Shelby Ahrendt

Grand Marais, United States


Shelby is a PhD candidate at the University of Washington studying hydro-geomorphic flood hazards. Her thesis research asks: what happens to flood hazards in mountain basins when rivers are morphodynamically active and transport lots of sediment? She uses data analysis and numerical models to analyze historic changes in river geometry and flood conveyance and to explain why these are happening. She enjoys leveraging her undergraduate degrees in Physics and Studio Art to develop robust models and communicate intelligible results.

Prior to her studies at the University of Washington, Shelby worked as a groundwater modeler for the Illinois State Water Survey. It was here that she realized the necessity for accessible scientific data and graphics while working with Illinois stakeholders dependent on real-time aquifer levels and while building groundwater models used by multiple researchers. She is committed to developing data visualizations that are inclusive of both academic and non-academic communities. Over the upcoming 2021-22 academic year, she is excited to broaden her scientific expertise and flood-risk communication while conducting research in the Netherlands funded by a Fulbright fellowship.