Jason joined The Wilderness Society in 2011 as a watershed ecologist. His research is focused on understanding how anthropogenic impacts (climate change and oil and gas development) affect freshwater ecosystems in Alaska. His work seeks to integrate empirical data and models to understand how human-induced stress affects local hydrology and, subsequently, freshwater species.
Aquatic systems in Alaska are experiencing unprecedented change, yet little is known about how landscape heterogeneity will influence anticipated impacts. Jason is using a spatially explicit life-cycle model to explore how local changes in streamflow and stream temperature affect coho salmon life-stage survivals and watershed productivity. Additionally, he is collaborating with scientists at the University of Alaska Anchorage to explore the feasibility of using lake midge assemblages within a quantitative model to understand the distribution of hypoxic (low oxygen) overwintering fish habitat in the Arctic coastal plain. His research will provide valuable information on the complexity of freshwater ecosystems and help quantify how hydrology and species will respond to future anthropogenic impacts.
Jason received a M.S. degree from the University of Montana’s Department of Forest Management, where he examined the effects of climate change and stream regulation on historical summer streamflow trends the Central Rocky Mountains. He received a B.S. in Land Resource Analysis and Management from the Department of Land Resource Environmental Science at Montana State University. In 2011, Jason moved to Alaska from Montana, where he lived for 10 years. During his decade in Montana, he refined his passion for exploring and protecting wild places while attending school, as an instructor for Outward Bound Wilderness and as a guide for the Montana Mountaineering Association. As a recent immigrant to the great state of Alaska, he takes every possible opportunity to explore the wild mountains and rivers. He is an avid fly-fisherman, hunter, backcountry skier, climber and pack-rafter.
Leppi J.C., DeLuca T.H., Solomon H.W., Running S.W., 2011. Impacts of climate change on August stream discharge in the Central-Rocky Mountains. Journal of Climatic Change. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-011-0235-1.
Leppi J.C., Rinella D.J., Wilson R.W., Loya W.M 2013. Linking climate change projections for an Alaska watershed to future coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) production (In Prep)
Jason’s personal research webpage: