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USU's Science Unwrapped Explores Colorado River March 29

Monday, Mar. 25, 2013

Colorado River graphic for USU Science Unwrapped event

USU river scientist Jack Schmidt is featured speaker for Science Unwrapped Friday, March 29, at 7 p.m. in the Eccles Science Learning Center auditorium at USU. Admission is free and all are welcome. Photo courtesy Scott A. Wright, USGS.

USU faculty member Jack Schmidt

A world-renowned expert on the Colorado River, Schmidt is among USGS scientists who designed high-flow experiments, beginning in 1996, from Glen Canyon Dam. The water releases, which simulate spring floods, are used to restore native habitat.

The Colorado River flows through some of the most iconic and picturesque landscapes of the American West, including Grand Canyon. But as a critical source of water and electricity for more than 30 million people in the United States and Mexico, the waterway is caught in a precarious tug-of-war.

Can the once-mighty river survive competing, unrelenting interests?

Utah State University river scientist Jack Schmidt addresses this question at Science Unwrapped Friday, March 29. Schmidt, chief of the U.S. Geological Survey Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, presents “The Colorado: A River Run Through” at 7 p.m. in the Emert Auditorium (Room 130) of the Eccles Science Learning Center. Hosted by USU’s College of Science, the event is free and open to all ages.

One of the world’s leading experts on the Colorado River, Schmidt is among a team of scientists that designed a series of controlled releases of water from Glen Canyon Dam, starting in 1996, in efforts to restore habitats altered by the use of dams.

Schmidt, a professor in USU’s Department of Watershed Sciences, will discuss his research and conservation efforts, as well as tough decisions facing citizens and policymakers in determining how to manage the Colorado.

“It’s up to us to decide what kind of river the Colorado will ultimately become,” he says. “We want it all, but we can’t have it all.”

A variety of hands-on learning activities and exhibits follow Schmidt’s talk.

The March 29 event is the second of three presentations in Science Unwrapped’s spring 2013 “Water” series.

For more information, call 435-797-3517, visit the Science Unwrapped website or view the ‘Science Unwrapped at USU’ page on Facebook.

Related links:

Contact: Shane Larson, 435-797-8838,

Writer: Mary-Ann Muffoletto, 435-797-3517,

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