Mickey Means-Brous

Advisor: Ellen Wohl

Email: Mickey.Means-Brous@colostate.edu

Previous Education: B.S. Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, Oregon State University, 2017

About Me: I grew up in Eugene, Oregon where I spent most of my time backpacking, hiking, and riding to destinations where I could either jump, wade, or dive into water. I was fortunate enough to find a position with the Forest Service early in my education where I could harness my hydro-affinity to work on stream habitat assessments, fish monitoring, and youth education while going to school. My undergraduate degree was focused on stream ecology and fisheries biology, but I wanted to learn more than my curriculum would allow. I took extra courses in human dimensions and collaboration; completed an agricultural TEK study abroad program; joined numerous field skills groups that ranged from large animal trapping to mist netting for songbirds; traveled to volunteer on research projects or restoration sites; and, predominantly, joined the GeoSciences Club for seminars and fieldtrips as often as I could. I was constantly finding new ways in which each discipline readily influenced, or was influenced by, riverine processes.

I first encountered the concepts of fluvial geomorphology through leading the biological monitoring on a pair of “failed” large wood projects that hoped to address a history of logging and stream cleaning. I started to recognize patterns of feedback cycles that impacted the successful recovery of the sites and made me interested in learning how to better describe and understand the physical processes I was observing. After I graduated from OSU, I took a leadership role on a series of innovative, process-based river restoration projects for a variety of organizations, in which I was a core member of the development team for an entirely new paradigm of design and monitoring. The foundation of the approach focused on the relationship between the restoration of geomorphic and hydrologic processes to a degraded system and the resulting recovery of the biological communities. After over five years of implementation and monitoring of these large-scale restoration sites, I’ve had the pleasure to witness them successfully flourish and diversify over time. My work on these projects fully solidified my desire to pursue further education in fluvial geomorphology to become a better restoration practitioner, scientist, and communicator by understanding the full scope of watershed processes beyond fisheries. I am so grateful to be accomplishing that goal here at CSU, in such a wonderful lab!

In the little free time I can carve out, you can find me hiking or snowshoeing with my dog Stanley, foraging, tying flies, or backpacking. Haven’t yet found a CO equine friend to ride, but the possibility is always on my radar!

Current Research: I will be focusing on geomorphic controls and the influence of sediment and wood fluxes on fish ecology and recovery in a post-fire environment.