2010 Birdsall Dreiss Distinguished Lectureship

Susan Hubbard

Susan S. Hubbard from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory served as the 2010 Birdsall Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer. The lectureship is awarded to one person annually by the Geological Society of America (GSA) Hydrogeology Division; Hubbard is the 32nd GSA Birdsall-Dreiss Lecturer and the first from a National Laboratory. Susan presented the two following lectures to institutions in Europe, Canada, and the United States:

  1. Toward X-Ray Vision“Toward X-Ray Vision: Geophysical Signatures of Complex Subsurface Processes” – Developing a predictive understanding of water and contaminant fate and transport is complicated by natural heterogeneity, as well as by the disparity of scales across which hydrological, geochemical, and microbiological processes dominate. Because some geophysical attributes are sensitive to hydrological and biogeochemical properties that govern flow and transport, geophysical methods hold potential for minimally invasive subsurface characterization and monitoring. This presentation will describe recent hydrogeophysical and biogeophysical advances, obtained using laboratory experiments; radar, seismic, and complex electrical field datasets; stochastic integration methods; and through coupling to flow and transport models. This research suggests that geophysical methods can provide significant insights about our complex subsurface system-insights that are needed to improve our ability to manage environmental remediation and water resources. This seminar is intended for engineering, hydrogeology, and earth science audiences who are interested in advanced approaches to explore complex subsurface systems as is needed to guide environmental remediation and water resources management.This presentation will describe the relatively new fields of hydrogeophysics and biogeophysics, which strive to integrate geophysical and other datasets in the quantification of subsurface variables. Several examples will be provided that illustrate how these methods can be used to gain significant insights about complex subsurface system processes, with a particular emphasis on processes relevant to environmental remediation.
  2. Waves and WineWaves and Wine: Geophysical Characterization to Guide Precision Viticulture – Precision viticulture strategies that focus on promoting uniformly high winegrape quality throughout vineyard blocks require information about the nature and interaction of factors that can impact grape quality-such as soil moisture, canopy density, and micrometeorological properties. Although advanced ground-based and airborne geophysical datasets are now available to provide information about soil variability and vegetation, the wine industry is still at an early stage in using these approaches to guide viticulture. This presentation discusses advances in precision viticulture that have been realized through experimentation at several California vineyards through interpretation of geophysical attribute (electrical, electromagnetic, ground penetrating radar, and remote sensing) in terms of soil and canopy properties and the use of such data within statistical and water-balance numerical models to explore vineyard variability. The overall objective of this research is to use advanced approaches to delineate and guide the management of vineyard based on natural site variability. Such approaches are expected to lead to more uniform vegetation and winegrape characteristics within vineyard blocks, while potentially reducing water, fertilizer, and energy use. This lecture is intended for those interested in the practical use of advanced datasets to guide precision agriculture.

Susan S Hubbard Biographical Sketch

Susan S. Hubbard is the Associate Lab Director of the Earth Sciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She is a Senior Scientist, leads the Sustainable Systems SFA, and co-leads NGEE-Arctic and ASCEM. She received her BA in geology, her MS in geophysics, and her PhD in Engineering (UC Berkeley, 1998). She has previously worked at the US Geological Survey and for the Petroleum Industry. Dr. Hubbard sits on several scientific advisory boards and serves as the Associate Director for the Berkeley Water Center. She is a Co-Editor for the Vadose Zone Journal and an Associate Editor for JGR-Biogeosciences. Susan was awarded the Frank Frischknecht Leadership Award by the Near-Surface Geophysical Community in 2009, was the Geological Society of America’s Birdsall Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer in 2010, was selected as a Geological Society of America Fellow in 2011, and was inducted into the University of California Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Distinguished Alumni Academy in 2014.