University of Vermont

William Bowden (Breck)

Breck Bowden

Professor & Patrick Chair of Watershed Science & Planning/ Director of Water Resources and Lake Studies Center/Lake Champlain Sea Grant/Northeastern States Research Cooperative Theme 1

Phone: 802-656-2513
Office: 303D Aiken Center
Watershed Research Lab:

Areas of Interest

Interactions between hydrological and biogeochemical processes, especially as these processes are influenced by land use practices and land cover characteristics at catchment scales. Uptake and use of science knowledge by resource managers, policy makers, and community stakeholders.

Dr. Bowden is the Robert and Genevieve Patrick Professor in Watershed Science and Planning in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont. He teaches undergraduate courses in the Environmental Sciences curriculum and graduate courses in the Aquatic of Ecology and Watershed sciences curriculum at the University of Vermont. He is the Director of the Vermont Water Resources in Lake Studies Center and leads the Vermont component of the Northeastern States Research Cooperative. In addition he is the Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee for the Lake Champlain Basin Program.

Dr. Bowden's research interests focus on the interactions among land use, land cover, and water resources. He has conducted research on wetland, terrestrial, and aquatic ecosystems in temperate, tropical, and arctic biomes and has been involved with strategic planning in universities and in government agencies. He founded the Water Resources Management undergraduate and graduate programs at the University of New Hampshire and helped to establish the Natural Resources MS and PhD programs there. He established the national Integrated Catchment Management Program at Landcare Research in New Zealand as the lead Project Manager and Team Leader.

His current research projects focus on the effects of exurban development on stormwater runoff in Vermont and on climate change impacts in the arctic. Dr. Bowden is active in national and international programs to that seek to integrate science in resource management decision making, including the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program, Hydrology for Environment Life and Policy (HELP), the National Environmental Observatory Network (NEON), and the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH). Dr. Bowden received his B.S. with majors in Zoology and Chemistry from the University of Georgia (1973) and his M.Sc. (1974) and Ph.D. (1982) from North Carolina State University.

Instructional Program

Environmental Sciences


Ph.D. 1982 North Carolina State University, Bioogeochemistry of nitrogen in coastal ecosystems
M.S. 1976 North Carolina State University, Microbial numbers and biomass in aquatic ecosystems
B.S. 1973 University of Georgia, Zoology and Chemistry

Selected Publications

Bowden, W.B., B.J. Peterson, L.A. Deegan, A.D. Huryn, J.P. Benstead, H. Golden*, M. Kendrick*, S.M. Parker, E. Schuett, J. Valino, and J.E. Hobbie. 2014 Ecology of streams of the Toolik region. Chapter 7 in J.E. Hobbie and G. Kling, Alaska’s Changing Arctic. LTER Synthesis Book. Oxford University Press, New York. (ISBN 978-0-19-986040-1)

Chichakly, K.*, W.B. Bowden, M. Eppstein. 2013. Minimization of cost, sediment load, and sensitivity to climate change in a watershed management application. Environmental Modeling and Software 50:158-168.

Snyder, L*. and W.B. Bowden. Nutrient dynamics in an oligotrophic arctic stream monitored in situ by wet chemistry methods. 2013. Water Resources Research 50: 2039–2049, doi:10.1002/2013WR014317.

Bowden, W.B., J.R. Larouche*, A.R. Pearce, B.T. Crosby, K. Krieger*, M.B. Flinn, J. Kampman*, M.N. Gooseff, S.E. Godsey, J.B. Jones, B.W. Abbott*, M.T. Jorgenson, G.W. Kling, M. Mack, E.A.G. Schuur, A.F. Baron*, and E.B. Rastetter. An Integrated Assessment of the Influences of Upland Thermal-Erosional Features on Landscape Structure and Function in the Foothills of the Brooks Range, Alaska. In: Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Permafrost. Edited by K.M. Hinkel. Salekhard, Russia, 24-29 June, 2012. Pages 61-66.

Larouche*, J.R., W.B. Bowden, R. Giordano, M.B. Flinn, and B.C. Crump. 2012. Microbial biogeography of streams in the Feniak Lake region, Noatak National Preserve, Alaska: Exploring influences of lithology and habitat. Frontiers in Microbiology 3:article 309. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2012.00309.

Fitzgerald*, E., W.B. Bowden, and M. Kline. Urban impacts on streams are scale-dependent with nonlinear influences on their physical and biotic recovery in Vermont, United States. Journal of the American Water Resources Association [Early View, Article first published online: 28 Feb 2012].

Bowden, W.B. 2010. Climate Change in the Arctic – Permafrost, Thermokarst, and Why They Matter to the Non-Arctic World. 2010. Geography Compass 4(10): 1553–1566. DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-8198.2010.00390.x. Article first published online: 3 October 2010.