Our Steve and a custom Emriver at the Science Center of Southern Illinois

Carbondale residents visit the Science Center's custom Emriver Thursday night
after the Science Cafe talk. 
LRRD founder Steve Gough spoke Thursday night at the Science Cafe in the Science Center of Southern Illinois.

Steve talked about flood science, especially the intersection of science and human interest when it comes to building near rivers and floodplains.  

It’s an especially relevant issue for us in Southern Illinois.  In 2011, the Army Corps of Engineers blew up the Birds Point Levee in Missouri to allow the waters of the flooded Mississippi into the floodway there.  It was a hotly contested issue nationally at the time, but it’s still ever-present for local residents, scientists and students.  Steve wrote about it extensively on this blog.

In his talk, Steve used the 2011 flood here, and all of its controversy, to illustrate the age-old issues humans have had with building near rivers.  Steve’s solutions to these issues trace back to educating policymakers and laypeople about river science and how it affects them.

“That’s one of the reasons we have Little River Research & Design,” he said.  “To educate legislators and stakeholders.”

He spoke to the group of about 40 Southern Illinoisans just hours after we delivered a custom-made Emriver Em2 to the Science Center.

The Colleges of Science and Education at SIU collaborated to buy the Em2 with NSF funds; we donated the one-of-a-kind kid-proof base.  It will live in the Science Center, and SIU will use it as part of a program to train educators in interactive, outside-the-classroom teaching and learning.

Science Center Director Chris Walls said within its first hours running in the museum, it was already a big hit.

“Kids were amazed at the way the sediment was constantly moving,” he told us.

Our Lily and Nathan introduce Science Center Director Chris Walls to the
Emriver Em2 Thursday afternoon.

An official event to celebrate this Emriver’s new Southern Illinois home is planned for Saturday, October 27.  We’ll post more details as they come.

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