2024 Upper Columbia Science Conference


January 24-25 | Wenatchee, WA Registration Form


“The Question of Scale”

The Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board (UCSRB) thanks everyone who attended our 2024 Upper Columbia Science Conference. This year’s theme, “The Question of Scale,” featured presentations and speakers highlighting the scales at which we conceive, design, and implement recovery actions and the scale at which we need to work to recovery salmon.

PowerPoint presentations from the Conference are linked above the abstract for each presentation in the “Full Program” links for both Conference days.

The full Conference can be viewed at the following YouTube links:

1/24 Part 1

1/24 Part 2

1/24 Part 3

1/24 Part 4

1/25 Part 1

1/25 Part 2

1/25 Part 3

1/25 Part 4

Email [email protected] for questions or to be added to the mailing list.

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Full Program:

Wednesday January 24th Thursday January 25th Poster Session

Schedule At a Glance

Day 1: January 24th, 2024

  • 7:00 a.m.- 8:30 a.m. Registration
  • 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Conference Day 1 (Species Survival and Life History & Human Dimensions Session)
  • 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Evening Social at Pybus Market

Day 2: January 25th, 2024

  • 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Registration
  • 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Conference Day 2 (Understanding Habitat Use, Restoration and Recovery, River Process and Restoration Sessions)

Invited Speakers

Science Simulations Support Salmon, Other Species | USDA

Ryan Bellmore is a research fish biologist at the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station in Juneau, Alaska. He has conducted research across the Pacific Northwest and Alaska to help elucidate the mechanisms that support healthy watersheds and fish populations. He is particularly interested in river food webs, which describe the flows of energy and material that support aquatic organisms and ecosystem processes valuable to society. Ryan’s current research involves integrating empirical studies and simulation modeling to understand how watershed management and climate change may rewire the food webs that support Pacific salmon and steelhead.


Robert E. Bilby is stream ecologist.  His research has included investigation of the role of large wood in streams, response of stream trophic systems to disturbances, relationships between habitat characteristics and salmon productivity and the contribution that spawning salmon make to the nutrient capital and productivity of streams.  He received a B.S. in zoology from the University of Rhode Island and a Ph.D. in aquatic ecology from Cornell University.


Derek Booth

Derek Booth has integrated academic research, teaching, and private practice throughout his 30+ year career as a geomorphologist in the fields of river and glacier dynamics and deposits, landscape processes, and geologic hazards: first with the US Geological Survey and the Basin Planning Program for King County (Washington), as a full-time research professor at the University of Washington, and more recently with Stillwater Sciences. His work emphasizes the field-based collection and analysis of physical data that best reflect landscape conditions and watershed processes, particularly those that respond most strongly to human disturbance. He is presently the Senior Editor of the international scientific journal Quaternary Research and an Adjunct Professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Close up of Janine Castro

Janine Castro has served as the Project Leader for the Columbia River Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (CRFWCO) in Vancouver, Washington since 2017.Janine regularly provides national and international presentations and training on aquatic habitat restoration, river science, and public speaking for scientists. She is one of the five founding members of River Restoration Northwest and is the Technical Director of Portland State University’s River Restoration Professional Certificate Program. Janine is also a member of the Columbia Estuary Ecosystem Restoration Program’s Expert Regional Technical Group, which reviews ecosystem restoration actions in the floodplain of the lower Columbia River and estuary.


Rebecca FLITCROFT | Researcher | PhD Oregon State University 2008 | PNW Research Lab

Rebecca Flitcroft is a research fish biologist with the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station in Corvallis, Oregon. Her work focuses on holistic approaches to watershed analysis and management. She is interested in both statistical and physical representations of stream networks in analysis and monitoring that more realistically represent stream complexity and connectivity for aquatic species along four primary lines of research: multiscale salmonid ecology; stream network analysis; climate change and salmonid life history; integrated watershed management.


Marisa Litz is a research scientist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and holds a PhD in Fisheries Science from Oregon State University. Marisa leads the Coast Ecology and Life Cycle Monitoring Unit and is responsible for estimating juvenile and adult salmon and steelhead abundance in coastal Washington, including the Lower Columbia Intensively Monitored Watershed Program and the Chehalis Basin Aquatic Species Restoration Program. Marisa is interested in understanding how environmental variability in both freshwater and the ocean affects salmon life history diversity and survival and was a member of the scientific party that sampled salmon in the High Seas in 2022 on a voyage from Port Angeles to Kodiak, Alaska.


Mark Scheuerell is the Assistant Unit Leader for Fisheries at the U.S. Geological Survey Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and an Associate Professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington. He is also an Adjunct Faculty member in the School of the Environment at Washington State University. Prior to joining USGS/UW in 2019, Mark was a Research Fisheries Biologist at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center for 16 years. Mark’s research integrates different data sources and analytical methods to study a variety of problems related to the conservation and management of aquatic resources, with a particular focus on at-risk species in the Pacific Northwest. Examples of recent projects include an integrated population models for ESA-listed steelhead, a data‐limited assessment of the exploitation history and population dynamics of ESA‐listed rockfish, and a large-scale evaluation of the benefits of recovery spending on ESA-listed salmon.

David J. Trimbach is the Conservation Social Scientist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). He is an applied social scientist with experience in human geography and the human dimensions of fish, wildlife, and natural resource management. His research has largely focused on examining social science integration within environmental decision-making, people-place relationships, and human-environment interactions. He is interested in sense of place, human wellbeing, environmental governance, environmental justice, and community engagement. His research seeks to better understand the deep connections between people and the environment to contribute to planning and decision-making.






Wenatchee Convention Center – Downtown Wenatchee


We have reserved room blocks at the following hotels at a reduced rate (government rate or $107). Just ask for the “Science Conference” block.

The UCSRB would like to extend an opportunity for your organization to sponsor the 2024 Upper Columbia Science Conference or become an exhibitor at this event. With the help of sponsors and exhibitors we have been able to offer an optional registration fee for our partners that would not otherwise be able to attend. Past conferences have drawn over 300 participants from through the Columbia Basin. We expect the 2024 conference will be just as, if not more, popular making it a great opportunity to highlight your organization. Please contact Amanda Ward, UCSRB Executive Director, at (509) 433-5231 or [email protected] to learn more about this event and how your organization can be involved. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have. We thank everyone in advance for their support.

Click Here to Sign Up or Learn More


A sponsorship contribution of $500 or more will help us organize and implement this important event. Contributions of $2,500 or more will receive special recognition. All sponsors will be recognized in conference materials and throughout the event. Your support will contribute toward conference facilities, food, and printing materials. We will also organize a social event for conference participants at Pybus Public Market that is open to sponsorship.


Exhibitors are an important part of this event. Your support helps makes this conference happen and in turn it provides you with a great opportunity to highlight your organization or company. Exhibitor booths are located in a central area of the conference venue and booths are set up throughout the entire event. Different rates apply to different organization types (see below). Preference for location is given to those that sign up early.

Science plays a critical role in the implementation and evaluation of regional salmon and steelhead recovery plans. Communication, understanding, and dialogue of current science amongst project implementers, scientists, and managers are essential to our success. Since its inception, the collaborative framework of the Upper Columbia region has recognized the importance of science in decision-making processes and the 5th Bi-Annual Upper Columbia Science Conference is an opportunity to forge and strengthen relationships through the exchange and discussion of information and key issues.

The conference is intended for a variety of audiences including monitoring and research professionals, project sponsors, contractors, regional technical team members, elected officials, agency representatives, academics, and the public. Past conferences have drawn over 300 participants from through the Columbia Basin. The conference fosters diverse and inclusive participation by offering an optional registration fee for those that would not otherwise be able to attend. UCSRB also recruits speakers from across the country to bring in new ideas and the highest quality presenters. There are no concurrent sessions so presentations are hand-picked to appeal to a broad audience.

The four objectives of the conference are to:

  1. Connect science with recovery efforts,
  2. Share and discuss information about listed species in the Upper Columbia and their habitat,
  3. Bring experts from outside the region to share ideas, and
  4. Provide participants the opportunity to network and interact with others working on salmon recovery throughout the region.

Past conferences were held in 2013, 2018 and 2020. More information can be found here.