Water Works Lecture Series Explores Russian River Watershed Issues and Ideas

Wide-ranging topics related to the Russian River watershed are explored in a free public lecture series that is part of the Water Works theme being held across the SSU campus this year.

Running from Aug. 29-Nov 13, the lectures are offered alternate Wednesdays from 1-2 p.m. in Warren Auditorium (Ives 101). Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, the series is part of the "Sustainability in My World" year-long course offered to freshmen students.

Launching the series on Aug. 29 is "The Improbability of Water: An Introduction to Watersheds" presented by Dr. Claudia Luke, Director SSU Field Stations & Nature Preserves.

Luke offers a one-hour tour of water focusing on the fascinating processes that are critical to our existence on the planet. This lecture promises to change preconceptions of water and explore interactions and the role of this ubiquitous substance in daily life.

On Sept. 12, Mike Thompson, Assistant General Manager for the Sonoma County Water Agency, offers a close look at Copeland Creek which flows through campus, in "It's Alive! Three Mostly Factual Stories about the Creek on Your Campus."

Thompson will address why Copeland Creek is here; how sediment, fish, and urban debris travel through it; and what, with the help of SSU, it could become.

The Sept. 26 lecture is "Atmospheric Rivers: The Emerging Science of Flooding in the Russian River Watershed," presented by research meteorologist, Dr. Marty Ralph, Chief of the Water Cycle Branch at NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory.

In the last decade, scientists have discovered vast ribbons of water vapor in the sky that transport water from the tropics into temperature regions. Ralph will discuss how these studies, many undertaken in Sonoma County, are improving forecasting in the Russian River watershed.

Paul Siri will review new scientific discoveries in his lecture, "Genes to Oceans: the Science of Salmon Recovery" on Oct. 10.

Siri, a consultant to local, state and international agencies on seafood sustainability, reviews scientific discoveries ranging from molecular genetics to environmental sensor technology that are shaping the way we balance the needs of salmon conservation with land use practices.

More lectures in the series include:

Oct. 24: Andrew Rogerson, SSU Provost, VP Academic Affairs, Chief Academic Officer, "Microbial Ecology of Rivers"

Nov. 7 - Arthur Dawson, Historical Ecologist, Baseline Consulting, "Historic Changes in Hydrology and Riparian Vegetation on Copeland Creek"

Nov. 28 - Marcin Whitman, Senior Hydraulic Engineer, Calif Department Fish & Game, " Restoring Connectivity in California River Corridors"

For more information about this Water Works lecture series, visit www.sonoma.edu/waterworks or phone Jean Wasp, Marketing and Media Relations Coordinator, 707-664-2057.

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