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Society for Freshwater Science (SFS) Press Release No. 2

Freshwater Stewardship: Challenges and Opportunities

Date: May 4, 2012

LOUISVILLE, KY – The Society for Freshwater Science (SFS) (formerly the North American Benthological Society) will hold its annual meeting at the Marriott Louisville Downtown, Louisville, KY from Sunday, May 20 to Thursday, May 24, 2012. The theme of the meeting is ‘Freshwater Stewardship: Opportunities and Challenges’. 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 challenges and solutions for solving problems with our freshwater resources and identify new frontiers in freshwater science that can contribute to solutions for environmental management.

John Downing (Iowa State University), David Hart (University of Maine), Ellen Gilinsky (US Environmental Protection Agency), and Richard Kingsford (University of New South Wales) have accepted invitations for plenary presentations in Louisville. These scientists and policy makers have national and international expertise in the ecology and sustainable management of stream, lakes, and wetlands.

Dr. Downing has advised many policy-makers and citizens groups concerning water quality management. He is a frequent consultant to firms and boards regionally, nationally, and internationally. He was recently awarded the Ruth Patrick Award from the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography for his work in understanding and mitigating eutrophication in agricultural regions.

Dr. Gilinsky currently serves as Senior Policy Advisor to the Acting Assistant Administrator for Water in the Office of Water at the US EPA. She was previously the Director of the Water Division at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, where she supervised a diverse array of programs related to water quality, water supply, and waste management.

Dr. Hart has spent several decades conducting research ranging from the study of organism-flow interactions to the restoration of river ecosystems. He recently helped launch the Sustainability Solutions Initiative in Maine, supported in part by a $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Kingsford is Director of the Australian Wetlands and Rivers Centre at the University of New South Wales and a member of the Australian Government’s Environmental Flows Scientific Committee. He is the recipient of two Eureka Awards (2001, 2008) and a Hoffman Award for his research demonstrating the ecological values of arid rivers in Australia and for his contributions to global wetland science.

The SFS 2012 Award of Excellence will be awarded to Arthur Benke (University of Alabama) for his pioneering research on secondary production of benthic invertebrate communities. In addition to this research, Dr. Benke has also played a significant role in the advancement of river conservation in North America. His outstanding and award-winning book “Rivers of North America” and its companion, the “Field Guide to Rivers of North America”, are excellent demonstrations of this commitment to conservation.

The SFS Distinguished Service Award winner is Michael Barbour (Tetra Tech). Dr. Barbour has served as society President (2005-2006), as a member of the Executive Committee multiple times in multiple roles (including Chair in 1989-1990), and is currently chair of Long-Range Planning and the Society’s Annual Meeting Advisor. Dr. Barbour has also chaired our Elections and Place, Technical Issues, and Awards Committees, has served as a J-NABS associate editor and a special-issue guest editor, and has served as conference program chair for our annual meetings in Anchorage and Santa Fe.

The SFS 2012 Environmental Stewardship Award will be awarded to Jerry Jacobi (Jacobi & Associates). Dr. Jacobi is very active in local water related issues and politics in the Santa Fe, New Mexico area and frequently speaks to civic and school groups. As a member of the Santa Fe Water Commission, he has lobbied for minimum flow regulations in the Santa Fe River, which historically has run dry due to over-allocation of water. He continuously fights to protect sensitive stream habitats from the effects of development in New Mexico.

The SFS 2012 Hynes Award will be awarded to Ronald D. Bassar (USGS Biological Resources Division, Maryland) for his 2011 paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (107:3616−3621), "Local adaptation in Trinidadian guppies alters ecosystem processes".  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. Bassar’s recent work focuses on understanding whether feedbacks between ecological and evolutionary processes are important in determining the direction and rate of evolutionary change. The majority of this research involves natural and semi-natural stream communities on the Caribbean island of Trinidad.

2012 marks the second year of the INSTAR mentoring program, which targets undergraduate students from under-represented groups who are interested in becoming aquatic scientists. Thirteen 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 (https://www.freshwater-science.org/Annual-Meeting/2012-Louisville.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. Jan Stevenson, Michigan State University, 517-432-8083, rjstev@cns.msu.edu. Inquiries about the Award of Excellence should be sent to Dr. Joe Holomuzki, Ohio State University, 419-755-4340, holomuzki.3@osu.edu. 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.

Marriott Louisville Downtown: 280 West Jefferson, Louisville, KY 40202, (502) 627-5045

Speaker Engagements: The Society for Freshwater Science will host 24 special sessions organized around issues such as genetics, biodiversity, nutrient cycling, disturbance (e.g., land use and hydraulic fracturing), conservation and restoration, development of nutrient criteria for freshwater, bioassessment, and climate change. There will be hundreds of oral presentations and posters presented from Monday, May 21 through Thursday, May 24 at the Marriott Downtown Louisville. Posters will be shown on Tuesday, May 22 and Wednesday, May 23 from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm in Kentucky – Salon A-G, with authors present from 4-6 pm each day. SFS will host two plenary sessions from 8:30 am to 10:00 am on Monday and Tuesday morning in Marriott – Salon 5 & 6 with a schedule as follows: 

  • Monday, May 21, 8:30-10:00 am, David Hart, Ellen Gilinsky
  • Tuesday, May 24, 8:30-10:00 am, John Downing, Richard Kingsford, OH meeting in 1974.
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