Ed Connor

Ed Connor

Overview and Professional Qualifications

ed connorDr. Edward Connor is an aquatic ecologist at Seattle City Light. He currently serves as the City of Seattle’s endangered fish recovery and research coordinator for the Skagit River basin. He worked as an environmental consultant for 10 years prior to working for the City of Seattle. His project work includes research on bull trout, steelhead, and Chinook salmon populations in western Washington, habitat studies of fish and amphibians in forested watersheds, water quality modeling studies, and instream flow management studies. He has conducted studies on the ecological effects of hydroelectric dam operations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and California.

Dr. Connor’s areas of expertise include aquatic ecology, salmonid life history and behavior, population modeling, hydrological and water quality modeling, and fluvial geomorphology. He initiated research on the impacts of climate change in the Skagit River watershed in 2001. His current climate related research work in the Skagit includes monitoring and assessing natural variability in stream and reservoir temperatures in the Skagit River watershed, determining how temperature requirements influences the habitat use bull trout in the upper Skagit, and analyzing the impacts of increasing hydrological variability and shifting ocean survival conditions on Skagit steelhead populations.

Areas of management potentially impacted by Dr. Connor’s findings are salmonid fish life history and population viability, dam operations, fish habitat restoration and protection, and water quality.

Research Interests
Listing of Dr. Connor’s Skagit-specific research interests:

  • Spatial and temporal variability in stream and reservoir water temperatures under current and future conditions
  • Life history, habitat use, and population dynamics of ESA-listed fish species (i.e., bull trout, steelhead, Chinook salmon)
  • Influence of stream and reservoir temperature regimes on behavior, migration timing, habitat use, and trophic status of bull trout in the Skagit watershed
  • Effects of hydrological variability and reservoir operations on steelhead, bull trout, and Chinook salmon populations
  • Reservoir and river temperature monitoring and modeling to assess the long-term impacts of climate change on salmonid fish
  • Identifying priorities for habitat restoration and protection of ESA-listed species using hydrological and habitat simulation models
  • • Instream flow requirements of salmonid fish

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D. Ecology, University of California, Davis, 1996
  • M.S. Wildland Resource Science, University of California, Berkely, 1981
  • B.S. Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine, 1979
  • Certifications in instream flow modeling (PHABSIM), water resource project flow modeling, stream temperature modeling, and reservoir water quality modeling.

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Founding member of the Skagit Climate Science Consortium.
  • American Fisheries Society
  • Association of Power Biologists
  • North American Benthological Society
  • Salvelinus Confluentus Curiosity Society
  • Skagit Watershed Council, science panel and project review committee
  • Puget Sound Bull Trout Recovery Unit Team (USFWS)
  • Puget Sound Steelhead Technical Recovery Team (NOAA Fisheries)

Contact information
Dr. Edward J. Connor
700 Fifth Ave., Suite 3300
P.O. Box 34023
Seattle, WA 98124-4023
Tel: 206-615-1128
Email: Ed.Connor@Seattle.Gov