Eight Early-Career Scientists Awarded Delta Science Fellowships

Delta Science Fellows, Class of 2017
Researchers to study Sacramento Bay-Delta issues
April 24, 2017
Media Contact— / ccoomber@ucsd.edu / 858-534-0580

In partnership with the Delta Stewardship Council Delta Science Program, California Sea Grant has named eight early-career scientists to the class of 2017 Delta Science Fellows. The successful candidates were selected based on the strength of their academic performance, and the quality and importance of their proposed research as relevant to the California Bay-Delta system needs.

Since its establishment in 2003, the program has partnered 86 junior scientists with Delta agency scientists and establishes research and community mentors to work on collaborative research projects applicable to Delta policy and management.

“We are committed to support our best and brightest young scientists in carrying out research in the Delta and Bay. Their research furthers both the high-impact science agenda and the science action agenda. We anticipate great results from these exciting studies,” said Cliff Dahm, Lead Scientist for the Delta Stewardship Council Delta Science Program.

The Fellows represent 5 colleges and universities, and include two doctoral students and six postdoctoral graduates.

California Sea Grant administers the fellowship program on behalf of the Delta Science Program. Additional financial support was provided by State and Federal Contractors Water Agency (SFCWA) and Bureau of Reclamation (USBR).

2017 Delta Science Fellows and Proposals

  • Shannon Klotsko, a San Diego State University postdoctoral researcher using geophysical and geological data to understand fault architecture in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
  • Malte Willmes, a UC Davis postdoctoral researcher investigating the thermal life history and habitat requirements of Delta smelt through geochemical techniques
  • Jessica Rudnick, a UC Davis doctoral student studying the adoption of soil management practices which provide environmental services
  • Joseph Fackrell, a UC Santa Cruz postdoctoral researcher tracing the sources of anthropogenic C, N and P compounds and their fate in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
  • Pedro Morais, a UC Berkeley postdoctoral researcher studying Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon life history and migratory behavior in varying flow conditions
  • Pamela Rittelmeyer, a UC Santa Cruz doctoral student studying how community values motivate the measures supported for adaptation to climate change in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
  • Michelle Jungbluth,* a San Francisco State University postdoctoral researcher applying next-generation sequencing techniques to study the diets of ecologically important fishes in the Bay-Delta and develop a DNA barcode library of their zooplankton diet  
  • Neil Thompson,** a UC Santa Cruz postdoctoral researcher developing full life-cycle information about the drought-impacted cohorts of winter-run Chinook salmon

*Funded by the State and Federal Contractors Water Agency (SFCWA)
**Funded by the US Bureau of Reclamation


About the Delta Stewardship Council

The Delta Stewardship Council was created in legislation to achieve the state mandated coequal goals for the Delta. "'Coequal goals' means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place." (CA Water Code §85054)

About the Delta Science Program

The Delta Science Program was established to develop scientific information and synthesis for the state of scientific knowledge on issues critical for managing the Bay-Delta system. That body of knowledge must be unbiased, relevant, authoritative, integrated across state and federal agencies, and communicated to Bay-Delta decision-makers, agency managers, stakeholders, the scientific community, and the public. The Lead Scientist is responsible for leading, overseeing, and guiding the Science Program.

About California Sea Grant

NOAA’s California Sea Grant College Program funds marine research, education and outreach throughout California. Our headquarters is at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego; we are one of 33 Sea Grant programs in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce.