curriculum vitae                                                                                                 Christine L. May, Ph.D.


Faculty Research Associate                                                         

James Madison University                                                                     (434) 242-6500 

Department of Geology and Environmental Science                                                        

7336 Memorial Hall                                                                              

Harrisonburg, VA 22807                                      





U. C. Berkeley, Department of Earth and Planetary Science                                2004 – 2006

            Advisor:            Dr. Bill Dietrich

Joint Appointment with Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management

            Advisor:            Dr. Vince Resh


U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Arcata, CA                                         

            Advisors:          Dr. Tom Lisle                                                               2003

                                    Dr. Danny Lee                                                              2002




Ph.D.  OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY                                                          1998 – 2001


Department of Fisheries and Wildlife                                                                  GPA: 3.9

            Major:  Fisheries Science, advisor: Dr. Robert Gresswell             

                Minor:  Forest Science, advisor: Dr. Fred Swanson                                                                                      

Dissertation:  Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Sediment and Wood in Headwater Streams

in the Oregon Coast Range



M.S.  OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY                                                                       1996 -1998


Department of Forest Engineering                                                                      GPA: 3.9

            Major: Forest Hydrology                                                                                                   

                Minor:  Statistics

                Thesis:  Debris Flow Characteristics Associated with Forest Practices in the Central Oregon

Coast Range



B.S.  HUMBOLDT STATE UNIVERSITY                                                      1990 - 1994


Department of Natural Resources                                                                      Honors Student

                Major:  Watershed

                Minor: Natural Resource Planning





Primary interests are in interdisciplinary research that focuses on the interactions between physical and biological processes in river systems.  Specifically, I am exploring hydrologic and geomorphic processes that shape river systems, and the role of disturbance in aquatic ecosystems.  Of particular interest is the effect of vegetation changes on the frequency and magnitude of sediment fluxes, and how these processes influence biotic communities. 





May, C.L., Pryor, B.S., and T. Lisle.  (in review)  How site selection preferences for spawning salmon

reduce the risk of scour in flood-prone river systems.  Submitted to Water Resources Research.


May, C.L.  (in review)  Steepness and concavity controls on the expression of reach-

scale channel morphology, debris flow deposition, and the spatial distribution of salmonids in the Pacific Northwest.  Submitted to Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science.


Cover, M., May, C.L., Resh, V.H., and W.E. Dietrich.  2008.  Quantitative linkages between

sediment supply, streambed fine sediment, and benthic macroinvertebrates in streams of the Klamath Mountains.  Journal of the North American Benthological Society 27(1):135-149.


May, C.L.  2007.  Sediment and wood routing in steep headwater streams: an overview of

geomorphic processes and their topographic signatures.  Forest Science 53(2):119-130.


Hassan, M., Hogan, D.L., Bird, S.A., May, C.L., T. Gomi, and D. Campbell.  2005.  Spatial and temporal

dynamics of wood in headwater streams of the Pacific Northwest.  Journal of the American Water Resources Association, Special Issue on Headwater Streams 41(4):899-919.


Benda, L., Hassan, M., M. Church, and C. May.  2005.  Geomorphology of steepland headwaters: The

transitions from hillslopes to channels.  Journal of the American Water Resources Association, Special Issue on Headwater Streams 41(4):835-851.


May, C.L. and D.C. Lee.  2004.  The relationship between in-channel sediment storage, pool depth, and

summer survival of juvenile salmonids in the Oregon Coast Range.  North American Journal of Fisheries Management 24(3):761-774.


May, C.L. and R.E. Gresswell.  2004.  Spatial and temporal patterns of debris flow deposition in the

Oregon Coast Range, U.S.A.  Geomorphology 57:135-149.


May, C.L. and R.E. Gresswell.  2003.  Large wood recruitment and redistribution in headwater streams

of the Oregon Coast Range, U.S.A.  Canadian Journal of Forest Research 33: 1352-1362.


May, C.L. and R.E. Gresswell.  2003.  Processes and rates of sediment and wood accumulation in

headwater streams of the Oregon Coast Range, U.S.A.  Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 28(4): 409-424.


May, C.L.  2003.  From being mentored to becoming a mentor.  Fisheries 28(6):40.


May, C.L.  2002.  Debris flows through different forest age classes in the central Oregon Coast Range. 

Journal of the American Water Resources Association 38(4): 1097-1113.





Invited Speaker,  Joint Assembly of the American Geophysical Union and the North American Benthological Society, New Orleans, LA.  ‘Coupling a Hydrodynamic Model and Empirical Measures of Bed Mobility: Implications for a Large Regulated River.’  2005


Invited Speaker,  Headwater Stream Symposium, hosted by the Oregon Headwaters Research Cooperative, Corvallis, OR.  ‘Integrating Current Research on Sediment and Wood Dynamics in Headwater Streams.’  2005


Speaker,  Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society.  ‘Basin-Scale Controls on the Expression of Reach-Scale Channel Morphology, Debris Flow Deposition, and the Spatial Distribution of Salmonids in the Pacific Northwest.’  2005


Poster Presentation,  American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, California.  ‘Steepness and Concavity Controls on the Expression of Reach-Scale Channel Morphology, Debris Flow Deposition, and the Spatial Distribution of Salmonids in the Pacific Northwest.’  2004


Speaker,  North American Benthological Society, Vancouver, Canada.  ‘The relationship between in-channel sediment storage, pool depth, and summer survival and growth of juvenile salmonids.’  2004


Invited Speaker,  University of California at Berkeley, Department of Landscape Architecture seminar series.  2004


Speaker, Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society.  ‘The effects of channel aggradation on water availability and summer survival of juvenile coho in the Oregon Coast Range.'  2003


Speaker,  Geological Society of America, Denver, Colorado.  ‘Sediment accumulation in headwater streams during the interval between debris flows in the Oregon Coast Range.’  2002


Invited Speaker,  Humboldt State University, Geology Department seminar series.  2002


Speaker,  Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society.  ‘The routing of sediment and wood from small streams into a larger landscape.’  2002


Speaker,  Symposium on Small Stream Channels and Their Riparian Zone, University of British Columbia.  ‘Processes and rates of sediment and wood accumulation in headwater streams of the Oregon Coast Range.  2002


Speaker,  American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, California.  ‘Processes and rates of sediment and wood accumulation in headwater streams of the Oregon Coast Range, U.S.A.’ 2001


Invited Speaker,  Headwaters Research Workshop, Oregon Department of Forestry.  ‘Sediment routing through headwater catchments.’  2001


Speaker,  International Conference on Wood in World Rivers.  ‘Dynamics of wood delivered from geomorphic processes in upland forests of the Oregon Coast Range.’  2000


Speaker,  Wild Trout VII, Yellowstone National Park.  ‘The influence of non-fish bearing streams on the structure of fish bearing streams in the Coast Range Mountains of Oregon.’  2000


Speaker,  Oregon Chapter American Fisheries Society Conference, Sun River, Oregon.  ‘Large wood recruitment from debris flows in the central Oregon Coast Range’.  1999


Invited Speaker,  Forest and Stream Management Symposium, OSU.  ‘Debris flow characteristics associated with forest practices in the central Oregon Coast Range.’ 1998


Poster Presentation,  American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, California.  ‘Debris flow characteristics associated with forest practices in the central Oregon Coast Range.’ 1997


Speaker,  California-Nevada American Fisheries Society Conference, Eureka, California.  ‘Summertime use of thermal refugia by juvenile steelhead trout on the South Fork Eel River.’  1994



U.S. Geological Survey, State Water Resources Research Program, PI’s: Christine May and Stephen Lancaster, competitive grant award to support research on the effects of sediment deposition on the emergence success of juvenile salmonids.  2008 ($44k)


Canaan Valley Institute, co-PI on interdisciplinary science team, competitive grant award to investigate stream restoration practices in Shenandoah Valley.  2006 ($30k)


U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, PI’s: Christine May and Tom Lisle, competitive grant award to support research on the relationship between river discharge and stream bed scour: implications for redd scour on the Trinity River.  2003 - 2005 ($240k) 


U.S. Forest Service, PI’s: Christine May and Bret Harvey, internal competitive grant program, funding award to support research on the influence of channel aggradation on growth rates of juvenile coho salmon.  2003 ($20k)


Women’s International Science Collaboration Program, American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Science Foundation.  Funding to support collaborative research in headwater streams.  2003.


International Research Exchange, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Long-Term Ecological Research sites in China and Taiwan.  1999.





Instructor,  Freshwater Ecology, BIO 459.  James Madison University.  Spring 2008.


Instructor, Natural Hazards, GSCI 104.  James Madison University.  Spring 2008.


Instructor,  Stream Ecology, BIO 463/863.  Mountain Lake Biological Research Station.  Summer 2006 and 2007.


Instructor,  Disturbance Processes in River Systems, FISH 685.  Humboldt State University.  Spring 2003.


Co-Instructor,  Fisheries Biology, FW 454/554.  Hatfield Marine Science Center, OSU.  Fall 1999 and 2000.


Guest Lecturer,  The Water Planet, University of California, Berkeley.  Spring 2005.  Instructor: J. Kirchner


Guest Lecturer,  Geomorphology, University of California, Berkeley.  Fall 2004.  Instructor: W. Dietrich


Guest Lecturer,  General Biology, University of California, Berkeley.  Fall 2004.  Instructor: M. Power


Guest Lecturer,  Wildland Fire Science, U.C. Berkeley.  Spring, 2004.  Instructor: S. Stephens


Guest Lecturer,  Community and Landscape Ecology of Stream Fishes, OSU.  2001.  Instructor: C. Baxter


Workshop Participation: 

Teaching Practicum in Forest Science, OSU, 2001. 

Group problem solving, 2000. 

Communication skills, 1999.



Volunteer Coordinator, Student mentoring session held in association with the American Fisheries

Society and the Wildlife Society.  2001.

Volunteer Teaching Assistant, environmental sciences programs, Lincoln County School District and

Benton County School District, OR.  2000.

Tour Director, wildlife facilities and fish hatchery, Humboldt State University. 1992 - 1993.

Volunteer Instructor, environmental education program, Youth Educational Services, Humboldt State

University.  1992 – 1993.




Water Resources Research


Ecological Applications

Forest Ecology and Management

Canadian Journal of Forest Research

Forest Science

Journal of the American Water Resources Association

North American Journal of Fisheries Management

Society for Computer Simulation Transactions

Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences

University of Washington Press






Convener,  ‘Biotic and Abiotic Processes in Headwater Streams’ session at the annual meeting of the Society of

Northwest Vertebrate Biologists.  2003.


Redwood Sciences Lab Seminar Series Convener, organizer of a weekly seminar series that brought together a

diverse group of researchers interested in forestry, watershed, and wildlife issues in the Pacific Northwest.  Spring and Fall 2002.


Invited Book Review,  Journal of the American Water Resources Association.  2003.


Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Representative, provided oral and written testimony for the

Natural Resource Committee, Oregon Senate on amendments to the state Forest Practices Act in House Bill 2163.  2001.


Convener, Riparian Areas Workshop jointly sponsored by the American Fisheries Society and the Wildlife

Society.  Portland, Oregon  2001.


Co-President, student chapter of the American Water Resources Association.  The student chapter hosted

monthly speakers, organized field trips each term, hosted social events, prepared a web site and email list to serve students involved with water resource issues from six departments at OSU.  Our chapter was awarded honorable mention in the best student chapter competition by the national AWRA chapter.  2000 – 2001.


Field Tour Organizer, Alsea experimental watersheds.  Participants included approximately 30 scientists and

graduate students in fisheries, hydrology, and engineering; including seven primary investigators from the

original research team.  2001.


Field Tour Organizer, Umpqua River debris flows.  Participants included approximately 20 scientists from OSU,

University of Oregon, BLM, USFS, USGS and Earth Systems Institute.  1999.


Founding Member and Secretary, Student Chapter American Water Resources Association, OSU.  1998.


Student Representative, Academic Affairs Committee, OSU.  1998.


Graduate Student Senate, Oregon State University.  1998.










James Madison University                                                                                       Harrisonburg, VA

            Research Associate                                                                                           2006 – present

Department of Geology and Environmental Science:  Mentor student research projects and support research program.



University of California                                                                                                  Berkeley, CA


            Post-Doctoral Scholar                                                                                        2003 – 2006

            Joint appointment with Dr. Bill Dietrich, Earth and Planetary Sciences, and Dr. Vince Resh, Ecosystem

Sciences Policy Management:  Develop a research program that links sediment supply to biologically significant river attributes in a cumulative watershed effects framework.



USFS Pacific Southwest Research Station                                                                      Arcata, CA


            GS-12 Watershed Scientist (post-doctoral position)                                              2003

Post-doctoral research position with Dr. Tom Lisle: Design and implement research that investigates the linkages between hillslopes and channels in forested mountain drainage basins managed under the Northwest Forest Plan.


GS-12 Research Ecologist (post-doctoral position)                                               2002

Post-doctoral research position with Dr. Danny Lee: Develop a probability based, risk assessment of large-scale effects of fire and fuels management strategies on watershed processes and aquatic biota.



Humboldt State University                                                                                             Arcata, CA


            Associate Faculty                                                                                              2003

            Instructor for Watershed Disturbances Processes (FISH 685).



Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University &                         Corvallis, OR

            USGS Forest and Range Ecosystem Science Center                              


            Graduate Research Assistant                                                                             1998 - 2001

Designed and implemented research projects related to the routing of sediment and wood through the channel network, with special emphasis on landslide and debris flow processes and landforms. 


            Graduate Teaching Assistant                                                                              1999, 2000

Co-instructor with Dr. William Liss for Fisheries Biology (FW 454/554).  The purpose of this course was to provide an understanding of physical processes and ecological principles to the conservation of fishes and their ecosystems by focusing on field-based learning experiences. 



Department of Forest Engineering, Oregon State University                                             Corvallis, OR


            Graduate Research Assistant                                                                             1996 – 1998

            Designed and implement a research project on landslide and debris flow characteristics

following a large regional storm event. 








USFS Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station                                        Corvallis, OR


            Research Technician                                                                                         1995

The purpose of this study was to assess the quality of summer holding habitat for adult spring chinook salmon in eastern Oregon.  Specific activities included determining migration patterns, pre-spawning distribution using snorkel surveys, spawning distribution using redd surveys, characterizing holding and spawning habitats, and examining the influence of stream temperature on habitat use by juvenile and adult spring chinook. 



Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Research and Development                               La Grande, OR


            Research Technician                                                                                                                       1994-1995

Conducted field sampling activities needed to carry out life history and natural production studies of salmon and steelhead.  Duties included operating rotary screw traps, surveying juvenile fish populations utilizing methods of electrofishing, seining and snorkeling, PIT tagging wild juvenile chinook salmon, conducting winter habitat surveys, and analyzing and summarizing data for monthly reports. 



Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Research and Development                               Corvallis, OR


            Biological Technician                                                                                         1994

Conducted habitat surveys as a member of the aquatic inventory crew.  The purpose of this survey was to gather statistically viable habitat estimates, with sufficient measurement verifications, of fish habitat characteristics and riparian stands.  Surveys were conducted on state, federal, and private land.



Oregon Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, Oregon State University                               Corvallis, OR 


                Biological Technician                                                                                         1994

The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of collection, handling, and transportation on the stress response, performance capabilities, and behavior of spring chinook salmon and steelhead trout at key Snake and Columbia River dams.  Job duties included assembling and testing equipment, tagging and tracking radio-marked fish, sampling blood plasma, conducting behavioral and physiological tests, and performing as a member of a field and laboratory team. 



Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Humboldt State University                          Arcata, CA


                Project Co-director                                                                                            1993-1994

Conducted fieldwork on a restoration project to create a self-sustaining sport fishery in Stone Lagoon for coastal cutthroat trout.  In order to determine the current run size and timing, traps and weirs were installed to intercept the spawning migration. 


                Student Research Assistant                                                                                1993

The goal of this project was to identify the impacts of Benbow Dam (S. Fork Eel River) on juvenile salmonids and the thermal regime of the river downstream of the dam.   








Richard A. Herbert Memorial Education Scholarship, national chapter, American Water Resources

Association, 2001.

Western Division of the American Fisheries Society, Graduate Student Scholarship, 2000.

Thomas Scott Achievement Award, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, OSU 2000.

Phi Kappa Phi, National Honor Society, OSU 1998.

Forest Engineering Fellowship Award, College of Forestry, OSU 1996.

Magna Cum Laude, College of Natural Resources and Sciences, Humboldt State University, 1993.

Presidential Scholar Award, Humboldt State University, 1992 and 1993.





American Geophysical Union                                                                                                            1997 - present

American Fisheries Society                                                                                                                1994 - present      

American Association for the Advancement of Science                                                              2002 - present

Geological Society of American                                                                                                        2002 - present

American Water Resources Association                                                                                         1997 - 2003            

Association for Women Geoscientists                                                                                            2003





Watershed Management                    Geomorphology                                   Adv. Landscape Ecology

Forest Land Use & Water Quality    Forest Geomorphology                       Stream Ecology

Forest Hydrology                                                Sediment Budgets                                Fish Ecology

Fluid Mechanics                                  Forest / Range Soils                            Quantitative Ecology

Coastal Stream Management             Geomorphology of Soils                     Advanced Sampling

Limnology                                             Origin & Classification of Soils         Environmental Statistics

Limnology of Flowing Water             Geomorphology of Mtn. Streams      Env. Impact Assessment

Wetland Restoration                           Silvicultural Practices                          Evolutionary Significant Units

Water Pollution Biology                     Forest Science Teaching Practicum         & Conservation Planning





Dr. Robert Gresswell                                                                            Dr. Bill Dietrich                                    

Aquatic Scientist                                                                                 Professor, Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences  

USGS - NRMSC                                                                                   University of California at Berkeley 

229 AJM Johnson Hall                                                                        McCone Hall                        

Bozeman, MT  59717-3492                                                  Berkeley, CA  94720-4767  

(406) 994-7084                                                                                       (510) 642-2633

email:                                                email:

relationship:  Ph.D. major professor                                                  relationship:  Post-doctoral advisor                 


Dr. Tom Lisle                                                                                        Dr. Butch Brodie

Research Hydrologist                                                                         Director Mountain Lake Biological Research Station

USFS Pacific Southwest Research Station                                      University of Virginia

1700 Bayview Dr.                                                                 P.O. Box 400328

Arcata, CA  95521                                                                                Charlottesville, VA  22904

(707) 825-2930                                                                                       (434) 243-1068

email:                                                                         email:

relationship:  Post-doctoral advisor                                                  relationship: program director / teaching reference