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International aquatic scientist to speak at Hynes Lecture series

Author: Communications

Posted on Oct 6, 2014

Category: UNB Fredericton , UNB Saint John

Global rivers are under increasing pressure from human activities.   Management and protection of our surface waters are increasingly complicated as it is difficult to “see” how rivers are changing. 

Advances in remote sensing and recent access to potentially limitless information through tools like “Google Earth” mean a new era for river sciences and management.  New approaches are helping us to visualize complex river systems, raise public awareness about the stressors they face, and provide managers with better tools for decisions related to freshwater resources.

Dr. Christian Torgersen, an internationally renowned aquatic scientist from the U.S. Geological Survey in Washington State, addresses this new use of technology in water sciences at the University of New Brunswick this week. 

“Instant access to maps and satellite imagery through the Internet are changing the way people think and the kinds of questions that scientists ask about natural resources,” states Dr. Torgersen.  His research shows that it is increasingly possible to map—and understand—rivers in ways that scientists never could have imagined 50 years ago.

“Researchers with the Canadian Rivers Institute at UNB are very pleased to be hosting Dr. Torgersen this week,” states Karen Kidd, CRI science director.  “He is addressing an issue that we are facing here in New Brunswick and globally.  How do we make better use of technology to understand and manage rivers?  This is something of interest for scientists, community groups and water managers alike.”

He also conducts studies on how rivers and their species respond to dam removal, how water quality and fish populations in streams are influenced by the landscape, the habitat needs for salmon, and the effects of invasive fish on salmon.

Dr. Torgersen is coming to UNB to deliver this year’s Canadian Rivers Institute’s (CRI) H.B.N. Hynes Lectures on October 9th and 10th

UNB Saint John: Thursday, Oct. 9 at 11:30 a.m. | Irving Hall, room 104

UNB Fredericton: Friday, Oct. 10 at 3 p.m. | Bailey Hall, room 146

Both lectures are free and open to the public.

His talk The Fourth Paradigm and data-driven discovery in riverine science will focus on new ways to mine the large data sets generated by new technologies to better understand how streams and landscapes interact, how flowing waters change over space and time, and how these systems can be best managed.

He will also give a free public talk about his research at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 9th in Loring Bailey Hall room 146 at UNB Fredericton.  This talk is entitled Envisioning Rivers in the Google Earth Era. 

About the Hynes Lecture series:
The H.B.N. Hynes Lecture series is an annual event hosted by the Canadian Rivers Institute.  It is named for Noel Hynes, professor emeritus at the University of Waterloo and a founding father of river ecology. In 2002, Dr. Hynes delivered the inaugural Hynes Lecture. He is the author the 1971 book Ecology of Running Waters and received an honorary doctorate from UNB in 2003.

Media Contact:
Karen Kidd, Professor and Science Director, Canadian Rivers Institute
UNB Saint John
(506) 648-5809
(506) 650-0973 (texts only please)

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