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Plenary Speakers

John Downing

John Downing is president-elect of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, a Board member of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents, and a member of the Consortium of Aquatic Science Societies. He is a Regent’s Excellence Professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, and the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University. He is Chair of the Environmental Science Graduate Program. He is also an adjunct professor at Itasca Community College where he is helping create a water quality technology program to provide employment opportunities to students in an economically depressed region. His research interests include limnology, aquatic ecology, terrestrial ecology, microbial ecology, biogeochemistry, population conservation, and whole ecosystem restoration and management. He has advised many policy-makers and citizens groups concerning water quality management, and is a frequent consultant to firms and boards regionally, nationally, and internationally. He was recently awarded ASLO's Ruth Patrick award for his work in understanding and mitigating eutrophication in agricultural regions. He was formerly a professor at McGill University and the University of Montreal where he was Director of the Laurentian Biological Station.

Ellen Gilinsky

Ellen Gilinsky currently serves as Senior Policy Advisor to the Acting Assistant Administrator for Water in the Office of Water at the Environmental Protection Agency. Prior to this appointment she spent seven years as the Director of the Water Division at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), where she supervised a diverse array of programs including water permitting, monitoring and assessments; water quality standards and TMDLs; water supply planning and water withdrawals; groundwater and wetlands permitting and assessment; biosolids and land application permitting; and wastewater grant and loan programs. She also served for five years at DEQ as Manager of the Office of Wetlands and Water Protection, helping to craft Virginia’s non tidal wetlands program. Dr. Gilinsky has twelve years of experience as an environmental consultant at several regional and national environmental engineering firms, focusing on water issues. She also worked at the Virginia State Water Control Board during the formative years of the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program. Dr. Gilinsky received her B.A. in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. in Zoology, with a concentration in Aquatic Ecology, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Among her other professional accomplishments, she was a Past President of the Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators (ASIWPCA), held a gubernatorial appointment to the State Advisory Board of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center and was an Adjunct Faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University in the Departments of Biology and Environmental Studies.

David Hart

David Hart was captivated by streams and rivers as a small boy growing up in northern California; he presented his first public testimony focused on river science and management at the age of 17. After receiving his Ph.D. in Ecology from UC Davis, David spent several decades conducting research ranging from the study of organism-flow interactions to the restoration of river ecosystems. In 2006, he moved to the University of Maine seeking to link interdisciplinary research with the concerns of diverse stakeholders in ways that contribute more effectively to the solution of societal problems with intersecting environmental, social, and economic dimensions. In collaboration with faculty from more than 25 disciplines and numerous external partners, he helped launch new programs that ultimately led to Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI). Supported in part by a $20 million NSF EPSCoR grant, SSI (website) represents a statewide, institutional experiment in the theory and practice of sustainability science, with particular emphasis on understanding and strengthening connections between scientific knowledge and societal action.

Richard Kingsford

Professor Richard Kingsford is Director of the Australian Wetlands and Rivers Centre, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences of the University of NSW. He has focussed his research over about the last 20 years on the waterbirds, wetlands and rivers of arid Australia, which cover about 70% of the continent. He has identified the significant impacts of water resource development on the rivers and wetlands of the Murray-Darling Basin and other parts of the world and he has contributed to policy development and environmental flow management. He is a member of the Australian Government’s Environmental Flows Scientific Committee. Aerial surveys of waterbirds, mapping of wetlands and development of software for delivering knowledge about catchments are other areas of his work. His research has demonstrated the ecological values of many rivers and impacts of water resource in arid Australia, for which he received a Eureka Award in 2001. He has more than 100 publications including three books, including one on the desert rivers of the world. In 2007, he received the Hoffman medal for contribution to global wetland science and the Eureka Award for Promoting Understanding of Science in 2008.

What's New
  • Making Waves Podcast Episode 26: Carbon Fates, Dr. Erin Hotchkiss more
  • Fall 2017 Issue of In the Drift now available! more
  • September 2017 Issue of Freshwater Science now online more
  • Does Cultural Diversity Matter to Scientific Societies? Read the President's Environment more
  • SFS Student Presentation Awards! more
  • In the drift just fell into your sampler! The Spring 2015 Newsletter is here! more
  • Making Waves Podcast Episode 14: Nitrogen Fixation in a Warming World, Dr. Jill Welter more
  • The deadline to submit proposals for AQUATROP Special Sessions or Symposiums is now November 17, 2017

  • SFS joins CASS in condemning silencing of EPA scientists

  • Andy Leidolf appointed as SFS Executive Director



    Over 60 logos were submitted by 28 individuals and narrowed to 3 finalists. Now is your chance to select the winner.

  • SFS signs two letters sent to the US EPA regarding the Trump Administration's proposed revisions to the Waters of the US rule


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