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Bruce Rhoads, U. of I. geography professor, wins Guggenheim Fellowship

Andrea Lynn, Humanities Editor


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Bruce Rhoads, a professor of geography at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has received a 2005 Guggenheim Fellowship.

He is among 186 artists, scholars and scientists to be selected in the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation’s 81st annual competition. Winners are chosen on the basis of their “distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment,” the foundation said in its April 7 awards announcement.

Rhoads, the head of the U. of I. geography department, won for his project on fluvial dynamics of river confluences – his “longstanding research interest,” he said. He will pursue the fellowship while on sabbatical leave during the academic year 2005-2006.

“Confluences are fundamental components of the structure of natural river networks,” Rhoads said, “yet earth scientists are only beginning to understand the dynamics of physical processes at these important locations in river systems.”

Rhoads’ research activities will include initiation of a project supported by the National Science Foundation examining 3-D flow structure, patterns of erosion and deposition, and mixing at large-river confluences.

“The project involves collecting field data on the Wabash River and numerical modeling,” Rhoads said. He also will be co-editing a book on “River Confluences, Tributary Effects, and Drainage Networks” with colleagues in Canada and the United Kingdom.

In addition, Rhoads will continue to analyze data collected from past NSF-supported work on confluences of small streams, comparing results of those studies with the large-river study “in the hopes of identifying important scaling relations for confluence dynamics,” he said.