Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Cliff Hupp

Cliff Hupp is a Scientist Emeritus at the Florence Bascom Geoscience Center.

Dr. Cliff R. Hupp is the Lead Scientist of the Vegetation and Hydrogeomorphology Project of the U.S. Geological Survey, National Research Program in Reston, Virginia, where he has been since 1978. Presently, he is the Research Advisor for the Geomorphology and Sediment Transport Group. He has investigated fluvial geomorphology and riparian vegetation ecology in relation to landforms and hydrologic processes for 35 years. Additional research includes studies on forested wetland biogeochemistry, channel evolution, floodplain processes and forms, sedimentation dynamics, and carbon sequestration in riparian ecosystems in the U.S. and Europe.

C.R. Hupp's background is in both plant ecology and fluvial geomorphology, and importantly the transition area(s) between these two fields. Specific areas include: vegetation patterns (species distribution) in the face of hydrogeomorphic form and process, dynamic equilibrium in fluvial (and occasionally hillslope) systems, sediment deposition and erosion in riparian areas (in channel and on floodplains), wetland hydrogeomorphic interactions with plant ecology, channel/riparian zone evolution, eco-hydrogeomorphic impacts from human alteration, organic material (carbon) dynamics in biogeochemical based studies, dendrogeomorphology, large wood dynamics in lowland rivers, vegetation-derived channel/floodplain roughness, and once upon a time-- flood frequency/magnitude analyses. He has published widely in refereed papers of journals, books, and symposia proceedings. Cliff was a student of the late John T. Hack at the George Washington University, where he received his doctorate in 1984 in plant ecology and geomorphology. He received his M.S. degree from George Mason University in plant ecology (1979). Dr. Hupp is the 1993 recipient of the Ecological Society of America, W.C. Cooper Award for outstanding research in physiographic ecology. He received the U.S. Department of Interior Superior Service Award in 2006 and the Senior Research Award of the Association of Southeastern Biologists in 2010. He served as section editor for the ESA journals “Ecology” and “Ecological Monographs” from 1999 until 2009 and is co-editor of the Ecogeomorphology Volume of the Treatise in Geomorphology. This project’s research in the cross-disciplinary field of geomorphic forms and processes and vegetation ecology, particularly (but not limited to) in alluvial areas is recognized within the Division, the USGS, and worldwide as a leader in this field. A paper on riparian vegetation and fluvial geomorphology (Hupp and Osterkamp, 1996) is the third most frequently cited paper published in the journal Geomorphology. Since 1992 this project has greatly increased the number of wetlands studied for sedimentation rates, and has been instrumental in providing guidance to other researchers both inside and outside the USGS who have also dramatically increased this number. This has lead to a worldwide greater appreciatio