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.

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
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
…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 day, water, sun, moon, night – I do not have to purchase these things with money.
Plautus
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
I am an old man now, and when I die and go to heaven there are two matters on which I hope for enlightenment. One is quantum electrodynamics, and the other is the turbulent motion of fluids. And about the former I am rather optimistic.
Horace Lamb in Turbulence: an Introduction, 1932
You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.
Rabindranath Tagore
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
Turbulence is the most important unsolved problem of classical physics.
Richard Feynman
Whenever I gaze up at the moon, I feel like I’m on a time machine. I am back to that precious pinpoint of time, standing on the foreboding yet beautiful – Sea of Tranquility. I could see our shining blue planet Earth poised in the darkness of space.
Buzz Aldrin, in an article for National Geographic News (May 12, 2013)