Central Plains Center for Bioassessment

Debbie Baker

CPCB Assistant Director & Informatics Specialist

Central Plains Center for BioAssessment

Contact Information

Phone 785-864-1551
Fax 785-864-1534
Office 41B Higuchi

Unit Affiliations


Personal Website

Curriculum Vitae



Informatics and aquatic ecology


Debbie Baker earned an M.S. in wildlife biology from the University of Nebraska and a Master of Historical Administration and Museum Studies from the University of Kansas. She is responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the CPCB, coordinating field activities, and developing databases of lake, stream, and wetland nutrient parameters and biocriteria for EPA Region 7.

Research Interests

Collection management of aquatic specimens, nutrient levels and bioassessment of waterbodies of the Central Plains.


The Wakarusa River near the proposed Lawrence WWTP (2007).

Impact assessment of the proposed Lawrence waste water treatment plant on the Wakarusa River: a long-term monitoring/assessment strategy.

Nov. 2013 - Oct. 2014 Wakarusa River
Aerial map of the Cottonwood River by Emporia.

Post-Bank Stabilization Fish Monitoring on Cottonwood River

Oct. 2013 - Oct. 2014 Cottonwood River
A stabilized bank along the Neosho River.

Post-bank stabilization monitoring on the Neosho River – a fish survey.

March 2013 - June 2014 Neosho River
The Missouri River upstream of the Nodaway boat ramp.

2013-2013 National River and Streams Assessment

Feb. 2013 - Dec. 2013 Missouri and Kansas Rivers
Potential sampling sites in the Truman Reservoir watershed from which water will be collected for detection of Asian carp DNA.

Asian Carp Distribution Study Using Environmental DNA (eDNA)

Oct. 2012 - Oct. 2013 Kansas and Missouri
Topeka Shiner.

eDNA sampling as a non-invasive monitoring tool for threatened and endangered species: Experimental studies using Topeka Shiners (Notropis topeka)

Sept. 2012 - Sept. 2013 NESA
Sunset on a lake near Emporia KS.

National Lake Survey (2012)

Jan. 2012 - Dec. 2012 Kansas
Center line on Banner Creek along which perpendicular transects are placed for taking sediment measurements.

Biological impairment in Kansas reservoirs and lotic ecosystems due to erosion and sediment

Jan. 2009 - Dec. 2012 Banner Creek, Centralia, and Atchison Lakes
Dry Arkansas River in August 2011.

Assessment of Sunflower Electric Power Corporation’s Great Bend Station selenium discharge on a tributary of Dry Walnut Creek

Jan. 2011 - Dec. 2011 Great Bend, KS
Don and Perry measuring stream width.

Jeffreys Energy Center Biomonitoring

Jan. 2008 - Dec. 2010 Lost Creek in Pottawatomie County Kansas
Alex & Adam on the shock boat on the Big Sioux River, Iowa.

Assessing the Condition of USEPA Region 7's Large Tributaries of the Missouri River: A Probabilistic Design Approach

Jan. 2007 - Dec. 2010 Non-wadeable tributaries of the Missouri River

Monitoring Two Urban Streams in Johnson County, Kansas

Jan. 2008 - Dec. 2010 Johnson County
LeeAnn Bennett at the microscope.

Identification of Macroinvertebrates for Fort Riley Military Base

April 2010 - June 2010 Northeastern Kansas
Palustrine site 258.

Assessment of Floodplain Wetlands of the Lower Missouri River Using an EMAP Study Approach, Phase II: Verification of Rapid Assessment Tools

Jan. 2008 - Dec. 2009 Lower Missouri River Floodplain from Sioux City, IA to St. Louis, MO

National Rivers and Streams Assessment

Jan. 2008 - Dec. 2009 Rivers in Missouri
Near-infrared satlellite imagery of Clinton Lake.

Determining the Utility and Adaptability of Remote Sensing in Monitoring and Assessing Reservoir Eutrophication and Turbidity for TMDL Assessments

Jan. 2008 - Dec. 2009 Clinton, Hilsdale, Centralia, and Louisburg-Middle Creek Lakes in eastern Kansas
Kansas Department of Health and Environment water quality monitoring sites within the Solomon River Basin.

Assessment of Selenium Levels in the Solomon River in Southwestern Kansas (Kansas Department of Health and Environment)

Jan. 2007 - Jan. 2009 Solomon River

Developing Regional Nutrient Benchmarks for Streams and Wetlands of the Central Plains

Jan. 2008 - Dec. 2008 Central Plains
Missouri River sampled by CPCB in 2009 for the National River and Streams Assessment.

Database Development for Definition and Assessment of Nutrient Levels and their Biological Effects in the Missouri River

Jan. 2007 - Dec. 2008 Missouri River
Don Huggins boldly takes his 100th macroinvertebrate kick sample as Geoff Warlick cheers him on, near Atchison, KS.

EMAP-Great Rivers Reference Condition Research on the Missouri River in Kansas

Jan. 2006 - Dec. 2008 Missouri River along the Kansas border
The 36 sites in Nebraska & Kansas. Click map for larger view. Click here for list of sites (.xls).

EMAP Lake Survey (2007)

Jan. 2007 - Dec. 2007 Nebraska and Kansas
Jason Buery at a wetland near the Missouri River.

Continuation of Nutrient Criteria Efforts in USEPA Region 7: Documenting Lake and Stream Analyses and Assembling a Wetland Database

Jan. 2004 - Dec. 2007 Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri
Haskell wetlands

Developing Regional Nutrient Criteria for Wetlands of the Central Plains Region

Oct. 2005 - Sept. 2007 Central Plains
Irene Beeman sampling a stream

Identification and Characterization of Reference Conditions of Wadeable Streams within USEPA Region 7 Using Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) methodology

Jan. 2005 - Dec. 2006 Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska
Sedimenty stream

Defining Relationships among Indicators of Sediment, Erosion and Ecosystem Health in Low Gradient Streams

Jan. 2004 - Dec. 2006 Central Plains
Nebraska Sandhills graphic

Determination of Regional Reference Conditions, Tiered Aquatic Life Applications and Inter-Regional Calibration of Community Assessment Methods

Jan. 2003 - Dec. 2006 Central Plains


CPCB Sampling Sites

April 6, 2010 Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri

Published Works

Baker, D., R. Everhart, D. Huggins, L. Bennett, A. Blackwood. 2014. Biological impairment in three Kansas reservoirs and associated lotic ecosystems due to sediment and nutrients. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS 178:39.
Martinko, E. A., J. deNoyelles, K. Bosnak, M. Jakubauskas, D. Huggins, J. Kastens, Apollonia Shreders, D. Baker, A. Blackwood, S. Campbell, Chrisopher Rogers. 2014. Atlas of Kansas Lakes: A resource for communities, policy makers and planners. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS 242.
Huggins, D., S. Tammareddi, D. Baker. 2012. Assessment of the Great Bend Station (Sunflower Electric Power Corporation) Selenium Discharge on a Tributary of Dry Walnut Creek (Barton Co., KS). Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS Report No. 172:44 pp.
Estimating historic biological integrity in wadeable streams of the Central Plains – a disturbance gradient approach. Baker and Huggins. 2010 Kansas Natural Resources Conference. Wichita, KS.
Koontz, J., D. Huggins, C. C. Freeman, D. Baker. 2010. Assessment of floodplain wetlands of the lower Missouri River using an EMAP study approach, Phase II: Verification of rapid assessment tools. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS Report No. 165:82 pp.
Baker, D., D. Huggins. 2010. Comparison of snag and shoreline macroinvertebrate samples--a bioassessment of the Missouri River. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS Report No. 161:16 pp.
Huggins, D., M. Jakubauskas, D. Baker, T. Hammer. 2010. Determining the Utility and Adaptability of Remote Sensing in Monitoring and Assessing Reservoir Eutrophication and Turbidity for TMDL Assessments. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS Report No. 171:58 pp. http://www.cpcb.ku.edu/datalibrary/...
Baker, D., D. Huggins, R. Everhart. 2009. Identification and characterization of reference conditions within USEPA Region 7 using EMAP methodology. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS Report No. 156:77 pp.
Hayford, B.L., D. Baker, D. Huggins, M. Johnson. 2009. Congruence between nutrient water quality parameters and Chironomidae (Diptera) in delineating ecological classifications of Missouri streams at different environmental scales. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS Report No. 159:19 pp.
Evans-White, M.A., W.K. Dodds, D. Huggins, D. Baker. 2009. Threshold patterns in aquatic biodiversity across water quality gradients in Central Plains streams and rivers. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 28(4):855-868. http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.18...
Dzialowski, A., V.H. Smith, D. Huggins, J. deNoyelles, N. Lim, D. Baker, J. Beury. 2009. Development of predictive models for geosmin-related taste and odor in Kansas, USA, drinking water reservoirs. Water Research 43:2829-2840. http://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...
Beury, J., D. Baker, D. Huggins. 2008. Wetlands in three ecoregions of the Central Plains. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS Open-file Report No. 147:15 pp.
Huggins, D., R. Everhart, A. Dzialowski, J. Kriz, D. Baker. 2007. Impact of Sedimentation on Biological Resources: A Sediment Issue White Paper Report prepared for the State of Kansas. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS Report No. 146:23 pp.
Smith, E.F., D. Huggins, D. Baker. 2006. Wadeable streams in Kansas, 2000-2001: Chemistry, physical habitat, and fish communities. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS Report No. 138:197 pp.
Dzialowski, A., D. Baker, D. Huggins. 2006. Characterization of reference conditions in wadeable streams of the Central Plains. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS 28 pp.
Wang, S.H., D. Huggins, L. Frees, C.G. Volkman, N. Lim, D. Baker, V.H. Smith, J. deNoyelles. 2005. An integrated modeling approach to watershed management: Water and watershed assessment of Cheney Reservoir, Kansas, USA. Journal of Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 164:1-19. http://www.springerlink.com/content...
Baker, D., D. Huggins. 2005. Sub-sampling techniques for macroinvertebrates, fish, and benthic algae sampled in biological monitoring of streams and rivers. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS Open-File Report No. 132:26 pp.
Wang, S.H., D. Huggins, N. Lim, D. Baker, W.W. Spotts, C.A. Goodrich, J. deNoyelles, S. Campbell, L. Frees, C. Volkman. 2003. Cheney Reservoir water quality and its watershed assessment. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS Report No. 112:37 pp.
Huggins, D., W.W. Spotts, S.H. Wang, N. Lim, D. Baker. 2003. Validation of best management practices on eight Kansas farms. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS Report No. 105:88 pp.
Baker, D., C. Morse. 2001. Disaster recovery in the herbarium. Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections 15:26-35.
Converse, S.S., D. Baker. 2000. Geographic distribution, Lampropeltis triangulum multistrata. Herpetological Review 31:186.