Claire Vaage

Undergraduate Researcher   return to map   return to student search


Boise, ID (Ada County)


Boise State University
Undergraduate student
Environmental Science

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Funded by EPSCoR Award:

GEM3 | OIA-1757324

Research Location(s):

Dry Creek Experimental Watershed



Research Statement:

Claire Vaage hopes that her work will benefit land management agencies and researchers by providing a methodology that uses remotely sensed data to map riparian habitat. Riparian vegetation is critical to dryland ecosystem functions. The sagebrush steppe dominates southern Idaho and includes riparian habitats which are under constant pressure from agriculture, wildlife, and recreational use. Current fixed-width buffers used to delineate riparian vegetation do not accurately reflect the truly variable width. This lack of precision affects how conservation strategies and management procedures are conducted. Thus far, her research has helped establish hydrological analysis protocols for the Department of Biological Sciences and Department of Geosciences at Boise State University.

Research Impact:

This work isolates the riparian vegetation within the Dry Creek Experimental Watershed and bolsters the value of the sites data repository. Upon completion, the results of the research will enable accurate delineation of riparian habitat within sagebrush steppe ecosystems, and has significant implications for Idaho since incorporating these methods could lead to improved management and help restore riparian function across landscapes. This research aligns with the increasing availability of aerial lidar and other imagery that will make a variable-width method of delineation doable while benefiting management strategies in Idaho and across the Western United States.