It is with great sadness that we have to report the death of Dr Rose Wood, our principal oceanographer from 2005 – 2014. Rose started at Hydro-GIS Ltd to lead the development of a coastal flood catastrophe model for Norway and then continued working on a large number of projects including further coastal work on the German North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts and the Lyth Valley in Cumbria. She also developed a web-based search facility for the British Rainfall Digital Archive and assisted with many river flood modelling and sediment modelling projects in the UK, Asia, the Middle East and North America. In 2014 Rose planned a career change in order to become a maths teacher and started a PGCE at Oxford University. Partly through the course Rose was diagnosed with brain cancer and despite battling through an operation and extensive follow-on treatment, she died peacefully at home in September 2015.
Rose studied at Immanuel College, Cambridge and Exeter University and then undertook a post-doc at McGill University, Montreal. She spent 13 years working at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory before moving to Namibia with her family for a few years.
Her experience, skills in modelling, numerical analysis and programming were of the highest quality. We will miss her not only as a colleague but also as a friend.
A new book by Wiley Blackwell, entitled Progress in Modern Hydrology:Past, Present and Future has been co-edited by John C Rodda and Mark Robinson. The volume marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the NERC and represents a wide range of hydrological research undertaken by past and present researchers at Wallingford.
60 years ago the record 24 hour UK rainfall was recorded at Martinstown. Hydro-GIS Ltd has produced a report on the event including estimates of flood damage should the event occur again with current landcover.
The British Rainfall Digital Archive GIS link is available to purchase from Hydro-GIS Ltd. This is an ArcGIS interface to enable a spatial search of the archive for the Thames basin and to gain easy access to over 28,000 extreme rainfall measurements, 1000 pages of text including eye-witness accounts and over 250 rainfall maps. Licencing costs £300 for academic research and £500 for commercial organisations.
Following the record rainfall over December 2013-February 2014, Hydro-GIS Ltd is involved in groundwater flooding projects looking at designing flood alleviation schemes, undertaking flood risk assessments for insurance claims and expert witness work for legal cases. In addition Dr Harvey Rodda is supervising an MSc dissertation at UCL looking at developing groundwater flood risk maps for Hampshire.
Dr Harvey Rodda presented at the inaugural neighbourhood planning alliance seminar held in Lichfield in March 2015. His presentation demonstrated how a strategic flood risk assessment could be undertaken on a parish level to consider the current risk of development sites proposed as part of a neighbourhood plan. The analysis using GIS and existing flood risk information generated a flood risk score for each of the sites to better inform residents.
Hydro-GIS Ltd had been asked by the Chalgrove Neighbourhood Development Plan to produce a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment for 11 potential development sites in the South Oxfordshire village. The assessment included the use of published information, site observations and computer modelling techniques using ArcGIS. The resulting document is now available for the general public to view on the website www.chalgrovendp.co.uk and will be used in the consultation of the issues surrounding the development plans.
Dr Harvey Rodda has been supervising MSc dissertations and Natural Hazard for Insurers certificate projects at UCL. The topics included an assessment of the impact of dam failure at the Ladybower Reservoir in Derbyshire and the development of a tool for global estimation of river floodplains.
Dr Harvey Rodda was engaged as an expert witness as part of a team from Water Resource Associates to provide evidence against a proposed housing development at Tanners Meadow in Surrey. The proposed development including a Flood Risk Assessment submitted by a civil engineering consultancy, completely overlooked the hydrology of the site and the historical risk of flooding. The Planning Inspectors’ decision was to reject the proposed development largely as a result of the flood risk at the site and information presented by Dr Rodda was of key importance in influencing the outcome.