Explore NABS



Technical Issues Committee

Date: Sunday, May 19, 2013
Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Location: Hyatt Hotel (Conference Headquarters)
Cost: Professional $120; Student $75
Organizers: Dave Feldman (dfeldman@mt.gov) and Dawn Hamilton


This workshop will help those who are facing the daunting and steep learning curve of using R for statistical analysis. R has many advantages over statistical software packages: it is freeware, it is becoming the lingua franca in biomonitoring and other sciences, it is easily modified, it is flexible, it has many highly qualified and specialized contributors, it allows repetitive analyses, it is excellent documentation of analyses, and it is fun (yes, you are among friends). However, without a patient mentor, R can be difficult to pick up. This workshop will get you started with formatting data; basic data structure, downloading libraries/packages; and running analyses that provide output for interim interpretation and for final presentation. We will begin with the fundamental building blocks of R: the data structure, language conventions, and program resources. Through hands-on exercises, we will be formatting and loading data, accessing and incorporating existing code, and writing small pieces of code for customized analyses. The statistics will cover simple correlation and regression, with supporting bi-plot graphs. More complex analyses will only be attempted if the whole class is engaged, though resources for packaged code and advanced training will be made available.


Ben Jessup has been working with Tetra Tech for 15 years as an ecologist focusing on biomonitoring program support. Most of the support he has provided is in the form of database development, analysis of stressor-response relationships, site classification, multimetric and predictive index development, indicator performance characteristics, and criteria establishment. These analyses are essential to most biomonitoring programs and can be performed in many software programs, including R. Mr. Jessup has recently converted to using R for statistical analyses and graphic displays so the hurdles encountered by beginning R users are still fresh. Mr. Jessup has facilitated training workshops on a variety of biomonitoring topics including biomonitoring basics, database applications, criteria development for biological and physical indicators, field protocols, and specific state and tribal index assessment issues.

Dr. Lei Zheng is a senior aquatic ecologist of Tetra Tech’s Center for Ecological Science. He has been an algal ecologist for 20 years but has recently evolved into a statistician and data analyst. He has extensive experience working on biological monitoring and assessment, statistical modeling, and water quality standards/criteria for both marine and freshwater systems. He supported Nutrient-Scientific Technical Exchange Partnership and Support (N-STEPS) to help numerous states develop scientifically defensible nutrient criteria for lakes, streams, and estuaries. He is also actively involved in a number of high profiled projects, such as BP oil spill analysis, mountain top coal mining/conductivity benchmark development in the Western Appalachian region, and Florida nutrient criteria development. Dr. Zheng was a firm fan of Systat® and SAS before 2003, but became a true believer and a loyal daily user of R since. He has been helping many others to use R for bioassessment related topics.

Slimy Leaves for Clean Streams: The Leaf Pack Experiment

Date: Sunday, May 19, 2013
Time: 8:30am - 11:30am and 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: City Terrace - Room 7
Organizers: Bern Sweeney (sweeney@stroudcenter.org)


How can a clump of in-stream slimy leaves provide the basis for teachers to provide a stream ecology exploration for middle and high school students? This unique technique combines classroom and field experiences for students to conduct their own experiments, investigate food webs, learn classification skills, and share their data through the Leaf Pack Network ® website (http://www.stroudcenter.org/lpn). And, it all starts with an onion bag!


Technical Issues Committee

Date: Sunday, May 19, 2013
Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Location: Hyatt Hotel (Conference Headquarters)
Cost: Professional $120; Student $75
Organizers: Dave Feldman (dfeldman@mt.gov) and Dawn Hamilton


The workshop will deal with the identification of larval and adult water beetles, concentrating mostly on the fauna of Florida and the Southeast US. Material (both alcohol and pinned) will be available for study; most will be from Florida but specimens from other parts of North America will be on hand. The workshop will begin with a short lecture on beetle diversity, taxonomic literature and identification techniques. The majority of the time will be spent looking at specimens; no doubt many will be interested in learning how to separate all the genera that once comprised the genus Hydroporus. Participants are encouraged to bring some of their own specimens, and to bring their own copies of Dr. Epler’s 2010 Florida water beetle manual.


Dr. John H. Epler has been working with aquatic insects for over 40 years, and has been a NABS/SFS member since 1976. While perhaps best known for his work on Chironomidae, he is also a specialist with water beetles and, to a lesser extent, water bugs. He has produced over 50 peer-reviewed publications, and has described four new genera of Chironomidae and over 40 species of midges and beetles. His best known works may be his identification manuals which feature easy to use keys accompanied by copious illustrations; these manuals have dealt with larval Chironomidae, adult water bugs, and larval and adult water beetles. His latest manual, published in 2010, covered the water beetles of Florida and featured numerous color figures of Florida’s fantastic fauna.


Technical Issues Committee

Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Time: 2:00 pm - 5:00pm
Location: Hyatt Hotel
Cost: Free to members
Organizers: Dawn Hamilton (DHamilton@ecoanalysts.com)

The TIC anticipates approximately 12 taxonomists 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 Jacksonville for this event.


Education & Diversity Committee

Date: 19 May 2013
Time: 1pm-4pm
Location: Hyatt Hotel (Conference Headquarters)
Cost: No cost to participants, but contact with organizers before May 3, 2013 is mandatory.
Organizers: Judy Li (judyli@comcast.net), Jose Colon-Gaud (jccolongaud@georgiasouthern.edu), Tamara Sluss (tamara.sluss@kysu.edu)
Patina Mendez (patina.mendez@berkeley.edu), Marcelo Ardon-Sayao (ardonsayaom@ecu.edu), Krista Capps (krista.capps@maine.edu)
Website: http://www.freshwater-science.org/Education-and-Outreach/Instars-Program.aspx


This is the third year that Society for Freshwater Science (SFS) is sponsoring the Instars Mentoring Program for undergraduates from under-represented groups who are interested in the study of freshwaters. The program is open to students sponsored through Instars Fellowships and others from under-represented minorities. During the annual meeting opportunities for networking among graduate students, faculty and professionals will be promoted as we strive to encourage diversity in our discipline.

At this orientation workshop new Instars will meet peers who have similar interests in the study of freshwaters, graduate student mentors, and faculty who will guide them through the meeting. We will introduce the themes of the SFS meeting, and explore topics of common interest to participants. Instars participants will be encouraged to present results of undergraduate research during the week of the meeting (deadline for abstract submission, January 31st). 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.


Graduate Resources Committee

Date: Sunday, 19 May 2013
Depart: 8 am- 4 pm
Location: Hyatt Hotel (Conference Headquarters)
Cost: $75 (does not include lunch)
Minimum/Maximum Registrants: 20/30
Contact: Thomas Parr (


We are partnering with Okefenokee Adventures to provide a boat tour through the Okefenokee Swamp to learn about its ecology, natural history and cultural history. Trips frequently encounter egrets, herons, ibis, Sandhill Cranes, Red-shouldered Hawks, American Alligators, as well as otters in the winter and Wood Storks in the summer and fall. The refuge is also critical habitat for black bear and Red-cockaded Woodpecker.

For the dissolved organic matter enthusiasts, vast peat deposits make this the largest “blackwater” swamp in North America. The Suwanee River originates here and high concentrations of DOM leached from the peat give the water its dark color. This is the perfect trip for DOM enthusiasts wanting to see where their International Humic Substances Society Suwanee River Fulvic Acid standard comes from!

The excursion will last approximately 8 hrs (2-3 hrs on water, 3 hrs in transport, 2 hrs lunch/mingle). To keep the cost of the trip down, lunch is not included, although we will stop at a local eatery for a late lunch prior to returning to Jacksonville. Also, water levels fluctuate in the refuge and, depending on winter rains, may not be suitable for an excursion in May. The trip is open to all participants, but priority will be given to graduate students and undergraduates. If you cannot make this trip, there is a separate post-conference trip scheduled for Friday. Contact: Thomas Parr with any questions.

More information:
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