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Steven Sobieszczyk, GISP
"Hello and welcome"
Steven Sobieszczyk is an hydrologist and public information officer. He has degrees in landslide engineering geology and geographic information systems (GIS). Coming out of school, and after a brief stint with NASA, Steven moved out west to model landslide hazards in northern California. He eventually settled in Oregon in 2002 and has been studying watersheds in Oregon ever since. Steven is interested in landslide hazards, flooding, water quality, and stream ecosystems and has published numerous scientific reports, journal articles, and data sets on these topics. He is also heavily involved in science communication and has contributed to blogs, websites, podcasts, and videos promoting scientific literacy. Steven has spent significant time speaking with different audiences, including an appointment with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management as media lead and spokesperson.
- Rainfall triggering thresholds for landslides in Pacific Northwest
- DOI Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team
- Ecosystem stressors in the Tualatin River Basin
- Community engagement
- Web development
- Video production
Science and Products
In 1990, the USGS began assessing water-quality in the Tualatin River. Almost 30 years later, we are still monitoring conditions in the basin.
Post-fire landslides are particularly hazardous because they can occur with little warning, can exert great force on objects in their paths, can strip vegetation, block drainage ways, damage structures, and endanger human life. Our focus is to develop tools and methods for the prediction of post-wildfire landslide activity and hazard delineation.
Between 1999 and 2015, the USGS monitored water-quality conditions in the North Santiam River Basin. Streamflow conditions are still monitored.
Prioritization framework for ranking riverine ecosystem stressors using example sites from the Tualatin River Basin, Oregon
As human populations increase, so does their influence over the environment. Altered terrain, degraded water quality, and threatened or endangered species are all-too-common consequences of a growing anthropogenic influence on the landscape. To help manage these effects, researchers have developed new ways to characterize current environmental...Sobieszczyk, Steven; Jones, Krista L.; Rounds, Stewart A.; Nilsen, Elena B.; Morace, Jennifer L.
Klamath River Basin water-quality data
The Klamath River Basin stretches from the mountains and inland basins of south-central Oregon and northern California to the Pacific Ocean, spanning multiple climatic regions and encompassing a variety of ecosystems. Water quantity and water quality are important topics in the basin, because water is a critical resource for farming and municipal...Sobieszczyk, Steven; Smith, Cassandra D.; Rounds, Stewart A.; Orzol, Leonard L.
Organic matters: investigating the sources, transport, and fate of organic matter in Fanno Creek, Oregon
The term organic matter refers to the remnants of all living material. This can include fallen leaves, yard waste, animal waste, downed timber, or the remains of any other plant and animal life. Organic matter is abundant both on land and in water. Investigating organic matter is necessary for understanding the fate and transport of carbon (a...Sobieszczyk, Steven; Keith, Mackenzie K.; Goldman, Jami H.; Rounds, Stewart A.
Investigating organic matter in Fanno Creek, Oregon, Part 1 of 3: estimating annual foliar biomass for a deciduous-dominant urban riparian corridor
For this study, we explored the amount, type, and distribution of foliar biomass that is deposited annually as leaf litter to Fanno Creek and its floodplain in Portland, Oregon, USA. Organic matter is a significant contributor to the decreased dissolved oxygen concentrations observed in Fanno Creek each year and leaf litter is amongst the largest...Sobieszczyk, Steven; Keith, Mackenzie K.; Rounds, Stewart A.; Goldman, Jami H.
Investigating organic matter in Fanno Creek, Oregon, Part 2 of 3: sources, sinks, and transport of organic matter with fine sediment
Organic matter (OM) is abundant in Fanno Creek, Oregon, USA, and has been tied to a variety of water-quality concerns, including periods of low dissolved oxygen downstream in the Tualatin River, Oregon. The key sources of OM in Fanno Creek and other Tualatin River tributaries have not been fully identified, although isotopic analyses from previous...Keith, Mackenzie K.; Sobieszczyk, Steven; Goldman, Jami H.; Rounds, Stewart A.
Investigating organic matter in Fanno Creek, Oregon, Part 3 of 3: identifying and quantifying sources of organic matter to an urban stream
The sources, transport, and characteristics of organic matter (OM) in Fanno Creek, an urban stream in northwest Oregon, were assessed and quantified using: (1) optical instruments to calculate transported loads of dissolved, particulate, and total organic carbon, (2) fluorescence spectroscopy and stable isotope ratios (δ13C, δ15N) to...Goldman, Jami H.; Rounds, Stewart A.; Keith, Mackenzie K.; Sobieszczyk, Steven
Geomorphic setting, aquatic habitat, and water-quality conditions of the Molalla River, Oregon, 2009-10
This report presents results from a 2009-10 assessment of the lower half of the Molalla River. The report describes the geomorphic setting and processes governing the physical layout of the river channel and evaluates changes in river geometry over the past several decades using analyses of aerial imagery and other quantitative techniques.Carpenter, Kurt D.; Czuba, Christiana R.; Magiri, Christopher S.; Marineau, Mathieu D.; Sobieszczyk, Steve; Czuba, Jonathan A.; Keith, Mackenzie K.
Water-quality in the North Santiam River basin, Oregon-Comparison of water-quality data for water year 2007 with the preceding period of record
Water-quality data have been collected in the North Santiam River basin since 1998. During water year 2007, eight monitoring stations were operated throughout the basin. Streamflow data were collected at all but one of these sites. This report presents a comparison of the water-quality and streamflow data collected at each monitoring station from...Piatt, David R.; Johnston, Matthew W.; Bragg, Heather M.; Brooks, Amy M.; Sobieszczyk, Steven; Uhrich, Mark A.
Active channel for Fanno Creek, Oregon
Fanno Creek is a tributary to the Tualatin River and flows though parts of the southwest Portland metropolitan area. The stream is heavily influenced by urban runoff and shows characteristic flashy streamflow and poor water quality commonly associated with urban streams. This data set represents the active, wetted channel as derived from light...Sobieszczyk, Steven
Geomorphic floodplain with organic matter (biomass) estimates for Fanno Creek, Oregon
Fanno Creek is a tributary to the Tualatin River and flows though parts of the southwest Portland metropolitan area. The stream is heavily influenced by urban runoff and shows characteristic flashy streamflow and poor water quality commonly associated with urban streams. This data set represents the geomorphic floodplain as derived from light...Sobieszczyk, Steven
Land cover classification for Fanno Creek, Oregon
Fanno Creek is a tributary to the Tualatin River and flows though parts of the southwest Portland metropolitan area. The stream is heavily influenced by urban runoff and shows characteristic flashy streamflow and poor water quality commonly associated with urban streams. This data set represents the floodplain land cover as derived from light...Sobieszczyk, Steven
Normalized Difference Vegetation Index for Fanno Creek, Oregon
Fanno Creek is a tributary to the Tualatin River and flows though parts of the southwest Portland metropolitan area. The stream is heavily influenced by urban runoff and shows characteristic flashy streamflow and poor water quality commonly associated with urban streams. This data set represents the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI),...Sobieszczyk, Steven
Welcome to the USGS GeoLog Locator, an online tool for viewing and downloading digital borehole geophysical logs. These borehole logs are used to answer scientific questions about things like groundwater availability, geologic structure of the Earth, and certain characteristics of the structure of the soil and rock formations. The Geolog map viewer allows users to zoom and...
Bob is a beaver.
Beavers and their dams are common sights along creeks in Oregon. Beaver activity can create diverse habitats and homes for many animals, including birds, fishes, and dragonflies. The USGS are studying beaver dams and ponds in Portland, Oregon, to understand how they affect the amount and quality of water in urban streams. Insights...
Follow a U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist as he takes part in the National Water-Quality Assessment Program in the Pacific Northwest. In 1991, the U.S. Congress established the program to develop long-term, nationally consistent information on the quality of the Nation’s streams and ground water, and thereby support scientifically sound decisions for water-quality...
In this episode, high school students from Rosemary Anderson High School in Portland, Oregon, visit the USGS Oregon Water Science Center for a ‘Science Career Day‘ event. Scientists work with the students and try to promote the appeal and benefits of a career in science. The day is broken up into two parts: an early morning discussion period, and an afternoon field period...
In this episode, we talk about organic carbon. The benefit of studying carbon extends to many issues, including tracing mercury contamination or investigating disinfection by-products in drinking water treatment. It is amazing what can be discovered by monitoring the volume and flux of carbon through the environment. Learn about the biogeochemistry of carbon from USGS...
In this episode, we follow a group of students from the Jane Goodall Environmental Middle School on a class trip to Pintail Marsh at the Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge. There they join USGS ecologist Tara Chestnut to investigate and sample for the amphibian chytrid fungus. Join us, as we explore how research and wonder can bring greater light to this potentially fatal...
In this episode, we are going to investigate more than just the substance "water." We are going to examine what is in our nations' water, how we at the U.S. Geological Survey monitor it, and what tools we have developed to aid those who want to explore more about our planet's most abundant resource. This is the USGS Oregon Science Podcast.
In this episode we explore how scientists for the USGS National Water Quality Assessment Program investigate the ecological health of rivers and streams across the United States. Focusing on a recent sampling effort along the Minam River in northeast Oregon, this video highlights USGS sampling methods for fish, macroinvertebrates (bugs), algae, and habitat. Join us, as we...
Today on the USGS CoreCast we explore what impact emerging contaminants have on the health and development of aquatic wildlife. We traveled to the Pacific Northwest to talk with a multidisciplinary research team of USGS scientists about an ongoing study that characterizes the contaminants and habitats for a number of aquatic species along the lower Columbia River....
In this episode we take to the water and accompany a USGS field crew as they collect largescale suckers (Catostomus macrocheilus) along the lower Columbia River. Using a boat equipped with specialized shocking equipment, researchers stun nearby fish, allowing them to be easily collected and examined. Join us, as we explore how native fish are used to determine the water...
In this month’s episode we discuss how 3-D modeling is used to examine groundwater in the Columbia Plateau. USGS hydrologist Erick Burns describes how his team modeled the 53,000 mi2 plateau, how this information is currently used, and what implications it has for the future. Join us, as we explore how cutting edge science today is used to solve tomorrow’s...
USGS Hydrologist presents talk about the flooding and debris flow hazards that exist after the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire at "Science on Tap" presentation.
A newly published scientific study discovered that some resident fish in the lower Columbia River, namely largescale suckers, contain chemicals that health officials have determined can cause health concerns for people who eat large quantities of the fish.