You are here

Brown Day, Friday, April 28

April 10, 2017

Held each spring, Brown Day brings together friends and colleagues for a noon time potluck lunch, an afternoon lecture by a prominent visiting geographer, and an evening banquet that celebrates the achievements of the past year, and recalls our history, which spans over three-quarters of a century. The day is named in honor of Ralph Hall Brown, eminent faculty member in our department from 1929 to 1948, and author of Mirror for Americans (1941) and Historical Geography of the United States (1948).

2017 Brown Day Schedule

Graduate Student Research Presentations;  9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m., 435 Blegen Hall

Student Poster Session and Lunch; 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m., 317 Blegen Hall

Ralph H. Brown Memorial Lecture presented by Connie Woodhouse, University of Arizona
"Tree Rings and Drought with Applications to Water Resource Management in the Western US"
3:15–5:00 p.m., 1-106 Hanson Hall

Reception and Awards Ceremony: 5:30–7:30 p.m.

Loring Pasta Bar, 327 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

Gage record of streamflow and rainfall exist for the past 100 years or so, but these have been extended using tree-ring data to reconstruct hydroclimate over past centuries. These extended records provide a window into the past, documenting a much broader range of natural variability than contained in the instrumental records. But is this information relevant and usable for water resource planning? Until relatively recently, this information was not considered in planning and management. However, a number of factors -including drought, climate change, and a growing awareness of the importance of engagement between researchers and stakeholders-have converged to change this situation. In this talk, Professor Woodhouse will discuss three case studies in which tree-ring based reconstructions of hydroclimate have been generated in collaboration with water resource managers in Colorado River, Rio Grande, and California river basins. Each collaboration has involved a different type of engagement, and resulted in different uses of the reconstructions by water resource managers. The talk will end with some thoughts on how researchers can do a better job of generating both scientific findings and information that is relevant and usable by natural resource managers and planners.

Professor Connie Woodhouse is an internationally recognized and award-winning expert in tree-ring research and paleoclimatology. She has develop novel perspective on past streamflow regimes for major rivers in the Colorado, Rio Grande, Sacramento, and Missouri Basins. Dr. Woodhouse has made substantial contributions to water resource management and operational drought planning through long-term partnerships with stakeholders at local, state, and federal agencies. With funding from NSF and NOAA, Professor Woodhouse has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles with landmark papers in Journal of Climate, Water Resources Research, Geophysical Research Letters, PNAS, Science, and Nature.