Graduation Date

Spring 2024

Document Type



Master of Science degree with a major in Engineering & Community Practice

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Qualla Ketchum

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Zach Erickson

Second Committee Member Affiliation

Community Member or Outside Professional

Third Committee Member Name

Dr. Daniel Lipe


Engineering, Environmental engineering, Indigenous science, Western science, Coastal wetlands, Traditional ecological science

Subject Categories

Environmental Resources Engineering


The integration of Indigenous and Western science plays an essential role in Tribally led collaborations for land management. This process of woven sciences is rooted in reciprocal relations and partnerships guided by Tribal Nations. Our cohort was invited by Wiyot Tribal Representatives to investigate a culvert located within the wetlands of Mouralherwaqh— a parcel of land reacquired by the Wiyot Tribe in 2022. This document seeks to share our experience and analysis as part of the Wiyot Tribe’s broader journey in navigating ecocultural restoration projects within Mouralherwaqh. The four community interests we investigated for the wetland crossing included a resized culvert, a rock ford installation, and a simple timber bridge. These four wetland crossings were designed to meet the 100-year storm event at a discharge of 1.5 cubic meters per second. Our team built three 1-D models in HEC-RAS to simulate the behavior of water throughout the eastern wetland on the property. An additional request of Tribal Representatives was the inclusion of an educational element, to be conducted at Mouralherwaqh with members of the Wiyot community.

The HEC-RAS model results for all wetland crossing options demonstrated flooding beyond the crossing and overtopping of the roadway, indicated by a minimum water level of roughly six inches and a maximum of 3 feet. A key takeaway from our analysis is that the hydraulic function of the property is driven by characteristics of the topography and elevation of the wetlands, which ultimately outweigh any influence that the drainage options might convey. We believe that the flooding similarity shown in each of our simulations is an indication from Mouralherwaqh that it wants to behave as a wetland. We believe that this indication provides an opportunity for further discussion regarding the Wiyot Tribe’s wetland restoration goals.

Citation Style




Available for download on Saturday, May 10, 2025