Some days, it feels like both of us, the Elliotts, have spent more than 7 days a week thinking about rivers. Our relationship with these flowing lifeforms is deeper than our memories even allow us to go. We often remember a moment or a trip that forged a great and impactful lesson upon us, that we had all but forgotten for over a decade. We’ve been swimming through this current for years.

Susan recently reflected on some of that in an article titled “This is Immersion” for NRS’s Duct Tape Diaries. Big steps – like completing a graduate degree in an engineering field with no prior engineering experience – will do that for you.

First grad school class – a tour of Oregon’s geography. Susan stands atop the Steens mountains that drain water in the Wild & Scenic Donner und Blitzen Rivers, and Kinger and Wildhorse Creek.

A view into Bonneville Dam’s fish ladder. These beautiful fish may try to travel all the way to Idaho – if they can get through the gauntlet of reservoirs and fish ladders.

Class in Mt Hood National Forest – home to many designated Wild & Scenic Rivers.

Susan mentored undergraduate research students during their field season at the HJ Andres Experimental Research Station along the Wild & Scenic McKenzie River, Oregon.

Observing rivers in new ways.

A river in a box. This is how Susan described her constructed flume experiment that investigated the feedbacks between a patch of Reed Canarygrass, hydraulics and bedform evolution.

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