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.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.
Wernher von Braun in an interview in the New York Times, 16 December 1957
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
We owe our lives to the sun… How is it, then, that we feel no gratitude?
Lewis Thomas, Earth Ethics (Summer 1990)
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
I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
Sir Isaac Newton. Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton, 1855 by Sir David Brewster
Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.
Sarah Kay
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
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
Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.
Buddha
… Ocian in view! O! the joy! …
Captain William Clark upon seeing the Columbia River estuary, Nov. 7, 1805