Friday, September 28, 2012

Our Steve and a custom Emriver at the Science Center of Southern Illinois

Carbondale residents visit the Science Center's custom Emriver Thursday night
after the Science Cafe talk. 
LRRD founder Steve Gough spoke Thursday night at the Science Cafe in the Science Center of Southern Illinois.

Steve talked about flood science, especially the intersection of science and human interest when it comes to building near rivers and floodplains.  

It’s an especially relevant issue for us in Southern Illinois.  In 2011, the Army Corps of Engineers blew up the Birds Point Levee in Missouri to allow the waters of the flooded Mississippi into the floodway there.  It was a hotly contested issue nationally at the time, but it’s still ever-present for local residents, scientists and students.  Steve wrote about it extensively on this blog.

In his talk, Steve used the 2011 flood here, and all of its controversy, to illustrate the age-old issues humans have had with building near rivers.  Steve’s solutions to these issues trace back to educating policymakers and laypeople about river science and how it affects them.

“That’s one of the reasons we have Little River Research & Design,” he said.  “To educate legislators and stakeholders.”

He spoke to the group of about 40 Southern Illinoisans just hours after we delivered a custom-made Emriver Em2 to the Science Center.

The Colleges of Science and Education at SIU collaborated to buy the Em2 with NSF funds; we donated the one-of-a-kind kid-proof base.  It will live in the Science Center, and SIU will use it as part of a program to train educators in interactive, outside-the-classroom teaching and learning.

Science Center Director Chris Walls said within its first hours running in the museum, it was already a big hit.

“Kids were amazed at the way the sediment was constantly moving,” he told us.

Our Lily and Nathan introduce Science Center Director Chris Walls to the
Emriver Em2 Thursday afternoon.

An official event to celebrate this Emriver’s new Southern Illinois home is planned for Saturday, October 27.  We’ll post more details as they come.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Steve Gough speaks at Science Cafe this week.

Steve will talk about flood science at the Carbondale Science Center's Science Cafe at 7pm Thursday September 27.  Flier here.

He'll be interviewed on WSIU Radio at 8:15 am on Tuesday the 25th.
UPDATE: Listen to Steve's interview with Brad Palmer on WSIU from the morning of Tuesday, September 25th.

Steve will discuss the science behind flood policy, including climate change and the 2011 floods that caused billions of dollars in damage on the Middle and Lower Mississippi.  He blogged extensively about the controversial Birds Point levee opening in May of 2011 (see May archives of this blog for all posts).

We'll use this blog post to list links and citations for this talk, and will be adding more during the week.

Links in no particular order: Great science-based climate information site.

Earth Observatory 2011 flood page with link to Riparian Rap 

Sundarbans satellite photo; near mouth of the Ganges.

US Climate Change Science Program

David Roberts at Grist writes good articles about climate science.

National Academies Climate Science page.

Scientific American on Fox News distortions of climate science.

Em4 floodplain formation movie.
LRRD time-lapse hydrograph movie.

IPCC information on rainfall frequency changes.

US Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District.

National Flood insurance program.

Riparian Rap

Birds Point posts. These include many links to news and public policy documents.

Birds Point myths