riparian rap

Rosgen Tax, ice cube relays, and operations.

I’m working on the geomorphology of routing a bike trail across Hinkson Creek in Columbia, Missouri. I have a lot of fond old colleagues in the Missouri Dept. of Conservation’s fisheries research unit there.

Prototyping is going great, you can see some drawings here (with relays) and Cara and Jesse having fun with a prototype river model system.

Cara, and Dayna are grinding through a lot of thankless tasks: Bookkeeping, marketing and grant research, mailing lists. Microsoft gets in the way every chance it gets, but I’m slowly implementing Ubuntu Linux.

I’m seeing some Microsoft-Rosgen Classification similarities. “What, you want to buy a computer (restore a stream) without Windows Vista (Rosgen classification)?” All the awful abuses of a monopoly are appearing, at least in the big money river restoration scene.

You can’t buy a PC without paying a “Windows tax.” I’ll coin a new term: the “Rosgen Tax.” If you can’t get restoration work without using this for-profit, sole source pseudo-scientific training, you have to pay the tax, right? Last I checked it’s around $15,000 per person (tuition only) for all the courses.

And a lot of mitigation money–that’s public money–is being horribly misdirected by Rosgen-trained consultants.

My current work in Columbia reminds me of the years I spent in grad school there, learning forest hydrology, engineering, stream ecology, and teaching surveying. Did I waste all that time and money when I could’ve just gone to a few Rosgen classes?

Today I had a long talk with a colleague who knows the stream restoration scene as well as anyone, and he said “Soon we’ll be getting paid to restore the Rosgen restorations, don’t worry.” He’s way more Zen than I.

All very good things at LRRD today, and I’m tired and stressed out, but not a bit about the wonderful people I work with.