Abstract: Enhanced by climate change, stress on natural resources from human activities will result in environmental degradation and decreased human wellbeing. Preserving, managing, and restoring aquatic ecosystems requires a diverse set of approaches that range from standard field-based assessments of environmental condition to modelling exercises that examine ecological patterns and processes operating at broad spatial and temporal scales. Holistic approaches that incorporate the social context of streams in human-dominated landscapes are increasingly adopted to improve project outcomes. Yet, stream ecosystem structure and function are dependent on interconnected local hydrologic, chemical, and biological patterns and processes in the stream. Studies of natural history of stream insects can provide important information about mechanisms controlling diversity and community composition needed to interpret basic, applied, and theoretical approaches to managing and restoring stream ecosystems. I will present research that links studies of stream insect natural history (e.g., emergence and adult dispersal) to patterns of community composition at broad spatial scales. I will also discuss my view that the natural history of stream insects can be used to outreach and education initiatives needed to address social barriers to effective conservation and restoration of streams.