About Me

Becka Downard
I'm currently a PhD student in Ecology at Utah State University.  I love working in wetlands and have spent most of the last 10 years researching different aspects of wetland policy and ecology.  My current research project is looking at the impact of impoundment and water management on the wetlands of the Great Salt Lake.  I get to spend my summers in the wetlands around the Lake, oogling plants, digging soils pits, and monitoring how water levels change over time.  I love doing field work, it's the best part of the job.  During the winters I spend my time working through all the field data that I've gathered: identifying wetland plants, figuring out the right way to analyze data, and working on ways to present the data I'm excited about.  Interdisciplinary work is important to me, so I'm conducting interviews with wetland experts around the Lake, recording their management strategies and the changes they've noticed in the wetland areas they manage.  Western water law is my other research passion, I'm particularly interested in the strategies wetland managers have used to acquire access to water for wetlands within the rules of prior appropriation.
Since I live in Logan, Utah, I also spend a fair amount of time distracted by the amazing skiing, rock climbing, and trail running opportunities that can be found everywhere around here.

Posing with one of my favorite things - a piezometer that monitors water levels in one of my field sites.  

More information can be found on my CV.

Or you can email me at rdownard8@gmail.com

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