An Interdisciplinary Story of the Rapidly Deglaciating Taaltsux̱éi Watershed

Watersheds with significant glacier coverage are decreasing in number as ice loss continues across the globe, but these places continue to play an outsized role for society and nature by providing critical water supplies and productive habitats for aquatic and terrestrial species. My goal is to present an interesting and holistic view of a glacial river ecosystem by combining historical geography, Indigenous Knowledge, and contemporary data analysis. I focus on the Taaltsux̱éi Héen (also known as the Tulsequah River) in western North America and the traditional territory of the Taku River Tlingit First Nation. Even though this watershed is about 900 miles north of where we'll be sitting, I believe it provides some locally relevant lessons to consider.

About the Speaker

hris Sergeant on the Taaltsux̱éi Héen floodplain; Credit Chris Miller
Chris Sergeant
Research Scientist, University of Montana Flathead Lake Biological Station; Affiliate Instructor, University of Washington School of Marine and Environmental Affairs

Chris Sergeant is an applied watershed scientist working where freshwaters, fish, and people converge. He grew up in Des Moines, Washington, and currently lives in Seattle working remotely as a research scientist with the Flathead Lake Biological Station. Chris is also an Affiliate Instructor with the University of Washington School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. Before moving back to Seattle with his family in late 2020, he enjoyed living 10 years in Juneau, Alaska, which had a huge influence on his perspectives on life and science. Chris studies mining impacts to freshwater ecosystems, climate change implications for Pacific salmon, best practices for developing long-term ecological monitoring plans, and the governance of transboundary watersheds. Chris received his B.S. and M.S. from the University of Washington and his PhD from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. 

Learn more about Chris here:

Environmental Speaker Series

The Environmental Speaker Series is hosted by the College of the Environment at Western Washington University.

The Series is free and open to the public. Talks are held each Thursday at 4:30 pm in Academic Instructional Center West room 204 - AW-204. Talks will also be streamed via zoom. Register with the Alumni Association for the zoom link. Paid parking is available in lot C.

Learn more about the Environmental Speaker Series
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