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CSU, Chico News

CSU, Chico Hosts Expert Panelists to Address Lessons Learned from Oroville Dam

Date: 03-20-2017

CONTACT: Kate Post, Public Affairs
TEL: 530-898-4263

California State University, Chico’s Center for Water and the Environment (CWE) and Department of Civil Engineering will present a panel discussion, “Reflections on Oroville Dam,” on Wednesday, March 22 from 4 to 6 p.m. in Bell Memorial Union, Room 210.

The expert speakers will present critical information and perspectives, as well as answer questions concerning the Oroville Dam, the spillways, the geology, and general dam engineering and management practices.

“The panel will focus on educating the community about how dams operate and the complex, behind-the-scenes factors that go into important decisions about how to fulfill obligations while also providing for and protecting the public,” said Todd Green, CWE faculty associate and professor of geological and environmental sciences.

Panelists include:

  • Glen Pearson, retired from the California Department of Water Resources. Pearson worked for DWR for more than 30 years as an engineering geologist before finishing his career as the northern district chief.
  • Russell Shapiro, chair of CSU, Chico’s Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences. Shapiro specializes in geology and paleontology, teaching courses on subjects including the geological evolution of North America and sedimentary basin analysis.
  • Matt Colwell, water division manager for South Feather Water and Power. Colwell supervises the maintenance of a water system that supplies approximately 7,000 domestic, commercial, industrial, and irrigation customers. He has primary responsibility managing operations and maintenance of agency water treatment and distribution facilities.

The panelists will also address issues related to engineering dams with reference to the surrounding geology, managing dam water levels, emergency-related strategies for water release, and the aging infrastructure of California’s waterways.

The event, cosponsored by CSU, Chico’s student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers, is free and open to the public. Persons with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations or who have questions about physical access may call the Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959.

The Center for Water and the Environment at California State University, Chico is a hub for research and education activities related to water and environment. The faculty, staff and students affiliated with CWE have common interests drawn from diverse fields of study and aim to respond to societal needs, expand competitive research, explore out-of-classroom learning opportunities, and collaborate with local, state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, businesses, and educational institutions, particularly within CSU, Chico’s 12-county service region in Northern California.