The project “Science to Inform Management of Floodplain Conservation Lands under Non-Stationary Conditions” has been focused on understanding how large-river floodplains can be managed more effectively. The first part of the project developed management priorities and information needs based on input from managers of floodplain conservation lands along parts of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers (Bouska and others, 2016). The overwhelming priority that emerged from this process was the need to better understand floodplain inundation patterns. The second part of the project has involved developing an effective approach to modeling inundation patterns, including simulating effects of non-stationary conditions and various ecological endpoints. Two key questions in managing floodplain lands in large rivers of the Midwest are the extent to which conversion of agricultural lands to conservation could mitigate flood hazards and reduce nutrient fluxes to the Gulf of Mexico. This presentation explores the potential for common ground in ecological restoration of large-river floodplains using new inundation modeling.
Robert Jacobson is a supervisory research hydrologist with 34 years’ experience with the U.S. Geological Survey. He received his Ph.D. from the Whiting School of Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, in 1986. His research area is in riverine habitat dynamics with an emphasis on large-river ecosystems. He is the Chief of the River Studies Branch, Columbia Environmental Research Center, Columbia, Missouri. He leads an interdisciplinary team of physical and biological research scientists engaged in studies to inform large-river restoration strategies, endangered species recovery, invasive species management, and urban stream assessments.