Steven Weiss

What is your motivation for doing research related to free-flowing rivers?

Since my childhood I have been drawn to mountains, forests and rivers where I spent countless days backpacking and fishing. As my career focused on the conservation of wild fish populations, I witnessed the loss of habitat due to a wide-range of actions, but especially the ongoing expansion of hydropower. I realized how little rivers in our region are understood and appreciated.  Our rivers need communicators for both the scientific community and the general public.

Why should we defend these wild rivers?

Whether in an urban landscape or pristine wilderness, wild rivers provide humans and non-human animals and plants with countless benefits – they are self-cleaning, self-maintaining and biologically productive; they are dynamic and diverse sources of recreation, clean water, food, transport and therapy. They are home to countless life forms that depend on them, and they are often historically rich in reflecting the history of our own development.  But they are needlessly disappearing before our eyes.