Aug. 4, 2014

The largest dam removal project in the United States provided a unique opportunity for a group of students, who spent 10 weeks this spring studying with UW oceanographers to discover how the released sediment is interacting with the marine habitat at the river's mouth.

Nine undergraduate students lived at UW's Friday Harbor Laboratories during the research apprenticeship course and studied the effects of the removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams from the Elwha River in the Olympic Peninsula. While working toward a research project the students took weekly field trips, spent five days on the water in the research vessel Clifford A. Barnes and took a camping trip to a former dam site.

This is the third time the sediments dynamics class has been offered, giving students a chance to devote time to a research project and learn about how the environment adapts to the rapid changes related to the dam removal and river restoration.

Read more in the UW Today article about the class.

Photo: Elwha Dam site, 100 years ago (top, courtesy UW Digital Collections) and earlier this year (bottom, courtesy National Park Service/USGS)