Professor of Watershed Sciences, Utah State University
Center for Colorado River Studies, https://qcnr.usu.edu/wats/colorado_river_studies/
Phone: (435) 797-1791
Research Interests and Background
Professor Schmidt has devoted 30 years of research to the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River that flows through it, focused on the relationship of ecosystem health and the dams, reservoirs, and diversions associated with river management. He recently stepped down as chief of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, a position he had held since 2011. In both his university and government research, Jack has worked to encourage collaboration between federal and state agencies, tribal interests, non-governmental organization and academic institutions. He recently received the National Park Service’s Director’s Award for Natural Resource Research.
Selected Colorado River Publications
Wang, Jian, D.E. Rosenberg, K.G. Wheeler, and John C. Schmidt. 2020. Managing the Colorado River for an Uncertain Future. White Paper # 3. Center for Colorado River Studies, Utah State University. http://qcnr.usu.edu/coloradoriver/files/CCRS_White_Paper_3.pdf
Bair, L.S., C.B Yackulic, J.C. Schmidt, D.M Perry, C.J. Kirchhoff, K. Chief, and B.J. Colombi. 2019. "Incorporating social-ecological considerations into basin-wide responses to climate change in the Colorado River Basin." Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 37:14-19. www.sciencedirect.com
Schmidt, Jack. 2016. “Fill Mead First: A Technical Assessment.” Center for Colorado River Studies, Utah State University. November 10. https://qcnr.usu.edu/wats/colorado_river_studies/
Poff, LeRoy N., and John C. Schmidt. 2016. How dams can go with the flow. Science, 453(6304):1099-1100, September 9. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/353/6304/1099
Schmidt, J. C., and Grams, P. E. 2011. Understanding physical processes of the Colorado River, in effects of three high-flow experiments on the Colorado River ecosystem downstream from Glen Canyon Dam, Arizona (edited by T. S. Melis). U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1366, p. 17-51, 53-91. http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1366/c1366.pdf
Schmidt, J.C. 2010. A watershed perspective of changes in streamflow, sediment supply, and geomorphology of the Colorado River, in Proceedings of the Colorado River Basin Science and Resource Management Symposium (edited by Melis, T.S., J.F. Hamill, L.G. Coggins Jr., P.E. Grams, T.A. Kennedy, D.M. Kubly, and B.E. Ralston, November 18–20, 2008, Scottsdale, Arizona: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5135, p. 51-76). http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2010/5135/
Grams, P. E., J.C. Schmidt, and M.E. Andersen. 2010. High-flow experiment at Glen Canyon Dam: morphologic response of eddy-deposited sandbars and associated aquatic backwater habitats along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1032, 73 p. http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2010/1032/. https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2010/1032/of2010-1032.pdf
Hazel, J.E. Jr., P.E. Grams, J.C. Schmidt, and M. Kaplinski. 2010. Sandbar response in Marble and Grand Canyons, Arizona, following the 2008 High-Flow Experiment on the Colorado River. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010-5015, 52p., http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2010/5015/.
Selected Colorado River Presentations
“Running the Rapids of Climate Change: What Does the Science Say?” at the annual meeting of the Colorado River Water Users Association. Las Vegas, NV; December 12, 2019.
“Implications of/for Temperature, Salinity and Sediment Management” at the Colorado River Conversations: Integrating Science and Identifying Solutions conference. Tucson, AZ; October 29, 2019. https://ccass.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/CRCC_FinalAgenda_0.pdf
“A Virtual Tour of the Colorado River” at the Colorado River Conversations: Integrating Science and Identifying Solutions conference. Tucson, AZ; October 28, 2019. https://ccass.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/CRCC_FinalAgenda_0.pdf
“The Opportunities and Challenges of Considering Alternative Management Paradigms (AMPs)” at the 40th Annual Summer Water Conference of the Getches-Wilkinson Center (Charting a Better Course for the Colorado River: Identifying the Data and Concepts to Shape the Interim Guidelines Renegotiation). Boulder, CO; June 7, 2019. https://www.getches-wilkinsoncenter.cu.law/events/2019-gwc-summer-conference/.
“Harnessing Resources to Foster a Sustainable Colorado River” at the Tribal Basin-Wide Gathering/Workshop. February 13, 2019; Fort McDowell, Arizona.
“The Future of the Colorado River” (host) symposium of the Utah State University Center for Colorado River Studies on October 13, 2018. Moab, UT. http://qcnr.usu.edu/wats/colorado_river_studies/
“Policy Leadership in the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program: Stakeholders or Science?” at the 10th Biennial Bay-Delta Science Symposium. Sacramento, CA; September 10, 2018.
“The Future of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon” as part of the Colorado River Days program. Flagstaff, AZ; September 5, 2018. http://www.coloradoriverdaysflagstaff.org/workshops/.
“Unintended Consequences: Environmental Damage” and “Healing the Entire River: A Broader Perspective” at the Urban Waterfronts Conference. Yuma, AZ; January 26, 2018. http://www.2018uw.com/index.html.
"Singing a Challenging Tune: Harmonizing Dams and Environmental Mitigation" at the annual conference of the Colorado River Water Users Association (CRWUA). Las Vegas, NV; December 13, 2017.
"Competing objectives for the Colorado River: water supply, hydropower, and river rehabilitation -- can we have it all?" at the Upper Colorado River Basin Forum. Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction, CO; November 2, 2016. http://www.coloradomesa.edu/water-center/forum/
“Conservation challenges for the Colorado River: thinking out loud.” National Parks Conservation Association Southwest Regional Council meeting. Salt Lake City, UT. February 12, 2016.
“Restoring the Colorado River, challenges and opportunities.” Stegner Center, University of Utah. Salt Lake City. January 19, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zwXVSnMzSo&feature=youtu.be
“Threats to national parks of the Colorado River watershed.” Outdoor Retailers Convention (winter). Salt Lake City, UT. January 7, 2016.
“A perspective on future changes in stream flow, sediment supply, temperature, and aquatic ecosystem of the Colorado River.” USGS. November 2, 2015.