Frank Magilligan

Dartmouth Researchers Studying Vermont Stream Recovery (The Boston Globe)

With support from a National Science Foundation grant, two Dartmouth researchers are studying the long-term effects of Tropical Storm Irene in Vermont, The Boston Globe reports. They are focusing on stream channel erosion both during the storm and during post-Irene reconstruction efforts.

Frank Magilligan, a professor in the Department of Geography, and Carl Renshaw, a professor in the Department of Earth Sciences and an adjunct professor at the Thayer School of Engineering, hope the work will help communities predict and prepare for future natural disasters like Irene, which struck the region in August 2011. “Using a combination of their own observations, aerial photography, and data from remote sensors, the researchers are developing faster and more accurate assessment techniques that can be used to pinpoint potential trouble spots along streams,” the newspaper writes.

Published 1/14/13 in The Boston Globe via the Associated Press.

Scientists Study Irene’s Impact to Predict Flood Hazards

The devastation recently wrought by Superstorm Sandy reawakens memories of Tropical Storm Irene, still fresh in the minds of many Vermonters. Irene’s legacy is evident in ruined rivers, shattered homes, and historic covered bridges washed away. Perhaps more unsettling is the prospect of more to come, say a pair of Dartmouth professors who are studying the damage Irene left behind.

“There is no smoking gun here that directly associates Irene with global warming, but all the climate models suggest that storms like Irene and Sandy are going to increase in intensity, magnitude, and frequency,” says Frank Magilligan, a professor in the Department of Geography at Dartmouth.

Magilligan is collaborating with Carl Renshaw, a professor in the Department of Earth Sciences and an adjunct professor in the Thayer School of Engineering, to understand the effects of Irene on stream channel erosion and its repercussions on the land and the people. Given the probability of destruction from major storms in the future, information derived from Irene can serve as a basis for both predicting storm-related hazards and preparing for them.

Talk about Climate Change at the Science Café

Dartmouth’s Science Cafés, providing a chance to learn about a serious issue relevant in today’s world, premiere on Thursday, November 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Join friends and neighbors to consider “Stormy Weather: Is Climate Change Here?” in the company of experts on the topic. The first Science Café discussion takes place at Salt Hill Pub in Lebanon, N.H. Science Cafés are free and open to all.

Experts at the event will include climatologist Erich Osterberg, research assistant professor of earth sciences, and river expert Frank Magilligan, professor of geography, both from Dartmouth, and Lori Hirshfield, planning and development director for Hartford, Vt.