Larry Band
Voit Gilmore Distinguished Professor of Geography
Director, Institute for the Environment
University of North Carolina
Visiting Professor, Chinese Academy of Science

This special talk will be held Tuesday, April 29 in Geo Corner - Bldg. 320, Room 220.

Dr. Larry Band is the 2014 Birdsall Dreiss Lecturer of the Geological Society of America.  Dr. Band's talk titled Green Infrastructure, Groundwater and the Sustainable City Patterns was presented as the 2014 Birdsall-Dreiss Lecture.

Dr. Band's research is in watershed ecohydrology, including the coevolution of ecological and hydrological systems. His current research focuses in two Long Term Ecological Research sites: Coweeta (North Carolina), and the Baltimore Ecosystem Study. In 2010 he was Board Chair for the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences, and was a deputy editor for Water Resources Research. Band was a visiting scientist at the Australian CRC for Catchment Hydrology in 1992-1993 and at the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO in 2008, the latter on science and management response to the Australian drought. Band has published >130 papers, book chapters and technical reports. His 2014 Birdsall-Dreiss lectures will be based on research linking surface/subsurface flowpath dynamics with ecosystem development in forested and urban sites.


Provision of sufficient quantities and quality of freshwater, treatment and disposal of wastewater, and flood protection are critical for urban sustainability. Over the last century, two major shifts in drainage paradigms have occurred; the first to improve public health with centralized sanitary effluent collection and treatment, and the rapid drainage and routing of stormwater. A shift is now being implemented to retain, rather than rapidly drain, stormwater, with a focus on infiltration based methods shifting hydrologic behavior to depression focused recharge. While stormwater is defined as surface flow resulting from developed areas, an integrated hydrologic systems approach to urban water management requires treatment of the full critical zone, extending from the top of the vegetation and building canopy, to depths including natural soils, fill, saprolite and bedrock. In addition to matric and network flow in fracture systems, an urban “karst” includes multiple generations of infrastructure, with extensive supply and drainage pipe networks, enhancing surface/groundwater exchange. In this presentation, Band will focus on the urban critical zone, and the synthesis of modeling and analytical approaches to understand and plan green infrastructure based on surface/groundwater/ecosystem interactions, and implications for the restoration and new design of cities.

Sponsored by Environmental Engineering and Environmental Earth Systems Science.