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About Dr. Chris Walser



Stream ecology, ichthyology

Personal Statement

Professor Walser has been at The College of Idaho since 2000. He teaches Stream Ecology (BIO 317); Ecology, Evolution and Diversity (BIO 203); Ichthyology (BIO 319); Introduction to GIS (ENV 350); Coastal Marine Ecology (BIO 326) in south Florida; and Field Biology (BIO 346) in Belize or Australia. Dr. Walser also teaches the biology senior capstone course which examines, in part, how scientists can become more proficient at communicating the results of their research to the general public. The focus of his student-based research program is to better understand the impacts of human disturbances (land-use change, invasive fishes) on native stream fish assemblages.  Since 2013, he and his students have been investigating the genetics and movement of redband trout in Dry Creek, a small tributary of the Boise River near Boise, Idaho.

Recently, Professor Walser and students joined organizers and researchers from The City of Boise, Boise State University, and The Land Trust of the Treasure Valley to assess stream conditions at dozens of trail crossings within the Dry Creek watershed.   In 2015, Professor Walser’s student, Sarah Walsh, received a $1,500 grant from the Northwest Scientific Association to study the population genetics of Dry Creek redband trout.  Professor Walser and former student, Camrin Braun, published a paper on the distribution and diet of invasive largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) in the lower Boise River. Their research appeared in a 2011 edition of Western North American Naturalist

Dr. Walser is very active in leading off-campus courses in field biology. To date, Professor Walser has taken College of Idaho students to south Florida (2009, 2011, 2015) and Australia (2002, 2006, 2010, 2013), with future courses planned for Belize (Winter Term 2016) and central Idaho (Summer 2016).  He is a very strong advocate of experiential learning and emphasizes this teaching approach in all of his courses.

What Professor Walser enjoys the most about teaching at The College of Idaho is getting students excited about field biology. He also appreciates the small-class sizes which allow him to provide unique learning opportunities (e.g., conducting original field biology research in tropical locales; wildlife film-making) for his students.

Professional Experience

The College of Idaho, Professor of Biology (2000-)

Rocky Mountain College, Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology (1999-2000)

Salt Lake Community College, Adjunct Instructor of Biology (1996-1999)

Utah State University, Adjunct Instructor of Fisheries and Wildlife Biology (1997)

Brigham Young University, Postdoctoral Research Associate (1997-1999)


  • Ph.D. Biology, Tulane University, 1996
  • M. S. Fisheries, Auburn University, 1991
  • B.S. Biology, Emory University, 1989


Recent Professional Presentations
Presenter, April 2015.  Northwest Scientific Association Conference.  Pasco, WA.  Genetics and movement of Columbia River redband trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdneri, in Dry Creek, Idaho. With undergraduate student co-authors: Shelby Richins and Sarah Walsh.
Co-Presenter, March 2015.  Idaho Chapter of the American Fisheries Society.  Boise, ID.  Population genetics of Columbia River redband trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdneri, in Dry Creek, Idaho. With undergraduate student co-author: Sarah Walsh.
Presenter, November 2014.  A Story of Survival: The redband trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdneri) of Dry Creek.  Idaho Master Naturalist’s Program.  MK Nature Center, Boise, Idaho.
Co-author on Conference Presentation, October 2014.  Geological Society of America Meeting, Vancouver B.C. High-resolution geophysical investigation of a sea turtle nest complex, Cayo Costa State Park, Florida: potential for identification of ancient nest structures. With co-authors from Florida Gulf Coast University and Temple University.
Co-Presenter, August 2014.  Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Conference.  Chattanooga, TN.  Genetics and summer movement of Columbia River redband trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdneri) in an intermittent southern Idaho stream.
Presenter, April 2013.  Ecology of Columbia River redband trout in high desert streams.  Seminar.  Idaho Section of the American Water Resources Association, Boise, Idaho.
Attendee, October 2011.  From Vision to Reality:  Enhancing the lower Boise River.  Community Workshop.  Boise, Idaho.
Presenter, July 2011.  Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Minneapolis, MN. Distribution and diet of largemouth bass in the lower Boise River, Idaho.