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.

Water is the best of all things.
The use of sea and air is common to all; neither can a title to the ocean belong to any people or private persons, forasmuch as neither nature nor public use and custom permit any possession therof.
Queen Elizabeth the I of England, Letters
…to explore the Missouri river, & such principal stream of it, as by it’s course and communication with the waters of the Pacific ocean, whether the Columbia, Oregan, Colorado or any other river may offer the most direct & practicable water communication across this continent for the purposes of commerce.
Undaunted Courage
I’ve known rivers: I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
Langston Hughes
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
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
Cryin’ won’t help you, prayin’ won’t do you no good, Now, cryin’ won’t help you, praying won’t do you no good, When the levee breaks, mama, you got to move
Led Zeppelin. "When the Levee Breaks". Led Zeppelin IV. 1971
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
… Ocian in view! O! the joy! …
Captain William Clark upon seeing the Columbia River estuary, Nov. 7, 1805