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Environmental Studies Speaker: Dr. Gabriele Villarini

  • Date: Thursday, April 4, 2013
  • Time: 7:00 pm
  • Location: Valders Hall of Science

In recent years, the central United States has been relentlessly plagued by catastrophic flooding, with the spring and summer floods of 2008 and 2011 being the most recent widespread events affecting Iowa and the Midwest. These natural disasters also come with a very large socio-economic price tag: estimated losses in the 2008 Midwest floods were $15B and 24 fatalities, while the 2011 flood caused an estimated $5B in damage and 12 fatalities from North Dakota to Louisiana.

Is it merely a coincidence that the Midwest has experienced several major flooding events in recent years? Or is this the beginning of a new pattern in the frequency and magnitude of major rain events? What might account for these events? Changes to our landscape? Climate change? And how are the storms in the Central United States impacted by coastal events? How is the current drought related to these events?

Join Professor Villarini in a discussion about the very latest research in hydrometeorology, climate change, and Midwest flooding. What do we know? What questions remain unanswered? And what do recent events indicate about the future for Iowa and the Midwest? Should we prepare for a drought, a flood, or something in between?

Questions? Contact Laura Peterson, 563-387-1781