Research Philosophy and Current Activities
The major components of research activities at the Center for Ecohydraulics Research (CER) are:
- Field data collection
- Data analysis and computer simulation
- Laboratory research in the new high gradient hydraulic flume.
Although its primary research focus is on Idaho and the Pacific Northwest, CER maintains a national and international profile and is active in California, Louisiana, Europe, Asia and South America. Graduate students are from the US and four other continents. Faculty, research professors and visiting professors are collaborating within an active global network.
CER is part of a vibrant water research community at the University of Idaho, which includes Idaho Water Resources Research Institute and Waters of the West. The center is primarily based on hydrology, water resources, fluvial geomorphology, water quality and sediment transport in civil and environmental engineering; and Ralph Budwig, professor in mechanical engineering, leads instrumentation and operation of the CER Stream Laboratory. Students can access classes in stream ecology, fish biology, and natural resource management and policy. Students from the College of Engineering, Natural Resources and Science have been supported by CER activities.
CER was established in close collaboration and with guidance of USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA ARS Northwest Watershed Research Center, Idaho Department of Water Resources and other agencies. Research activities and experiences of agency colleagues are often reflected in the classroom and through thesis committee leadership. Idaho has a close-knit water community and CER works closely with Boise State University and Idaho State University for course delivery and on research projects such as the NSF EPSCoR Idaho Experimental Watershed Network. We also collaborate with colleagues at other several universities who share our interests in river systems.
As part of a global society, there is much to be learned from research in other countries. We endeavor to provide a meaningful cultural immersion experience for all of our students through student exchanges, workshop participation and activities of our Student Chapter of the International Association for Hydraulic Research. We have major commitments with the European Union-Latin America Center for the Environment and the Center for Patagonia Ecosystem Research at the University of Concepción, Chile. Current collaborative projects exist with the Center for Water Research at University of Western Australia; University of Siena, Italy; Swiss Research Institute WSL; DHI Water and Environment (Denmark), and the National University of Singapore.