Prof. Brakenridge founded the Flood Observatory in 1991 and his work continues to focus on remote sensing measurements and mapping of the Earth's surface waters and especially flooding rivers. Research topics include orbital microwave monitoring of river discharge, and optical mapping of changes in surface water extent. He maintains a web site (http://floodobservatory.colorado.edu/) that disseminates this information in near real time, and provides data useful to the international disaster response community (e.g., the World Food Programme) during major flood disasters. The web site is also an educational resource for university courses taught on the subjects of natural hazards and surface water hydrology. In 2014, Brakenridge continues publication of research on the issues of floodplains and flood hazards in the context of changing environmental conditions, including climate and land-use. Simply put: what actually causes catastrophic floods, and can their damaging effects be reduced?