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Delta Science Fellows Program for 2016

The goal of the Delta Science Fellows Program is to bring together junior scientists with Delta agency scientists and senior research mentors to work collaboratively on data analysis and research projects to address high priority science actions relevant to Delta policy and management.


Starting in 2003, and including the Class of 2017, the Delta Science Program and partners (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [USFWS], NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory [JPL], National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries Service Southwest Fisheries Science Center [NOAA NMFS SWFSC], State and Federal Contractors Water Agency [SFCWA], and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation [USBR]) have funded 86 Fellows, totaling over $11.5 million dollars.


The goal of funding this high-priority research is to invest in knowledge that will advance the understanding of the complex environments and systems within the Bay-Delta to aid policymakers and managers, and to train the next generation of research scientists for water issues in California.


For more information about the Delta Science Fellows Program, please email Nir Oksenberg at


The 2016 Fellows Program

A total of $1,580,561 was awarded to the following twelve 2016 Delta Science Fellowship awardees:


Postdoctoral Fellows
Fellow Name Project Title Lead Institutions Community Mentor Agencies Funding Agency Funding Amount

Julie Hopper

The effectiveness of a water hyacinth weevil as a biological control agent of the invasive water hyacinth. UC Berkeley & UC Davis USDA/ARS/WRRC, Department of
Water Resources, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy
DSP $197,903
Ivy Huang Sediment dynamics during (and after) the drought in the Delta.

Stanford University

USGS -  California Water Science Center


Joseph Smith The effect of drought on the distribution and movement of a non-native predator (striped bass). University of Washington NOAA Fisheries DSP and NOAA NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center $188,243


Doctoral Students
Fellow Name Project Title Lead Institutions Community Mentor Agencies Funding Agency Funding Amount
Huajin (Jessica) Chen Modeling pesticide fluxes in the Delta and exploring the effects of pesticide loadings on three insects introduced for invasive weed control. UC Davis NASA DSP $103,867
Brittany Davis The impacts of multiple stressors, including climate change and salinity, on the physiological performance and predator-prey dynamics in native and non-native delta fishes. UC Davis CA Department of Water Resources & CA Department of Fish & Wildlife DSP $106,819
Denise Colombano The ecological functions of tidal marsh for estuarine and migratory fishes in the Suisun Marsh. UC Davis CA Department of Water Resources DSP $116,138
Marissa Giroux The effects of early hypersaline acclimation due to climate change on the toxicity of pyrethroid, an insecticide, in salmonids. UC Riverside USGS & Department of Pesticide Regulation SFCWA $129,594
Jennifer Harfmann The effect of particulate organic carbon composition on zooplankton growth in tidal wetlands. UC Davis USGS DSP $104,605
Kyle Hemes Annual greenhouse gas fluxes in drained and restored wetlands in the Delta, to determine the potential net benefit of wetland restoration. UC Berkeley CA Department of Water Resources & HydroFocus DSP $114,909
Megan Kelso The effects of drought and elevated nutrients on invasion by perennial pepperweed and implications for carbon storage in tidal wetlands. UC Davis USGS -  California Water Science Center, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy


Sophie Taddeo Developing a methodological framework to assess the effectiveness of previous restoration efforts to inform future restoration planning. UC Berkeley San Francisco Estuary Institute DSP $131,938
Alison Whipple

Spatio-temporal variation of floodplain habitat for restoration management.

UC Davis & UC Merced The Nature Conservancy DSP $101,911
TOTAL         $1,580,561


For more information on the 2016 class of Delta Science Fellows, please click here.

Coequal goals

The Delta Stewardship Council was created in legislation to achieve the state mandated coequal goals for the Delta. "'Coequal goals' means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place." (CA Water Code §85054)