Brian D. Collins
I have Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in geoscience from the University of Washington and a B.A. in biology from Oberlin College.
Since 2012, I have taught classes on rivers (Fluvial Geomorphology, ESS 426/526, Applied Fluvial Geomorphology, ESS 541), writing (Technical Communication in Applied Geosciences, ESS 518), and environmental history (Changing Rivers of Puget Sound, ESS/AIS/ENVIR 310).
I also advise students in the applied geoscience M.S. degree program (Masters in Earth and Space Sciences, Applied Geosciences or "MESSAGe"), an 18-month program that includes coursework, an internship, and an applied investigation capstone.
I use geomorphology along with environmental history, ecology, and hydrology to study the interacting physical, biotic, and human elements of rivers and their landscapes and how they change through time. Much of my research has application to fisheries, forestry, river and watershed management, environmental restoration, or natural hazards.
Current projects: (a) colleagues in engineering and geoscience and I are seeking to better understand sediment production, routing, and channel response and to incorporate that understanding into improved flood modeling capabilities; (b) I am working with post-doc Dan Scott and collaborators at the US Forest Service to evaluate wood jam dynamics and geomorphic change for stream restoration; (c) with colleagues in geoscience, anthropology, and archaeology I am investigating how traditional and modern land uses have affected soil erosion, sediment storage, and river channels in SW Sichuan and, in northern Sichuan, interaction between Holocene loess deposition, landsliding, and human settlement; (d) data mining archival sources to reconstruct historical hydrology, channel geomorphology, and riverine habitats in the Puget Sound region.
Recent peer-reviewed publications (*student or post-doc author)
*Scott, D.N., Collins, B.D. 2021. Frequent mass movements from glacial and lahar terraces, controlled by both hillslope characteristics and fluvial erosion, are an important sediment source to Puget Sound rivers. Water Resources Research. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020WR028389. (PDF)
Harrell, S, Schmidt, A.H., Collins, B.D., Hagmann, R.K., Hinckley, T.M. (in press).
Sunny slopes are good for
grain; shady slopes are good for trees: Nuosu Yi agroforestry
and environmental change in the Cool
Mountains of southwestern Sichuan. In: Miller, I.M., Davis, B.C., Lee, J.S.
Forest: People and Woodlands in Asian History.
Collins, B.D., *Dickerson-Lange, S.E., *Schanz, S., *Harrington, S. 2019. Differentiating the effects of logging, river engineering, and hydropower dams on flooding in the Skokomish River, Washington. Geomorphology 332:138-156 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2019.01.021. (PDF).
*Schanz, S.A., Montgomery, D.R., Collins, B.D. 2019. Anthropogenic strath terrace formation caused by reduced sediment retention. Proceedings of the American Academy of Sciences (PNAS) https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1814627116. (PDF)
Pfeiffer, A., Collins, B.D., Anderson, S.W., Montgomery, D.R., Istanbulluoglu, E. 2019. River bed elevation variability reflects sediment supply, rather than peak flows, in the uplands of Washington State. Water Resources Research https://doi.org/10.1029/2019WR025394. (PDF)
*Schanz S.A, Montgomery D.R., Collins B.D., Duvall, A.R. 2018. Multiple paths to straths: a review and re-assessment of terrace genesis. Geomorphology 312:12-23 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2018.03.028. (PDF)
Collins, B.D., Montgomery, D.R., *Schanz, S.A.,
*Larsen, I.J. 2016. Rates and mechanisms of bedrock
incision and strath terrace formation in a forested
catchment, Cascade Range, Washington. Geological
Society of America Bulletin 128: 926-943 https://doi.org/10.1130/B31340.1. (PDF)
Selected older peer-reviewed publications
Collins, B.D., Montgomery, D.R., Fetherston, K.L., Abbe, T.B. 2012. The floodplain large-wood cycle hypothesis: a mechanism for the physical and biotic structuring of temperate forested alluvial valleys in the North Pacific coastal ecoregion. Geomorphology 139-140: 460-470 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2011.11.011. (PDF)
Collins, B.D., Montgomery, D.R. 2011. The legacy of Pleistocene glaciation and the organization of lowland alluvial process domains in the Puget Sound region. Geomorphology 126: 174-185 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2010.11.002. (PDF)
Stock, J.D., Montgomery, D.R., Collins, B.D., Dietrich, W.E., Sklar, L. 2005. Field measurement of incision rates following bedrock exposure: Implications for process controls on the long-profiles of valleys cut by rivers and debris flows. Geological Society of America Bulletin 117: 174-194 https://doi.org/10.1130/B25560.1. (PDF)
Collins, B.D., Montgomery, D.R., Sheikh, A.J. 2003. Reconstructing the historical riverine landscape of the Puget Lowland. Pp. 79-128 in: Montgomery, D.R., Bolton, S.M., Booth, D.B., Wall, L., eds., Restoration of Puget Sound Rivers, University of Washington Press, Seattle, WA. (PDF)
Montgomery, D.R., Collins, B.D., Buffington, J.M., Abbe, T.B. 2003. Geomorphic effects of wood in rivers. Pp. 21-48 in: Gregory, S.V., Boyer, K.L., Gurnell, A.M., eds. The Ecology and Management of Wood in World Rivers. American Fisheries Society Symposium 37, American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD. (PDF)
Collins, B.D., Montgomery, D.R. 2002. Forest development, wood jams and restoration of floodplain rivers in the Puget Lowland. Restoration Ecology 10: 237-247 https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1526-100X.2002.01023.x. (PDF)
Collins, B.D., Montgomery, D.R., Haas A.D. 2002. Historical changes in the distribution and functions of large wood in Puget Lowland rivers. Canadian Journal of Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences 59: 66-76 https://doi.org/10.1139/f01-199. (PDF)
Collins B.D., Montgomery, D.R. 2001. Importance of archival and process studies to characterizing pre-settlement riverine geomorphic processes and habitat in the Puget Lowland. In: Dorava, J.M., Palcsak, B., Fitzpatrick, F., Montgomery, D.R., eds. Geomorphic Processes and Riverine Habitat. American Geophysical Union, Wash., D. C., p. 227-243. https://doi.org/10.1029/WS004p0227.
Beechie. T., Collins, B.D., Pess, G. 2001. Holocene and recent changes to fish habitats in two Puget Sound basins. In: Dorava, J.M., Palcsak, B., Fitzpatrick, F., Montgomery, D.R., eds. Geomorphic Processes and Riverine Habitat. American Geophysical Union, Wash., D. C., 37-54. https://doi.org/10.1029/WS004p0037 (PDF).
Collins, B.D., Pess, G.R. 1997. Evaluation of forest practices prescriptions from Washington’s watershed analysis program. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 33: 969-996. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1752-1688.1997.tb04118.x.
Collins, B.D., Pess, G.R. 1997. Critique of Washington’s watershed analysis program. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 33: 997-1010. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1752-1688.1997.tb04119.x.
Collins, B.D., Dunne, T. 1989. Gravel transport, gravel harvesting, and channel-bed degradation in rivers draining the southern Olympic Mountains, Washington. Environmental Geology and Water Sciences 13: 213-224. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01665371 (PDF).
Collins, B.D., Dunne, T. 1988. Effects of forest land management on erosion and revegetation following the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 13: 193-205. https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.3290130302 (PDF).
Collins, B.D., Dunne, T. 1986. Erosion of tephra from the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. Geological Society of America Bulletin 97: 896-905. https://doi.org/10.1130/0016-7606(1986)97<896:EOTFTE>2.0.CO;2 (PDF).
Collins, B.D., Dunne, T., Lehre, A.K. 1983. Erosion of tephra-covered hillslopes north of Mount St. Helens, Washington, May 1980-May 1981. Zeitschrift fur Geomorphologie 46: 103-121.
Lehre, A.K., Collins, B.D., Dunne, T. 1983. Post-eruption sediment budget for the North Fork Toutle River drainage, June 1980-June 1981, Zeitschrift fur Geomorpholgie 46: 143-163.