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Laurel Saito

Associate Professor

Contact Information


  • B.S. Civil Engineering, 1986 University of California, Davis
  • M.S. Civil Engineering, 1992 Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Ph.D. Civil Engineering, 1999 Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

Research Interests

Reservoir water quality management and ecosystem modeling; surface water quality and hydrodynamic modeling; water quality data management; hydrology and hydraulic analyses, including bridge evaluations and scour analyses; storm drain, water, sewer, and reclaimed water system design; drought analysis and stochastic modeling; environmental document preparation.

Class Materials

  • NRES 400/600 International Issues for Water Development (Fall even years)
  • NRES 414/614 Hydrologic Fluid Dynamics (Fall every year)
  • NRES 482/682 Small Watershed Hydrology
  • NRES 730 Interdisciplinary Modeling for Water-Related Issues and Climate Change (Spring /Summer even years)
  • CE 498/698 and ERS 485/685 Principles of Water Quality Modeling (Spring 2004)
  • ERS 701D Advanced Resource Management - Advanced Limnology (Spring 2003)

Selected Publications

  • Grant N, Saito L, Weltz M, Walker M, Daly C, Stewart K, Morris C. 2013, Instrumenting wildlife water developments to collect hydrometeorological data in remote western U.S. catchments., Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology Read More...
  • Saito L, Surbeck CQ, Langsdale S, Bourget E, Wride D. 2012, Engaging international perspectives through EWRI for a global profession., Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 138(6):588-589.
    Rivord, J., Saito, L., Miller, G. C., Stoddard, S. 2012, Modeling contaminant spills in a regulate river in the western United States., Water Resources Planning Management, 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000338 Read More...
  • Saito L, Loucks DP, Grayman WM. 2012, Road to 2050: visions for a more sustainable future., Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 138(1):1-2.
    Kolosovich AS, Chandra S, Saito L, Davis CJ, Atwell L. 2012, Short-term survival and potential grazing effects of the New Zealand mudsnail in an uninvaded western Great Basin watershed., Aquatic Invasions 7(2):203-209.
  • Berry KD, Saito L, Kauneckis D, Berry KA. 2012, Understanding perceptions of successful cooperation on water quality issues: A comparison across six western U.S. interstate watersheds., Regions and Cohesion 2(2):57-82.
  • Oberkircher, L., Shanafield, M., Ismailova, B., Saito, L. S. 2011, Ecosystem and social construction: An interdisciplinary case study of the Shurkul Lake landscape in Khorezm, Uzbekistan, Ecology and Society, 16(4), 20 Read More...
  • Scott, J. A., Rosen, M. R., Saito, L. S., Decker, D. 2011, The influence of irrigation water on the hydrology and lake water budgets of two small arid-climate lakes in Khorezm, Uzbekistan, Journal of Hydrology, 410(1-2), 114-125 Read More...
  • Shanafield, M., Rosen, M. R., Saito, L. S., Chandra, S., Lamers, J., Nishonov, B. 2010, Identification of nitrogen sources to four small lakes in the agricultural region of Khorezm, Uzbekistan, 2006-2008., Biogeochemistry, 101, 357-368.
  • Saito L, Rosen MR, Roesner LA, Howard N. 2010, Improving estimates of oil pollution to the sea from land-based sources., Marine Pollution Bulletin 60: 990-997 Read More...
    Solander K, Saito L, Biondi F. 2010, Streamflow simulation using a water balance model with annually-resolved inputs., Journal of Hydrology 387:46-53.
  • Saito L, Walker M, Miller WW, Tyler S, Chandra S. 2009, Ecohydrology as an undergraduate degree: challenges in developing an interdisciplinary major., Journal of College Science Teaching 38(4):24-29
    Biondi F, Kozubowski T, Panorska A, Saito L. 2008, A new stochastic model of episode peak and duration for eco-hydro-climatic applications., Ecological Modelling 211:383-395.
  • Saito L, Biondi F, Salas JD, Panorska A, Kozubowski T. 2008, A watershed modeling approach to streamflow reconstruction from tree-ring records., Environmental Research Letters 3:024006 Read More...
  • Peternel K, Saito L, Fritsen CH. 2008, Evaluation of a modeling approach to assess nitrogen assimilative capacity due to river restoration., Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 134(5):474-489
    Saito L, Rosen MR, Chandra S, Fritsen CH, Arufe JA, Redd C. 2008, Using semi-permeable membrane devices and stable nitrogen isotopes to detect anthropogenic influences on the Truckee River, USA., Environmental Engineering Science 25(4):585-600.
  • Brown S, Saito L, Knightes C, Gustin M. 2007, Calibration and evaluation of a mercury model for a western stream and constructed wetlands., Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 182(1-4):275-290
    Saito L, Segale HM, DeAngelis DL, Jenkins S. 2007, Developing an interdisciplinary curriculum framework for aquatic ecosystem modeling., Journal of College Science Teaching 37(2):46-52.
  • Saito L, Miller WW, Johnson DW, Qualls RG, Provencher L, Carroll E, Szameitat P. 2007, Fire effects on stable isotopes in a Sierran forested ecosystem., Journal of Environmental Quality 36:91-100
    Carroll EM, Miller WW, Johnson DW, Saito L, Qualls RG, Walker RF. 2007, Spatial analysis of a large magnitude erosion event following a Sierran wildfire., Journal of Environmental Quality 36:1105-1111.
    Brown S, Gustin MS, Saito L. 2006, Characterization of mercury behavior in Steamboat Creek and wetland mesocosm., Journal of the Nevada Water Resources Association 3(1):41-63
  • Saito L, Koski M. 2006, Simulated effects of spillway releases on thermal structure and kokanee growth in a Colorado reservoir., Journal of the American Water Resources Association 42(3):645-658
    Gustin MS, Saito L, Peacock M. 2005, Anthropogenic impacts on mercury concentrations and nitrogen and carbon isotope ratios in fish muscle tissue of the Truckee River watershed, Nevada, USA, Science of the Total Environment 347:282-294.
  • Johnson BM, Saito L, Anderson M, Weiss P, Andre M, Fontane DG. 2004, Effects of climate and dam operations on reservoir thermal structure., Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 130(2):112-122
  • Grigg NS, Criswell ME, Fontane DG, Saito L, Siller TJ, Sunada DK. 2004, Integrated civil engineering curriculum: five year review., Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice 130(3):160-165
  • Saito L, Johnson BM, Bartholow J, Hanna RB. 2001, Assessing ecosystem effects of reservoir operations using food web-energy transfer and water quality models., Ecosystems 4:105-125
    Bartholow J, Hanna B, Saito L, Lieberman D, Horn M. 2001, Simulated limnological effects of the Shasta Lake temperature control device., Environmental Management 27(4):609-626
  • Hanna RB, Saito L, Bartholow JM, Sandelin J. 1999, Results of simulated temperature control device operations on in-reservoir and discharge water temperatures using CE-QUAL-W2., Lake and Reservoir Management 15(2):87-102
  • Rutherford JC, Blackett S, Blackett C, Saito L, Davies-Colley RJ 1997, Predicting the effects of shade on water temperature in small streams, New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 31:707-721
  • Saito L, Grigg NS, Ward RC 1994, Water-quality data management: survey of current trends., Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 120(5):587-612

    Book or Chapter(s) in Books

    Saito L, Fiedler F, Cosens B, Kauneckis D 2012, A vision of interdisciplinary graduate education in water and environmental resources in 2050., Toward a Sustainable Water Future: Visions for 2050. Edited by Grayman W, Loucks DP, Saito L. ASCE. Read More...
  • Grayman W, Loucks DP, Saito L 2012, Toward a sustainable water future: Visions for 2050, American Society of Civil Engineers Read More...
  • Saito L, Johnson BM, Bartholow JM, Fontane DG. 2001, Interdisciplinary modeling to assess ecosystem effects of reservoir operations., Pp. 373-377 in Marino, Miguel A., and Slobodan P. Simonovic, editors. Integrated Water Resources Management. IAHS Publication no. 272. Oxfordshire (UK): International Association of Hydrologic Sciences Press


  • Cobourn J, Saito L, Brock J, Naranjo R, Susfalk R, Chandra S 2008, Groundwater-surface water interactions along the Truckee and Carson Rivers, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Special Publication 08-23. Read More...

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