Job Opportunity: Director of the Institute for Watershed Studies

The Department of Environmental Sciences within Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University invites applications for the Director of the Institute for Watershed Studies. This is a full-time, tenured faculty position at the associate or full professor rank, beginning in September 2019. We seek an individual with interests in watershed studies and limnology, particularly the ecological dynamics of lakes in human-affected landscapes and the management of adverse impacts to water quality. The responsibilities of the position are divided between a 12-month, 50% academic administrative position as an institute director and a 9-month, 50% academic position as a departmental faculty member.

More information about the position and how to apply is available on Western Washington University’s job board.


Feedback Requested: NASA SnowEx Science Plan

Calling all snow scientists!

NASA SnowEx is a five year program initiated and funded by NASA THP to address the most important gaps in snow remote sensing knowledge. A recent SnowEx Science Plan is now available online, and the SnowEx Science Team is soliciting your feedback!  See below to join the conversation:

SnowEx Science Plan

  1.  Share your thoughts about the Science Plan with the SnowEx Science Team through this survey, available until October 31, 2018.
  2. The SnowEx Science Team will host a community meeting via Zoom (space for up to 500 participants!) on Monday, November 5th, 2018, 10am PST to discuss the science plan feedback and the SnowEx field experiments planned for upcoming winters.
  3. The “NASA SnowEx Town Hall” will be held at AGU on Thursday, December 13th, 2018 at 12:30pm EST in the Marriott Marquis’ Independence Room, F-H.

Contact Jessica Lundquist at with questions.

Seeking Collaborators for Humanitarian Drinking Water Project

Dr. Minas Tanielian is a Boeing Technical Fellow and was recently appointed as a UW Affiliate Professor in Electrical Engineering. His research interests have centered mainly around Microsystems and electronics, but he is also passionate about finding technical solutions to provide safe drinking water to small, poor, and disadvantaged communities around the world. He is currently seeking collaborators in a new humanitarian, drinking water-related project. Here, he describes his project:

Among the many challenges such communities face, water is often a major source of pathogens and toxins. I have designed a small stand-alone, modular water desalination/purification system that can be powered by sunlight and wind energy, with no consumable parts. This makes it possible for usage in remote locations, isolated communities and off-grid applications.

My immediate goal is to model, prototype, and debug my system as a proof-of-principle. Once a practical solution has been developed, we hope to deploy a plethora of such systems around the world with financial help from a philanthropic organization and utilizing volunteer labor for the installations.

Clearly, this is going to be a long journey. Along the way I will need a lot of help from all sorts of people. As a first step in that journey, I would like to meet and talk with like-minded individuals who want to help make this humanitarian goal a reality.

If you would like to learn more about Dr. Tanielian’s research or if you are interested in collaborating, please contact

Get to Know Modeling in the Nooksack Watershed

Image courtesy of American Rivers.

Are you interested in water research efforts in the Nooksack Watershed?

This event is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation PREEVENTS TRACK 2: Integrated Modeling of Hydro-Geomorphic Hazards: Floods, Landslides, and Sediment, Award Abstract #1663859.

The University of Washington and Whatcom County are convening a meeting about current hydrodynamic, hydrologic, and geomorphology modeling studies in the Nooksack River watershed.  On Wednesday, October 11, 2018 from 1-2:30pm, we will hear from four researchers with ongoing modeling studies in the Nooksack watershed.  The meeting is open to anyone interested in the status of hydrologic modeling studies in the Nooksack watershed, including Whatcom County staff and other Nooksack River watershed stakeholder groups. Participants may join the conversation online via Zoom.

Our primary objective is to highlight the connections between these research efforts and to initiate communication pathways between research groups. The afternoon will consist of four 15 minute presentations followed by a 30 minute group discussion. Each presenter will explain the geographic scope and purpose of their modeling work, as well as expected research products and timelines.

  1. Eric Grossman (U.S. Geological Survey; Dept. of Geology, Western Washington University) will discuss the Delft3D and DFM modeling efforts led by USGS and WWU.  This talk will include examples of what was learned from Nisqually and evaluate how hydrodynamics and sediment transport are likely to change under scenarios of projected sea level rise and altered stream flows, sediment loads, and bathymetric changes (e.g., restoration alternatives, levee setbacks, distributary channel reconnections).
  2. Scott Anderson (U.S. Geological Survey) will review gauge analysis study results that document trends in morphological change in the Nooksack and motivate modeling efforts. These results will also be compared with results from LiDAR differencing.
  3. Jacob Morgan (Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Washington) will describe a depth-averaged implementation of the hydro-morphodynamic model (Delft3D) configured to simulate and quantify the downstream propagation of a multi-decadal sediment wave in the Nooksack River, including an integrated estimate of flood risk, achieved using spatially distributed hydrologic models (DHSVM, Topnet-WM) as boundary conditions in a loose coupling of multiple physical process models.
  4. Christina Bandaragoda (Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Washington) will provide project history of hydrologic models since the WRIA1 Management Team was organized in 1998, including the development of Topnet-WM water management model, Distributed Hydrology Soil Vegetation Model, and current work coupling MODFLOW groundwater processes, in collaboration with projects led by Whatcom County and the Nooksack Indian Tribe (1998-2018).

To join the conversation, please RSVP to Jacob Morgan ( to ensure that we notify you of any changes in connection details.

You’re Invited: Freshwater Student Social Event

Join UW Freshwater Initiative in celebrating the start of another quarter

WHO: All Freshwater Initiative Students

WHERE: Optimism Brewing, 1158 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98112

WHEN: Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 at 6:30pm

WHAT: Beer, cute dogs, and a change to socialize with some of your favorite freshwater enthusiasts!

2018-2019 Duck Family Colloquium Series

The Center for Environmental Politics is pleased to announce it’s annual colloquium series centered on environmental politics, policy, and governance.

The Duck Family Colloquium Series is made possible by the generous support of Gary and Susan Duck, UW alumni and long-standing benefactors of the Center for Environmental Politics. This monthly series is led by graduate students. This year, Hanjie Wang (Political Science Ph.D. Student) is the Richard B. Wesley Fellow in Environmental Politics and Governance and the chair of the Duck Family Colloquium series. More information can be found at the Center for Environmental Politics website.

The 2018-2019 series will feature the following speakers:

Introducing: Freshwater Exploration Series 2018-2019

Hosted by the UW Freshwater Initiative and the UW Simpson Center for Humanities

Are you a graduate student interested in broadening your understanding of the complex freshwater challenges facing society?

Do you want to explore the multi-faceted challenges of dams with students, faculty, and practitioners from a diversity of fields?

Do you want to visit a dam and learn about its fisheries, climate change adaptation, public perception, and more?

What is the Freshwater Exploration Series? 

The Freshwater Exploration Series is a unique interdisciplinary opportunity for graduate students who study freshwater-related topics from all disciplines–across the humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, and engineering—to come together and collectively learn about a designated freshwater topic as well as share related perspectives, aims, concerns, and methods of various research fields. We aim to do this through a diverse series of activities (~1 per quarter) on campus and in the field, which also involve faculty, practitioners and the public.

For the 2018-19 school year, the Freshwater Exploration Series theme is “Dams in the Pacific Northwest.” This is the first-ever Freshwater Exploration Series, and we hope it will lead to future series on other intriguing freshwater topics in years to come.

What is the significance of the 2018-19 theme “Dams in the Pacific Northwest”?

Dams in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) provide valuable services such as hydropower generation, flood control, and water storage, which are integral to the region’s social and economic development. However, dams may also negatively impact ecosystems and people. Most notably in the PNW, dams impede migration of native, endangered fish species like salmon and steelhead. This impact on fish has been particularly detrimental to the culture and livelihoods of local Native American populations. In addition, rapid human population growth and climate change, which both place increasing demands on freshwater resources, exacerbate tensions surrounding dams.

How do we manage dams? How do dams impact our natural resources? How do we communicate with stakeholders about these issues? These complex require interdisciplinary collaboration and creativity and provide students an opportunity to explore different perspectives, discover and fill knowledge gaps, and devise holistic and lasting solutions.

What and when are the Freshwater Exploration Series activities for the 2018-19 school year?

Fall Quarter: On Thursday, September 27, we will take a day-long field trip to view the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project. We will hear from a Fish Biologist and Climate Change Advisor from Seattle City Light, who owns and operates the Project.

We will also share ~3 key cross-disciplinary papers related to dam for students to optionally read by our Winter Quarter meeting (see below).

Winter Quarter: We will meet (date TBD) to reflect on our Fall field trip experience and discuss student insights and questions on PNW dams. Students who were not able to attend the field trip are welcome to join this discussion (we will provide a summary of the field trip to all). We aim to (1) identify collective questions and knowledge gaps about PNW dam management and perspectives, (2) articulate questions for faculty and/or practitioners in the Spring panel event, and (3) discuss which specific faculty and/or practitioners could potentially address these questions.

Spring Quarter: We will conduct a panel discussion event (date TBD) with student-selected faculty and/or practitioners that is centered on questions and knowledge gaps curated by students. This event will be a highly interactive discussion with encouraged audience participation.

Who can participate in the Freshwater Exploration Series?

We are primarily seeking participation from graduate students who study or have strong interest in freshwater-related topics. We welcome and encourage graduate students from all disciplines–humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, and engineering– to participate so that this may be a truly interdisciplinary event. Graduate students are encouraged, but not required to attend all three activities.

Interested undergraduates and postdocs are welcome to inquire about participating in the Fall and Winter activities, and may be able to join if space is available.

For the Spring Panel event, anyone (undergraduate, graduate, postdoc, faculty, practitioners, and general public) is welcome to attend.

How can participating in the Freshwater Exploration Series help students?

We can think of countless ways the Freshwater Exploration Series may enrich your graduate school experience as well as your professional and personal development. Here are just a few:

  • Expand your horizons and become more T-shaped (that is, deepen knowledge in your own discipline, while and strengthen your ability to communicate across disciplines).
  • Understand your freshwater interests within a broader context, and potentially discover new facets, applications, and questions related your current and future research.
  • Grow and diversify your network of researchers and practitioners.
  • Develop your visionary leadership skills by helping to pioneer the Freshwater Exploration Series and shape future related activities.

Who do I contact with questions and comments?

Contact Claire Beveridge ( with any questions or comments.

Fellowship Opportunity: Hydroinformatics Innovation

Got an idea for the next great hydroinformatics product?

The Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science (CUAHSI) is pleased to offer the Hydroinformatics Innovation Fellowship to support projects that will result in a hydroinformatics product to be disseminated to the CUAHSI community within one yearof funding. Scientists at U.S. universities and colleges are eligible for this grant, although preference will be given to early career faculty, postdocs, and graduate students.

Awardees will receive up to $5,000 for eligible expenses including: travel costs associated with acquiring new skills, site or reverse site visits, software or data licenses, access to cyberinfrastructure, dissemination costs, and student support.

Applications are due September 30, 2018.For more information about this opportunity and to apply, check out the CUAHSI website.

2018 AWRA-WA State Conference

Early Bird Registration is open through September 16th!

The American Water Resources Association, Washington Section (AWRA-WA) welcomes you to join us for an interdisciplinary investigation of Washington water resource management. This year’s conference will delve into several key Washington State Supreme Court decisions as well as recent legislation to evaluate how water management in our state may be required to adapt to meet stresses from development pressures and water use.

The conference will be held on October 16, 2018 at the Mountaineers Seattle Program Center, 7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA.  Conference sessions and panel discussions will be followed by a reception that evening.

The keynote speaker will be Leon Szeptycki, from the Stanford Woods Institute.  His work includes issues related to stream flow restoration in the context of western water law and increasing human demands.

For more information and to register for the conference, please visit the event website.

Cyberseminar Series: Major Challenges in Key River Basins

Join us for the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science (CUAHSI) 2018 Fall Seminar Series: Major Challenges in Key River Basins Around the World, which will take place on Thursday at 4pm PST, beginning September 20, 2018.

In this seminar series, you will hear perspectives from a diverse set of emerging researchers regarding the challenges and possible solutions facing major transboundary river basins in the world, such as the Indus River Basin in Pakistan, the American and Sacramento River Basins in California, the Ohio River Basin in the United States Midwest, and the Nile River Basin in Ethiopia. You will gain an increased appreciation for the complexity of water management in such basins and will be inspired by the innovative and novel methods being used to solve the many challenges they face.

All talks take place on Thursdays at 4:00 p.m. ET with the exception of October 4 which will take place at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Dates, Speakers, and Topics:

  • September 20: Water Management and Climate Extremes in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Basin| Scott Steinschneider, Cornell University
  • September 27: Title TBA | Hassaan Furqan Khan, Stanford University
  • October 4*: Evaluating FEW Nexus in the Coupled Natural-Human System with Agent-Based Modeling| Y.C. Ethan Yang, Lehigh University (at 3 p.m. ET)
  • October 11: Optimal resources allocation in the Upper Blue Nile basin| Mariam Allam, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • October 18: Title TBA | Patrick Ray, University of Cincinnati

You can register for this cyberseminar series here. Find more information about the cyberseminar series here.