Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A video greeting from Little River Research.

A happy holiday video in a few of the languages spoken at LRRD.  I have such amazing colleagues.

The awesome multilingual (and keyboard playing) kids are Meriam's Adam and Radia, and the sweet vocals in French are from the three of them.  (I rocked the cowbell.)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Amazing last day of AGU 2011.

Today we finished an amazing five days at AGU in San Francisco.

We planned for months.   Meriam, Lily, Christina, and Alee took care of complex logistics.  Nathan, Jim,  and I built and packed parts for the new Em3.

We worked together when a shipper lost half our stuff, and celebrated its recovery and arrival 15 minutes before the exhibits opened on Tuesday.

Hundreds of scientists and students visited our booth, many with strong interest in using our models for teaching and research. 

Dozens of scientists from outside the United States left cards; from France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

Lily was her usual awesome self (especially with the little visitors)  and our volunteer, SIUC-IGERT PhD candidate Anne Hayden helped with setup, teardown, and the many times when we had twenty or more visitors at once.

Tonight Lily took us through bustling downtown San Francisco to get the best in Thai food, ordered in the native language, of course.

Thanks to everybody.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

SIUC students in the LRRD lab

Students armor a stream using vegetation in the Em2
Graduate and undergraduate students in SIUC's watershed management class visited our lab today.

Our prototyper, Nathan, hosted them as they experimented with the effects of construction in rivers.

It's always a joy to see all those hands in the Em2!

We've all spent a lot of time doing community outreach and education this year; from day camps to elementary schools to postgraduate labs, our team has taught hundreds of students around Southern Illinois.
It's what we're here for.

Nathan and SIUC students perform a lab exercise in the Em2

SIUC students build around a model culvert in the Em2

AGU Day Two. Wow!

Another incredible day, with hundreds of interesting visitors from all over the world.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

AGU Day One, we dodge lightning.

We went to bed last night after arranging plans B, C, and others for our lost plastic media, including coffee grounds and plastic shipped up from Long Beach.

Here you see the happy, frantic unpacking of the lost shipment this morning, ten minutes before the exhibits opened.

We were visited by hundreds of scientists from many counties.

Lily worked her magic with a shy little girl from France.

Wonderful day.

LRRD  peeps made this happen, thanks.

Lightning strikes us at AGU.

The Fall AGU Meeting in San Francisco is amazing. Twenty thousand students and scientists from all over the world.

We've wanted to be here for years, but it's so expensive. About $15,000 for a booth, with all expenses accounted for.

We're finally here after months of planning and study, of logistics, travel, hotels, shipping. We arrived a day early, accounting for any possible problem, delayed flights, illness, whatever.

But our shipper (YRC) lost half our stuff; including all our plastic media.

A bad, rare thing, a lightning strike at the worst time. We hope it'll be found and delivered tomorrow. We're working on other plans, but there aren't many options when you're thousands of miles from home.

Photos are Lily and Anne Hayden, an SIUC grad student whose travel we funded in exchange for a little help. And Callan Bentley goofing with Lily at the AGU Social Media Soiree tonight.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Emriver Em3 at AGU

Lily Hwang and I will set up our new Emriver Em3 at AGU in San Fransisco next week.

Here you see Lily at GSA, a CAD drawing, and Lily, Christina, Alee, and Nathan celebrating the first Em3's arrival in October.

The Em3's form comes from my two decades of experience using and refining these models. 

By design, the Em3 is portable, so it doesn't need dedicated lab space, and can be used outdoors. 

But it's big enough for serious research, and we're working on instrumentation and many other options.

We're going to have a blast at AGU, please drop by!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Emriver Em2 video overview.

Our Emriver Em2 in two minutes, in English, by our Alee Quick.

More to come:  Below, a collection of outtakes and languages from the original shoot.  All LRRD staff, family, and friends from Carbondale.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

An Em2 goes to Deutschland (annotated).

Today we celebrated our first export to Germany!

We shipped an Emriver Em2 to Dr. Harald Stollhofen at Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Lehrstuhl für Geologie.

Click the photo above to enlarge and see who built this unique river model and sent it across the Atlantic Ocean.

We're wearing funny hats because we also celebrated birthdays for Lily and Allee.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

BYU Em4's first day.

This video captures most of the Em4's first day at BYU's Department of Geological Sciences.  

Our Em4 models will energize thousands of science students (look at them!); with this fourth model installed, we're confident many more will follow.

We're celebrating that.

Thanks to my wife Kate, who believed in and supported my work.  To my colleagues at LRRD who helped build, pack and ship it, and to Warren Sauer, owner of Sauer Machine in St. Louis, where all the big metal parts were made with great care.

And to the staff, faculty, and students at BYU, who were universally welcoming, helpful, and as you see here, excited about the Em4.

Thanks to Toby Dogwiler at Winona State who demonstrated his Em4 for visiting BYU faculty.

Special thanks to faculty Randy Skinner  and Jani Radebaugh, and student Steve Herbst, who was a huge help with final assembly.

Friday, November 4, 2011

LRRD Dive(s) In!

SIUC student volunteer Jen teaches fifth graders
around the Em2 at Dive In!
Today I taught for the first time since I joined the Little River team, at Dive In!, an Illinois EPA-funded education event hosted by SIUC's Touch of Nature Environmental Center.  

Of course, I couldn't have done it without Lily's help (and training over the past week), and we had three wonderful student volunteers from SIUC.

As always, we're happy to use our models around our community.  It's why we build them!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

BYU Em4 students learn science.

This morning we finished installation of an Emriver Em4 at Brigham Young University's Department of Geological Sciences

This afternoon Jani Radebaugh used it in her Geomorphology class for the first time.

Look at these students learning science.  My reward.

Thanks to Randy Skinner, Jani, wonderful students, and other BYU staff and faculty.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Em4 lands at BYU, Day One.

Brigham Young University got an Em4 today.

Thanks to students, faculty, and staff. 

More tomorrow.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Project Eco R.O.V.E.R. and LRRD at Saturday Science

On Saturday, Little River Research & Design collaborator and friend Andrew Podoll launched a fundraising endeavor for his Project Eco R.O.V.E.R. at Carbondale's Farmers' Market, in an event he called Saturday Science.  

A conceptual sketch of the R.O.V.E.R., which will
feature an Emriver model in its cargo space
Andrew's turning an old charter bus into a mobile science classroom, which will include river models built by us. 

Andrew is using to fundraise.  Check out his site there.

Andrew teaches with our Em3 model at Saturday Science
We brought and Emriver Em2 and Em3 to the Farmer's Market, and Andrew taught dozens of kids and adults who visited Saturday Science.  

Good luck, Andrew! 

Andrew Podoll and Saturday Science visitors with the Em3 and the Eco R.O.V.E.R.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Some big shout-outs for Little River!

We're thrilled that some of our friends and collaborators are using our models for great work in education, research and outreach, and blogging about it.  We get to work with some remarkable educators.

Matt Kuchta has posted videos of his experiments in the Em2 on his blog.  Check this video in which he filmed the Em2 under UV light, and placed fluorescent plastic BBs in the stream to observe their path.

Fluorescent Emriver Stream Table from Matt Kuchta on Vimeo.

Matt ads on this post:
Sometimes there comes a product or concept that completely transforms the way you see things. This has happened to me recently when my lab got its Emriver stream table.
That's exactly what we LRRD stives for, thanks!

And our collaborator Andrew Podoll, director of Eco R.O.V.E.R., helped teachers from Park Community Charter School in Kaukauna, Wisconsin unveil their Em2, with coverage from local newspaper the Times-Villager.

Fifth graders learn about streamflow.  Thanks to Kristen
Podolak for sending us this photo!
We also heard from Kristen Podolak from the University of California at Berkley, who used her Em2 to teach dozens of fifth graders.

Thanks to everyone for sharing your experiments and experiences!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Loading an Em4 bound for BYU.

Today we loaded an Em4, the fourth, onto a truck bound for Brigham Young University.

Years of work realized and a big machine moved with the help of wonderful colleagues and friends.

Photos by Alee Quick.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Time lapse LRRD at GSA fun!

Our trip to GSA this year was incredible. We spent months planning and many hours in final preparation. Everybody at LRRD -- Nathan, Meriam, Alee, Christina, Lily, and I -- played an important role.

And my wife Kate took vacation time to join us, something we all appreciate! We were very excited to debut our new Em3 model, a three-meter model that will fill the gap between the Em2 and Em4.

We were dissapointed Nathan couldn't make it to Minneapolis; he's in his final semester of classes, and we want to make sure he maintains his near-perfect GPA.

I'm deeply thankful for such awesome colleagues, thanks to everybody. We saw many new and old clients, and really enjoyed meeting colleagues from all over the world. I tried to get that flavor into this video, I hope it works!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

LRRD at GSA Minneapolis

Em4 at GSA Minneapolis from Steve Gough on Vimeo.

A movie and  photos from GSA 2011.  Ending months of preparation followed by a couple of crazy weeks packing equipment and driving it up in a truck; flying nearly all of LRRD into Minneapolis to help.

We've had hundreds of cool visitors.  Thanks to all the geobloggers and tweet pals who mentioned us.

Too tired to caption the photos, but thanks to my LRRD peeps and to the many who use our models who stopped by to say hello.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

SIUC helps LRRD load for GSA!

Today, after months of planning and preparation, we loaded a sixteen-foot truck bound for GSA-Minneapolis.

SIUC students from all over campus formed human forklifts to muscle the big Em4 on board.

From forestry, geography, geology, zoology, and fisheries, and elite NSF-IGERT grad students.

Student chapters got donations, and six pizzas disappeared.

Thanks students! And to LRRD peeps for a wonderful, exciting day.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The new and improved

By Alee

A screen shot of the new home page
Our new website design has finally arrived!

Lily, Meriam and I spent many, many hours writing, designing, troubleshooting, and editing, and it's finally paid off.

The new site is powered by WordPress, with a theme design from BytesForAll.

It's locally hosted by the fantastic Arthur Agency.

Please let us know what you think of it!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Korean Four Rivers filmakers visit LRRD


We build our Emriver models to help students and stakeholders understand complex river behavior.

Anywhere in the world.

Today we hosted documentary producer Sahoon Hong and his cameraman Seong Rim Lee from the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), the South Korean equivalent of our PBS.  

They’re investigating the controversial $17B Four Rivers Project, summed up in this Science article

Using our Emriver Em4, we demonstrated how river manipulations like wing dikes and dredging change river morphology; I hope we'll inform river engineering and management on this project half way around the world.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fluvial Photography at LRRD

By Alee

Alee teaches Lily to use the GigaPan
Over the past couple weeks, I've been testing out our new GigaPan Epic Pro system, which is a robot that guides a camera to take nearly perfect panoramic pictures.  The GigaPan software stitches the photos together, and you end up with an extremely detailed shot, which you can then zoom in to see fantastic detail.

We picked it up because we think it will be a powerful tool to use with our Em4 model, especially in conjunction with close range photogrammetry (CRP).

Last week I photographed the Em4 during and after a delta-building run, and you can see the images here.  Zoom in to see fluvial features formed during the run.

Our Ecohydrologist, Lily Hwang, has also started testing the photos taken with the GigaPan with CRP.  We think we can use these pictures to build point clouds, which will be more accurate and efficient than taking all of them the old-fashioned way.  We hope to have some results soon.

I've also been experimenting with ImageJ image processing and analysis software.  ImageJ offers a ton of plugins to aid analysis, and I'm hoping to use one that maps the amount of color in a photo to study our color coded modeling media.
Color coded modeling media in the Em4
Graph showing RGB values in a portion of the
photo to the left, made using the Color Inspector 3D
plugin for ImageJ