Date of Award

5-31-2016

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Ellen M. Douglas

Second Advisor

Conevery Bolton Valencius

Third Advisor

Steven A. Grey

Abstract

Socio-hydrology is a new sub-discipline aimed at identifying the emergent properties of human-flood interactions. The Charles and the Mystic Rivers, in eastern Massachusetts, have been the subject of such interactions for hundreds of years. Over time, human dependency and settlement have altered the natural conditions of the rivers, and changed the potential for flood occurrence and property damage. As a result, flood management strategies have been enacted to counter this potential. Before we can assess how human vulnerability and actions related to river flooding will change under future climate conditions, we must first document the evolution of flooding and flood management and understand the motivations and thresholds of response that describe how the system has evolved in the past. We have mined historical data from traditional and non-traditional sources and have developed “mental models” from in-depth interviews of key personnel. The result is a socio-hydrological characterization of the current system, and the events that drove it to exist as it does today.

Comments

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