Interactive Format Sessions

The interactive format sessions will take place during a two-hour time slot on Wednesday, 9 June, from 08:00 to 10:00. These sessions are open to all and will offer panel discussions, question and answer periods, and other interactive activities. Due to the unique format of these sessions active participation will be encouraged of those in attendance. If you are interested in taking part in some lively discussions and promoting the free exchange of thoughts and ideas within and across these two societies, you will not want to miss these sessions.

I01: Simulating Degradation of Benthic Invertebrate Communities to Evaluate Bioassessment Methods

Organizers: John L. Bailey, J. Bailey Consulting, and Trefor B. Reynoldson, Acadia University,

Location: Santa Fe Convention Center – Sweeney Ballroom C

Several authors have recently been developing methods for testing power and sensitivity of bioassessment methods in several manuscripts either published or in the process of being published. The approaches being taken in these papers are to use artificially impacted benthic invertebrate community data sets. The advantage of this approach is that the amount of disturbance is known and therefore the ability of a bioassessment method to detect that disturbance can be quantified. This is not the case with real sites where the disturbance is imputed from either local or distant discharges or some sort of best professional judgment. The simulation approach has great potential for allowing a standardized method for comparing bioassessment methodologies. Linke et al. (2004) developed Impairator which adjusts real data by known amounts to simulate impacts; Cao and Hawkins (2005) used a simulation model to compare estimated indicator values objectively with true impairment abundance of stream invertebrate taxa as functions of stress and taxon-specific sensitivities to stress that were calculated from large samples collected from five reference-quality sites; Bailey et al. (in review) have investigated simulated data to examine the effects of temporal change over multiple years; Bailey, Reynoldson & Bailey (in review) used a method analogous to Cao and Hawkins and Linke et al. where tolerance values were used to determine the response of taxa to varying degrees of disturbance. This session is regarded as a step in the possible development of either a standard simulated impact data set or a standard protocol for developing simulated data that can be used for testing bioassessment methods.

Presenter Abstracts and Running Order:

8:02 a.m.


8:14 a.m.


8:26 a.m.


8:38 a.m.


8:50 a.m.


I02: CUAHSI Water Data Services: Service Oriented Architecture for Water Resources Data

Organizers: Yoori Choi, CUAHSI, and David Kirschtel, CUAHSI,

Location: Santa Fe Convention Center – O’Keeffe Room

The Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI), through its Hydrologic Information Systems project has developed Water Data Services (WDS) to fundamentally change the way in which scientists discover and utilize a broad range of water resources data. WDS consists of a suite of software tools for data storage, publication, discovery and analysis. Using this system, CUAHSI has confederated data sets from 43 sources to provide “one stop shopping” for water data. These data sets include: EPA STORET, USGS NWIS, National Atmospheric Deposition Program and National Climatic Data Center. This workshop will provide participants with an introduction to the suite of software tools developed as part of WDS. After an introduction to the WDS system, including an overview of the data publication tools, participants will be guided through a series of case study activities using the data discovery and analysis tools: Hydroseek, a map-based data discovery and retrieval tool; HydroExcel, a set of spreadsheets with custom developed macros for data access and preliminary data analysis; and HydroDesktop, an integrated portal for data access, analysis and visualization. To fully participate in the activities of workshop, participants will need to have a network-capable laptop computer running Windows, with either MS Office 2003 or later and Firefox or MS Internet Explorer necessary to access the Internet.

I03: Visions of Water Use through Varied Lenses

Organizers: Judy Li, Oregon State University,; Cliff Dahm, CALFED Bay-Delta Program/University of New Mexico, and Rhea Graham, Bureau of Reclamation, South Central CA office,

Location: Museum of New Mexico

This session will facilitate a discussion between tribes, local acequias and federal agencies envisioning the future of water use in the southwest, particularly strategies for dealing with global climate change. The session will include presentations by each panel member, providing historical background and contemporary patterns of use. (e.g. Santa Ana tribes, Rio Grande acequias, Department of Interior, U. S. Forest Service). Presenters will address questions of planning for water use in the future in a debate-questioning format (similar to television debates). Written questions will be generated from panel organizers, panel participants, the participating audience and priorities developed by the September 2009 directive from the U.S. Department of Interior on Climate Change Strategy.

I04: The Road Less Traveled By: Careers Outside Academia in Oceanography, Limnology and Related Fields

Organizer: Cheryl Lyn Dybas, National Science Foundation,

Location: Scottish Rite Hall

Beyond academia, what career choices are there for someone with a graduate degree in oceanography, limnology and related fields? How does a career-seeker decide which non-academic career paths might be right for him or her? The answers might be summed up in a word: imagination. In choosing a life’s work, there are as many “niches” as one’s imagination can come up with. This session will provide attendees with the opportunity to explore careers in areas other than traditional academic research and teaching, especially in “green careers” linked with sustainability. Such non-traditional areas as science policy, science journalism, environmental management, aquaculture, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, ecotourism, environmental law, investment analysis, and others will be explored. A panel of six speakers, each representing one of these fields, will talk about their respective successes in taking, as poet Robert Frost once wrote, “the road less traveled by.” For many in non-academic careers, that choice indeed has made all the difference. This session will build on previous such sessions developed by the organizer over the past 15 years at ASLO, AGU, TOS, MTS, GSA and other conferences. It will feature senior-level professionals who have found fulfilling non-academic paths, many in “green careers.” Past panelists have included aquarium directors, Capitol Hill legislative staffers, presidents of biotechnology companies and aquaculture firms, Wall Street environmental investment analysts, science journalists for national publications and others. In the first hour, after a brief overview presentation and introductions of panelists, each speaker will present information about career opportunities in his or her field for 10 minutes. In the second hour, a panel discussion will take place during which questions will come from the audience.

Session presenters:

I05: Barcoding the Benthos: New Vistas in Laboratory, Museum, and Field Science

Organizers: Christy Jo Geraci, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History,; Donald Baird, Environment Canada, University of New Brunswick, and Erik Pilgrim, Molecular Ecology Research Branch, US Environmental Protection Agency,

Location: Santa Fe Convention Center – Milagro Room

This interactive session will introduce the NABS and ASLO communities to new developments in DNA barcoding as a tool in marine and freshwater benthic research. Topics will include: 1) generating, interpreting, and analyzing DNA data using BOLD software; 2) discovering cryptic diversity; 3) associating life stages of aquatic insects; 4) identifying unknown specimens using BOLD tools and barcode libraries. These topics will be covered in brief workshops led by the session co-chairs and/or invited speakers. For each workshop, participants will view and analyze a sample dataset in BOLD. (Laptops with wireless Internet capability will be required for participation.) All participants should sign up for a BOLD account ( prior to this session. The dataset will be available as a project file in BOLD shortly before the meeting. The session will conclude with an interactive Q&A session regarding practical strategies and challenges to building and employing DNA reference libraries for regional and local barcoding applications.

Session Agenda:

  1. How to use DNA barcodes to associate life history stages: the single marker approach

    CJ Geraci, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, P.O. Box 37012, Washington, DC, 20013-7012,  USA (
    EM Pilgrim, US Environmental Protection Agency, 26 Martin Luther King Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA (
    DJ Baird, Environment Canada @ Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB. E3B 5A3. (

    The DNA barcode locus (COI) is a useful genetic tool for associating life history stages of aquatic insects. Early instar larvae, damaged specimens, and undescribed pupae all can be difficult, if not impossible, to identify to genus and species because of the lack of distinguishing morphological characters.  This session will demonstrate how to use a COI Barcode Reference Library to associate unknown immatures of selected aquatic insect taxa with reliably-identified and vouchered adults.
  2. How to use DNA barcodes to uncover cryptic diversity: the multiple marker approach

    EM Pilgrim, US Environmental Protection Agency, 26 Martin Luther King Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA (
    CJ Geraci, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, P.O. Box 37012, Washington, DC, 20013-7012,  USA (
    DJ Baird, Environment Canada @ Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB. E3B 5A3. (

    Although the DNA barcode locus (COI) is a useful single genetic tool for uncovering cryptic diversity within taxa, nuclear markers sometimes are used as a second line of evidence for crypsis. Cryptic groups may represent distinct populations, geographic variants, or even species. In this part of the interactive session, example data sets will be used to show how DNA barcode data can inform studies of cryptic diversity. Data sets with both mitochondrial and nuclear markers will be examined in both biogeographic and ecological contexts.
  3. Detecting conservation units using morphological versus molecular criteria: evaluating the Gammarus pecos species complex as a test case

    RA Seidel, Miami University, Oxford, OH, 45056, USA (
    BK Lang, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507, USA (
    DJ Berg, Miami University, Hamilton, OH 45011, USA (

    Recent studies have revealed the high frequency of morphologically cryptic aquatic invertebrates. The sharp global decline in freshwater ecosystems suggests that rapid biodiversity screening methods are urgently needed. Amphipods in the Gammarus pecos species complex of the northern Chihuahuan Desert represent an ideal system for comparing the detected number of discrete ecological entities according to morphological and molecular methodologies. Organizers compared results from a morphology-based assessment to results from screening 166 COI gene sequences according to Moritz’ Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU) concept and a DNA barcode-based Species Screening Threshold (SST) concept. Results showed strong concordance between the two molecular screening methods, with the main difference being the phylogenetic placement of one amphipod population. The molecular methods showed that two other populations are distinct from one another, whereas the morphological method alone failed to separate them. The results underscore the need to look beyond morphology in screening for conservation units among aquatic invertebrates in desert ecosystems and elsewhere. Morphological and molecular techniques together can be powerful tools for addressing conservation issues dependent on the accuracy of biodiversity assessment.
  4. Building nature’s library: a strategy for dna barcoding the macroinvertebrate fauna of North America - panel discussion

    DJ Baird, Environment Canada @ Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB. E3B 5A3. (
    CJ Geraci, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, P.O. Box 37012, Washington, DC, 20013-7012,  USA (
    EM Pilgrim, US Environmental Protection Agency, 26 Martin Luther King Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA. (
    RA Seidel, Miami University, Oxford, OH, 45056, USA (
    BK Lang, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507, USA (
    DJ Berg, Miami University, Hamilton, OH 45011, USA (

    DNA barcoding offers unique opportunities to revolutionize our understanding of natural ecosystems through the development of techniques for rapid and accurate identification of biological specimens and samples. However, in order to realize their full transformative potential, it is necessary to formulate a strategy for developing a DNA barcode library of taxonomically-verified specimens which will form the foundation of a new public tool for the rapid identification of unknown material.  Knowledge of the limitations of specimen suitability for DNA extraction, the availability of resources for curation of voucher specimens, and our understanding of the composition and distribution of different faunal groups will form the building blocks of the strategy to achieve this objective.   Structured as a panel discussion with contributions from the floor, this section aims to develop a path forward for this initiative through active and participatory engagement with the NABS and ASLO membership. We invite all of you to come and make your voice heard in this exciting new challenge.
I06: Crossing Ecosystem Boundaries by Quantifying Biogeochemical Reaction Versus Transport Across the Hydrologic Continuum

Organizers: Amy Burgin, Wright State University,; Tamara Harms, University of Alaska-Fairbanks,; Brian Reid, Centro de Investigaciòn en Ecosìstemas de la Patagonia, Universidad Austral, and Daniel Sobota, Washington State University-Vancouver,

Location: Hilton Hotel – Mesa Ballroom

Delivery of materials from catchments to coasts constitutes a significant flux within many global elemental cycles. However, large uncertainties bracket estimates of land-sea fluxes, due to limited understanding of interactions among material retention, transport, and transformation along the hydrologic continuum. Freshwater ecosystems facilitate biogeochemical reaction by bringing reactants together in complex physicochemical environments. Furthermore, they comprise the transport network by which materials move from catchments to coasts. While significant gains in understanding and quantifying biogeochemical reactions and transport have occurred within specific types of freshwater ecosystems (e.g., nutrient spiraling in streams), disparate methodologies and approaches among ecosystems hinder synthesis efforts across the hydrologic continuum. This interactive session has the objective of identifying and discussing a common set of metrics that accurately represent biogeochemical cycling and hydrodynamics in multiple freshwater ecosystems. Beginning with a short overview on the merits and challenges for developing a common language for quantifying rates of biogeochemical transformations and transport mechanisms across traditional ecosystem boundaries, during the first half of this two-hour session, experts will explain how rates of biogeochemical transport and transformation are measured in streams, wetlands, lakes, and riparian soils and ground waters. The remaining hour will be spent engaged with the audience in a discussion on ways in which we can bridge these disparate techniques to gain a common approach for working across ecosystem boundaries. Overall, this session will facilitate the identification and understanding of key mechanisms in the reaction and transport of key elements (e.g., carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus) across the freshwater hydrologic continuum.

I07: Network Approaches to Understanding Complex Aquatic Ecosystem Dynamics

Organizers: Alan P. Covich, University of Georgia,; David M. Post, Yale University,; Tamara N. Romanuk, Dalhousie University, and Todd A. Crowl, Utah State University/National Science Foundation-Ecosystems,

Location: Santa Fe Convention Center – Coronado/DeVargas Room

This session will bring together aquatic ecologists for an open discussion focused on uses of different types of network analysis to study freshwater and marine ecosystem dynamics across latitudes. The panelists will compare the importance of the: 1) geomorphological structure of drainage networks for defining dispersal in tropical and temperate rivers and streams; 2) positions within a drainage network in determining food-web structure and assembly; 3) measures of structural complexity in freshwater and marine food webs including comparisons across arctic and Antarctic food webs, and temperate-zone seagrass-based food webs as well as tropical, temperate, and arctic rocky shores. This discussion will take full advantage of the diversity of experiences among the panelists and other participants. Moreover, the Santa Fe Institute has been an incubator of several important concepts based on network analysis. Two ecologists, Jennifer Dunne and Neo Martinez, with working connections at the SFI will join four other aquatic ecologists, Alan Covich, Tamara Romanuk, David Post and Todd Crowl, in this panel discussion. Several models, such as SWARM Individual-Based Modeling, will be used to illustrate different applications of network analysis. A minimum number of “rules” can be used to study individual behavioral responses using SWARM modeling to predict prey movements, predator avoidance, habitat preferences, and trophic-level dynamics. Each of the panel members will stimulate audience discussion with a brief presentation of examples of how network analyses have been successfully used in a wide range of applications. These presentations will be followed by questions from the audience as well as additional examples from their research and teaching.

I08: Submarine Groundwater Discharge— From Watershed to Coast: Climate, Land-Use, Geohydrology and Marine Biogeochemical Impacts

Organizers: Henrieta Dulaiova, University of Hawaii,; Richard Peterson, Coastal Carolina University,; Craig Glenn, University of Hawaii, and Thomas Stieglitz, European Institute of Marine Studies (IUEM)/Université de Bretagne, Occidentale, Laboratoire de Sciences de l'Environnement Marin (LEMAR), Plouzané, France,

Location: Santa Fe Convention Center – Kearney Room

This session consists of mediator-led discussions that explore synergistic approaches to understanding the complexity and global implications of the Watershed-to-Coast Submarine Groundwater Discharge System, and strongly encourages input from participants from a diverse variety of expertise. The session will include brief introductions followed by discussions on these three topics: (1) Terrestrial Processes: What chemical tracers can be used to differentiate and trace anthropogenic vs. natural loading to the subterranean estuary? How do land use practices affect the composition of SGD, and are specific sources distinguishable in the marine environment? How can SGD in sites with multiple groundwater sources that have different tracer and nutrient signatures be assessed? (2) Implications on Coastal Biogeochemistry: Coastal eutrophication and stimulation of benthic, planktonic, and even Harmful Algal Blooms (HABS) are often inferred to be the result of nutrient loading via SGD. Where and how can this inference be substantiated? (3) Regional Up-Scaling via Chemical Tracers, Remote Sensing and Typological Approaches: How can local-scale studies of SGD and its environmental effects be up-scaled to regional/multiregional applicability? How can they be verified? What are the advantages and inherent pitfalls (data losses) associated with each? Can approaches be combined and how do they compare with traditional hydrogeologic models?

I09: Enhancing the National Aquatic Resource Surveys

Organizers: Sarah Lehmann, US Environmental Protection Agency,; Treda Grayson, US Environmental Protection Agency,; Ellen Tarquinio, US Environmental Protection Agency,

Location: Santa Fe Convention Center – Peralta Room

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, states, and tribes are conducting a series of national aquatic resource surveys. Often referred to as probability-based surveys, these surveys are designed to assess the status of the nation’s waters, identify key stressors, promote collaboration across jurisdictions in providing comparable water quality assessments, and help build state/tribal water monitoring program capacity.  The objective of this  interactive session is to provide background information on the National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS), discuss available NARS datasets and how those data are currently be assessed, and highlight several specific  issues associated with biological indicators and our efforts to improve biological indicators (e.g. diatoms, plankton, macroinvertebrates, etc.).   This session will offer participants the opportunity to raise scientific and technical issues associated with the NARS surveys and biological indicators/threshold development and to recommend options for suggesting alternatives or enhancing current indicators.  Additionally, this session will include time devoted to raising specific research possibilities for current and future NARS datasets and linking research to policy and management implications.   Session participants will receive electronic copies of the “R” code used for several NARS data assessments as well as the Wadeable Streams Assessment and National Lakes Assessment datasets. 

I10: Reaching Out and Making a Difference: Innovative Examples and Resources for Education and Outreach

Organizers: Sherri L. Johnson, USFS Pacific Northwest Research Station,; Kris Wright, University of Wisconsin- Plattsville,; Deb Finn, Oregon State University, and Chris Swan, University of Maryland, Baltimore County,

Location: Santa Fe Convention Center – Lamy Room

How best can we communicate our science to non-scientists to build ecologically literate communities? This is an interactive session where ideas, techniques, and resources for innovative education and outreach about aquatic ecosystems will be shared and discussed. Panelists will begin the discussion of activities, effective interactions and perspectives for science communication and teaching as well as Web resources and potential funding opportunities. During the second hour, session participants will be sharing favorite strategies and examples in short five to 10-minute informal pop ups. Attendees at the session will also be encouraged to share ideas. We will close with discussion and panel summaries. Key examples, information and links to resources will be compiled and posted on the NABS Web pages for access by members and public afterwards. This session is sponsored by NABS Public information and Publicity Committee and NABS Education and Diversity Committee.

I11: Causal Inference for Flow-Ecological Response Modeling: Application of Causal Criteria Analysis Using New Collaborative Software Tools for Systematic Review and Evidence Synthesis

Organizers: J. Angus Webb, The University of Melbourne and eWater Cooperative Research Centre,; Richard H. Norris, The University of Canberra and eWater Cooperative Research Centre,; N. LeRoy Poff, Colorado State University, and Susan B. Norton, US Environmental Protection Agency,

Location: Santa Fe Convention Center – Sweeney Ballroom D

Improved understanding of ecological responses to flow alteration is needed to support guidelines for developing flow standards. However, previous syntheses of case studies have been unable to mount convincing arguments of causal relationships between flow alteration and ecological response. Causal criteria analysis (CCA), originally developed in epidemiology, presents a new method for systematic review and synthesis of evidence from the literature, and is applicable to this and other important issues in limnology. CCA can be used to assess the strength of evidence for hypotheses and to identify strong drivers of ecological response in the face of multiple interacting drivers (e.g. climate change and flow regulation). This interactive session will introduce participants to the philosophy of CCA and arguments for its use in environmental sciences. Using live demonstrations of new software tools being developed by a partnership of the USEPA and eWater Cooperative Research Centre (Australia), it will present a re-interpretation of the literature recently reviewed by Poff and Zimmerman (Freshwater Biology, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2427.2009.02272.x) to test the evidence for selected flow-response hypotheses. Session organizers will seek feedback from participants on the perceived advantages and disadvantages of the method and how we might facilitate its uptake. In particular, organizers are interested in finding new partners for continued development of the method and to contributing to a collaborative database of environmental evidence currently under development.

I12: Dynamics of Peer-Review and Publication in the Aquatic Sciences

Organizers: Rolf Vinebrooke, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences,; Don Jackson, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences,; Everett Fee, Limnology and Oceanography Editorial Office, and Pamela Silver, Journal of the North American Benthological Society,

Location: Museum of Art – St. Francis Auditorium

Editors of leading journals in the areas of freshwater and marine sciences will present brief overviews of their publication mandate, which will be followed by an anticipated lively question-and-answer period involving those in attendance. In particular, graduate students seeking to submit their thesis research for peer-review and publication by the respective journals are encouraged to attend this session. A diverse array of discussion topics are expected, reflecting the broad range of concerns expressed by many authors, including queries regarding manuscript preparation, assignment and adjudication of the peer-review process, ethics of publication, etc.

I13: NSF/NSERC Funding Opportunities

Organizer: Alan Tessier, National Science Foundation,

Location: Santa Fe Convention Center – Sweeney Ballroom E-F

Join in an interactive session with program directors from NSF and NSERC to discuss opportunities, priorities, and practices for research funding. The session will be divided into three segments that will start with an overview description of program structure and process in each agency. The emphasis will be on mission, general structure, and review policies within each agency, and hopefully highlight similarities and differences in approaches used by NSF and NSERC. We then will hold an interactive segment on topics of bi-national interest, including international research coordination, joint priorities, collaborative and interdisciplinary research, and proposal review processes. The goal is to hear feedback and suggestions from researchers. This is also an opportunity to provide input on ways to improve the process for solicitation and review of proposals. During the last segment of this session, participants will break up into smaller groups to allow program directors to answer any questions specific to either NSF or NSERC programs. The small group time will be an opportunity for individuals to ask about funding opportunities for particular research ideas.