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The Arkansas Water Resources Center publishes this e-newsletter each month to highlight research, faculty, news and important events.
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November 2017

AWRC Receives $400,000 for Water Quality in Transboundary Watershed
Brian Haggard, director of the Arkansas Water Resources Center (AWRC), received a three-year $400,000 grant from the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC) 319 nonpoint source pollution program.
 
The purpose of the grant is to collect water samples from at least 13 sites in the Poteau River Watershed in Arkansas. That data will be used to estimate how much nutrients and sediments are being transported across the watershed and to look at how water quality is changing over time.
 
AWRC Monitoring Can Help Target and Measure Successes
The Poteau River Watershed is 1,889 square miles, which is a lot of area to think about managing for water quality. State and federal agencies spend a lot of money and resources on programs aimed at improving water quality. But, it seems like there’s never enough money to do it all, so agencies have to be selective about the projects they decide to fund.
 
Part of the goal of this project is to help pinpoint potentially problematic areas where agencies can focus resources for water quality improvements. Abbie Lasater (pictured above with Dr. Brad Austin), a PhD student with Brian Haggard, is going to collect over 900 water samples over the 3-year project.


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From the U of A, 8,000 Miles Away: Zach Simpson Studies Phosphorus in New Zealand Streams
A "Where Are They Now?" Piece

Zach Simpson received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville in the department of biological engineering. As a graduate student, he studied under Brian Haggard, on the topic of water quality in two important watersheds in northwest Arkansas – the Illinois River and the White River watersheds.
 
His focus was on water quality trends, or how water quality was changing over time, and between base- and storm-flows. He also became a master of R, a statistical program, where he developed his own statistical codes to improve the methodology of trend analysis. Or, as he describes it, he spent his time learning statistical witchcraft.
 
Now Zach is continuing his studies as a PhD student at Lincoln University in Canterbury, New Zealand.


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The Term "100-Year Flood" can be Misleading
In recent years we’ve seen massive storms that drop several inches or even feet of rain all around the country. In the spring of 2011 the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville actually closed because of rain – and the U of A is on top of a hill! Then there was the record-breaking storm in December of 2015 and another huge storm in April of 2017 in the Illinois River Watershed in northwest Arkansas.
 
When these floods happen, a lot of people talk about, “whoa, that’s got to be a 100-year flood, maybe even a 500-year flood!” Oftentimes people may be confused because it seems like we might have five 100-year floods in the same number of years. But wait, there should only be one of those every 100 years, right?
 
Well, not really. The term “100-year flood” can be misleading. In fact, hydrologists don’t like to hear this term being used at all. Instead, hydrologists talk about extreme flood events in terms of a “recurrence interval” or “annual exceedance probability” (AEP).


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Something for Everyone at the Geological Society of America Meeting in Little Rock
The Geological Society of America South-Central Section is hosting their 52nd annual meeting on March 12-13, 2018 in Little Rock, Arkansas.    
 
Conference organizers put out a call for presentations, and the deadline to submit an abstract is December 5, 2017.
 
The program will include a wide range of topics including sessions about the intersection of geology and water quality and availability. For example, there will be sessions on groundwater resources, karst hydrogeology, geologic drivers of water quality, drinking water, and more. To submit an abstract, visit the
conference website.
 
There’s also an opportunity for students to participate. There’s a poster session for undergraduate students working in any area of geosciences. The student must submit an abstract with a faculty mentor listed as co-author.
 
In addition to the technical sessions, the conference organizers have planned several field trips and workshops as part of the conference activities. Participants have the opportunity to experience and learn about some of the natural springs, national parks, and beautiful lakes of Arkansas, and even search for diamonds (and keep what you find)! The workshops include training for high school and higher education faculty, geological mapping, and basic seismic attributes.
 
The conference is scheduled for March 12-13, 2018, at the Little Rock Marriot in Little Rock, Arkansas. Field trips and workshops take place before and after the meeting. Visit the
conference website for more information about the technical sessions and other meeting activities.

Photo credit Arkansas Geological Survey
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Calendar of Events

November 28
EPA Small Systems Webinar - Lead in Schools and Selecting Lead Free Plumbing Products
online

December 4
Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Presentation on Emergent Wetland Bee Communities
Little Rock, AR

December 5
Geological Society of America South-Central Section Annual Meeting Deadline for Abstract to Present
Little Rock, AR

January 31
Arkansas Soil and Water Education Conference
Jonesboro, AR

March 12-13
Geological Society of America South-Central Section Annual Meeting
Little Rock, AR
 
Job Openings

Mississippi State University
PhD Student
Mississippi State, MS

Lockheed Martin 
Environmental Engineer
Camden, AR

Purdue Farms

Environmental Manager
Cromwell, KY

OK Foods 
Environmental Manager
Fort Smith, AR

To see more jobs in environmental science, visit our JOBS page.









































































































































 






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Arkansas Water Resources Center · 203 Engineering Hall, University of Arkansas · Fayetteville, AR 72701 · USA

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