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Seeing Things Differently: Rethinking the Relationship between Data and Models

Ty Ferré
University of Arizona
Special Event

Ty Ferré, Ph.D., professor in the University of Arizona’s Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, has been selected as the 2016 Henry Darcy Distinguished Lecturer by the National Ground Water Research and Educational Foundation.

Ferré’s lecture, “Seeing Things Differently: Rethinking the Relationship between Data and Models,” explores how the practice of hydrology depends on computer models while at the same time new methods have been adapted or developed for characterizing and monitoring the subsurface.

He notes these two areas have evolved almost completely independently of one another, but posits a unified approach is needed — designing measurement methods in the context of numerical analyses that address specific scientific and management questions. Accordingly, Ferré will present an integrated overview of the relationships among models, measurements, and decisions, including:

Discussing what is actually being measured when measurements are made, with a focus on the large scale from pumping tests to geophysics

Describing how these measurements currently are being merged with models and how this process could be improved

Covering how hydrogeologists can turn the standard approach to combining measurements and models around by using models to help identify more informative measurements

Exploring how the optimal design of a measurement and modeling campaign can, and should be, driven by the specific practical or scientific questions being asked.

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