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Isa Woo

I am a Biologist with USGS, Western Ecological Research Center. My research focuses on estuaries, restoration research, and monitoring in the San Francisco Bay and Puget Sound ecosystems.

With over 10 years of experience leading the Wetland Restoration Program at USGS San Francisco Bay Estuary Field Station, I have been fortunate to have worked in amazing wetlands, including the Alaskan tundra, Mo'orea mangroves, Wisconsin lacustrine wetlands, and coastal and tidal marshes in San Francisco Bay and Puget Sound.  At USGS, I have helped developed, implemented, and established new tools to track restoration change (i.e., remote sensing, RTK GPS mapping, bathymetry system, remote logger network) as well as establish the benthic ecology laboratory.  As a cohesive team, we provide science support to land managers with assessments of early phase estuarine restorations within a long term monitoring framework (incorporating Climate Change and Blue Carbon data needs). 

We work closely with Federal, Tribal, and State managers so that applied research addresses adaptive management priorities on a variety of topic areas such as: restoration effectiveness, USFWS Tidal Marsh Recovery Plan species and habitats, benthic invertebrate prey availability and carrying capacity for shorebirds, juvenile salmonid invertebrate prey within habitat mosaics within a restored estuary, benthic invertebrate colonization along elevation gradients, methylmercury in tidal marsh, food webs, and inundation and salinity effects on plants. The manuscript Woo and Zedler 2002 was selected as one of the top 30 papers in the past 30 years in the international journal Wetlands (

I am also interested in outreach and education.  I co-created an online repository of wetland monitoring, and designed a practitioner’s online guide to monitoring methods   Our programs have benefitted from student interns (high school to graduate level students) through various internships (e.g., USGS NAGT, SISNAR, and Youth internships, Solano Community College Internships, and Benicia High School Ech2O Academy).








Davis, M. J., Woo, I., Ellings, C. S., Hodgson, S., Beauchamp, D. A., Nakai, G. and De La Cruz, S. E. W.  2019. Freshwater Tidal Forests and Estuarine Wetlands May Confer Early Life Growth Advantages for Delta‐Reared Chinook Salmon. Trans Am Fish Soc, 148: 289-307. doi:10.1002/tafs.10134

Drexler, J. Z., Woo, I. , Fuller, C. C. and Nakai, G. 2019. Carbon accumulation and vertical accretion in a restored versus historic salt marsh in southern Puget Sound, Washington, United States. Restor Ecol. doi:10.1111/rec.12941

Holmquist, J.R., L. Windham-Myers, N. Bliss, S. Crooks, J.T. Morris, P.J. Megonigal, T. Trox