Our mission is to use education, technology, and information to improve river management and project impacts.

Our Story

Our story is simple. We grew frustrated when we had to use outdated, inaccurate, and poor resolution data to understand and improve complex river issues. Our research and experiences taught us new tools, technologies, and creative approaches to collect affordable data at meaningful scales. This naturally grew into a business plan, but there was more to this niche. Why just help our business when we can help all businesses improve their conservation impacts? With over a billion dollars spent every year on improving the USA’s rivers, the work is plentiful but the shortage is cost-effective solutions that really do improve rivers. We don’t have all the answers, but we are committed to ongoing research and helping river projects and management with gathering the data they need (existing or new) and/or helping to arrive at the information needed to achieve the stated goals.

Why a nonprofit? We get asked this all the time. The answer is because we are driven by our mission and because education is a large component of our business model.

Services: We can be hired in a typical fee-for-service agreement or we can help your project find grants and funding.

Our Executive Director


Luke Javernick, Ph.D. founded River Science in 2016. Luke is an award-winning (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action) river scientist who spent the early part of his career studying and improving rivers in New Zealand, Colorado, and Oregon and later studying ways to improve river management through cost-effective techniques in Italy. Luke is passionate about leveraging open source software, low-cost hardware, and advanced computing to collect affordable data at a meaningful scale to provide valuable information to our clients and projects. Luke’s vision, ambition, and creative approaches have helped launch River Science into a successful nonprofit with strong partnerships across Colorado.


Our Board of Directors


Blake Osborn is the southern Colorado Regional Water Specialist for the Colorado Water Center. His research and outreach activities stretch the entirety of the Arkansas and Rio Grande River Basins and are centered on better understanding post-wildfire hydrologic processes, helping farmers/ranchers make efficient uses of water, and creating coalitions to improve water quality. Blake has a BS in Natural Resources Management from Colorado State University and a MS in Hydrology and Watershed Management from the University of Wyoming. Blake’s diverse and holistic approach to water resources in Southern Colorado helps guide the nonprofit to the most relevant and timely action in our region.


David “Brad” Rowland is the CMO of FSLogix (acquired by Microsoft) where he oversees all aspects of corporate marketing and communications. Brad has over twenty-five years IT and software industry experience, from IT management and datacenter application design, to senior leadership roles in global product management and marketing. He has a proven track record of successfully bringing new products to key markets and verticals. Brad’s passion for environmental health has lead him to become a certified permaculturist. This unique combination of skills and environmental passion make Brad invaluable to River Science’s technical approach and innovations to improving our nation’s rivers.


Jason Veatch is a Channel Marketing Manager at Microsoft and the Associate Program Director of the Fremont Economic Development Corporation. With over 20 years in diverse industries (such as consumer packaged goods and technology), Jason has managed many projects and played a key role in acquisitions. Jason is an instinctive problem solver, and big picture thinker with a knack for managing all levels of detail. Jason provides business insight, strategy, and organization to our board.


Joe Wheaton, Ph.d. is an Assistant Professor at Utah State University and a fluvial geomorphologist with over a decade of experience in river restoration. Joe runs the Ecogeomorphology & Topographic Analysis Lab in USU's department of Watershed Science and is a leader in the monitoring and modeling of riverine habitats and watersheds. Joe’s insight and knowledge in effective river restoration techniques guides our purpose, mission, and strategies.

Recent Publications

Javernick, L., & Bertoldi, W. (2019). Management of vegetation encroachment by natural and induced channel avulsions: A physical model. River Research and Applications, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1002/rra.3494

Fryirs, K. A., Wheaton, J. M., Bizzi, S., Williams, R., & Brierley, G. J. (2019). To plug-in or not to plug-in? Geomorphic analysis of rivers using the River Styles Framework in an era of big data acquisition and automation. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 0(0), e1372. https://doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1372

Wheaton J.M., Bennett S.N., Bouwes, N., Maestas J.D. and Shahverdian S.M. (Editors). 2019. Low-Tech Process-Based Restoration of Riverscapes: Design Manual. Version 1.0. Utah State University Restoration Consortium. Logan, UT. Available at: http://lowtechpbr.restoration.usu.edu/manual

Javernick, L. A., Redolfi, M., and Bertoldi, W. (2018). Evaluation of a numerical model’s ability to predict bed load transport observed in braided river experiments. Advances in Water Resources, 15, 207-218.

Silverman NL, Allred BW, Donnelly JP, Chapman TB, Maestas JD, Wheaton J, White J and Naugle DE. 2018. Low-tech riparian and wet meadow restoration increases vegetation productivity and resilience across semi-arid rangelands. Restoration Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/rec.12869.

Nahorniak M, Wheaton J, Volk C, Bailey P, Reimer M, Wall E, Whitehead K and Jordan C. 2018. How do we efficiently generate high-resolution hydraulic models at large numbers of riverine reaches? Computers & Geosciences. 119: 80-91. DOI: 10.1016/j.cageo.2018.07.001.

Macfarlane WW, Gilbert JT, Gilbert JD, Saunders WC, Hough-Snee N, Hafen C, Wheaton JM and Bennett SN. 2018. What are the Conditions of Riparian Ecosystems? Identifying Impaired Floodplain Ecosystems across the Western U.S. Using the Riparian Condition Assessment (RCA) Tool. Environmental Management. DOI: 10.1007/s00267-018-1061-2.

Hamill D.*, Buscombe D., and Wheaton JM. 2018. Alluvial substrate mapping by automated texture segmentation of recreational-grade side scan sonar imagery. PLOS ONE. 13(3): e0194373. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0194373