PhD student Chelsy Salas is gaining recognition for her work in our River, Watershed, and Landscape Dynamics graduate concentration with advisor Dr. Bruce Rhoads.

She was awarded First Prize in the Geography & GIS Graduate Student poster competition at SESE Research Review in February and received the Geomorphology Specialty Group Graduate Student Paper Award at this year’s AAG Annual Meeting; both awards for her doctoral research project entitled Spatial and Temporal Distributions of Suspended Sediment Concentrations from Different Floodplain Geomorphic Environments of a Lowland Meandering River.

“My research investigates the spatial and temporal distribution of suspended sediment concentrations on the floodplain of a lowland meandering river during several different flood events of different magnitudes," said Salas.

She joined the department in Fall 2020 at the height of state and university pandemic restrictions but has made steady research progress in her predominantly outdoor work environment. The first three years of her doctoral studies are being supported by the prestigious Graduate College Doctoral Fellowship, which has provided the flexibility and motivation to develop her field research techniques and dissertation topic.

"I love doing field work and I am more than grateful to be at UIUC where I am surrounded by such a collaborative environment that includes geographers, geologists, engineers, and scientists from the Illinois State Water Survey and Illinois State Geological Survey.

“Rivers and their floodplains are essential systems that deliver water and nutrients across the Earth and support a variety of habitats and wildlife. Changes to the river system such as erosion and deposition of sediment will affect how the river flows,” said Salas.

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