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Natural Hazard Series
Reducing America´s Risk from Floods

First in the 2006 "Natural Hazards Science - Reducing America´s Risk" series

Other Science, Society, Solutions Briefings

collage of natural hazards Congressional Briefing for Members of Congress and Staff space
date, time, place March 17, 2006 speakers space
10:00 a.m. space

Robert M. Hirsch
Associate Director for Water
U.S. Geological Survey

Peter Gabrielsen
National Weather Service

Steve Fitzgerald
Harris County Flood Control District

David Ford
David Ford Consulting Engineers, Inc.



Rayburn House Office Building
Room 2325
Washington, DC

collage of scientists space
Flooding is the most frequent natural disaster, costing, on average, $6 billion in losses annually, and threatening lives and property in every state. The U.S. Geological Survey operates a nationwide streamgage network that is critical to saving lives and mitigating flood damage. Having already faced flooding in the West and the Northeast in early 2006, we must continue to pursue both a better understanding of hazards, and the relationships that put our science to work in our communities. Come hear how USGS and its partners are working to meet the challenge of reducing America´s flood risk.
Congressional Sponsors: The following links leave the USGS site.

Hosted by:  Association of State Floodplain Managers


Refreshments will be served

Please share this invitation with others in
your organization who may be interested.


exhibit sample
Exhibit PDF (379 KB)

For more information visit:

Speaker Biographies  (Word file 23 KB)

Steve Fitzgerald Steve Fitzgerald is the Chief Engineer for the Harris County Flood Control District in Houston, Texas. With his 25 years of experience, he provides institutional knowledge and technical integrity to the day-to-day operations of the District. He is program manager for all Federal Corps of Engineers projects; updates the Harris County Flood Control District´s Policy, Criteria, and Procedure Manual; and is currently a member of the Corps of Engineers´ Hurricane Katrina New Orleans Interagency Performance Evaluation Task (IPET) Force serving as a co-lead of the Interior Drainage/Flooding Team. He is also the flood watch leader for the Harris County Flood Control District, which monitors and evaluates actual flood events. He received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Stanford University and an M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

David T. Ford David T. Ford is President of David Ford Consulting Engineers, Inc. of Sacramento, California. He is an internationally recognized expert in hydrologic engineering and flood management. Ford holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, and B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil engineering. He is a registered professional engineer in 10 states. Ford is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Association of State Floodplain Managers, National Hydrologic Warning Council, American Academy of Water Resources Engineers, and the National Research Council´s Committee on Hydrologic Science.

Peter Gabrielsen Peter Gabrielsen is the Chief of Hydrologic Services for the Eastern Region of NOAA´s National Weather Service (NWS). The Eastern Region comprises a 16-state area in the eastern third of the United States and is made up of 23 forecast offices and 3 river forecast centers. He is involved in many aspects of water resource and environmental science. He has led teams addressing national NWS issues including precipitation forecasting, operational policy on forecast dissemination, forecast office operations, and national and international coordination and collaboration. Gabrielsen is one of the NWS leaders implementing the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Services and has championed the program with partners and customers such as the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office, NOS Coastal Services Center, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, Delaware River Basin Commission and Environment Canada. He has received numerous awards during his career including two Bronze Medals and a Modernization Award. Gabrielsen holds a B.S. and M.S. in Environmental and Resource Engineering from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Robert M. Hirsch Robert M. Hirsch serves as Associate Director for Water and is responsible for all U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Water Science Programs. These programs encompass research and monitoring of the Nation´s ground water and surface water resources. He has served as the leader of USGS Water Programs since 1994, and represents the interests of the USGS in scientific, technical, and leadership aspects of hydrology, and serves as the Director´s principal advisor on water-related issues. In his capacity as spokesperson for the USGS and its water resources mission, Hirsch holds the title of Chief Hydrologist. He also serves as the co-chair of the Subcommittee on Water Availability and Quality of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources of the National Science and Technology Council. Hirsch is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an active member of the American Geophysical Union and the American Water Resources Association.


For information on the Natural Hazards Science - Reducing America´s Risk series on Capitol Hill, please call 703-648-4455.

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