohomish County Shoreline Inventory and Monitoring Program
     Managed SWM Regulatory Program
     Co-managed SWM Summer Internship Program
Ecologist, US Dept. of Defense, Camp Pendleton (Anteon), CA  (2004 – 2006)
            Managed Riparian mapping and ecological community change detection program
            Designed and conducted rare plant and endangered species and habitat monitoring programs
            Authored land management chapters of CPEN’s Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan
            Participated in designing CPEN’s Long Term Ecological Trend Monitoring program
Research Assistant, University at Albany, NY  (2002 – 2004)
      Thesis: Structural dynamics in forested wetland community canopy and sub-canopies
Teaching Assistant, University at Albany, NY  (2002 – 2004)
            General Biology (BIO 102)
Urban Ecology Center, Milwaukee, WI (1999 – 2001)
            Volunteer coordinator
Independent Undergraduate Researcher, Savanah River Ecology Lab (SREL), Aiken, SC (2000)

Grants & Fellowships
Northwest Climate Science Center Research Fellowship (2017)
Conservation, Research, and Educational Opportunities International (CREOi) (2016)          
Society of Wetland Scientists, 2015 SWS Meeting Travel Grant (2015)                                             
Conservation, Research, and Educational Opportunities International (CREOi) (2015)         
USGS Student Interns in Support of Native American Relations (SISNAR) Program (2015)    
US Fish & Wildlife Service Coastal Protection Grant (2015)                                                 
US Fish and Wildlife Tribal Wildlife Grant (2015)                                                                
USGS Student Interns in Support of Native American Relations (SISNAR) Program (2014)    
Northwest Science Association (2014)                                                                                  
Ecotrust, Whole Watershed Restoration Initiative (2014)                                                       
Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission & US EPA (2014)                                                 
Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission & US EPA (2013)                                                                
                                                                                                                  Total of awards:   $561,900

Awards
2017 Climate Science Fellowship, Northwest Climate Science Center.
2017 College of the Environment Award for Exceptional Mentoring Undergrads (nominee)
2016 UW SEFS Director’s Award for Outstanding Teaching Service
2016 Public Service Recognition (PSRW) Extra Mile Team Award nomination, WASDOT

Leadership & Service
The Beaver Institute, Advisory board member (2017- )
Washington Beaver Working Group, WDFW committee member (2017- )
Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program, Stream module instructor (2017)
Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program, Scholars selection committee (2017)
Brookside Elementary School, 4th & 5th grade classes, Lake Forest Park (2017)
Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program, Stream module instructor (2016)
Snohomish Beaver Working Group, Chair (2015- )
Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program stream module instructor (2015)
Monroe Correctional Facility, Science lecturer, Monroe WA (2015)
West Woodland Elementary School, 4th grade class, Seattle (2015)

 
Mentorship, Research Advisees
1.Capstone advisor, Lena Wilson, Identifying fish passage constraints at actively-managed restoration sites (current)
2.Capstone advisor, Bridger Machus, Do beavers change the trajectory of plantings are restoration sites? (current)
3.Capstone advisor, Matthew Trabun, Effect of urbanization on fecal coliform bacteria and stream water quality (2017)
4.Senior thesis advisor, Dana Needelman, Spatial distribution of macaques in Singapore (2016-17)
5.Undergrad research advisor, Alishia Orloff: Use of thermal infrared imagery in identification of stream temperature anomalies and thermal variability in riverine systems (2016-17)
6.Teaching advisor, Rachel Yonemura: undergrad reader-grader mentee for Wildland Hydrology course (2017)
7.Intern advisor, Olivia McGrath: Discharge variation in streams effected by reduced snow pack (2016)
8.Undergrad research advisor, Brad Price: Oregon Spotted Frog distribution and recovery (2015 – 2016)
9.Senior thesis advisor, Leah Uhl: Ground fish oocyte development and analysis using microscopy (2016)
10.Capstone advisor, Aaron Tam: Modeling the effects of changing climate patterns on headwater stream systems and beaver habitats (2016)
11.Intern advisor, Hagopian: How does beaver-generated coarse woody debris effect habitat quality (2015-16)
12.Volunteer mentor, Samantha Everett (2015 – current)
13.Intern advisor, Zoe Hayes: Effect of beaver reintroduction on surface water storage in alpine systems (2015)
14.Intern advisor, Desirae Belcher: Beaver trapping and husbandry (2015-16)
15.Senior thesis advisor, Chris DiTomaso: Using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to map wetland change (2015)
16.Senior thesis advisor, Bailey: Reintegrating beavers in urban landscapes through design – evolution of landscape architecture to incorporate ecosystem function (2014-17)
17.Intern advisor, Susan Priest: How do beavers influence wetland vegetation growth pattern and assemblage (2014)
18.Volunteer mentor, Katie Wolstien: Landowner interactions and public sentiment towards wetland restoration sites (2014)
19.Undergrad project advisor, Justin Hill: Mapping ecological metrics in the Skykomish Watershed (2014)
20.Capstone advisor, Tran: Foraging preferences of beaver in the Pacific Northwest (2014-15)
21.Intern advisor, Kate Terpstra: Using forward looking infrared imagery to evaluate instream habitat quality (2012)
22.Intern advisor, Brooke Clement: Mapping land use change to correlate effects on ecological systems (2011)
23.Intern advisor, Katherine Davis: Identifying effects of land use on ecological function in riparian areas using analysis of benthic macroinvertebrate communities (2010)
24.Intern advisor, Paul Fischer: Identifying effects of land use on ecological function in riparian areas  (2010)


Selected Peer Reviewed and TECHNICAL PUBLICATIONS

Bailey, D.R., B.J. Dittbrenner*, K.P. Yocum. 2017. Reintegrating the North American Beaver in the Urban Landscape. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water (In review)
       *Senior author, mentoring undergraduate as first author.

Dittbrenner B.J., Pollock M.M., Schilling J.W., Olden J.D., Lawler J.J., Torgersen C.E. 2018. Modeling intrinsic potential for beaver (Castor canadensis) habitat to inform restoration and climate change adaptation. PLoS ONE 13(2): e0192538.

Erik Jeremy Nelson, Caitlin Littlefield, Benjamin Dittbrenner, John Withey, Katie Arkema, Joshua Lawler. 2015. Ecosystem-based adaptation, Chapter 23 in Climate Change and Biodiversity, 2nd edition

Leonetti, F.E., Terpstra, K.J., and Dittbrenner, B.J., 2015 Temperature anomalies in the Stillaguamish River mapped from 2001 thermal infrared aerial imagery, In Stillaguamish Temperature TMDL Adaptive Assessment and Implementation Project. (grant agreement G1000349), Snohomish County Public Works, Surface Water Management, Everett, WA

Dittbrenner, B.J. A. Haas, G.C. Ahn, and M.D. Rustay. Snohomish County Critical Area and Shoreline Monitoring 2010 Status Report. 2011. Snohomish County Public Works, Surface Water Management Division, WA.

Ahn G.C., B.J. Dittbrenner, A. Haas, and M.D. Rustay. Snohomish County land cover classification and change detection, 2010. 2011. Snohomish County Public Works, Surface Water Management Division, Everett, WA.

Dittbrenner, B.J. A. Haas. G.C. Ahn, and M.D. Rustay. Snohomish County Intensive Catchment Study status report, 2010. 2011. Snohomish County Public Works, Surface Water Management Division, Everett, WA.

Dittbrenner, B.J. A. Haas. G.C. Ahn, and M.D. Rustay. Snohomish County Shoreline Inventory status report, 2010. 2011. Snohomish County Public Works, Surface Water Management Division, Everett, WA.

Dittbrenner, B.J., and D. Bieber, editors. Riparian vegetation mapping and change analysis, MCB Camp Pendleton. 2006. U.S. Department of Defense, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Pendleton, CA, USA.

Dittbrenner, B.J., and D. Bieber, editors. Long Term Ecological Trend Monitoring (LTETM) Program. 2006. U.S. Department of Defense, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Environmental Security, Pendleton, CA, USA.

Dittbrenner, B.J., and D. Bieber. Critically endangered Brodiaea filifolia Survey Report for the Proposed Non-Live Fire Maneuver Area, Papa 3 Training Area, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. 2006. U.S. Department of Defense, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Environmental Security, Pendleton, CA, USA.

Dittbrenner, B.J., 2006. Community composition variation in forested wetlands: ground-based and hyperspectral remote sensing techniques, University at Albany, Albany NY

 

Selected Invited and meeting Talks

  • Science & Policy of Beavers and Fish, Guest lecture for SMEA 501: Integrated Marine Affairs Practice, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, Jan. 2018
  • Modeling watershed-scale hydrologic benefits of beaver impoundments, NW Climate Science Center Science Advisory Committee, Seattle, WA, Nov. 2017
  • Non-lethal beaver management  for restoration: Big Spring Creek case study, King County 2017 Science Seminar, Seattle, WA, Nov. 2017
  • Meet Seattle's urban beavers, University of Washington Botanical Gardens, Seattle, WA, Sept. 2017
  • Think like a beaver: Beaver Management Workshop, with King County Conservation District, Fall City, August 2017
  • Beatrix’s relocation. A relocation success story, Brookside School, Lake Forest Park, WA, April 2017
  • Restoration on the Cheap: Eager Beavers, Address to Washington Conservation Corps, Seattle, WA, March 2017
  • Beaver management in the urban interface. Seattle City Parks. Seattle, WA. March 2017
  • Prioritizing beaver based restoration: Strategies and principles. 2017 State of the Beaver Conference, Canyonville, OR, February 2017.
  • Techniques for nonlethal urban beaver management, King County Parks Department, Seattle, WA, Oct. 2016.
  • Meet Seattle's urban beavers, University of Washington Botanical Gardens, Seattle, WA, Sept. 2016
  • Beaver relocation - a novel climate adaptation tool, West Sound Watershed Council, Port Ludlow, WA, August, 2016
  • Landscape level climate mitigation using novel tools, Skykomish Valley Congressional Tour, Index WA, June 2016
  • Successful beaver management techniques. WSDOT wetland mitigation & restoration meeting, Olympia, WA, May 2016.
  • Using beavers for restoration, Address to Washington Conservation Corps, Seattle, WA, May 2016
  • Urban beavers, University of Washington Arboretum featured speaker, Seattle, WA, March 2016
  • Beatrix’s relocation: A Lake Forest Park beaver’s story         , Lake Forest Park Stewardship Foundation, Lake Forest Park, WA, November 2015
  • Beaver Relocation: a Novel Climate Adaptation Tool, Olympic Natural Resource Center Featured Speaker, Forks, WA, October 2015
  • Successful Beaver Relocation Methodologies for Wetland Restoration and Climate Adaptation, Society of Wetland Scientists 2015 Northwest Chapter Meeting, October 2015
  • Restoring Pacific Northwest ecosystems one beaver at a time, Monroe Correctional Facility, Monroe, WA, July 2015
  • Using Beavers as a Climate Change Adaptation Tool, Salmon Recovery Conference, Vancouver, WA, May 2015
  • Integrating Beavers in your Mitigation Program, WA Department of Transportation Meeting, May 2015
  • Successful Beaver Management Techniques, Jefferson County Conservation District Meeting, October 2014
  • Skykomish Beaver Project, Snohomish River Basin Salmon Recovery technical Committee Meeting, October 2014
  • PNW beavers are a lot like you, a little different, University of Washington, SEFS Water Seminar March 2014
  • Successful Beaver Management Techniques, Regional Fisheries Enhancement Group 2013 Retreat, Cle Elum, WA
  • Wetland mapping in Snohomish County, presentation at the Association of American Geographers,Ahn, G.C., A. Coleman, J. Tagestad, A. Haas, M.D. Rustay, B.J. Dittbrenner, H.C. Jung, and D. Boyer. 2011 Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA, 2011.
  • Disturbance and the invasion of Lythrum salicaria (Purple Loosestrife). Society of Wetland Scientists, 25th annual meeting, Seattle, WA., Hartwell A.H., B.J. Dittbrenner, R.R. Shirer, and G.S. Kleppel. 2004.
  • Remote sensing and ground-based approaches for describing forested wetlands. Northeast Natural History Conference, 8th meeting, Albany, NY., Dittbrenner, B.J., and G.S. Kleppel. May 2004.
  • High resolution, hyperspectral assessment of wetland ecosystems: classification from a remote platform. Ecological Society of America, 88th Annual meeting, Savannah GA, Dittbrenner, B.J., A.L. Hartwell, R.R. Shirer, and G.S. Kleppel. July 2003.
  • High resolution remote sensing: testing a monitoring and assessment tool for wetlands. Society of Wetland Scientists, 24th annual meeting, New Orleans, LA, Hartwell, A.L., B.J. Dittbrenner, R.R. Shirer, and G.S. Kleppel. June 2003.
  • High Resolution, hyperspectral assessment of wetland ecosystems: classification from a remote platform. University at Albany, GIS Symposium 2003, Dittbrenner, B.J., A.L. Hartwell, R.R. Shirer, and G.S. Kleppel. Albany NY, November 2003.
  • Evaluating techniques for reducing acid production in reject coal spoil. Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Aiken, SC., Dittbrenner, B.J., T. Punshon, and D. Adriano. September 2000.


 
PUBLIC TESTIMONY & GOVERNMENTAL POLICY
Consultation to following agencies and organizations
            Washington Dept. of Transportation
            Washington Dept. of Natural Resources
            Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
            King County Natural Resources Department (WA)
            King County Parks Department
            City of Arlington (WA)
            City of Auburn (WA)
            City of Bellevue (WA)
            City of Kirkland (WA)
            City of Lake Stevens (WA)
            City of Mill Creek (WA)
            City of Pacific (WA)
            City of Shoreline (WA)
            City of Tumwater (WA)
            Jefferson County Conservation District  (WA)
            King County Conservation District (WA)
            Snohomish County Conservation District (WA)

 
EDITING & REVIEWING
Grant reviewer: USGS, University of Washington
Manuscript reviewer
            Nature: Scientific Reports
            PeerJ

 

Professional Society Memberships
Ecological Society of America
Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research
Society of Wetland Scientists
Northwest Science Association

​Executive Director, Beavers Northwest
Research Fellow, Northwest Climate Science Center

PhD candidate, School of Environmental and Forestry Sciences, University of Washington 

My Research Interests

Current climate models predict that the Pacific Northwest will experience considerable hydrologic alterations over the next century. Summer precipitation and stream flow will likely decrease, as will snowpack; snow melt is projected to occur earlier in the year, and winter precipitation, storm intensity, and stream temperatures will likely increase. These changes may threaten sensitive habitats and species as well as ecosystem resilience. ESA-listed fish and wildlife, such as salmon and steelhead, will undoubtedly suffer additional declines in their already limited habitat if these projections are realized. The types of impoundments that beavers (Castor canadensis) create may be able to offset some of the anticipated hydrologic and temperature changes. Beaver impoundments have been shown to attenuate peak flows, recharge groundwater and hyporheic flows, and regulate stream temperature and base flow. Little research, however, has been done to quantify these benefits. I am assessing how beaver dam networks modify measures of stream water quantity, such as residence time, base flow, and hyporheic lateral flow as well as stream temperature. My research explores how effective beaver reintroductions and beaver impoundments can be at mitigating hydrologic alteration due to climate change. The products of this research will be used to inform restoration policy and planning efforts in headwater riparian systems.

Benjamin Dittbrenner

Sharing Information

Helping landowners 

improving watersheds

Beaver Conservation & education