HabiChats! Climate Change & Future Flooding in the Columbia River Basin

Thursday, May 20th 7pm-8pm

Flooding is a devastating natural disaster in the Pacific Northwest that kills people, destroys property, and both disrupts and sustains ecosystems. From historic examples like the Heppner flood of 1903 and Vanport flood of 1948 to recent flooding of the Willamette and Umatilla rivers in 2019 and 2020, it is clear that flooding remains a potent threat. In fact, by the end of the century, floods throughout the Columbia River basin are likely to increase in size and flood seasons are likely to expand for some catchments, according to a new study by Oregon State University and University of Washington researchers. Laura Queen, the lead author, will share these recent findings, with a focus on the dramatic changes projected along the Willamette river and its upper tributaries.

Laura is a climate scientist at the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute with a background in computer science and mathematics. Her research interests include hydroclimate extremes and the detection and attribution of observed trends and extreme events to climate change. She is currently a PhD student at Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences.