Nate Hough-Snee

Job Title: Alumni

  • Nate graduated in the fall of 2016 and now lives in the Wenatchee River Watershed, WA, USA, with his partner, Lexine, and Cedar, a red-heeler mix they treat like their child. He works on riparian and floodplain forest research and restoration across the North American West as co-owner of Meadow Run Environmental. When not coding in R, writing, moving, or breaking trekking poles, Nate is actively involved with the Society of Wetland Scientists, where he is a past president of the Pacific Northwest Chapter.
  • Visiting Scientist
    USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, Wenatchee, WA


    • 2008 B.A. Environmental Studies, University of Washington
    • 2010 M.S. Ecosystem Analysis, University of Washington
    • 2016 Ph.D Ecology, Utah State University 


    • Riparian and wetland ecology and restoration
    • Beaver-hydrology-geomorphology-vegetation interactions
    • Applied plant community ecology
    • Ecological restoration theory, design, and assessment
    • Natural resource planning under the National Environmental Policy, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts


    Nate is a broadly trained riparian and restoration ecologist interested in riparian plant community responses to environmental variability and natural and anthropogenic disturbance. He is interested in assessing and using the relationships between hydrology, geomorphology, herbivory, and vegetation to design stream and wetland restoration schemes across western North America. Specifically, Nate is working to identify opportunities for the use of North American beaver (Castor canadensis) in restoring semi-arid streams of the American West. He is also broadly interested in ecoinformatics and how ecologists and natural resource managers can synthesize existing data to assess ecosystem integrity and future trajectories in response to global change.


    • Restoring stream and riparian habitats in Mahogany and Basin Creeks (UT) using beaver reintroduction and beaver dam analogs
    • Synthesizing the environmental drivers of large wood at CHaMP-monitored wadeable streams (OR, WA, ID)
    • Hydrology, geomorphology and riparian forest dynamics at beaver influenced headwater streams (UT, ID, WY)
    • Plant functional guilds  across riparia of the Pacific Northwest (OR, WA, ID, MT - PIBO)
    • Stream classification comparison within the John Day Basin, (OR - CHaMP)

    Scholarly Contributions

    Peer Reviewed Publications

    PDFs of the below research are available at Nate's Researchgate.
    • Macfarlane, W.W., J.M. Wheaton, N. Bouwes, M.L. Jensen, J.T. Gilbert, N. Hough-Snee, J.A. Shivik. In Press. Modeling the capacity of riverscapes to support beaver dams. Geomorphology. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.11.019
    • Kasprak A., N. Hough-Snee, T. Beechie, N. Bouwes, G.J. Brierley , R. Camp, K.A. Fryirs, H. Imaki, M.L. Jensen, G. O'Brien, D.L. Rosgen, J.M. Wheaton. 2016. The Blurred Line between Form and Process: a Comparison of Stream Channel Classification Frameworks. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0150293. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150293
    • Hough-Snee, N., B.G. Laub, D.M. Merritt, B.B. Roper, A.L. Long, L.L. Nackley, J.M. Wheaton. 2015. Environmental filtering and niche partitioning shape the distributions of trait-based riparian vegetation guilds. Ecosphere 6 (10): art173. DOI: 10.1890/ES15-00064.1 
    • Hough-Snee, N., A. Kasprak, R.K. Rossi, N. Bouwes, B.B. Roper, J.M. Wheaton. 2016. Hydrogeomorphic and biotic drivers of instream wood differ across sub-basins of the Columbia River Basin, USA. River Research and Applications 32 (6):1302-1315. DOI: 10.1002/rra.2968
    • Hough-Snee, N., L.L. Nackley, S-H. Kim, and K. Ewing. 2015. Life history strategies explain plant performance under environmental stress: the effects of flooding and fertilization on the growth and allocation of two wetland sedges. Aquatic Botany 120 (B): 151-159.
    • Hough-Snee, N., B.B. Roper, J.M. Wheaton and R.L. Lokteff. 2015. Riparian vegetation communities of the American Pacific Northwest are tied to multi-scale environmental filters. River Research and Applications. In Press. DOI: 10.1002/rra.2815.
    • Hough-Snee, N. and R.L. Pond. 2014. Amending impaired soils increases seedling growth but reduces seedling survival at a retired gravel mine. Ecological Restoration 32(3): 231-235. DOI: 10.3368/er.32.3.231.
    • Hough-Snee, N., A.K. Kasprak, B.B. Roper and C.S. Meredith. 2014. Direct and indirect drivers of instream wood in the interior Pacific Northwest, USA: decoupling climate, vegetation, disturbance, and geomorphic setting. Riparian Ecology and Conservation 2:14-34. DOI: 10.2478/remc-2014-0002.
    • Hough-Snee, N., B.B. Roper, J.M. Wheaton, P. Budy and R.L. Lokteff. 2013. Riparian vegetation communities change rapidly following passive restoration at a northern Utah stream. Ecological Engineering 58(1): 371-377. 
    • Hough-Snee, N., A.L. Long and R. Pond. 2012Passive soil manipulation influences the successional trajectories of forest communities at a denuded former campsite. Ecological Restoration 30(1): 9-12

    • Hough-Snee, N., A.L. Long, L. Jeroue and K. Ewing. 2011. Mounding alters environmental filters that drive plant community development in a novel grassland. Ecological Engineering 37(11): 1932-1936. 
    • Hough-Snee, N. and D.D. Cooper*. 2011. The effect of perigynia removal on the germination of awl-fruit sedge, Carex stipata Muhl. Ex Willd (Cyperaceae). Native Plants Journal 12(1): 41-43.
      *Mentored undergraduate research assistant.

    • Hough-Snee, N., J.D. Bakker and K. Ewing. 2011. The long-term effects of initial site treatment on fescue abundance in a novel grassland. Ecological Restoration 29(1-2): 14-17. 

    • Hough-Snee, N., R. Pond and J.W. Jacobson. 2010. The Snohomish County Big Trees Project: watershed scale riparian restoration in the Stillaguamish Watershed, Washington State, USA. Ecological Restoration: 28(3): 243-245. 

    Conference Papers, Presentations & Posters

    • Nate has presented his work at national and regional meetings of the Society of Wetland Scientists, Society of American Foresters, River Restoration Northwest and the Society for Ecological Restoration, as well as in academic, classroom, and outreach settings. Recent contributions are available througNate's Figshare page.