Research and Monitoring

Research and monitoring have been on-going at Fossil Creek for many years. Fossil Creek provides a unique opportunity to study the effects of both flow restoration and non-native fish removal on a Southwestern stream. Ecological and social research and monitoring is being conducted by numerous agencies including Arizona Game and Fish, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Northern Arizona University, U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Reclamation. 

Posted below is a summary table of on-going and scheduled research and monitoring at Fossil Creek, as well as links to PDF files of published research and research reports. 

On-going and Scheduled Research and Monitoring at Fossil Creek
(compiled by Michele James (NAU), July 20, 2009)

Affiliation Primary Investigator (PI)/researcher(s) Subject of Work
NAU, Biology Jane Marks/Ken Adams Crayfish habitat, densities, effects on emergent insects (on-going)
NAU, Biology Jane Marks/Matt O’Neil Stable isotope study of food webs (on-going)
NAU, Biology. Jane Marks/Matt O’Neil; Cinnamon Pace Fish snorkeling/population study (on-going)
NAU, Biology Maribeth Watwood/Brenda Harrop Microbial communities (on-going)
NAU, Biology Jane Marks/Michele James,Ken Adams Riparian vegetation monitoring (starting 2010)
NAU, Biology Jane Marks/ Michele James, Ken Adams Water quality monitoring (may include macroinvertebrates/springsnail)  (starting 2010)
NAU, Forestry Marty Lee Visitor use monitoring (starting 2010)
NAU, Forestry Marty Lee Monitoring effectiveness of temporary toilets (starting 2010)
NAU, Geology Rod Parnell/Johnny Littlefield Effects of algae on travertine growth (field work completed, data analysis on-going)
San Francisco State/NAU Leonard Sklar, Jane Marks/ Brian Fuller, Zaccheaus Compson, Ken Adams Travertine growth (on-going)
NAU, Biology Maribeth Watwood Coliforms (Enterococcus faecalis) (on-going)
Univ. of NM, Biology Paul Polechla Dietary ecology of river otters in the Verde River drainage (started 2009; on-going)
NAU, Geology Abe Springer Regional springs study (on-going)
Friends of AZ Rivers Tim Flood Yearly repeat photography monitoring (vegetation/travertine) (on-going)
Marsh and Associaates, LLC Paul Marsh, Jerome Stefferud, Sally Stefferud Bi-annual monitoring to determine presence of non-native fish (on-going)
U.S. Forest Service, Coconino, AZ Game and Fish Dept., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Janie Agyagos, Suzy MacVean, Shaula Hedwall Yearly leopard frog population monitoring (on-going)
Arizona Game and Fish/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Scott Rogers, Shaula Hedwall, Tony Robinson Annual monitoring of native fish (spikedace, loach minnow, long fin dace, razorback sucker, Gila topminnow, chub) (on-going) 
U.S. Forest Service, Coconino Jennifer Burns/Dexter Allen Informal visitor monitoring (on-going)
Arizona Game and Fish Troy Corman/Bill Burger Riparian bird monitoring (2009, and again in 6-9 years)
AZ Dept. of Environmental Quality Patty Spindler Water quality monitoring and bioassessments (macroinvertebrates) (ongoing; 4/year, every 3 years (2008, 2011, etc.)
USGS Matt Johnson Riparian raptors (pending funding)


Research and Monitoring Reports: (click to view PDF)






Marks, JC. Haden, GA, Harrop, BL, Reese, EG, Keams, JL, Watwood, ME, Whitham, TG. (2009). Genetic and Environmental Controls of Microbial Communities on Leaf Litter in Streams. Freshwater Biology. 54; 2616–2627.

Marks, JC, Haden, GA, O’Neill, Pace, C. (2009). Effects of Flow Restoration and Exotic Species Removal on Recovery of Native Fish: Lessons from a Dam Decommissioning. Restoration Ecology , doi: 10:1111/j.1526-100X.2009.00574.x

Marks, J.C., K.J. Adams, E. Dinger, and M. James (2009). Battles Between Non-Native Crayfish and Native Species in Fossil Creek, Arizona: Does Restoration Hinder or Help? Northern Arizona University, Department of Biology and Merriam Powel Center for Environmental Research. Final Report to the Arizona Game and Fish Heritage Fund (IO5002). (large file; available upon request)

Arizona Game and Fish Department (2009). Fossil Creek Native Fish Repatriation 2009 Implementation Plan.

Meulbauer, JD, LeRoy, CJ, Lovett, JM, Flaccus, KK, Vlieg, JK, Marks, JC (2009). Short-term Responses of Decomposers to Flow Restoration in Fossil Creek, Arizona. Hydrobiologia DOI 10.1007/s10750-008-9545-3.

Dinger, E. and Marks, JC. (2007). Effects of high levels of antimycin A on aquatic invertebrates in a warmwater Arizona Stream. North American Journal of Fisheries Management. 27: 1243-1256.

Carter CD and Marks JC (2007). Influences of travertine dam formation on leaf litter decomposition and algal accrual. Hydrobiologia 575: 329-341Doucette RR, Marks JC, Blinn DW, Caron M, and Hungate BA (2007) Measuring terrestrial subsidies to aquatic food webs using stable isotopes of hydrogen. Ecology 88(6):1587-1592.

Marks, JC. (2007). Down Go the Dams. Scientific American 296(3): 66-71.  (PDF not available)

LeRoy CJ and Marks JC (2006). Three southwestern streams show differences in leaf litter processing capacities and associated macroinvertebrate communities. Freshwater Biology 51: 605-617

Marks JC, Parnell R,Carter C, Dinger EC, Haden GA. (2006). Invited Special Feature: Interactions between geomorphology and ecosystem processes in travertine streams–implications for dam decommissioning in Fossil Creek, Arizona. Geomorphology, 77: 299-307

Flaccus K, Vleig J, Marks JC, and LeRoy CJ (2004) Restoring Fossil Creek. The Science Teacher, Summer Issue, 36-40.

Northern Arizona University (2007) What Makes Volunteer Stewardship Goups Successful? Summary Report.

Northern Arizona University (2007) 2004-2006 Fossil Creek Visitor Survey.

Northern Arizona University (2007) EcoNotes: Summary of research conducted to date.

Marsh, Paul C., Jerone A. Stefferud, and Sally E. Stefferud (2007) Fossil Creek Fish Monitoring Annual Report. In partial fulfillment of Reclamation Agreement No. 05-CS-32-0180.

Marsh, Paul C., Jerone A. Stefferud, and Sally E. Stefferud (2006) Fossil Creek Fish Monitoring Annual Report. In partial fulfillment of Reclamation Agreement No. 05-CS-32-0180.

Dinger, Eric C. (2006) Aquatic Conservation Biology in Arid Ecosystems.  PhD dissertation. Northern Arizona University.

Marks, Jane C., G. Allen Haden, Eric Dinger, Ken Adams (2005) A Survey of the Aquatic Community of Fossil Creek. Department of Biology and Merriam Powell Center for Environmental Research, NAU (Heritage Grant I03003).

Northern Arizona University (2005) Fossil Creek State of the Watershed Report: Current Conditions of the Fossil Creek Watershed Prior to Return of Full Flows and other Decommissioning Activities.

Weedman, David, Pam Sponholtz, and Shaula Hedwall (2005) Fossil Creek Native Fish Restoration Project, Final Project Report, November 2005. Arizona Game and Fish Department, Phoenix, AZ.

Short and Long-term Management, Stewardship and Education and Outreach Needs for Fossil Creek. Meeting Notes, October 2005. Provides a summary of the October 26, 2005 Fossil Creek Stewardship Meeting.

Draft Noxious Weed Plan-Childs/Irving Project, Noxious Weed Guidance. U.S. Forest Service (undated).

Invasive Plants of the Fossil Creek Area. PowerPoint file. U.S. Forest Service (undated).