Interagency Ecological Program (IEP) Lead Scientist Dr. Steve Culberson

Dr. Steve Culberson fancies himself an estuarine ecologist with an emphasis in tidal marsh biogeomorphology. His interests in hydrodynamics, the spatial orientation of habitat features, and systems ecology led him to study the physical underpinnings of the biological interactions and processes that are ecosystems.

As the Interagency Ecological Program’s (IEP) lead scientist, Culberson has the privilege of interacting with and organizing the activities of dozens of agency and university scientists on behalf of IEP’s six federal and three State agencies through project work teams, synthesis teams, the science management team, and the IEP coordinators team. These interdisciplinary and collaborative efforts form the core of how the IEP is working to inform Bay-Delta science and provide data and information in compliance with regulations governing the State and federal water projects, and for understanding the ecosystems that depend on the San Francisco Estuary.

Culberson served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer and volunteer leader in Central Africa after graduating from Oberlin College in Ohio and attending high school in Northern Pennsylvania. Culberson and his family reside in Davis, Calif. where they’ve lived for more than 25 years.

What is the IEP?

The IEP is a consortium of State and federal agencies that have been conducting cooperative ecological investigations since the 1970s. They provide and integrate relevant and timely ecological information for management of the Bay-Delta ecosystem and the water that flows through it. The IEP believes the highest quality science contributes to achieving a reliable and sustainable water supply and a healthy Bay-Delta ecosystem.

The IEP relies upon multidisciplinary teams of agency, academic, nongovernmental organizations, and other scientists to conduct collaborative and scientifically sound monitoring, research, modeling, and synthesis efforts for various aspects of the aquatic ecosystem. The IEP also holds an annual workshop, publishes a quarterly newsletter and science highlights, and conducts technical and programmatic reviews of the program and its elements.

IEP and the Delta Stewardship Council

The IEP lead scientist is housed within the Delta Stewardship Council and regularly works with the Delta Science Program to identify, track, and explain the status and needs of Bay-Delta science. Co-localizing the IEP lead scientist within the Delta Stewardship Council allows for stronger collaboration and communication between data collectors and data users while working towards the vision of One Delta, One Science.

Contact the IEP lead scientist