Explore NABS


All workshops are held at either the Rhode Island Convention Center (RICC) or the Westin Headquarter Hotel. Please see your schedule at the NABS meeting for locations.

Technical Issues Committee Workshops (Sunday, May 22)

Climate Change and NABS

Instructors: Paul Wagner and others
Cost: Professional and Student $25 (Minimum 50; Maximum 300)

NABS will hold its first-ever Climate Change Workshop at the 2011 NABS Annual Meeting in Providence, RI, on 22 May from 8:30 a.m. -5:00 p.m. The goals of the Climate Change Symposium are

  • to inform attendees about the major federal government, academic, and non-governmental programs directed at climate change adaptation and mitigation measures;
  • to discuss how science agencies, academic institutions, and NGOs can produce actionable science for use by water resource managers to inform their decisions on the climate change adaptation and mitigation measures being considered and planned now;
  • to identify where NABS and its members could play an important role in informing this decision making;
  • to facilitate future NABS participation in major efforts to understand and address climate change, including the Freshwater Ecology Sectoral meeting of the US Global Change Research Program’s National Climate Assessment series of informational workshops. That Assessment Workshop will be held at the end of the NABS 2011 Annual Meeting (on 27 May), and we are looking for interested participants. Details on the Assessment workshop will be provided in a separate announcement.

The NABS Climate Change Symposium will consist of presentations and discussion on the major climate programs across sectors, a panel discussion on developing and delivering actionable science to water resource agencies, and a group discussion of the role of NABS in helping inform federal decision making around climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.

Check back soon for a list of presenters and other details. This workshop will be held at the Rhode Island Convention Center (RICC). If you have any questions, please contact Paul Wagner (paul.f.wagner@usace.army.mil).

Introduction to Freshwater Diatom Taxonomy and Applications for Biological Assessment

Instructor: Kalina Manoylov
Cost: Professional $100.00; Student $75.00 USD (Minimum 15; Maximum 30)

This 8-hour workshop will be directed toward both novice and intermediate diatomists interested in using diatoms for biological assessment in addition to other applications. Kalina Manoylov will lead this workshop that will be structured with morning lectures on the basics of diatom cell structure, life cycles, historical and modern classification systems, species distribution and habitat types. Participants will become familiar with the major groups of diatoms, especially in freshwater streams. The afternoon session will be dedicated to a hands-on microscope session. Participants will be guided through an actual diatom ‘slide count’ for streams from both pristine and high nutrient environments. Species indicator development and calculations will also be discussed.

An Introduction To A Graphical Analysis of Feedback (AKA “Loop Analysis”)

Instructors: Hiram Li and Mark Novak
Cost: Professional $100; Student $75 (Minimum 15; Maximum 30)

The world is being challenged with new and growing insults to its environments. Applied ecologists are confronted with must make management decisions using incomplete information. A common problem for applied ecologists is the lack of quantitative data for most biological communities (i.e. natural or perturbed). The abundance of natural history information is greater, but how does one combine it to make the problem coherent? One solution is a qualitative mathematical approach. This approach is same one that is used by aeronautical and electrical engineers, social scientists, and economists to understand autopilots, electronic networks, mob behavior and economics. Richard Levins (1973) introduced its use to biologists and suggested that it may be a valuable tool to gain a foothold for understanding communities and ecosystems for which data are lacking to use quantitatively specified models. The purpose of this workshop is to introduce participants to a method of analyzing ecological communities using Loop Analysis Software. This 8 hour class will teach students how to employ Loop Analysis to evaluate biological communities. We will cover the major steps to complete the Loop analysis, using the free software available at: http://www.ent.orst.edu/loop/.

Systematic Evaluation of Ecological Literature to Support Causal Inference: tools & methods

Instructors: Sue Nichols, Angus Webb and C. Richard Zielger & the NABS GRC
Cost: Student $30; Professional $110 (Minimum 15, Maximum 30)

We commonly face a situation where we cannot use field data collected at sites of interest to prove a causal link between a human activity and an ecological impact, or the information from the various sources provides conflicting results. A transparent, consistent, and logically defensible framework is critical for evaluating available information and providing confidence in conclusions. Similar challenges were faced (and addressed) by epidemiologists more than forty years ago. In this workshop, we will apply those lessons learned and the philosophy of causation to aquatic ecosystems. Workshop participants will be introduced to different systematic approaches (developed in Australia and the United States) that will help you review and synthesize evidence from scientific literature that help reduce bias and subjectivity, defensibly support or weaken a causal link, and help you base conclusions on the quality of the evidence reviewed.

Taxonomy Fair (Wednesday, 25 May)

Cost: Free to Members

The TIC anticipates approximately 12 taxonomist will participate in this annual event. The taxonomy fair gives NABS members an opportunity to meet with expert taxonomists and discuss identification of sometimes tricky specimens. Each taxonomist will be equipped with microscopes and video equipment to help with the identification. Members are encouraged to bring specimens to the meeting in Rhode Island for this event. Sponsored by the TIC.

We would like to give special thanks to the United States Environmental Protection Agency for funding the microscopes at this event.

Graduate Student Workshop (Sunday, 22 May)

Cost: $30
Registration is open to: Students Only

This is an annual career-development workshop and/or field trip; topic TBA.  Lunch is included. Please contact Quenton Tuckett (q.tuckett@gmail.com) if you have any questions.

Education/Diversity Committee Workshop (Sunday afternoon, 22 May)

Orientation Workshop for undergraduates in the INSTARS mentoring program

Organizers: Judy Li (judyli@comcast.net), Jose Colon-Gaud (jccolongaud@georgiasouthern.edu), Tamara Sluss (tamara.sluss@kysu.edu), Patina Mendez (patina.mendez@berkeley.edu)
Cost: No cost to participants, but contact with organizers before April 1, 2011 strongly encouraged.

INSTARS is a new a mentoring program sponsored by the North American Benthological Society that will provide an opportunity for undergraduate students from under-represented groups to attend our annual meeting. At this orientation workshop they will meet peers who have similar interests in the study of freshwaters and be introduced to graduate student mentors who will help guide them through meeting activities. We will introduce the themes of the NABS meeting, and explore topics of common interest to participants. INSTAR participants will be encouraged to present results of undergraduate research during the week of the meeting. Following the meeting they will work as teams to develop summary papers based on chosen themes explored at the meeting.

Interested undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty are encouraged to contact members of the committee for developing pre-meeting discussions and networking.

J-NABS Special Workshop (Wednesday Afternoon, 25 May)

A Peer Review Primer: tips and advice on conducting constructive reviews

Organizer: Pam Silver(psb3@psu.edu)
When: Wednesday, May 25th, during poster session
Cost: None.

Peer review is a cornerstone of the process of scientific publication. It is an important validation step that has several goals. First, it helps assure readers that the content of an article is scientifically sound. Second, it provides authors with valuable feedback to help improve the clarity, logic, and scientific value of their manuscripts. Third, it helps young authors and referees hone their critical thinking skills and engages them in the scientific community. Every paper published in a peer-reviewed journal must be reviewed by several experts in the field who are willing to volunteer their time and service, but good referees with the time to conduct a review can be challenging to find. Moreover, as the number of scientific papers increase, so must the number of referees, and willingness to serve as a peer reviewer is an important professional obligation. Therefore, members of the J-NABS Editorial Board extend an invitation to graduate students, young professionals, and "old hands" to attend this informal panel discussion to discuss the peer review process, ways to become involved, tips for conducting useful and constructive peer reviews, mentoring opportunities, and ways to increase awareness of the challenges and importance of reviewing activities among academic and professional administrators.

National Climate Assessment Freshwater Ecology Sectoral Workshop (Friday, 27 May)

Organizer: Paul Wagner (paul.f.wagner@usace.army.mil)
When: Friday, May 27th, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Cost: None.

The North American Benthological Society and The Institute for Water Resources will be holding a workshop to develop contributions on freshwater ecology to the US Global Change Research Program’s 2013 National Climate Assessment. The Freshwater Ecology Sectoral Workshop will be held at the Westin Providence Hotel, which will also serve as the NABS Annual Meeting headquarters. This is a significant opportunity for experts from NABS (as well as others) to become involved in informing not just the 2013 National Climate Assessment, but hopefully future assessments as well. We are looking for NABS members who are interested in participating in this workgroup to develop input for the 2013 Assessment, with particular emphasis on freshwater benthic ecology and climate change. If you are interested in participating, please provide your contact information to Paul Wagner and you will be provided with more details, and meeting materials. In addition to self nominations, we are looking for at-large nominations for expert participants: if you have suggestions for participation, please also send those to us. There is no charge for participating in this meeting; we ask only that you register your interest with us. The Freshwater Ecology workshop will be a key vehicle for ensuring that the third NCA is well informed on issues surrounding climate change and freshwater ecology (with emphasis on benthology). Workshop discussions will be oriented towards prioritizing the essential elements needed to sustain an ongoing network for providing assessment and adaptation information related to freshwater ecology. This workshop will also serve in identifying the topics for and contributors to a whitepaper to be submitted to the USGCRP’s National Climate Assessment Development and Advisory Committee (NCADAC).

About the National Climate Assessment

The National Climate Assessment (NCA) is being conducted under the auspices of the Global Change Research Act of 1990, which requires a report to the President and the Congress that evaluates, integrates and interprets the findings of the $2.6 billion federal research program on global change (USGCRP) every four years.

National climate assessments act as a status report on climate change science and impacts. They are based on observations made across the country and compare these observations to predictions from climate system models. The NCA aims to incorporate advances in the understanding of climate science into larger social, ecological, and policy systems, and with this provide integrated analyses of impacts and vulnerability. The NCA will help evaluate the effectiveness of our mitigation and adaptation activities and identify economic opportunities that arise as the climate changes. It will also serve to integrate scientific information from multiple sources and highlight key findings and significant gaps in our knowledge. The NCA aims to help the federal government prioritize climate science investments, and in doing so will help to provide the science that can be used by communities around our Nation try to create a more sustainable and environmentally-sound plan for our future.

The previous Assessment (Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States) produced a report that was completed in 2009, and the first National Assessment was completed in 2000. To see either of the previous reports, please click here.

Once again, if you think you might be interested in participating and would like to receive updates and meeting materials, please contact Paul Wagner (paul.f.wagner@usace.army.mil.

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