Science Café Cleveland presents


"Fire, fish, and flow: from burning rivers to living rivers"


DECEMBER 13, 2010




Jeff Opperman

Senior Advisor for Sustainable Hydropower Global Freshwater Team, The Nature Conservancy




As Clevelanders well know, rivers can be potent symbols of both environmental degradation and recovery. Beyond symbolic value, rivers support rich and productive ecosystems and also provide direct economic value to people. In fact, hundreds of millions of people worldwide depend directly on healthy rivers for their food and livelihood. Today, rivers--and their ability to support ecosystems and communities--face a range of threats, from pollution to overfishing to climate change that may dramatically alter river flows. Thousands of large dams are planned or are under construction around the world to meet growing demands for water and low-carbon electricity. In this talk, Jeff Opperman of The Nature Conservancy will summarize recent advances in the science of rivers and describe how the Conservancy and partners are working to find sustainable solutions for providing water and energy while maintaining and restoring healthy rivers.



Jeff Opperman has worked on freshwater science and conservation for nearly 15 years and is now The Nature Conservancy's Senior Advisor for Sustainable Hydropower.   Jeff works to improve the environmental sustainability of hydropower-currently the world's primary source of low-carbon energy -both by advancing policies and by supporting field projects.   Jeff has provided strategic and scientific guidance to river conservation projects across the United States as well as in China, Africa, and Latin America.  He is a member of the governing board of the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI), which certifies "environmentally preferable" hydropower and is on the steering committee of a multi-agency effort to improve the environmental performance of hydropower in the United States.


Jeff earned his B.S. in Biology from Duke University and a Ph.D. in Ecosystem Science from the University of California, Berkeley.  He then studied floodplain ecology during a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, Davis.  His scientific and policy research has been published in journals such as Science, BioScience, and Ecological Applications.   In addition to scientific publications, Jeff strives to communicate the challenges and opportunities of freshwater conservation to broader audiences through op-eds, magazine articles, and on The Nature Conservancy's blog site, "Cool Green Science." (



Date: December 13, 2010 
Time: Drinks start at 6:30 PM, discussion starts around 7:00 PM
Location: Tasting Room, Great Lakes Brewing Company (2701 Carroll Ave, Cleveland)



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