Dr. Sarah Null

Aquatic Habitat, Climate, and Water Analysis (ACWA) Lab

Sarah Null

Associate Professor, Watershed Sciences, USU

Research Faculty, Ecology Center, USU

Sarah’s expertise is in water resources systems modeling, physical geography, monitoring rivers and aquatic habitats to support modeling, and understanding climate change effects and potential adaptations on water systems. Improving environmental objectives in systems models and validating models with innovative field monitoring leads to improved decision-making for water systems and river restoration for sustainable water management in an uncertain future.

Sarah received her bachelor's degree in international economics at UCLA, master’s degree in physical geography from UC Davis. Her PhD was funded by an EPA STAR fellowship and is in physical geography from UC Davis. Prior to coming to USU, she worked as a scientist at Watercourse Engineering, Inc. and as a postdoctoral scholar at UC Davis' Center for Watershed Sciences.

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Post-Doctoral Scholars

Ratha Sor

Postdoctoral Researcher

Ratha has a Ph.D. in Ecology and Environmental Management and is quantifying tradeoffs between alternative hydropower operations at Lower Sesan 2 Dam and aquatic / riparian ecosystems in the Lower Mekong Basin. He brings expertise in water quality assessment, fisheries, and ecological restoration and management. He is based out of Cambodia's Chea Sim University of Kamchaymear and joined the lab in 2020.

Doctoral Students

Ali Farshid

Ph.D. Student - Watershed Sciences

Ali's research focuses on optimizing stormwater management in Salt Lake Valley. Ali works full time as an Engineer at Salt Lake City Public Utilities while completing his dissertation. Ali joined the lab in 2019.

Greg Goodrum

Ph.D. Student - Watershed Sciences

Greg is developing and validating a statewide habitat suitability model for Utah rivers using publicly-available environmental data. He will test the accuracy and generality of models to understand how many habitat variables must be modeled for acceptable models. Greg joined the lab in 2018 and previously worked for the National Park Service.

Christina Morrisett

Ph.D. Student - Watershed Sciences

For Christina's doctoral research she is asking: can managed aquifer recharge mitigate flow and temperature effects of a warming climate? She will be working in Idaho's Henry's Fork and working closely with multiple stakeholders. Christina began her Ph.D. in 2018.

Masters Students

Kimsan Chann

M.S. student - Institute of Technology of Cambodia (co-advised)

Kimsan is researching hydrology and aquatic systems in Cambodia's Mekong River as a Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering student.

Romduol Khoeun

M.S. Student - Institute of Technology of Cambodia (co-advised)

Romduol is modeling streamflow and water quality in Cambodia's Mekong River as a Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering student.

Eryn Turney

M.S. Student - Ecology

Eryn is validating different types of aquatic habitat models with fish presence data to understand which approaches are most accurate. She is using the Bear River (UT, WY, ID) as her study system and started her research in 2021.

Undergraduate Students

Natalia Bustos

B.S. - Environmental Studies major

Natalia is a post-graduate researcher completing public surveys of the Decisions Downstream art-science exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah.

Former Graduate Students and Advisees

Liana Prudencio - Ph.D. in Watershed Sciences, 2020

“Water, Fish, and Fire: Interdisciplinary Research on Ecosystem Services and Climate Adaptation”. ORISE Researcher, Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Washington, DC.

Greg Goodrum - MS in Watershed Sciences, 2020

"Improving aquatic habitat representation in Utah using large spatial scale environmental datasets", PhD student, Utah State University

Sapana Lohani - Postdoctoral Scholar, 2018 - 2020

"Deforestation in Cambodia's Mekong River Basin", post-doctoral scholar, University of Montana, Bozeman, Montana.

Johnathan (J.) Neenan - MS in Watershed Sciences, 2019

"Evaluation of stream bank restoration to improve water quality in a semi arid stream", Water Rights Adjudication Specialist, Utah Department of Natural Resources. Ogden, UT.

Thomas Balkcom - MS Plan B in Watershed Sciences, 2019

"Modeling lake temperature response to climate change in the Alaskan Arctic"

Michaela Teich - Postdoctoral Scholar, 2016-2018

Michaela studied the evolution of seasonal snowpack in forest ecosystems and linked them to snowmelt and water supply. Researcher, Austrian Research and Training Centre for Forests, Innsbruck, Austria.

  • Advanced Postdoc Mobility Fellowship. Swiss National Science Foundation (2017-2018)

Maggi Kraft - MS in Watershed Sciences, 2017

"Optimizing Barrier Removal to Restore Connectivity in Utah's Weber Basin", PhD student, Boise State University.

Jessica Wood - MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2017

"Stream Temperature Monitoring and Modeling to Inform Restoration: A Study of Thermal Variability in the Western US", Stream Restoration Engineer, Alta Science & Engineering. Moscow, ID.

Nathaniel Mouzon - MS in Aquatic Ecology, 2016

"Effects of Environmental Water Rights Purchases on Dissolved Oxygen, Stream Temperature, and Fish Habitat", Environmental Scientist, St. Johns River Water Management District, Palatka, FL.

Logan Elmore - MS in Watershed Sciences, 2015

"Effects of Environmental Water Transfers on Stream Temperatures", Water Quality and Environmental Compliance Specialist, Tennessee American Water, Chattanooga, TN.

Other Previous Advisees

2021 Jenna Mills - Undergraduate Student Researcher

2020 Carly Payne - Undergraduate Student Researcher

2019 Thomas Jukes - Undergraduate Student Researcher

2017 Lindsay Capito - Undergraduate Student Researcher, NSF EPSCoR iFellow

2017 Michael Fowles - Undergraduate Student Researcher, NSF EPSCoR iFellow

2017 Katelyn Boyer - Undergraduate Student Researcher

2016 Heather Bottelberghe - Undergraduate Student Researcher, NSF EPSCoR iFellow

2016 Andrew Hackett - Undergraduate Student Researcher, NSF EPSCoR iFellow (Weber State University)

2015 Jamie Vawdrey - Undergraduate Student Researcher, NSF EPSCoR iFellow

2014-2015 MacKenzie Brown Harris - Undergraduate Student Researcher

2014-2015 Tim Beach - Undergraduate Student Researcher, NSF EPSCoR iFellow

2014 Alex Beck - Quinney College Research Experiences for Undergraduates scholar (Appalachian State University)

2013 Kari Norman - Undergraduate Student Researcher, NSF EPSCoR iFellow

2012-2013 Masih Akhbari - Postdoctoral Scholar