Office of Research

Columbia Basin Research


Columbia Basin Research (CBR) is an interdisciplinary research center under the joint leadership of James Anderson, Research Professor, and John Skalski, Professor of Biological Statistics. They provide quantitative approaches to issues involving endangered salmonid stocks in the Columbia River Basin. CBR has a dozen staff members, including statisticians, programmers, and graduate students.
Anderson's focus is mathematical ecology with emphasis in three overlapping areas: migration of organisms, decision processes, and mortality processes. Recent studies include: juvenile and adult migration behavior of Columbia River salmon, cognition in predator/prey interactions, and effects of intrinsic and environmental factors on survival patterns in fish and human populations. We provide a publicly accessible and value-added second-tier database site, with a wide range of historical and real-time environmental and fish population data from the Columbia Basin. We provide web-based analysis tools to track and evaluate issues pertaining to the management and restoration of Columbia River fish populations.

Skalski's focus is on mark-recapture tagging studies, primarily on salmonid stocks in the Columbia Basin, but including such studies as abundance of martens and fishers in Michigan or mourning doves in Missouri. Our goal is to ensure that tagging studies are conducted with the best available design and analysis by providing sample size guidance, statistical consultation, and analytical software. We also provide statistical analysis and interpretation of life-cycle information on the web for monitoring and evaluation for salmonid stocks in the Northwest region.

Core Services Offered

Provide an interactive resource for current and historic data on salmonid stocks and river environment in the Columbia Basin (

Provide a platform for COMPASS, a complex model in current development by scientists led by NOAA to model and predict fish passage and survival in the Columbia River Basin under alternative river environments and dam operations.

Provide in season forecasts in real time of salmonid stock migrations in the Columbia River Basin (

Provide statistical software for the design and analysis of tagging studies (

Provide an interactive display of status and trend monitoring information on wild and hatchery salmonid stocks (

Provide a model for the life cycle of Pacific salmonids from out migration as juveniles to return as spawning adults (

Provide software for estimation of vitality and mortality patterns in populations (

Funding Information:

Bonneville Power Administration 1989-2014.
National Marine Fisheries Service, 2006-2011.
US Army Corps of Engineers 2011-2014
Bonneville Power Administration 1994-2011.
Battelle, 2010-2011.
Missouri Department of Conservation 2009-2011.
San Joaquin River Group Authority 2009-2011.
Bureau of Reclamation, 2011-2015.

Reporting Structure:

David Armstrong, Director, School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences

Related UW Entities:

College of the Environment, School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences,
Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Quantitative Ecology & Resource Management,
School of Forest Resources, Wildlife Science

Center Details

Columbia Basin Research.jpg
Directors: Anderson, James
Skalski, John
Location: 1325 Fourth Ave, Suite 1820, Seattle, WA 98101-2509
Year Started: 1996
Administrators / Program Managers: Helfrich, Cindy
Muongchanh, Christine
Administering College/School: College of the Environment 
P.I. Home Department: School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences 
Faculty Involvement: 2