The Studies of Precipitation, flooding, and Rainfall Extremes Across Disciplines (SPREAD) workshop: An interdisciplinary research and education initiative

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Monday, 3 February 2014: 4:00 PM
Room C109 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Russ S. Schumacher, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO

In June 2013, a unique group of 26 graduate students with research interests in precipitation and flooding encompassing a diversity of fields, including meteorology, hydrology, economics, psychology, sociology, emergency management, finance, and geography, convened for a weeklong workshop in Fort Collins, Colorado. The objectives of the workshop included introducing graduate student researchers to the research methods used in different, but related, disciplines that might enhance their ongoing thesis research; to initiate innovative interdisciplinary research activities on the topics of precipitation and flooding; and to develop a community of researchers that will collaborate and communicate as the participants embark on their careers.

The workshop included presentations and discussions with prominent researchers and practitioners, discussions of potential future research projects, and visits to historical flood sites in northern Colorado. This presentation will highlight some of the initiatives and discussions that were launched at the SPREAD workshop. Two recurring themes from the workshop will be explored: presentations and interpretations of flood probabilities and return periods; and methods for identifying and quantifying the impacts of extreme precipitation and flooding on different populations. An overview of the research projects that were launched from the workshop will also be discussed, as will the perspectives of the participants on the effectiveness and usefulness of this interdisciplinary community-building. The participants from SPREAD will reconvene in 2014 to provide progress updates on these research projects and initiate additional research and education plans.