CEE Endowed Lectures
Throughout the academic year, UW CEE is pleased to offer three annual endowed lectures supported by generous donors.
The lectures provide an opportunity for the greater UW CEE community of alums, students, faculty and friends to gather for an educational and social event. Lectures are free and open to the public.
Annual endowed lectures
Learn more about CEE’s three endowed lectures, each of which features an annual lecture.
- Steve and Sylvia Burges Endowed Lecture
- Edward Wenk, Jr. Endowed Lecture
- Daniel L. and Irma Evans Lecture
Upcoming lecture: 2018 Evans lecture
Global Water Resource Assessments: Models vs. Satellites
Thursday, May 3, 3:30pm
Kane Hall, Room 220
Reception to follow in Kane Hall, Walker Ames Room- 225
Free and open to the public. No RSVP required.
Featuring Dr. Bridget Scanlon, Senior Research Scientist, The University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences
Although we increasingly rely on models and satellites to evaluate global water resources, their reliability is questionable. Unlike past research that compared modeled river discharges with monitored discharges, our work focuses on comparing modeled land water storage (snow, surface water, soil moisture and groundwater) trends to storage trends from Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites.
Likened to giant weighing scales in the sky, GRACE satellites have monitored monthly changes in land water storage globally since their launch in 2002. The satellites show that global land water storage, summed over 186 river basins, increased over the past decade, although models show decreasing global water storage. This suggests opposing contributions to global mean sea level, with GRACE indicating a negative contribution to sea level and models indicating a positive contribution.
While there is considerable interest in global scale analyses, water management generally occurs at the river basin scale, with models underestimating large decadal (2002–2014) trends in water storage relative to GRACE satellites. Comparing models with GRACE highlights potential areas of future model development, particularly simulated water storage. The inability of models to capture large decadal water storage trends based on GRACE indicates that model projections of climate and human induced water storage changes may be underestimated.
Dr. Bridget Scanlon leads the Sustainable Water Resources Program at The University of Texas at Austin. A hydrologist and senior research scientist, Scanlon was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2016.