Friday, April 4, 2008

Em4 building, Rosgen, flooding.



Our UPS guy emptied half his truck at 514 today. We're building our first Em4, a 4m x 1.5m version of our Emriver. Tubing, bearings, big pumps, little pumps, pipes, clamps, handles, rods.

It's exciting because thousands of hours of experience and design are becoming cool tangible things.

A machine shop in Marion is finishing up a key part, and our fabricator in St. Louis is working on the big ones.

The business part, which I never liked, is a challenge. We had to decline going to a river festival near St. Louis because the organizer wanted an insurance waiver, which we found would cost us nearly $300 on top of our volunteer time. We're figuring out taxes and computer security. Fun.

The Midwest flooding continues. We had 1.8" at my gage over the last day, and the Big Muddy here is back up out of its banks.

Elizabeth Suddith
has some good observations on Dave Rosgen's reply to a paper critical of his classification and management system. It is telling that he believes attendance of his classes is a prerequisite for criticizing his methods. This isn't how science works.

I've been to one Rosgen class, and would pay for another if I could see all the data on which his system is based, but I'm not worried about having to cough up that tuition. It wouldn't be cheap. Rosgen's five-day introductory course, Applied Fluvial Geomorphology, has a tuition of $1,500. For thirty students that's $45,000 for five days.

I'll offer a web page I recently found, hosted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The writer seems to know about two geomorphologists: Rosgen and Luna Leopold. (Leopold passed away two years ago, this site's not aware of that.) The page, hosted by my government, is an uncritical endorsement of Rosgen's approach as a way to understand and manage rivers. The site links liberally to Wildland Hydrology, Rosgen's for-profit enterprise, where I see there's another self-published book on sale.

There is no mention of alternate methods, other scientists, or those who disagree with Rosgen's way of doing things.

A clear demonstration of the problem we face, considering that a hell of a lot of money is being spent by the government, much of it mitigation money, to pay private consultants who're vetted because they use Rosgen's methods.

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