riparian rap

AWRA Spring Specialty Conference 2013

A group of visitors surround the Em2 during the networking reception Monday night.

Nathan and I hauled an Emriver Em2 into downtown St. Louis Sunday — in the middle of a record-setting spring snow storm that brought more than 12 inches to the area — to exhibit at the American Water Resources Association 2013 Spring Specialty Conference.

Two of the nine scheduled exhibitors didn’t make it due to canceled flights.  An already low turnout — budget cuts forced US federal agency representatives to cancel weeks before the conference — was even lower.

But we’ve had a great meeting.  We’ve met students and professors, state agency representatives, and professionals young and old.  We even met a young scientist — a professor’s ten-year-old daughter — who spent some time with us last night armoring stream banks in our model.A meeting organizer told me at the cocktail reception last night that we’re the talk of the conference.

“What’s cool is, even the old white guys are talking about you,” he added.

This conference’s theme is agricultural hydrology and water quality, so we’ve talked a lot about management practices related to farming, especially pollution.  By lunchtime, the water in our Em2 runs a deep emerald green from all the dye we’ve been using to simulate contaminants.

We’ve made new connections and visited with old friends.  We’re especially glad to see our friends from SIU, who helped organize and sponsor the meeting.

Nathan talks about simulating flood hyrdrographs with a conference attendee.