About

Columbia Basin Research (CBR) is an interdisciplinary research center in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington whose mission is to provide quantitative approaches to issues involving endangered salmonid stocks in the West. CBR provides environmental and fish data, science-based real-time forecasts of fish survival and migration, and quantitative tools and interpretation for conservation and management of endangered fish populations in regulated rivers.

CBR began over 30 years ago with Professors John R. Skalski and James J. Anderson, providing robust statistical analyses, forecast models, and online databases to support fish, wildlife, and resource managers in the Columbia River Basin. In recent years, the center has expanded its services and research to the Central Valley of California. In 2021, Drs. Rebecca A. Buchanan and Jennifer L. Gosselin assumed Co-Directorship of CBR.

The applied ecological research under the direction of Dr. Buchanan focuses on statistical methods and mark-recapture tagging studies, primarily for salmonid stocks in the Columbia River Basin and California's Central Valley. We develop study designs and new statistical methods for assessing all parts of tagging studies and support managers in interpreting study results. Our goal is to ensure that tagging studies are conducted with the best available design and analysis by providing sample size guidance, statistical consultation, and analytical software. We also provide statistical analysis and interpretation of life-cycle information on the Web for monitoring and evaluation of salmonid stocks.

The applied ecological research under the direction of Dr. Gosselin focuses on elucidating processes underlying anadromous fish survival in river and ocean habitats, and retrospective and forecast modeling to assist river managers' decision making in the Pacific Northwest and California. Through ecosystem models, we integrate effects of habitat conditions on the population ecology, physiology, behavior, and ultimately survival of the organisms over their life cycle. We aim to identify underlying mechanisms through field and laboratory studies. Our work also addresses how a changing climate affects processes across large spatiotemporal scales in freshwater and marine systems and in relation to salmonid survival.

CBR is uniquely positioned and actively involved in Pacific Northwest and California river management through their web-hosting and linking of models and statistical tools for historical and real-time environmental and fish data. Through this hosting, CBR provides public, state, federal and tribal agencies a portal to collaboratively explore historical, real-time, and future effects of large river operations on hydropower, water, and fisheries resources.