Dr. Joel Sholtes

Environmental Engineering and Science

Current Courses

Personal Bio

Joel has worked on and studied rivers and water resource issues for over
ten years, focusing on water quality and watershed management, stream
restoration, fluvial geomorphology, and floodplain management throughout
Colorado and the East Coast. He is currently a hydraulic engineer at the Bureau of Reclamation in Denver where he works on a variety of river-related projects and research ranging from habitat restoration for salmon recovery to planning for fluvial geomorphic hazards from floods. 

Education History

  • Bachelor's of Science Environmental Science, Duke University
  • Master's of Arts Physical River Science, Geography, University of NC, Chapel Hill
  • PhD Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University

Work Experience

Civil Engineer, Bureau of Reclamation


BenDor, T., Sholtes, J., & Doyle, M. W. (2009). Landscape characteristics of a stream and wetland mitigation banking program. Ecological Applications, 19(8), 2078-2092.

Sholtes, J. S., & Doyle, M. W. (2010). Effect of channel restoration on flood wave attenuation. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 137(2), 196-208.

Sholtes, J., Werbylo, K., & Bledsoe, B. (2014). Physical context for theoretical approaches to sediment transport magnitude‐frequency analysis in alluvial channels. Water Resources Research, 50(10), 7900-7914.

Sholtes, J. S., & Bledsoe, B. P. (2016). Half-yield discharge: Process-based predictor of bankfull discharge. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 04016017.

Schook, D. M., Carlson, E. A., Sholtes, J. S., & Cooper, D. J. (2016). Effects of Moderate and Extreme Flow Regulation on Populus Growth along the Green and Yampa Rivers, Colorado and Utah. River Research and Applications.

Rosburg, T. T., Nelson, P. A., Sholtes, J. S., & Bledsoe, B. P. (2016). The effect of flow data resolution on sediment yield estimation and channel design. Journal of Hydrology, 538, 429-439.

Bledsoe, B.P., Baker, D., Nelson, P., Rosburg, T., Sholtes, J.S., Stroth, T. (2017). Guidance for design hydrology for stream restoration and channel stability. National Cooperative Highways Research Program, Research Report 853. National Academies of Science, Transp. Research Board, Washington, D.C. 80p.

Yochum, S.E., Sholtes, J.S., Scott, J.A., Bledsoe, B.P. (2017). Stream Power Framework for Predicting Geomorphic Change: the 2013 Colorado Front Range Flood. Geomorphology.

Honors and Awards

  • EPA STAR Fellow (2014)
  • NSF IGERT Fellow (2009)