Hydrological Impact of Beavers in the Milwaukee River Watershed

College of Letters and Science / Geography


This research develops a modeling framework to assess the potential impacts of beaver constructed dams on the hydrological processes in the Milwaukee River watershed. The modeling framework includes a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based model to assess the potentials of beaver re-establishments in the watershed, and a hydrological model to evaluate impacts of beaver dams on the hydrograph as well as surface and groundwater storage.

After the model has been completed, Milwaukee Riverkeeper will conduct field study visits sites identified as having the best estimated metrics for potential flood mitigation. Based on those field visits, Milwaukee Riverkeeper will create a summary report with a habitat overview.

Fieldwork and GIS models will be employed to collect beaver dam sites, and examine the impacts of beaver dams on the hydrology of Milwaukee River Watershed.

Tasks and Responsibilities

Conduct the fieldwork of potential beaver dam sites, collect relevant GIS data online using ArcGIS (a GIS program), and run Beaver Restoration and Assessment Tool (BRAT) model

Desired Qualifications