Brian Kastl

Graduate student

Brian is passionate about advancing the conservation of endangered salmon species, from the upper watersheds of California to the Pacific coast. Through innovative research at the intersection of hydrology and fish ecology, he is exploring environmental factors that control the timing of downstream salmon migration. Brian joined the Grantham Lab in 2017 and brings three years of experience in freshwater and coastal ecosystem services research for international conservation organizations. With critical stakeholder engagement, he developed projects and led teams to enhance coastal watershed management in Cambodia and Barbados. In Micronesia, his research culminated in a rainforest conservation policy that protects freshwater species and public health. Brian also conducted ecosystem service valuations in Fiji to inform fisheries management. As a leader for National Geographic Student Expeditions, he advises students in project-based, experiential education to inspire future environmental leaders. Brian often expands his research vision, while snowboarding the headwater slopes of the Sierras and surfing the scenic California shores.



Present, Ph.D., Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, Division of Ecosystem Sciences, University of California – Berkeley.

2010, Master of Science, Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawaii – Manoa.

2007, Bachelor of Arts, Geology, Pomona College.

Research Positions

Freshwater Ecosystem Services Consultant:

University of the West Indies – Barbados. June 2014 – April 2016.

The Nature Conservancy Micronesia. November 2012 – April 2013.

Asian Development Bank. December 2012 – May 2013.

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). March – November 2012.


Coastal Ecosystem Services Consultant:

Conservation International. February – June 2015.

Wildlife Conservation Society Fiji. February – April 2014.


Fulbright Research Fellow. University of Auckland, New Zealand. January – December 2010.

Research Assistant. Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawaii. August – December 2007 & January 2009 – December 2010.

Teaching Positions

Conservation Leader. National Geographic Student Expeditions. July 2016 & 2017.

Instructor. National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). August 2014.

Program Assistant and Teacher. East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii. US State Department Global Environmental Issues Leadership Institute. May – August 2011 & 2012.

Awards and Fellowships

Ecological Society of America (ESA) Graduate Student Policy Award, 2016.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, 2015 – present.

Sustainable Water Markets Fellowship. Walton Family Foundation, 2014 – 2016.

United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) Sub-Global Assessment Mentoring Scheme Award, 2014.

Asia Pacific Leadership Program Fellowship – East-West Center, 2011 – 2012.

Fulbright U.S. Student Research Grant, 2008. 

Recruitment Scholarship. University of Hawaii Research Corporation, 2007.

Professional Affiliations

Ecological Society of America; Ecosystem Services Partnership; Society for Conservation Biology; Society for Freshwater Science


Education Leader and Watershed Hydrology Advisor. Engineers Without Borders, Honolulu, Hawaii Chapter. September 2011 – 2012.

Department Representative. Graduate Student Organization, University of Hawaii. March – December 2010.

Member. Campus Greening Committee, University of Hawaii. June – December 2010.

Water Quality Monitoring Volunteer. Malama Maunalua, Hawaii. March – December 2010.


Kastl BC (2014) Reducing disaster risks to mangrove forest livelihoods through watershed-based protected area management, in Murti R. and Buyck C, ed., Safe Havens: Protected Areas for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, IUCN, Gland Switzerland, p. 22-32

Kastl BC (July 2014) ValuES: Methods for integrating ecosystem services into policy, planning, and practice – 4 hydrologic ecosystem service assessment method profiles. Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Germany

Grosfils EB, Long SM, Venechuk EM, Hurwitz DM, Richards JW, Kastl BC, Drury DE, Hardin J (2011) Geologic map of the Ganiki Planitia Quadrangle (V-14), Venus. USGS Investigations Map 3121, 1:5M

Tielke JA, Kastl BC, Otgonhuu J (2007) Genesis and evolution of Tertiary lavas of the central Hangay Mountains, Mongolia. 20th Annual Keck Symposium Publication, Wooster, Ohio

Kastl BC (2010) Debris flow behavior: Impacts of compositional variability and channel geometry at Mount Ruapehu, New Zealand. Vignette to accompany Key Concepts in Geomorphology textbook by P. Bierman and D. Montgomery

Brian Kastl