Bronwen Stanford

Lead River Scientist
[email protected]

As the Lead River Scientist in the California Water Program, Bronwen provides science leadership and technical expertise for a variety of projects that seek to improve river flows and water management for freshwater biodiversity throughout California. Projects include the development of statewide tools and datasets, as well as site-specific efforts to test these tools and identify opportunities to improve river conditions.

Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Bronwen was an Applied Ecologist at the San Francisco Estuary Institute and a Senior Environmental Scientist in the Instream Flow Program of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Bronwen holds a B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she studied land use impacts on stream restoration and recovery.

What Bronwen is working on now:

Currently I am working to evaluate and identify appropriate uses for a new model estimating actual daily flows for all rivers in the state, a tool that we’re hoping can help us evaluate flow alteration and identify management targets in rivers that otherwise lack reliable data.

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2022 | Freshwater | Technology | Science | Publications & Reports

Modeling Functional Flows in California’s Rivers

Theodore E. Grantham, Daren M. Carlisle, Jeanette Howard, Belize Lane, Robert Lusardi, Alyssa Obester, Samuel Sandoval-Solis, Bronwen Stanford, Eric D. Stein, Kristine T. Taniguchi-Quan, Sarah M. Yarnell, Julie K. H. Zimmerman

Protecting water in rivers is made more challenging by the lack of quantitative estimates of the amount of water required to protect river ecosystems. The authors developed a model and made quantitative predictions of the amount of flow needed for five key functional flow components,…

2021 | Freshwater | Science | Publications & Reports

The California Environmental Flows Framework: Meeting the Challenges of Developing a Large-Scale Environmental Flows Program

Eric D. Stein, Julie Zimmerman, Sarah M. Yarnell, Bronwen Stanford, Belize Lane, Kristine T. Taniguchi-Quan, Alyssa Obester, Theodore E. Grantham, Robert A. Lusardi, Samuel Sandoval-Solis

The first step to protecting rivers is figuring out how much water they need to protect species and ecological functions - known as ecological flow criteria. Scientists have struggled to develop flow criteria to protect species and ecosystems across large regions, which means the vast…