Kara Carr, Ph.D


Manager of Operations

e-mail: kjcarr@ucdavis.edu
TEL: (530) 754-9278
Mail: 2001 Ghausi Hall
Office: 2635 Brooks Road
Davis, Ca 95616




  • Hydraulics experimentation and modeling for engineered and environmental hydraulics
  • Ecohydraulics, and interaction among fish, flow fields and hydraulic structures (visit https://fanguelab.ucdavis.edu/ for more information on our collaborative research and biology colleagues)
  • Sediment transport experimentation and modeling, numerical and physical
  • Sediment transport scaling and self-similarity
  • Multidisciplinary sediment and transport issues, flow and sediment interaction and landscape processes.


  • Ph.D. Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis, July 2013.  Water Resources Engineering Program.
    Dissertation: Scaling of One-Dimensional Non-Equilibrium Sediment Transport while Maintaining Material Properties
  • M.S., Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis, December 2006. Water Resources Engineering Program.
    Dissertation: Swimming Behavior Response of Adult White Sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus, to Velocity, Turbulence Intensity, and Turbulent Kinetic Energy in a Vertical Slot Passageway.
  • B.S., Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis, June 2004.
  • Engineer in Training (EIT) Certification, National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, 2003


Assistant Project Scientist, UC Davis, October 2015 – Present

Collaborates with state and federal agencies in research planning, grant acquisition and execution. Serves as lead contact for collaborative work within the University. Manages ongoing studies examining guidance efficiency and fish behavior near a louver array; numerical and physical modeling of sediment deposition, erosion, and re-suspension at various scales. Safety coordinator and co-manager of J. Amorocho Hydraulics Laboratory, providing initial and ongoing safety materials, equipment and training, to ensure that safety measures are taken to protect staff, students, visitors and property from injury or damage. Coordination, supervision, management and monitoring of building and facility providing analysis, review, design, construction and maintenance assignments with project managers, inspectors, planners, and estimators.

Post-doctoral Researcher, UC Davis, August 2013 – September 2014
Applied, calibrated, and validated the CCHE2D software for flow modeling of the Cache Creek Settling Basin, Woodland CA.  Initiated CCHE2D sediment transport modeling of the CCSB.  Collected and analyzed ADCP velocity and discharge measurements of the CCSB. Prepared progress reports on model performance and estimation of sediment trap efficiency of the CCSB.

Doctoral Research, UC Davis, September 2007 – July 2013
Determining the conditions under which one-dimensional sediment transport in unsteady open-channel flow becomes self-similar through application of one-parameter Lie group of point transformations.  Particular emphasis placed maintaining sediment diameter and density in both the model and prototype.

Research Assistant, UC Davis, September 2007 – July 2013
Two-dimensional numerical simulation of flow and sediment transport processes in the Cache Creek Settling Basin, Woodland, CA.
One-dimensional numerical simulation of flow in Cache Creek, Woodland, CA.

Master Research, UC Davis, September 2004 – December 2006
To identify the flow conditions motivating Adult White Sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus, to swim upstream in a vertical slot fish passage. Measuring velocity, turbulence and turbulent kinetic energy in the passage to optimize passageway hydraulic design for successful sturgeon passage.

Research Assistant, UC Davis, October 2003 – June 2005
Assisted in the “White Sturgeon Through-Delta Facility Passage Study” at the J. Amorocho Hydraulics Laboratory through collection of data and its analysis, presentations to the Department of Water Resources on hydraulic matters pertaining to the study, and contributions to the final report to the North Delta Fish Facilities Technical Team and the Central Valley Fish Facilities Review Team.
Assisted in the maintenance of the laboratory support shop and support shop equipment.  Maintained a clean and safe work environment in and around the hydraulics laboratory. Assisted staff as needed for the completion of research and construction of research materials.

Office Assistant, Acton Mickelson Environmental, Inc. El Dorado Hills, California. 1999 – 2005
Reviewed environmental reports for grammar, spelling and accuracy of data integration. Compiled and referenced lab data.  Researched job site precedence for environmental testing and lab data.  Assisted staff in the compilation and presentation of environmental reports.


  • Affiliate Member, American Society of Civil Engineers 2013-Present
  • American Geophysical Union 2014-Present
  • Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society
  • College of Engineering Dean’s List, 2003 and 2004
  • Golden Key International Honour Society, 2003
  • Gail and Ruth Oliver Scholarship, Fall 1999


Carr, K., Ercan, A., Kavvas, M.L. (2014).  Scaling and Self-Similarity of One-dimensional Unsteady Suspended Sediment Transport with Emphasis on Unscaled Sediment Material Properties. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, (pub. online January, 2015)  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)HY.1943-7900.0000994.

Carr, K. J., Tu, T., Ercan, A., & Kavvas, M. L. (2018). Evaluating the Applicability of a Two‐dimensional Flow Model of a Highly Heterogeneous Domain to Flow and Environmental Management. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association54(1), 184-197. https://doi.org/10.1111/1752-1688.12602

Tu T, Ercan A, Carr KJ, Kavvas ML, Trinh T, Ishida K, Nosacka J, Brown KCoupling hydroclimate-hydraulic-sedimentation models to estimate flood inundation and sediment transport during extreme flood events under a changing climate. The Science of the Total Environment, 740: 140117. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140117

M. J. Hansen, A. E. Steel, D. E. Cocherell, P. H. Patrick, M. Sills, S. J. Cooke, K. J. Carr, M. L. Kavvas & N. A. FangueExperimental evaluation of the effect of a light-emitting diode device on Chinook salmon smolt entrainment in a simulated riverHydrobiologia. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-019-04022-1

Ishida K, Ohara N, Ercan A, Jang S, Trinh T, Kavvas ML, Carr K, Anderson MLImpacts of climate change on snow accumulation and melting processes over mountainous regions in Northern California during the 21st century. The Science of the Total Environment, 685: 104-115. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.05.255

Ishida K, Ercan A, Trinh T, Kavvas ML, Ohara N, Carr K, Anderson ML. (2018) Analysis of future climate change impacts on snow distribution over mountainous watersheds in Northern California by means of a physically-based snow distribution model. The Science of the Total Environment, 645: 1065-1082. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.07.250 

Ercan, A., Kavvas, M. L., Carr, K., Hockett, Z., Bandeh, H., Mussen, T. D., … & Fangue, N. A. (2017). Hydraulics Near Unscreened Diversion Pipes in Open Channels: Large Flume Experiments. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association53(2), 431-441. https://doi.org/10.1111/1752-1688.12503

Tu, T., Carr, K. J., Ercan, A., Trinh, T., Kavvas, M. L., & Nosacka, J. (2017). Assessment of the effects of multiple extreme floods on flow and transport processes under competing flood protection and environmental management strategies. Science of the Total Environment607, 613-622. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.06.271

Jang, S., Kavvas, M. L., Ishida, K., Trinh, T., Ohara, N., Kure, S., … & Carr, K. J. (2017). A Performance Evaluation of Dynamical Downscaling of Precipitation over Northern California. Sustainability9(8), 1457. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9081457

T. Trinh, M. L. Kavvas, K.Ishida, K. Carr, N. Ohara. (2017) Projected 21st Century Climate Change on Snow Conditions over Shasta Dam Watershed by means of Dynamical DownscalingHydrological Processes, 31(16): 2887-2901. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.11231

Jang, S., Kure, S., Ohara, N., Kavvas, M. L., Chen, Z. Q., Carr, K. J., & Anderson, M. L. (2017). Application of WEHY-HCM for Modeling Interactive Atmospheric-Hydrologic Processes at Watershed Scale to a Sparsely Gauged Watershed. Sustainability9(9), 1554. doi:10.3390/su9091554

K.J. Carr, A. Ercan and M. L. Kavvas, “Scaling and Self-Similarity of One-dimensional Suspended Sediment Transport Equations”, Proceedings of the 2014 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, Portland, Oregon, ASCE Conf. Proc. http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/9780784413548.120

Kavvas, M. L., Ishida, K., Trinh, T., Ercan, A., Darama, Y., & Carr, K. J. (2017). Current issues in and an emerging method for flood frequency analysis under changing climate. Hydrological Research Letters11(1), 1-5. https://doi.org/10.3178/hrl.11.1

K. Carr, A. Ercan and M.L. Kavvas, (2014) “Scale Invariance and Self-Similarity of 1-Dimensional Non-equilibrium Suspended Sediment Transport”, Abstract NG23B-3807 presented at 2014 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 15-19 Dec.

A. Ercan, K. Carr, H. Bandeh and M.L.Kavvas, “Cache Creek Settling Basin/Yolo Bypass Project Final Report, to CA DWR, Contract No. 4600008165, July 31, 2012

 K. J. Carr, A. Ercan, and M. L. Kavvas, “Updated Hydraulic and Sediment Transport Modeling for Cache Creek Settling Basin, Woodland California”, Presentation at the 2011 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, Palm Springs, CA, 2011.

K. Carr, A. Ercan, M.L. Kavvas, “Hydraulic and Sediment Transport Modeling for Cache Creek Settling Basin”, Proceedings of the 2010 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, Providence, Rhode Island, ASCE Conf. Proc.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/41114(371)172

E.K.Anderson, Z.Q.Chen, H.Bandeh, M.Hannum, K.Carr, M.Cayar, I.Haltas, M.L.Kavvas, D.Cocherell, A.Kawabata, D.Kratville, S.Hamilton, T.MacColl, L.Kanemoto, J.Webber, J.J.Cech Jr., K.L. Hochgraf, C.Wilkinson, M.M. Rotondo, R.Padilla, R.Churchwell, “White Sturgeon Through-Delta Facility Passage Study”, Draft Final Rept. Submitted to the North Delta Fish Facilities Technical Team and the Central Valley Fish Facilities Review Team, 105pp., 2005.