Tuesday, July 19, 2022

OMSI Science Pub: Predicting Rivers: How We Do It – And Why It Matters

Kennedy School - Kennedy School Theater

6pm doors, 7pm start

Advance tickets recommended; $5 suggested donation

All ages welcome

Share this event

Add to Calendar

About OMSI Science Pub: Predicting Rivers: How We Do It – And Why It Matters


OMSI Science Pub: Predicting Rivers: How We Do It – And Why It Matters

With Sean W. Fleming, PhD, Applied R&D Technical Lead, US Dept. of Agriculture National Water and Climate Center; Courtesy Prof., College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, and Water Resources Graduate Program, OSU; Adjunct Prof., Dept. of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, UBC

Rivers are everywhere and affect everything. When all goes well, they provide us with water, power, food, transportation, recreation, and beauty. And when things go wrong, they wipe out our homes or even bring poisoned water to our taps.
But how much do we know about how rivers actually work? How can a river flood one year and dry up the next? How do we make forecasts of floods and water supplies? How do changes in land use and climate impact our rivers? And how does the study of water flow across the landscape - known as hydrology - overlap with other natural and social sciences, from biology to finance, and astrophysics to conflict studies?

In this talk, environmental scientist Dr. Sean Fleming explores how math and physics can reveal the hidden secrets of rivers, offers insights into the deep relationships rivers have with landscapes, ecosystems, and people, and looks at the threats our rivers face and how we can protect them over the long run.

Sean started out as an exploration geophysicist, using math and physics to search for oil, gold, and diamonds. His attention quickly turned to hydrology, glacier science, and climate.

Sean is a senior scientist with the US Department of Agriculture's National Water and Climate Center in Portland, Oregon and is also affiliated with the University of British Columbia and Oregon State University. His experience spans two decades of field, technical, and managerial work in the private, public, academic, and nonprofit sectors in the US, Canada, England, and Mexico.
He's enthusiastic about science outreach. Sean published a general-audience book about the science of rivers with Princeton University Press, engages people through events like a Smithsonian lecture, a call-in NPR radio show, a live TV interview, and Science Pubs like this one, and has written for Scientific American and Wired. He's a member of the American Physical Society's Committee for Informing the Public.

Zoom Option

If you are unable to join us in person, you can join us on zoom. You must register in advance using this link. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.