Jay Dorsey

Jay Dorsey
Research Scientist

For Research Scientist Dr. Jay Dorsey, there is no better way to spend a day than standing in a stream, talking about what’s working and what could be better. That’s why he loves having Waterman’s natural resources so close to campus. As part of his course on stream restoration, he brings students to Waterman to practice stream surveying and assessing stream health, stability, and function. Waterman’s streams are an excellent “classroom” for students to consider the costs and benefits of possible restoration efforts.

“Having Waterman on campus is just phenomenal if you want to give students hands-on experiences,” Dorsey said. “It’s a great site for looking at stream characteristics and a real timesaver. We couldn’t do everything we do during class time without having Waterman there.”

A semester-long team design project using Waterman streams allows students to integrate and apply course concepts to streams suffering impacts of high stormwater runoff in urbanized areas, one of the most common causes of lost stream stability and function.

Dorsey also sees value in Waterman’s potential for research and public engagement, especially when it comes to stream health. He hopes the increased attention on Waterman will lead to more opportunities for outreach to decision-makers in the community.

“Streams are usually an afterthought as development happens,” he said. “One of the things I try to do with my class, and with people who are new to the field is to give them a better understanding of how streams work and raise awareness about the adverse impacts of the way we manage our watersheds and streams. Everyone is interested in water quality at some level; how it affects our drinking water, how it affects fish and bugs. Probably a bigger concern is whether it’s going to flood after a lot of rain. I really want people at the decision-making level to understand what is happening in our watershed and what will happen if these resources are lost.”