Climate Change

The Earth’s climate is changing and will likely continue to change over the course of the next century. Stillwater Sciences applies cutting-edge scientific knowledge toward interpreting potential climate change impacts at multiple scales (e.g., regional, watershed, project), as well as evaluating and planning for ecosystem resiliency to lessen the impacts. Given the uncertainty in expected changes to air temperature and precipitation, Stillwater Sciences is poised to help our clients balance efforts to predict and plan for climate change impacts with efforts to track and manage the impacts in a variety of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

Stillwater Sciences offers multiple climate change services, including:

  • Climate change impact assessments for environmental documents prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA);
  • Use of downscaled climate data to predict:
    - fisheries sensitivities to changes in water temperature and habitat availability (see BasinTemp, RIPPLE models);
    - native and invasive riparian and wetland plant species survival and distribution patterns;
    - changes to watershed sediment budgets, sediment transport dynamics, and river channel response;
  • Restoration planning to emphasize adaptability and resiliency to climate change;
  • Tracking of impacts through development and implementation of long-term monitoring programs;
  • Mitigation strategies for addressing impacts to focal species and habitat quality;
  • Adaptive management strategies for enhancing carbon sequestration rates and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in aquatic and wetland ecosystems; and,
  • Analysis to support quantification of existing and future projected carbon stocks and GHG emissions from forested lands.


We interpret potential impacts of climate change on ecosystems to provide comprehensive management solutions.


Maia Singer
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Carbon Sequestration Using Wetlands

Conversion to carbon capture managed wetlands and conservation-till agriculture in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta could provide an opportunity to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve water supply security, sequester carbon, and enhance other ecosystem services while yielding numerous environmental benefits. Stillwater Sciences is working as a member of an interdisciplinary team involving non-profit, agency, and private entities, to investigate benefits, costs and risks of this approach and to develop a “road map” for creating an accounting mechanism for implementing carbon capture managed wetlands on a broad scale in the Delta.

Stormwater Infrastructure and Climate Change in WA

In partnership with the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group, Stillwater Sciences conducted an assessment of stormwater infrastructure likely to be affected by climate change in Washington State. Results included a description of climate change impacts on vulnerable areas of stormwater infrastructure, and adaptations that could reduce the impacts; an evaluation of vulnerability (“high,” “medium,” and “low”), by region and by sector; and recommended action items and analyses to help the State of Washington allocate resources most effectively to reduce the impacts. Download full report.