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David R Piatt

David Piatt (he/him/his) is an ecologist at the USGS Oregon Water Science Center.

Dave started with the USGS in 2003 as a term Fish Biologist in the Klamath Falls, Oregon field station where he captured, tagged, and recorded life-history of threatened and endangered suckers.  Later that year he transitioned to operating water-quality monitors and collecting water samples for chemical analysis.  

In late-2003, Dave moved to the Oregon Water Science Center in Portland to work on the North Santiam Turbidity Study where he operated up to 13 water-quality monitoring stations, processed the data, and collected suspended-sediment until the study ended in 2011.  Later in 2011, Dave became the Project Chief for the North Santiam Chlorophyll study which remained active until 2015.

In addition to the N. Santiam projects, Dave worked for the Lower Columbia River Ecosystems Monitoring Program (2010-2014) collecting and processing algae and phytoplankton samples for chlorophyll and stable isotope analysis, collecting and processing water samples for nutrient and chemical contaminants, and performing nutrient, stable and radioactive isotope uptake experiments to determine algae growth requirements and growth rates, in addition to operating water-quality monitors.

Some of Dave's other duties included collecting environmental DNA (eDNA) samples at 48 sites over three weeks in 2022, in the Colorado River Basin; harvesting fishes to determine the bioaccumulation of PFAS from a boat in the Columbia River Slough, 2019 and 2020, and being a team member on three Regional Stream-Quality Assessments in the Pacific Northwest (2015), Northeast U.S. (2016), and northern California (2017). Dave was a fish taxonomist during the Pacific Northwest assessment, identifying fish species, collecting DNA samples, and recording life history data.  He trained approximately 10 others to collect water-quality samples at more than 50 sites over six weeks, during the Pacific Northwest Regional Assessment.

Since 2011, Dave works for the National Water-Quality Network (NWQN, formerly NAWQA, NSQN, and HBN), collecting and processing water-quality samples using parts-per-million and part-per-billion techniques.  From 2007 to 2011, he performed habitat assessments, collected algae, insect, and fish samples for NAWQA ecology.  He also operates water-quality monitors, and operates, programs, and maintains two profiling stations for the Source Water Protection and Harmful Algal Bloom projects.

From August through December 2018, and again from July through October 2021, Dave served as Acting Supervisory Hydrologic Technician for the Studies Field Operations Team.