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News media and the public are invited to a free meeting about critical South Dakota-area water issues on Thursday, April 11, in Rapid City, South Dakota.

The 17th annual Western South Dakota Hydrology Conference is an opportunity for reporters, scientists, students and community members to meet and exchange ideas, discuss issues and explore new science related to key water resources in South Dakota and the surrounding area. The preliminary 2019 program is available on the conference website.


WHAT:   The 17th annual Western South Dakota Hydrology Conference consists of four technical sessions, a poster session with an evening social, a luncheon keynote speaker and invited keynote presentations.

WHERE: Rushmore Plaza Civic Center

                  444 Mount Rushmore Road, Rapid City, South Dakota (map)

WHEN:    Conference: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, April 11

                  Poster session and evening social: 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Thursday, April 11                 

DETAILS: The conference is free for news media, the public and students. More information about the conference and registration is available at the conference website.

RSVP:      All attendees are asked to register by visiting the conference website or by contacting Galen Hoogestraat at 605-394-3264. Walk-ins on the day of the conference are also welcome.


The luncheon keynote speaker for the John T. Loucks Distinguished Lecture, Dr. David R. Montgomery from the University of Washington, will present “Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life.” Dr. Montgomery is an author and geomorphologist who studies the processes that shape Earth’s surface and how they affect ecological systems and human societies. He was awarded a MacArthur Foundation fellowship in 2008 and has authored a series of books on soil health and conservation. The John T. Loucks Distinguished Lecture is sponsored by the West Dakota Water Development District.

Other invited speakers for the conference include Tim Cowman from the South Dakota Geological Survey, who will present on impacts of sedimentation on the Missouri River; Shannon Minerich from the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, presenting on the South Dakota integrated report, which identifies waters that are not meeting water quality standards; and Jaret Heise, who will discuss ongoing science opportunities at the Sanford Underground Research Facility.

The annual conference typically draws more than 300 attendees and is organized by the U.S. Geological Survey, National Weather Service, RESPEC, South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and West Dakota Water Development District.

For additional information about USGS water resources studies in South Dakota, visit the USGS Dakota Water Science Center website.


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