CORVALLIS - Some of the nation's leading experts on floods will speak during a spring seminar series at Oregon State University beginning April 2.

Titled "Floods and Ecology: Disasters or God Sends," the series will explore climatic, environmental, ecological and disaster aspects of floods, with a frequent but not exclusive focus on the Oregon floods of 1996.

Each seminar will be on a Wednesday from 4-5 p.m. in the Agricultural and Life Sciences Building, Room 4000. Although the seminar series may be taken for academic credit, the presentations are free and open to the public.

"The series has some very prominent speakers with perspectives from Amazonian floods, the Mississippi flood system, and flood ecology of western Oregon," said John Selker, an OSU associate professor of bioresource engineering. "Several current areas of controversy in the area of forest practices and their impact on flood ecology will also be discussed."

Speakers, dates and topics include:

  • April 2 - "The Floods of 1996: Normal Events, Outliers, or Harbingers of Global Change," by George Taylor, state climatologist at OSU; and "Historical Perspective on the Floods of the Upper Willamette: 1850-1996," by Patricia Benner, OSU Dept. of Forest Science
  • April 9 - "Flood Response of Fish and Salamanders in High Gradient Mountain Streams in Oregon," by Stan Gregory, OSU Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife
  • April 16 - "Geomorphic Effects of the Great Flood of 1993 on Missouri and Mississippi Rivers: Implications for Regulation and Restoration," by Robert Jacobson, U.S. Geological Survey in Missouri
  • April 23 - "Has Oregon Made Progress in Reducing Flood Damage?" by Frank Reckendorf, U.S. Geological Survey in Oregon
  • April 30 - "Where Lack of Flooding is an Ecological Disturbance: The Flood Pulse in Low-gradient River-floodplains," by Peter Bayley, OSU Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife
  • May 7 - "Inundation Hydrology," by Leal Mertes, University of California at Santa Barbara, Department of Geography
  • May 14 - "Geomorphic and Ecologic Effects of Grand Canyon's Habitat-Beach Building Flood of March 1996," by John Schmidt, Utah State University, Department of Geography and Earth Resources
  • May 21 - "Peak Flow Response to Forest Harvest and Roads: What Do We Know, What Are The Controversies," by Julia Jones, OSU Dept. of Geosciences, and Robert Beschta, OSU Dept. of Forest Engineering
  • May 28 - "Forest Practices and Landslides: Local Vs. Landscape Scale and Contradictions Therein" by Marvin Pyles, OSU Dept. of Forest Engineering, and Fred Swanson, U.S. Forest Service
  • June 4 - "The Resurgence of Catastrophe in Geomorphology and Other Places," by W. Gordon Wolman, John Hopkins University.

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John Selker, 541-737-6304