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.

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
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
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
Turbulence is the most important unsolved problem of classical physics.
Richard Feynman
We can see cities during the day and at night, and we can watch rivers dump sediment into the ocean, and see hurricanes form.
Sally Ride in an interview with Scholastic, 1998
The care of rivers is not a question of rivers, but of the human heart.
Tanaka Shozo, 1910
The day, water, sun, moon, night – I do not have to purchase these things with money.
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
…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
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