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Board on Earth Sciences and Resources Webinar:
A landscape restoration puzzle: When “natural” isn’t what you thought it was

Friday, January 29, 2016, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has organized a free webinar featuring a presentation and Q&A session with Dorothy Merritts of Franklin & Marshall College, on “A Landscape Restoration Puzzle: When Natural Isn’t What You Thought It Was.” Dr. Merritts served as committee chair for the National Academies’ report Landscapes on the Edge: New Horizons for Research on Earth’s Surface.


Study of the processes that change and shape the earth’s surface shows the profound influences that human modification can have on landscapes at a regional scale. Hillsides erode through time and deposit sediment via rivers and streams to the valleys below. Human activity lends an imprint to these deposits that can be difficult to distinguish without careful investigation. Dr. Dorothy Merritts and her research collaborators have unraveled the natural and human processes that have shaped riverine landscapes in the eastern United States – and propose a surprising pre-industrial scenario that explains high sediment loads in the Chesapeake Bay and other water bodies. It also matters to how streams are restored. The webinar will look more deeply at her research and the fascinating story it weaves among geomorphology, ecosystems, and human history.


The Board will host a 60-minute webinar with an expert presentation. A question and answer period will follow, moderated by Board members and National Research Council staff.


Dr. Dorothy Merritts, Department of Earth and Environment at Franklin & Marshall College