Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 10:00 AM
A GAINING STREAM: FLUVIAL GEOMORPHOLOGY DURING THE PAST FIFTY YEARS
During the past half century, fluvial geomorphology has come of age as a subdiscipline within geomorphology in terms of having conceptual models that articulate expected process, form and response to perturbation in rivers. Fluvial geomorphology has also become the largest subdiscipline within geomorphology with respect to proportion of total geomorphic papers published. This talk reviews salient trends of the past 50 years that are relevant to the continuing development of fluvial geomorphology, including: societal perceptions of the environment and of human alterations of the natural world; technological tools such as remote sensing, geochronologic methods, computing capabilities and professional communication; expectations of what constitutes a scientific discipline in terms of quantitative predictive power; diversity of the fluvial geomorphic community with respect to gender, race, country of origin, and disciplinary training; and inclusiveness of the disciplinary approach used by fluvial geomorphologists. The high level of interest shown by students and by scientists and managers from other disciplines suggests a bright future for fluvial geomorphology, but we also face great challenges in maintaining societal relevance in a human-dominated world.