National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training

NGWA Darcy Lecture Series with Dr Ty Ferré

Lecture topic: Seeing Things Differently: Rethinking the Relationship between Data and Models

Venue: Flinders University Victoria Square (Lvl 1, Room 1)


Seeing Things Differently: Rethinking the Relationship between Data and Models

Ty Ferré, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources at the University of Arizona. He received his bachelor's degree in geophysical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and his Ph.D. in Earth sciences from the University of Waterloo.

Lecture Description

Ferré's lecture 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.