Please join us on June 1 for a research presentation with Desiree Tullos, Associate Professor of Water Resources, Biological and Ecological Engineering Department, Oregon State University. 


Water resources engineering is at a crossroads. Our water infrastructure is aging and interdependent, and it has generated fundamental impacts to people and ecosystems that span generations. In addition, the frequency and severity of extreme hydrologic events, which threaten the reliability of water resources infrastructure and sustainability of ecosystems, is increasing. However, tools, knowledge, and awareness have also matured. Technological advancements have produced new opportunities to monitor and understand water and human systems more deeply, while social advancements have produced design approaches that promote a systems view of engineering. The time is ripe for adapting the engineering of rivers and water resources towards principles that acknowledge and emphasize 1) infrastructure resiliency beyond its design life and to uncertain hazards, 2) interdependencies among infrastructure and disciplines, and 3) flexibility to accommodate variability and change.

This seminar will present a portfolio of projects that demonstrate how applying these principles in research can contribute to engineering and management of water resources and rivers in the American West. Projects span a range of scales, from the particle scale that produces turbulence experienced by fish, to the reach scales at which restoration actions are undertaken, to the basin scale at which reservoirs and other water infrastructure are constructed and managed. Specific themes will include measurement biases in fish habitat selection and energy expenditure, physical and biological recovery from dam removal, and the evaluation of the resiliency and flexibility of flood management systems. The seminar will conclude with research directions and motivations for applying a systems approach in engineering water and rivers in the West.