News & Awards

Below is a collection of accomplishments by OSU water faculty and students. These items are also posted in H2OSU, the weekly campus water newsletter. To add to this list, please email


New Water Cooperation and Peace Joint Education Programme (03/16/2015)

UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in the Netherlands, the University for Peace (UPEACE) in Costa Rica, and Oregon State University (OSU) in the USA, have embarked on a joint education programme in Water Coooperation and Peace. The goal of this new
initiative is to broaden the scope of approach to conflict and peace, provide a more theoretical dimension to conflict, engage multi-level scales of conflict dimensions and strengthen skills through highly experiential learning opportunities.

With a launch slated for summer 2015, the programme will provide tools and training in an international setting, with a unique opportunity to undertake coursework and hands-on experiences in Costa Rica, The Netherlands and the United States. Participants will be exposed to case studies involving diverse challenges and contexts at different scales.

Students will be able to choose from a project and thesis option, with further opportunities to specialize based on skills and future career goals. Students will be awarded an MA and an MSc in Water Cooperation and Peace, and have the option to continue on at the University of Oregon for a Juris Doctor or Master of Law.

Read more about it...

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Graduate Student Kim Ogren wins AWRA Student Oral Presentation Award (12/01/2014)

Kim Ogren, a PhD Geography student, won the Outstanding Student Oral Presentation Award at the recent American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Annual Conference for her research on the Columbia River treaty. Congratulations, Kim!  Kim's paper abstract:

The Role of Geography in the Structure and Implementation of Water Governance Processes: A CaseStudy of the Columbia River Treaty Reviews ‐ Kim Ogren, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

For more information about the Columbia River Treaty, check out these resources:

* Kim's blog: Columbia River Calling: Diving deeper into the Canadian and US reviews of the Columbia River Treaty

* Products from the 2014 Columbia Basin Conference including a cool "visual note taking" summary.

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Fall Water Resources Seminar Series to focus on watershed-based partnerships. (09/23/2014)

Seminars will be held every Wednesday starting October 1 from 4-5 pm in KEAR 305.  Students can enroll for credit: seminar - WRP 507 (CRN 14547) and journal club - WRP 505 (CRN 15364).

Sponsored by the Water Resources Graduate Program and the Institute for Water and Watersheds.

Oct 1 The Role of Regional Scale Water Management in Natural Systems: Connections, Interactions
and Feedbacks - Laura Condon, Colorado School of Mines

Oct 8 Sustainable Rural Communities and the Urban‐Rural Divide in Oregon - Brent Steel, Oregon State University: Political Science Department

Oct 15 Watershed Based Partnerships in Public/Private Managed Landscapes - Ken Bierly, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (Retired)

Oct 22 Documenting Public Values for River Ecosystem Services - Mathew Weber, US Environmental Protection Agency: Western Ecology Division

Oct 29 Knowledge Networks for Sustainable Water Management - Kathy Jacobs, University of Arizona: Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions

Nov 5 Stream and Watershed Restoration: The Implementation Quandary - Jon Souder, Coos Watershed Association

Nov 12 Addressing Water Issues in Private Land Conservation Planning - Sarah Bates, National Wildlife Federation & Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy, Montana

Nov 19 Resilient People and Places: The Role of Community Partnerships in Preparing for Coastal Disasters - Lori Cramer, Oregon State University: Department of Sociology

Dec 3 Watershed Restoration Planning and Partnership - Dan Bell, The Nature Conservancy and Tara Davis, Calapooia Watershed Council

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USGS Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Water Resources Research Act (07/17/2014)

The U.S. Geological Survey joins its many partners in other federal agencies, at universities, and in state and local governments in recognizing the importance of the Water Resources Research Act (WRRA) of 1964. 

Signed into law 50 years ago by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 17, 1964, the WRRA established a Water Resources Research Institute in each state and Puerto Rico. “Abundant, good water is essential to continued economic growth and progress,” said President Johnson at the time in a prepared statement. “The Congress has found that we have entered a period in which acute water shortages are hampering our industries, our agriculture, our recreation, and our individual health and happiness.”

Fifty years later, the Water Resources Research Institutes, in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey, continue to fulfill their roles assigned by Congress in 1964. They have produced path-breaking research, developed innovative information and technology transfer programs, and provided training to more than 25,000 students in their 50-year history.

Read the full press release here

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IWW Interim Director Todd Jarvis publishes book on Conflict Resolution and Groundwater (06/16/2014)
In this newly released book, Dr. Jarvis explores the unique challenges and issues surrounding the governance and management of groundwater.   Through case studies and first-hand accounts, Dr. Jarvis shares insights gained through his 30 years of experience as a consulting groundwater hydrologist, professional mediator, and academic researcher.  From the publisher, Routledge:

"The world increasingly relies on groundwater resources for drinking water and the provision of food for a growing population. The utilization of aquifer systems also extends beyond freshwater supply to include other resources such as heat extraction and the storage and disposal of substances.

Unlike other books about conflict resolution and negotiations over water resources, this volume is unique in focusing exclusively on conflicts over groundwater and aquifers. The author explores the specific challenges presented by these "hidden" resources, which are shown to be very different from those posed by surface water resources. Whereas surface watersheds are static, groundwater boundaries are value-laden and constantly changing during development.

The book describes the various issues surrounding the governance and management of these resources and the various parties involved in conflicts and negotiations over them. Through first-hand accounts from a pracademic skilled in both process and substance as a groundwater professional and professional mediator, the book offers options for addressing the challenges and issues through a transdisciplinary approach."

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Professor Arturo Leon Receives ASCE Recognition (05/13/2014)

Arturo Leon, Ph.D., P.E, Assistant Professor in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University, has been named a Diplomate, Water Resources Engineer (D.WRE) of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers (AAWRE), a subsidiary of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).  The D.WRE certification is the highest post-license certification available in the water resources engineering profession and it is an accredited program by the Council of  Engineering & Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB).  The D.WRE represents strong professional ethics, a commitment to life-long learning and continuing professional development. Arturo will be inducted as Diplomate on June 2, 2014 at the 2014 ASCE-EWRI World Water & Environmental Resources Congress.

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Jordan Beamer, Water Resources PhD Candidate, Selected for 2014 CUAHSI Pathfinder Fellowship (04/01/2014)

Jordan Beamer, Ph.D. candidate in the Water Resources Graduate Program, was one of six students selected for the prestigious 2014 CUAHSI Pathfinder Fellowship. This fellowship provides funding for students to travel to another location in order to pursue collaborative work related to their thesis project. Jordan's PhD work focuses on quantifying coastal freshwater discharge into the Gulf of Alaska, and Prince William Sound in particular. He will be traveling to Fairbanks, Alaska, in order to collaborate with Dr. Anthony Arendt of the Geophysical Institute on the topic of glacial meltwater contributions to coastal runoff. Jordan is supervised by Dr. David Hill from the School of Civil and Construction Engineering. Congrats, Jordan!

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PhD Candidate Thomas Mosier Admitted to Third International Summer School in Glaciology (03/14/2014)

Thomas Mosier, Ph.D. candidate in WRE / MIME (dual major) was one of 12 US students admitted to the Third International Summer School in Glaciology, to be held in August 2014 in McCarthy Alaska. Organized by the University of Alaska, the School brings together top PhD students studying glaciers and glacial processes and exposes them to top international faculty in the field. Bears are a possibility and crampons are a requirement. Thomas is supervised by Dr. David Hill, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and Dr. Kendra Sharp, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Congrats, Thomas!

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New White Paper "Monitoring Restoration in South Sister Creek" (01/15/2014)

OSU PhD student Greer Harewood has recently prepared a final report on research funded by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on the effects of in-stream restoration on stream temperatures in South Sister Creek, located in Eastern Oregon. The project was prompted by interest in restoration projects and a comparison of pre and post-treatment sites. The full report can be found at the IWW website under 'White Papers.

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New Research Video Tutorial on Creating 3D Models from Digital Photos (01/10/2014)

Master’s student Jon Sanfilippo recently completed a short, informative video on Agisoft technology. Read more about the motivations behind the project below. Click here to watch the video!

In an era of ever evolving technology, we are always looking for new ways to obtain better data for research; Agisoft ( presents a unique opportunity for just that.  The program makes use of digital photographs that can be translated into a 3 dimensional model.  In the study of streams and stream morphology, the current methods used for resolving bed topography and stream bed roughness have included auto levels, total stations, Wolman pebble counts, and potentially green LiDar (very expensive).  Agisoft in the right situation, low turbidity and shallow water, can resolve bed formations, topography, and roughness with a water proof camera, a reasonably priced software package, and for larger areas a glass bottom viewer. 

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