The F.R.E.S.H (Feminist Research in Eco-Social-Hydro) Water Relations Lab is an in-the-flesh and virtual space for research in rivers, coasts, and oceans. Collectively, we work to ground research in community goals, practice accountability to our collaborators and colleagues, and confront structural racism, settler colonialism, and cisheterosexism in the university and other institutions where we work. We take a feminist approach* to organizing the lab’s collective work, and welcome short and long-term visitors who share our interests. In our biweekly meetings, lab members present work at any stage—from napkin doodles to manuscript revisions—and critique and contribute to one another’s projects.

*For example, we rotate facilitation; use anarchist strategies like “progressive stack” to generate lively, respectful discussion; and help one another bring our full selves to our work through reflexive discussion and writing.

Cleo Wölfle-Hazard, our PI, studies rivers—their Indigenous governance, multispecies relations, politics, and surface and subsurface flows. His ongoing collaborations with Native nations and grassroots organizations center Indigenous and land-based knowledges about salmon and water in the context of river restoration science and management.

Our lab is collaborative and self-reflective. Our lab is a great place to practice and improve at any stage of an idea or project. We take time to develop skills and increase familiarity with other academic conversations including methodologies and other critical analyses. Our topics are broad, from community education to ecological restoration. We solicit feedback from one another to then report back on during the following meeting.

P.I.


Cleo Wölfle-Hazard

I am a queer, trans, and undisciplined scholar of rivers and their multispecies communities. Growing out of several decades of work in community-based river and water justice work, I work across fields of ecology, feminist science and technology studies (STS), geography, and queer and trans theory. Read more.

Current Lab Members


Sofi Courtney
Environmental and Forest Sciences student
American Indian Studies Student

Sofi Courtney is a Future Rivers National Research Trainee and a doctoral student at the University of Washington. Sofi’s work focuses on the Karuk Tribe’s ecocultural restoration of riparian vegetation on the Klamath River with an emphasis on knowledge co-production processes and community engaged research. In their work, Sofi aims to promote justice and community well-being while working in the context of Indigenous studies and wetland plant ecology.


Casey Duncan
master of Marine Affairs Student

Casey is a Future Rivers National Research Trainee Fellow and a master’s student in the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. Her research with the Karuk Department of Natural Resources and Quartz Valley Indian Community Environmental Protection Department uses geospatial analysis to assess climate adaptive restoration strategies for protecting critical salmon habitat in the Klamath River. After graduating she hopes to continue working on collaborations between federally and tribally managed watersheds.


Hannah King
master of Marine Affairs Student

Hannah is a master’s student in the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. Her background is in conservation biology and public health. Working as a guide and naturalist from Washington to Alaska, she fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and returned to school to gain the skills necessary to address the area’s mounting environmental issues. She is interested in salmon habitat restoration, the politics of dam removal, and how Indigenous management strategies can inform environmental protection policies and plans. She is collaborating on a beaver recovery project with the Karuk Tribe’s Department of Natural Resources.


Jenny Liou
Master of Marine Affairs student

Jenny is a Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center Fellow and a master’s student in the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. She works at the intersection of ecology, critical physical geography, and history/philosophy/literature of science. Her current projects include working with the Quartz Valley Indian Community to plan for salmon restoration/conservation strategies in the context of climate change, and theorizing the dialectics of immigrant and Indigenous ecologies.


Caitie Sheban
Master of Marine Affairs student

Caitie is a student in the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. She interested in how people use science in decision making, and in environmental history and policy that connect the theoretical to the daily work on the ground. Her capstone project will be looking at NOAA’s restoration work along the Lower Duwamish River, and how diverse public opinion is incorporated into restoration decisions. Caitie is always interested in building relationships between people and places, and especially loves exploring with young scientists.


Morgan Southall
Master of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning student

Morgan is from West Virginia, where she grew up loving the smell of trees and feeling creek waters flow around her feet. She has worked on a variety of design and planning projects including brownfields, rail-to-trails, parks and trail systems, campus landscapes, and floodplain revitalization. Her work emphasizes Karuk ecocultural principles and practices, centering respect, reciprocity, and agency of human and more-than-human collaborators. When she’s not staring at a computer screen, she enjoys meeting new people, trying to grow plants, and finding excuses to “fall” into creeks.


George Thomas, Jr.
Master of Marine Affairs student

(he/him) George is a master’s candidate in the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, working with colleagues and community scientists on projects focusing on improving water quality and enhancing salmon habitat in the industrialized lower Duwamish River. He was a contributing writer for SMEA’s student blog, Currents, which is dedicated to sharing timely and relevant discussions about pressing environmental issues. His primary areas of concern are salmon habitat restoration and communicating new research addressing the climate emergency.


Jocine Velasco
Master of Landscape Architecture

(she/they/siya) Jocine is a brown settler from the Philippines, Florida and Louisiana. They work across disciplines of landscape design, restoration ecology, geography, feminist STS and political ecology, art and poetry. Jocine’s primary focus has been on the impacts of fire exclusion, settler concepts of property and climate change on Pacific Western prairies, grasslands and oak savannas. She is collaborating with the FRESH Lab and the Karuk Tribe in the Klamath River watershed/fireshed/foodshed. Jocine believes in the power of community organizing, mutual aid and collective liberation.

Past Lab Members


Sam KLEIN, 2021
Master of Marine Affairs

Sam is interested in studying human interactions with coastal ecosystems and the restoration of these dynamic habitats. During graduate school, she worked on a project monitoring the effectiveness of artificial floating wetlands as a restoration technique in the industrialized Duwamish River.


James Lee, 2021
Master of Marine Affairs
Graduate Certificate in Climate Science

(he/him) James is a past Washington Sea Grant Science Communications Fellow and past editor-in-chief of Currents, a UW graduate student publication. He came to the FRESH Lab with training in seagrass and salt marsh ecology, as well as a history of community organizing in his Bay Area home town. He worked with FRESH Lab colleagues to monitor and assess a restoration project in the Lower Duwamish River, and to support the Duwamish Tribe’s trail restoration efforts with an assessment of the Puget Creek watershed.


Charlotte Dohrn, 2020
Master of Marine Affairs

Charlotte is an interdisciplinary researcher interested in bridging science and policy to support implementation of projects that build resilience in coastal ecological and social systems. As a past fellow with the Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center, she collaborated with the Puget Sound Restoration Fund to understand habitat suitability for restoring native oysters in the Salish Sea.


Susannah Maher, 2020
Master of Marine Affairs

I am interested in the ways that communities come together to address the complex environmental issues they face everyday. I work to understand how climate change will affect restoration and conservation work done by agencies and communities on the ground. I have a deep commitment to center Indigenous knowledge and agency in all of my work. As a student I worked with the Scott River Watershed Council and the Karuk Tribe to identify potential climate impacts and restoration strategies.


Sarah Montgomery, 2020
Master of Marine Affairs

I am an ecologist who endeavors to understand and protect aquatic systems and processes. My graduate research was about eulachon, an understudied species. Eulachon are so cool!

I am firmly planted in the Northwest. I grew up on Puget Sound and studied at the University of Washington for my undergraduate degrees, a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Classical Studies. I currently work in the consulting industry.


Debbie Rose, 2020
MAster of Marine Affairs

(she/her) My research looked at the potential siting of beaver dams or beaver dam analogs as a restoration strategy in the Scott River watershed in California. I also looked at the implications of such projects on water storage and summer low flows under multiple climate change scenarios and evaluate the capabilities of restoration projects to offset climate impacts for humans and salmon in the region. I hope to apply what I learned about salmon restoration and climate resiliency in California to local projects in the greater Puget Sound area.


Ashley Bagley, 2019
Master of Marine Affairs
Graduate Certificate in Climate Science

In graduate school, Ashley examined how engineered logjams can be used as a mitigation tool to create suitable freshwater salmon habitat in the face of a changing climate. Ashley was a past Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow with Long Live the Kings, a local non-profit focused on salmon and steelhead recovery throughout the Salish Sea.


Emily Casaretto, 2019
Master of Marine Affairs

Emily centers her work around how people, particularly children, form meaningful relationships to the ocean and how such insights can be applied to marine science education. For her SMEA master’s thesis, she explored the gendered depictions of marine animals in historic children’s literature. Emily currently lives and works in Santa Cruz, CA.


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