About Us

Researching & Advocating River Ecosystem Science

The Cal Poly Humboldt River Institute’s mission is to conserve and restore river ecosystems locally, nationally, and internationally through multi-disciplinary research, education, policy reform, improved management practices, and creative restoration strategies.

The River Institute is located on Cal Poly Humboldt’s campus in Arcata, California, within the Department of Environmental Science & Management. Given Humboldt’s international reputation in Natural Resources management, the River Institute is a catalyst promoting river ecosystem research among diverse faculty expertise (at Humboldt and elsewhere), motivated students, and professionals. Research alone, however, cannot fulfill the River Institute’s mission. Active participation in its real-world application comprises roughly half of our efforts.

River Institute researchers

Students and researchers in the River Institute lab at Humboldt.


The River Institute will:

  • Be a catalyst for promoting interdisciplinary river ecosystem research.
    Little River Fish
  • Inspire the next generation of river ecologists and innovative restorationists to achieve long-term river ecosystem health.
  • Mentor students in the field of river ecosystem sciences and management through courses, seminars, field trips, guest speakers, internships and research assistantships.
  • Inform the public about issues critical to river health and provide opportunities for participation.
  • Communicate river science to policymakers to affect scientifically-defendable policy reform.
  • Demonstrate how using a river ecosystem perspective will improve our restoration strategies/planning and everyday management actions.