Cleo Woelfle-Erskine, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, School of Marine & Environmental Affairs

Research areas

Cleo Woelfle-Erskine’s research focuses on ecological and social dimensions of human relations to rivers and their multi-species inhabitants. Trained in ecology, hydrology, geomorphology, critical social science, and feminist science and technology studies, he facilitates collaborative research in partnership with tribes, agencies, citizen scientists, and local community members. His PhD work in the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley involved a collaborative of scientists and local residents who are experimenting with storing winter rain to increase summer streamflow. He is developing research projects on hydro-ecological and social effects of beaver relocation in eastern Washington, and environmental justice dimensions of fishing and shellfishing in urban Puget Sound. As a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz, he explored queer, transgender, and decolonial possibilities for ecological science. His manuscript in progress, Underflow: Transfiguring riverine relations, imagining queer-trans ecologies considers the lingering presences of Manifest Destiny (ecological, socio-scientific, and psychological) and the ways that this injurious “destiny” can be transfigured and overturned to renew human-water-fish relations.

Selected publications

Woelfle-Erskine, C. In press. The watershed body: Transgressing frontiers in riverine sciences, planning stochastic multispecies worlds. Catalyst, Special Issue: Feminist Theory Out of Science.

Woelfle-Erskine, C. 2017. Collaborative approaches to flow restoration in intermittent salmon-bearing streams: Salmon Creek, CA, USA. Water, Special Issue: Variability in Mediterranean-Climate Waters: Space, Time, and Intensity. doi: 10.3390/w9030217

Woelfle-Erskine, C., Laurel G. Larsen, Stephanie M. Carlson. 2017. Abiotic habitat thresholds for salmonid over-summer survival in intermittent streams. Ecosphere. DOI: 1-.1002/ecs2.1645

Woelfle-Erskine, C. and J. Cole, 2015. Transfiguring the Anthropocene: Stochastic re-imaginings of human-beaver worlds. Transgender Studies Quarterly, Special Issue: Tranimacies. doi: 10.1215/23289252-2867625

Woelfle-Erskine, C. 2015. “Rain tanks, springs, and broken pipes as emerging water commons along Salmon Creek, CA, USA.” ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, Special Issue: Researching household water practices.

Woelfle-Erskine, C., A. C. Wilcox, and J. N. Moore. 2012. “Combining historical and process perspectives to infer ranges of geomorphic variability and inform river restoration in a wandering gravel-bed river.” Earth Surface Processes & Landforms. doi: 10.1002/esp.3276.

Books, chapters, popular articles, and reports

Woelfle-Erskine, C. 2015. “Connecting rain to taps and drains to gardens: Emerging cultural waterscapes in California cities.” in Lassiter, A. ed., The Sustainable Water Reader: Lessons from California for the 21st Century, University of California.

Woelfle-Erskine, C. and A. Uncapher. Creating Rain Gardens. Portland, Oreg.: Timber Press, 2012.

Woelfle-Erskine, C. “Riparian Repair” in High Country News, August 25, 2008.

Woelfle-Erskine, C., J.O. Cole, L. Allen, eds. Dam Nation: Dispatches from the Water Underground. New York: Soft Skull, 2007.

Ramos, P., A. Deen, A. Vanderwarker, C. Woelfle-Erskine, Thirsty for Justice: A People’s Blueprint for California Water, The Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, 2005 (