Stream Institute

The Stream Institute is an applied research group of faculty, staff, and students who design and restore stream and wetland ecosystems; study how streams, wetlands, and watersheds have been affected by human activity; provide training to improve techniques used in restorations; and assist public agency personnel who work on restorations. It operates under the direction of Dr. Arthur Parola, PE, who has directed the design of more than 80,000 ft of stream channel restoration and the creation or restoration of hundreds of acres of associated wetlands. He and the team of students, staff, and faculty who make up the Stream Institute employ a multidisciplinary approach to the restoration of self-sustaining stream-and-wetland complexes. Through collaboration with engineering and construction firms, geomorphologists, biologists, and ecologists, the Stream Institute has pioneered numerous methods for assess­ment, design, construction, and monitoring of stream and wetland restoration projects. One of the fundamental components of the design approach employed by the institute has been the use of two-dimensional hydrodynamic modeling to design the floodplain topography and the planform characteristics of channels. A second fundamental component of the design approach has been to restore both ground­water and surface water processes in the floodplain and channel. By reestablishing groundwater retention in valley aquifers, the Stream Institute has been able to restore hydrologic con­ditions that support extensive riparian wetlands and habitat for resident aquatic organisms, including threatened and endangered species.

 

The Stream Institute’s main objectives are to

  • Develop restoration methods and technical expertise to restore degraded streams while improving the capacity of the surrounding land for human use.
  • Develop practical methods of incorporating sediment transport assessment techniques into stream restoration
  • Develop and provide tools, methods, and information to improve stream and watershed assessment, monitoring, and restoration design.
  • Develop and provide practical and reliable training and technical assistance (e.g., information exchange, advice) to water resource personnel who design, implement, manage, or regulate stream restorations and/or watersheds.

 

    Personnel:

    • Director Arthur C. Parola, Jr., PhD, PE
    • Project engineers Clayton C. Mastin, Raja Nagisetty, Jeong W. Park, Jesse D. Robinson, and William S. Vesely
    • Geomorphologist Michael A. Croasdaile
    • Technical writer Chandra Hansen

     

      Mill Branch, Knox County, Kentucky

      Before restoration:

      After restoration: