Swaner’s place within USU Extension promotes the Preserve as a natural laboratory to expand knowledge in the fields of restoration ecology and land management. 

Beaver Dam Analogs (BDAs)

These beaver-mimicking stream restoration structures are growing in popularity across the west to maintain stream flows, improve riparian and aquatic habitat, sequester carbon, and more.

Dr. Marshall Wolf's PhD dissertation 
"Analyzing the Impacts of Beaver Dam and Beaver Dam Analog Complexes to Stream Ecology Within the Intermountain West" involved monitoring of beaver dam complexes on the Preserve for multiple years to better understand beaver mediated changes to stream habitat and ecosystem services across spatial scales.

Carbon Sequestration

Swaner and partners at Sageland Collaborative (formerly Wild Utah Project) were the recipients of a 2020 Park City Community Foundation Climate Fund grant. With this grant, we were able to monitor for baseline carbon surrounding beaver dam analogs and stream restoration reaches. Moving forward, we plan to continue monitoring and assessing levels of carbon sequestered in understudied riparian systems.

The 2023 article "
Carbon sequestration potential of process-based river restoration" from Dr. Sarah Hinshaw and Dr. Ellen Wohl utilized beaver dam analog project sites on the Swaner Preserve at Kimball and East Canyon Creek.

Other Projects

  • Swaner is also involved in research monitoring the effectiveness of biocontrols for invasive weed species. In particular, the rust fungus (Puccinia punctiformis) on Canada thistle (Cirsium arvesnse) and the soil conditions that make propagation most effective. 
  • Other research has focused on the interaction of the land with the people who recreate on it, and how land managers can balance their goals with recreational use. Read the article here.

Location, Hours & Contact

Physical & Mailing Address
1258 Center Drive
Park City, Utah 84098

EcoCenter Hours
Wednesday – Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm



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