Dr. Theresa “Tess” Thompson, who is an associate professor in Biological Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech will be the guest speaker at our spring meeting on Wednesday, March 15, 2017.


Dr. Theresa “Tess” Thompson is an associate professor in Biological Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech, the assistant department head for undergraduate studies, and a Turner Fellow of Engineering.  Dr. Thompson has degrees in agricultural, civil, and biological systems engineering and has worked as an engineer in state government and private consulting, and as a consultant to US AID.  Her research in watershed management focuses on stream and wetland restoration, urban stream systems, and streambank erosion.  She currently teaches courses in fluvial geomorphology and stream restoration and is a frequent invited speaker on streambank erosion and low impact development.  A former president of the American Ecological Engineering Society, she currently serves as secretary of the River Restoration Committee of ASCE-EWRI and on the advisory board for the International Ecological Engineering Society.

Talk: Improving the success of in-stream structures

While bank treatments have been used to prevent streambank erosion and channel migration for many years, in-stream structures frequently use less material, are less expensive, and provide greater habitat and (potentially) water quality benefits.  However, because of their location in the main channel, these structures are also more vulnerable to failure and present greater risk to stream stability if they fail.   As a result, both field and laboratory studies of in-stream structures have been conducted in recent years.    However, the design guidance has remained largely static.  Funded by a grant from the Maryland Department  and the Chesapeake Bay Trust, researchers from Virginia Tech are updating current design recommendations for common in-stream structures. This talk will propose updated design guidance based on recent research, present results of a practitioner survey, and provide a forum for the discussion of in-stream structure use and design based on practitioner experience.

Please take the following survey:

This survey is part of a project being conducted by researchers from the Virginia Tech Department of Biological Systems Engineering with funding provided by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

The goal of this project is to improve the design guidance for in-stream structures by synthesizing knowledge from academic research, current design guidance, and practitioner experience. Because of your experience with stream restoration design, we would greatly appreciate your input.

Please click on the link below to take the survey.  It should take 5-10 minutes to complete and is fully anonymous. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Tess Thompson at tthompson@vt.edu.


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