Jennifer Carah

Senior Scientist
Freshwater
[email protected]

In The Nature Conservancy’s California Chapter, Jennifer is currently engaged in work to protect and restore stream flows and winter refuge habitat for salmon. Jennifer has managed numerous habitat restoration and monitoring projects on the North Coast of California Her experience includes conservation planning; restoration project management, implementation, and effectiveness monitoring; riverine habitat, stream flow, and aquatic species monitoring; and convening diverse groups of landowners, scientists and restoration practitioners to demonstrate solutions to freshwater and forest restoration and management challenges.

Prior to joining the Conservancy, she worked on the restoration of the tidal marsh at Crissy Field in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and as an organic farmer. She holds a B.A. in Diplomacy and World Affairs from Occidental College, and an M.S. in Ecology and Systematic Biology from San Francisco State University.

What Jennifer is working on now:

I'm currently providing science to identify and demonstrate long-term solutions to enhance environmental flows and provide water for nature in California. I'm also developing science to better understand and communicate the environmental impacts of cannabis cultivation in California.


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2018 | Freshwater | Terrestrial | Science | Publications & Reports

The emergence of cannabis agricultural frontiers as environmental threats

Van Butsic, Jennifer K. Carah, Matthias Baumann, Connor Stephens, Jacob C. Brenner

While cannabis cultivation in California is known to sometimes have serious collateral impacts on the environment, those impacts and their extent are not well understood or described. In this paper, the authors quantify growth in the footprint of cannabis cultivation between 2012 and 2016 in…



2017 | Freshwater | Science | Publications & Reports

Managing diversions in unregulated streams using a modified percent-of-flow approach

Darren W. Mierau, William J. Trush, Gabriel J. Rossi, Jennifer K. Carah, Matthew O. Clifford, Jeanette K. Howard

The California water rights system often dis-incentivizes water management that benefits both nature and people by directing the timing of diversions to the summer when water is the most scarce. It makes more sense to divert water in the winter when it is plentiful, and…


2017 | Freshwater | Science | Publications & Reports

Managing diversions in unregulated streams using a modified percent-of-flow approach

Darren W. Mierau, William J. Trush, Gabriel J. Rossi, Jennifer K. Carah, Matthew O. Clifford, Jeanette K. Howard

The California water rights system often dis-incentivizes water management that benefits both nature and people by directing the timing of diversions to the summer when water is the most scarce. It makes more sense to divert water in the winter when it is plentiful, and…


2017 | Freshwater | Planning | Publications & Reports

Water for nature: What we can do today to help California’s rivers, streams and wetlands

Burns, C.E., A. Hoss, N. Smith, K. Klausmeyer, K. Fesenmeyer, A. Campbell, J. Carah, E. Forsburg, S. Heard, J.K. Howard, L. Hulette, S. Liu, P. Spraycar, B. Stranko, G. Werner, D. Wordham

This report identifies a set of strategies that will have the greatest impact on environmental flows, and to provide a resource for conservation organizations, resource agencies, and other stakeholders in California that may help create the conditions that allow freshwater species to thrive well into…



2015 | Terrestrial | Publications & Reports

High Time for Conservation: Adding the Environment to the Debate on Marijuana Liberalization

Jennifer K. Carah, Jeanette K. Howard, Sally E. Thompson, Anne G. Short Gianotti, Scott D. Bauer, Stephanie M. Carlson, David N. Dralle, Mourad W. Gabriel, Lisa L. Hulette, Brian J. Johnson, Curtis A. Knight, Sarah J. Kupferberg, Stefanie L. Martin, Rosamond L. Naylor, Mary E. Power

Marijuana cultivation can have significant negative collateral effects on the environment that are often unknown or overlooked. This study focuses on California, where by some estimates, 60–70% of the marijuana consumed in the United States is grown. The study adds the environment to the debate…


2014 | Freshwater | Science | Publications & Reports

Low-Cost Restoration Techniques for Rapidly Increasing Wood Cover in Coastal Coho Salmon Streams

Jennifer K. Carah, Christopher C. Blencowe, David W. Wright

Coho salmon in California are critically imperiled so there is strong impetus to achieve as much habitat restoration as possible in priority watersheds quickly and with limited resources. This paper discusses a proven low-cost restoration technique for salmon streams. Adding fallen trees and pieces…


2012 | Freshwater | Marine | Science | Microsite

California Salmon Snapshots

Sally Liu, Megan Webb, Jeanette Howard, Jennifer Carah

The Nature Conservancy’s California Salmon Snapshots is a collaborative information-sharing effort, critical to the on-going recovery of the state's salmon species. This is the most comprehensive salmon information in California, combining the knowledge of the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, the National Marine Fisheries Service,…



2012 | Freshwater | Terrestrial | Marine | Science | Publications & Reports

Restoring Salmon Habitat: Garcia River Forest

Jennifer Carah, Jason Pelletier

A two-page summary of salmon restoration efforts at the Garcia River Forest on the North Cost of California focusing on the reintroduction of wood in streams as a strategy.


2012 | Freshwater | Terrestrial | Marine | Science | Video

Saving Salmon One Log at a Time

The Nature Conservancy, Jennifer Carah

Salmon and trout thrive in streams with cool water, low levels of sand and silt, and deep, shaded pools. Intensive forest management in California over the last 150 years led to the removal of these streamside trees, eliminating the cover that salmon depend upon. Restoration…


2011 | Terrestrial | Technology | Publications & Reports

The use of airborne laser scanning to develop a pixel-based stratification for a verified carbon offset project

Jordan Golinkoff, Mark Hanus, Jennifer Carah

The voluntary carbon market is a new and growing market that is increasingly important to consider in managing forestland. Monitoring, reporting, and verifying carbon stocks and fluxes at a project level is the single largest direct cost of a forest carbon offset project. There are…