Science Program

Who we are

The Science Team at TU helps guide where and how the organization conducts its conservation efforts, collaborates on scientific projects with various state and federal agencies and partners, and also conducts original scientific research on trout conservation and conservation planning. We have a state-of-the-art technology center in Boise, Idaho, that supports much of our analytical work, including spatial modeling, other GIS work, and development of web-mapping applications. Our staff has skills ranging from fisheries and stream ecology to restoration ecology and genetics as well as geographic information systems and landscape planning. 

How we work

As one of the nation’s foremost aquatic conservation organizations, Trout Unlimited works hard to ensure that its efforts to protect, reconnect, restore and sustain coldwater fisheries and their watersheds are guided by the best available science. The Science Team works primarily in four areas:  conservation planning, restoration design and monitoring, conservation research, and science interpretation and technology transfer.

Conservation Planning. Our conservation planning efforts help to answer the question of where the best opportunities exist for TU’s conservation work.  To accomplish this, we use the best available information on fisheries resources, habitat conditions and future threats to identify priority areas for protection, reconnection, and restoration. This helps to ensure that TU’s place-based work achieves the greatest conservation benefit for the least cost.

Restoration Design and Monitoring. The Science Team works closely with TU program staff and grassroots to address the how of restoration. The design of a successful restoration project requires a variety of skills and knowledge that must take into account the entire aquatic system as well as our target species. Monitoring is an important component of any restoration project because it allows us to track the effectiveness of our restoration work.

Conservation Research. Aquatic systems are complex and our understanding of how they function continues to evolve. Our research activities help inform our planning and restoration work to make sure that our efforts are consistent with the most current scientific knowledge of coldwater fisheries and their habitats.

Science Interpretation and Technology Transfer. An important aspect of our work is communicating our analyses and research in a meaningful way to a variety of audiences from our peers in the scientific community to resource managers, TU staff, volunteers and school kids.  We have a variety of citizen science tools to improve stream monitoring, climate change awareness, identification of aquatic invasive species, and other hazards to our stream systems.

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