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University of Iowa News Release

March 22, 2005

Weber Named To Upper Mississippi River Panel

Larry J. Weber, University of Iowa College of Engineering associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering, has been appointed to the science panel of the Upper Mississippi River System Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program. The appointment will take effect in conjunction with a March 23-24 meeting in Davenport, Iowa.

The panel, composed of 10 scientists and engineers from leading universities and federal, regional and state agencies, is charged with scientific oversight and leadership in developing the adaptive management plan for Upper Mississippi River navigation, economic and ecosystem sustainability. Panel members are selected on the basis of contributions made to their engineering and scientific fields as shown by research, publications in scientific journals and other scientific activities, achievements and honors.

Weber, who also serves as Donald E. Bently Faculty Fellow of Engineering and IIHR research engineer, said that river issues range from continued navigation and societal pressures to declining ecological health.

"IIHR researchers are well positioned to contribute to this adaptive management planning process given our expertise ranging from traditional river hydraulics to contemporary individual-based ecological modeling," Weber said. "In addition, IIHR's Lucille A. Carver Mississippi Riverside Environmental Research Station has built a foundation of long-term monitoring data and given us a geographic presence on the river."

Weber's research interests include studying Pacific Northwest salmon with the goal of routing young salmon safely past hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River, a research project that received $1.9 million in supplementary funding from Public Utility District No. 2 of Grant County, Wash., in 2004 and has attracted some $18 million in funding since 1990.

The Upper Mississippi River System Navigation and Environmental Sustainability Program is part of a federal program to build sustainable economic, ecological and social conditions to meet the current, projected and future needs of the Upper Mississippi River System. Convening the science panel is the initial step in a 50-year congressional program administered through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009, gary-galluzzo@uiowa.edu