2017 Spring Specialty Conference - Connecting the Dots: The Emerging Science of Aquatic System Connectivity
Preliminary Program


The 2017 AWRA Spring Specialty Conference on Aquatic System Connectivity provides researchers, practitioners and academicians a forum to discuss the latest refinements in connectivity concepts, gain familiarity with state-of-the-science connectivity research, and obtain a broader understanding of the many ways in which connectivity contributes to landscape and aquatic system function.

Why This Conference is Important

Snowbird ResortOver the last several decades, researchers have recognized the importance of ecological, hydrological, and biogeochemical connections among individual aquatic systems. Understanding these connections and their functions requires research to "connect the dots" by examining how individual ecosystem components connect, interact, and affect other ecosystems across space and time. Connectivity describes the degree to which landscape components, such as aquatic and terrestrial elements of a watershed, are joined by various transport mechanisms. It consists of hydrological, biogeochemical, and biological fluxes among landscape, watershed, or system components and characterizes system state along a gradient from fully connected to fully isolated. These connections occur at multiple spatial (complexes, reaches, landscapes, watersheds, subsurface zones) and temporal (daily, seasonal, annual, decadal) scales. Connectivity of aquatic systems is affected by both physical (e.g., climate, geology, hydrology, topography) and biological (e.g., life-history characteristics) attributes and processes. This conference will explore hydrological, geochemical, and biological connectivity between and among various aquatic systems, and characterize emergent effects of this connectivity across space and time. It will also address the policy, legal, economic, regulatory, societal, and related aspects of connectivity.

Technical Program and Plenary Speakers

Starting the conference off will be a plenary session with an impressive slate of speakers:

Charles Hawkins
Utah State University, Department of Watershed Sciences, Logan, UT
Connectivity and Habitat Suitability Jointly Influence the Ecological Intactness of Aquatic Ecosystems

Catherine Pringle
University of Georgia, Odum School of Ecology, Atlanta, GA
Hydrologic Connectivity and Ecological Interactions in Aquatic Ecosystems

Jeffrey McDonnell

University of Saskatchewan, School of Environment and Sustainability, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Hydrological connectivity: From Hillslopes to Watersheds

Patrick Halpin
Duke University, Nicholas School of the Environment, Durham, NC
Analyzing Ecological Connectivity in Marine Environments

The technical program covers a wide range of connectivity topics, among them: Stream Networks: Climate and Biological Connectivity in Four Dimensions; Tackling Connectivity Through Cross-Scale Integration: Lessons Learned in the Prairie Pothole Region; Successes in Integrating Models and Measurements into Management for Aquatic Connectivity; Connectivity Implications on Water Resources, Water Quality and Restoration in the Semi-arid West; Chemical Connectivity in Wetlands, Lakes and Watersheds; Connectivity Between Estuaries and Terrestrial, Freshwater and Marine Ecosystems; Connectivity in Cold Regions.

Conference Held at Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort, Snowbird, UT, April 30 - May 3, 2017

The conference will take place in beautiful Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort, nestled in scenic Little Cottonwood Canyon, only 30 miles from Salt Lake City International Airport. You and your colleagues will enjoy plenty of stimulating networking and connecting opportunities amid the splendor of the Wasatch Range just above Salt Lake City. During the lunch break on Tuesday Jim Wigington, Editor of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association, will give a presentation on "How to Publish a Great Peer Reviewed Journal Article". Later that evening there will be a Snowbird Storm Water Management Walking Tour on the property (5:15 pm - 6:30 pm). There will be numerous other opportunities to network with your colleagues during breaks and the Conference Luncheon on Wednesday. So please come and join us - see you in Snowbird!

Michael E. Campana Scott G. Leibowitz
Michael E. Campana
General Conference Chair
College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences,
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR
Scott G. Leibowitz
Technical Program Chair
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Corvallis, OR