Society for Freshwater Science annual meeting explores “Energy production and aquatic biodiversity”

JACKSONVILLE, FL – The Society for Freshwater Science (SFS) (formerly the North American Benthological Society) will hold its annual meeting at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, Jacksonville, FL from Sunday, May 19 to Thursday, May 23, 2013. The theme of the meeting is “Energy production and aquatic biodiversity: Understanding the threats, planning for ecosystem management”. This meeting will advance ongoing efforts to link scientists and policymakers with a broader group of stakeholders in non-governmental environmental organizations and managers from the regulated community. We hope to expand our understanding of the links between energy production and freshwater resources, and identify potential solutions for environmental management.

Carol Ann Woody (Fisheries Research and Consulting), William L. Graf (University of South Carolina), Robert Jackson (Duke University), and Margaret Palmer (University of Maryland) have accepted invitations for plenary presentations in Jacksonville. These scientists and policy makers have national and international expertise in the ecology and sustainable management of streams, lakes, and wetlands.

Dr. Woody’s career has been shaped by her motivation to conserve aquatic resources for future generations. Since 2006 she has led and directed a full-time science and education program focused on risks to fisheries from development of the massive Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay Alaska – home to the world’s largest all-wild sockeye salmon runs. Dr. Woody’s outreach includes over a hundred invited presentations as well as the website www.pebblescience.org, and her research has been featured by FRONTLINE, the New York Times, and other venues.

Dr. Graf’s research focuses on geomorphology and hydrology of rivers, and the intersection of science and policy for public land and water. He has conducted research and served in science management and oversight positions associated with water and quantity, aquatic and riparian habitats, and endangered species in a variety of ecosystems. Dr. Graf was a member of the Presidential Commission on American Heritage Rivers, presently serves as a member of the Environmental Advisory Board to the Chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and was a member of a special advisory team on environmental restoration for the Executive Office of the President.

Dr. Jackson directs the Department of Energy-funded National Institute for Climate Change Research for the southeastern U.S. and co-directs the Climate Change Policy Partnership, working with energy and utility corporations to find practical strategies to combat climate change. His research examines how people affect the earth, including studies of the global carbon and water cycles, biosphere/atmosphere interactions, energy use, and global change. Jackson was awarded the Murray F. Buell Award from the Ecological Society of America, a Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering from the National Science Foundation, and is included in the top 0.5% of most cited scientific researchers

Dr. Palmer’s research program is focused on watershed science and restoration ecology. She currently serves as Director of the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center. Dr. Palmer is well known for her work at the interface of science and policy, having published policy pieces in the journals Science, Nature, and popular media outlets. Dr. Palmer was a guest on the Steven Colbert Show, where she discussed scientific work on mountaintop mining. Dr. Palmer has been honored as an AAAS Fellow, an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow, a Lilly Fellow, and an elected fellow of the Ecological Society of America.

The SFS 2013 Award of Excellence will be awarded to posthumously to Professor Richard Norris for his outstanding contribution to benthic science through his published research, educational endeavors, and his contribution to water management both within Australia and internationally. He had 30 years of experience in freshwater ecology and river assessment.  He performed reviews of state-wide water quality monitoring programs and detailed analysis of water quality monitoring data in Australia. Many of Professor Norris’ papers have advanced ecological data analysis and are directly relevant to the applied sciences that have always been an important component of SFS.

The SFS 2013 Distinguished Service Award winner is Dr. Lucinda Johnson. Dr. Johnson contributed many tireless years as Secretary of the society, serving several administrations and provided indispensable support to each for the process of running the society’s business. Dr. Johnson was President of the society in 2010-11 and was instrumental in advancing the reach of SFS on a global scale. Dr. Johnson has served on many committees within the society over the years and continues to contribute valuable insights into the business of the society and its committees.

The SFS 2013 Environmental Stewardship Award will be awarded to Dr. J. Bruce Wallace. Dr. Wallace has worked tirelessly to contribute to the understanding of headwater stream ecosystems and defend them from the destructive practices associated with Mountain-Top Removal and Valley Fill (MTR/VF). He has served several federal agencies in the development of Environmental Impact Assessments to assess the impacts of MTR/VF, provided written and oral testimony before the US Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air, Wetlands and Climate Change, and served as an expert witness in a US District Court case that rescinded multiple MTR/VF permits that violated the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

The SFS 2013 Hynes Award will be awarded to Dr. Michael T. Bogan. The Hynes Award is given to a young scientist who was senior author of an outstanding primary publication in freshwater science that appeared within the last 3 years. Dr. Bogan is interested in how disturbance, dispersal, and life history traits influence biological diversity in streams and how these factors interact to structure local stream communities.

2013 marks the third year of the INSTAR mentoring program, which targets undergraduate students from under-represented groups who are interested in becoming aquatic scientists. Fourteen student fellows are enrolled in this year’s class. ‘Instar’ refers to a developmental stage of an arthropod or insect between molts – the shedding of its outer shell.

Register for the conference online (http://www.freshwater-science.org/annual-meeting.aspx) or on-site. Single and multiple day registration is available.

SFS Contact Information: General inquiries about the conference can be directed to Helen Schneider, Schneider Group Meeting & Marketing Services, 254-776-3550, info@sgmeet.com. Media interested in interviewing plenary speakers should contact Dr. Nick Aumen, 561-735-6001, nick_aumen@nps.gov. Inquiries about the Award of Excellence should be sent to Dr. Dave Penrose, penrose.watershed.science@gmail.com.  Questions about the INSTAR program should be directed to Dr. Checo Colon-Gaud, Georgia Southern University, 912-478-0053, jccolongaud@georgiasouthern.edu, or Dr. Judy Li, Oregon State University, judyli@comcast.net.

Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront: 225 East Coastline Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32202; 904-588-1234

Speaker Engagements: The Society for Freshwater Science will host 21 special sessions organized around issues including conservation, nutrient cycling, restoration, impacts of energy production, long-term and biological monitoring, hydrology, wetland management, and climate change. There will be hundreds of oral presentations and posters presented from Monday, May 20 through Thursday, May 23 at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront. Posters will be shown on Wednesday, May 22 from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm in Grand Ballroom 1-4, with authors present from 2-5 pm.

SFS will host two plenary sessions on Monday and Tuesday morning in the Hyatt Grand Ballroom:

Monday, May 20

8:30-10:00 am

Dr. Carol Ann Woody – The Last Great Salmon Runs and Pebble Mine: the Science Behind the Controversy.

Dr. William L. Graf – Dams and Hydropower; Rivers and Habitats.

Tuesday, May 21

8:30-10:00 am

Dr. Robert Jackson – The Environmental Footprint of Shale Gas Extraction and Hydraulic Fracturing.

Dr. Margaret Palmer – The Extraction-Restoration Dance.

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