John Bolte speaks at Science Pub

Oregon's population is expected to grow substantially over the next century, putting strain on rivers, lakes and groundwater aquifers. At the same time, a changing climate is likely to affect the availability of water for human and environmental purposes.

The Willamette River, one of the most well-studied watercourses in the United States, is the focus of a new study looking at the basin through the lens of climate change, population growth and increasing demand for water. Will changing precipitation patterns create water shortages in the future? Who might be affected?

With support from the National Science Foundation, a coalition of scientists from Oregon State University, the University of Oregon and Portland State University is evaluating the river's function through a model known as Envision, developed by John Bolte and colleagues at OSU and UO. Bolte will speak on the project, which poses a variety of decision-making scenarios for the Willamette's future and looks at the consequences of these decisions on land use, water scarcity and the environment.

Bolte is professor and head of the Department of Biological & Ecological Engineering at OSU. He has been conducting environmental systems analysis and modeling in Oregon for the past 25 years. His research interests focus on understanding, anticipating and planning for change in coupled natural and human systems. His research group at OSU develops simulation models and decision tools to project alternative future trajectories of landscape change.