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OSU brings in Darcy Lecturer to speak about the future of water research

STILLWATER, Okla. – Scientists use data to build models, which in turn are used to make predictions of future outcomes. Once a single model is identified sometimes new data does not fit in, so the model is discarded and the process may begin again.
OSU brings in Darcy Lecturer to speak about the future of water research

Ty Ferré

Stop doing that.

This was the message from Ty Ferré during Oklahoma State University’s Water Week. Ferré, professor in the University of Arizona’s Department of Hydrology and Water Resources and 2016 Henry Darcy Distinguished Lecturer by the National Ground Water Research and Educational Foundation, spoke to faculty and students about his new and innovative way of conducting research.

His lecture, “Seeing Things Differently: Rethinking the Relationship between Data and Models,” explored how the practice of hydrology depends on computer models, while at the same time new methods have been adapted or developed for characterizing and monitoring the subsurface.

“It was an honor to be able to have Dr. Ferré come and speak at OSU,” said Garey Fox, director of the Oklahoma Water Resources Center. “I think he did a wonderful job and motivated our students and colleagues to think outside the box in regard to how we use models for our water systems.”

Ferré promoted the idea of including many models to reach decisions that address specific scientific and management questions. He stressed the importance of having decision makers identify their goals and reservations upfront in any project so researchers can set the parameters for experiments.

“Dr. Ferré presented on a critical pathway for hydrology and water quality in terms of combining scientific research and decision making,” Fox said. “Current and future water scientists are being asked even more to provide sound water science to support critical decision-making. Therefore, it was great to be able to combine the Buchanan Lecture at this year’s Student Water Conference with the Darcy Lecturer to bring Dr. Ferré to Oklahoma.”

In 2008, OSU received a generous gift from the Buchanan Family Trust in Los Gatos, California, to establish the Orville L. and Helen L. Buchanan Chair in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering. Originally from Rush Springs, Oklahoma, Orville was a 1947 OSU agronomy graduate.

OSU has hosted the Buchanan Lecture during OkState Water Week and the Student Water Conference for the past five years. This year, the Buchanan Lecture was the 27th stop for Ferré on his worldwide tour of giving the presentation as the 2016 Henry Darcy Distinguished Lecturer by the National Ground Water Association’s Research and Educational Foundation.

Named in honor of Henry Darcy of France for his 1856 investigations that established the physical basis upon which groundwater hydrogeology has been studied ever since, this lecture series has reached more than 85,000 groundwater students, faculty members and professionals since its inception in 1986.

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Email: sean.hubbard@okstate.edu

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078
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