Woltemade Faculty ImageChristopher Woltemade

Office:108 Shearer Hall

Curriculum Vitae: PDF


PhD (1993) Geography, University of Wisconsin
MS (1989) Geography, University of Wisconsin
MS (1989) Water Resources Management, University of Wisconsin
BA (1987) Geography, Ohio Wesleyan University


I have primary interests in water resources management, hydrology, geomorphology, and stream and wetland restoration. My current research projects reflect these interests.

I am currently working on a collaborative project (with C Jantz, T Hawkins, S Drzyzga, S Goetz, and P Jantz) to address how multiple stressors of climate change and land use/land cover change will alter hydrologic systems and forest ecosystems in the Delaware River Basin. We are constructing a basin-wide coupled modeling framework that will support societal adaptations to changing risks of floods, droughts, and forest ecosystem response across multiple scales. My role is to model the hydrologic response to extreme precipitation and drought under different patterns and intensities of urban development expected over the 21st century. We are working with resources managers to provide a scientific basis to move planning to approaches explicitly acknowledging future change and uncertainty. We appreciate the great support from the Delaware Watershed Research Fund.

I am also monitoring stream improvements on Larry's Creek, Lycoming county Pennsylvania, an area that was significantly impacted by channel straightening during the 1950s construction of State Route 287. In October 2012 a section of stream was re-built to mitigate bank erosion and includes bioengineering efforts such as "soil burritos" and toe wood. Post-project monitoring includes documentation of channel changes such as riffle-pool development and bank erosion.

I recently completed research addressing stream temperatures in the Navarro River watershed, northern California. Like many coastal California rivers, the Navarro is host to endangered coho salmon and steelhead trout and has been listed as impaired due to warm water temperatures and excessive sediment loads. The TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) for the watershed addresses those concerns, primarily via riparian forest restoration and efforts to maintain minimum discharges during the dry summer months. My work involved deploying a network of 24 temperature sensors to collect hourly data for two years and then using that data to develop statistical and deterministic models of watershed temperatures. I applied the Heat Source model to address potential changes in water temperatures due to changes in climate, riparian shade, and stream discharge. Two journal articles are in press from this work:

Woltemade, CJ and TW Hawkins. In Press. Stream temperature impacts due to changes in air temperature, land cover, and stream discharge: Navarro River watershed, California, USA. River Research and Applications.

Woltemade, CJ. In Press. Stream temperature spatial variability reflects geomorphology, hydrology, and microclimate: Navarro River watershed, California. The Professional Geographer.

Other recent research efforts include:

I am also involved in a number of projects in the immediate Shippensburg area, focusing primarily on the Burd Run watershed. During 2001-2003 I served as co-Principal Director (with Brian Jaymes, Cumberland County Conservation District) in the effort to restore the Burd Run stream channel, riparian zone, and floodplain wetlands within the Shippensburg Township Park adjacent to the SU campus. The project was supported by a $129,000 Environmental Stewardship and Watershed Protection grant from Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Growing Greener Program.

Much of the effort to work within the Burd Run watershed is the outgrowth of the "Burd Run Interdisciplinary Watershed Research Laboratory," established in 1999 with funding from the National Science Foundation. The Research Laboratory includes field and laboratory equipment that is available for faculty-student research.

Most of my research and teaching cuts across disciplinary lines, linking together elements from sciences such as hydrology, geomorphology, and aquatic biology. My approach is to better understand the biophysical system in order to support sustainable planning, management, and policy.

Teaching & Research Interests

  • Water Resources Management
  • Hydrology
  • Geomorphology
  • Stream Restoration


ESS 110: Introduction to Geology
GEO 226: Hydrology
GEO 446: Water Resources Management
GEO 522: Geoenvironmental Hydrology