Welcome to the website of the Fluvial, Oceanic, and Water-level Sciences (FLOWS) research group of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Portland State University. The unifying theme of our work is the influence of hydrodynamic processes on ecosystems. Though we specialize in physical oceanography, we study topics ranging from juvenile salmon to climate change, and wavelet transforms to beach ripples.

Turbulence is the most important unsolved problem of classical physics.
Richard Feynman
Remember that all models are wrong; the practical question is how wrong do they have to be to not be useful.
George E.P. Box, Empirical Model-Building and Response Surfaces, 1987, pp. 74
For many of us, water simply flows from a faucet, and we think little about it beyond this point of contact. We have lost a sense of respect for the wild river, for the complex workings of a wetland, for the intricate web of life that water supports.
Sandra Postel
The winds, the sea, and the moving tides are what they are. If there is wonder and beauty and majesty in them, science will discover these qualities… If there is poetry in my book about the sea, it is not because I deliberately put it there, but because no one could write truthfully about the sea and leave out the poetry.
Rachel Carson at an acceptance speech of the National Book Award for Nonfiction, 1952
… Ocian in view! O! the joy! …
Captain William Clark upon seeing the Columbia River estuary, Nov. 7, 1805
When life looks sandy and barren, is reduced to its lowest terms, we have no appetite, and it has no flavour, then let me visit such a swamp as this, deep and impenetrable, where the earth quakes for a rod around you at every step, with its open water where the swallows skim and twitter…
Henry David Thoreau
The progress of the world depends almost entirely upon education.
George Eastman
Big whorls have little whorls, which feed on their velocity, And little whorls have lesser whorls, and so on to viscosity.
Dr. Lewis Richardson in Weather Prediction by Numerical Processes, pg. 66, 1922
On your arrival on that coast, endeavor to learn if there be any port within your reach frequented by the sea-vessels of any nation, and to send two of your trusty people back by sea, in such way as shall appear practicable, with a copy of your notes.
President Thomas Jefferson
So, I’m just gon’ sit on the dock of the bay Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay Wastin’ time
Otis Redding. (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay. The Dock of the Bay. 1968