Science Pub explores the science behind the pathways of rivers

Oregon State University - Cascades; Sean Fleming; OSU College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Jan. 25, 2019

As rivers flow in the Pacific Northwest and around the globe, they shape and interact with the environment around them.  At Oregon State University – Cascades’ upcoming Science Pub, OSU courtesy professor and author Sean Fleming will examine what mathematics and physics can reveal about rivers. He will also explore the relationships between rivers and their surrounding landscapes, ecosystems and societies.

Titled “A Random Walk along the River,” this Science Pub will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 19 in Father Luke’s Room at McMenamins Old St. Francis in Bend.

Fleming is a geophysicist with extensive experience in operational and research hydrology. He runs a data science consultancy and holds affiliate positions at OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, the University of British Columbia and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

In this Science Pub, Fleming will draw on his recent Princeton University Press book, “Where the River Flows: Scientific Reflections on Earth’s Waterways,” and discuss topics such as why rivers run where they do; how the same river can flood one year, yet dry up the next; how we forecast floods and water supplies; the impacts of climate change; and even whether rivers have “memories.” He will also explore how science can help address the threats our watersheds face.

OSU-Cascades Science Pubs take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Networking, and food and beverage service begin at 5:30 p.m., and the presentation starts at 6:30 p.m. Science Pubs are free to community members, but reservations are required. Space is limited. 

Register by 5 p.m. the day prior to each Science Pub at

Copies of Fleming’s book will be available for sale at the event, courtesy of Roundabout Books in Bend.

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About OSU-Cascades: Oregon State University’s campus in Bend, Ore. features outstanding faculty in degree programs that reflect Central Oregon’s vibrant economy and abundant natural resources. Nearly 20 undergraduate majors, 30 minors and options, and three graduate programs include computer science, energy systems engineering, kinesiology, hospitality management, and tourism, recreation and adventure leadership. OSU-Cascades expanded to a four-year university in 2015; its new campus opened in 2016.