Click the link for all the inside skinny from the Colorado State University website (Jayme DeLoss):
The Colorado Water Center at Colorado State University will welcome the Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR) annual conference June 13-15, UCOWR’s first in-person gathering since 2019. The event kicks off June 12 with the Norm Evans Lecture featuring science communication expert Faith Kearns.
UCOWR is a consortium of academic institutions and affiliates invested in water resources research, education and outreach. The annual conference connects member universities and partners, including federal and state agencies and private consultants, to develop new collaborations and transdisciplinary solutions to complex water problems.
John Tracy, director of the Colorado Water Center, said the conference is an important venue for discussing emerging water issues and how they are being handled in different parts of the United States. It’s also beneficial for water resource leaders to understand the outreach, education and research happening at universities across the country.
“Communities develop where there’s adequate water resources, so it becomes a very localized topic when you’re dealing with the challenges,” Tracy said, citing as an example the fact that Colorado is the only state with water courts, while other states have other methods. “If you don’t step out and listen to other people, you don’t get perspectives that may help you address your problems. That’s why these conferences are important.”
The conference includes technical sessions, workshops, panels, field trips and networking opportunities. The three-day event will feature more than 200 presentations, with sessions covering topics as diverse as the Colorado River, water contamination by PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) and better ways to estimate crop consumption of water.
The Norm Evans Lecture, which highlights an innovative voice in water resources, will set the tone for the conference. Kearns is a scientist and science communicator who focuses on water, wildfire and climate change in the western United States. Her talk will address inclusive science communication.
“Effectively communicating the science is essential to good water management,” Tracy said.
Kearns has worked in science communication for more than 25 years, starting with the Ecological Society of America and serving as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of State. She authored the book Getting to the Heart of Science Communication, and her work has been published in New Republic, On Being, Bay Nature and more.
The Norm Evans Lecture is supported by the Dr. Norm Evans Endowment, established by Ken and Ruth Wright of Wright Water Engineers to honor the director of the Colorado Water Center from 1967 to 1988. This annual lecture brings distinguished experts to CSU to speak on water management, education and policy.
CSU will host this year’s UCOWR conference at the Lory Student Center, which was also the site of the conference in 2017.
Norm Evans Lecture
“Getting to the Heart of Science Communication”
Speaker: Faith Kearns
When: 6-7 p.m. Monday, June 12, followed by a reception
Where: Lory Student Center Theatre
Free and open to the public