Scientists Present the Latest Science for Managing Water

Bay-Delta Science Conference Set for September 27-29

The latest scientific information, critical in shaping management and policy decisions for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the San Francisco Bay, will be shared Sept. 27-29 when more than 1,000 scientists, managers, and policymakers attend the 6th Biennial Bay-Delta Science Conference at the Sacramento Convention Center.

“This event will have the look and feel of a major national or international science conference with high quality timely presentations,” said Cliff Dahm, Lead Scientist for the Delta Science Program.

The conference will present technical analyses and results relevant to the Delta Science Program’s mission to provide the best possible, unbiased, scientific information for water and environmental decision-making in the Bay-Delta system. Its goal is to provide new study results, model simulations, and scientific analyses to the broad community of scientists, engineers, resource managers, and stakeholders working on Bay-Delta issues.

“The conference is a homecoming for people who are interested in how the Delta really works-the science,” said conference co-chair Jay Lund. “Everyone in California benefits from a better understanding of the Delta. The public and policy-makers benefit the most-which is why we do this work. The Delta Science Conference shows the world (and the researchers) how much we are learning, what we know, and how we are figuring out the rest.”

Phil Isenberg, Chair of the Delta Stewardship Council, will discuss the nexus between science and policy in the Delta, kicking off the conference at 9 a.m., Sept. 27. Dahm, Lead Scientist for the Delta Science Program, will then look to the scientific needs for the future for a more sustainable Delta. Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the Department of the Interior, will also highlight cutting-edge research from scientists at the Department of the Interior.

The second Brown-Nichols Science Award also will be presented during the plenary session. The Brown-Nichols Science Award was established in 2008 to honor the substantive contributions of Randall Brown and Frederic Nichols to science, their facilitation of good science by others, and their communication of science to managers and policymakers. Sam Luoma, Outreach and Policy Coordinator at the John Muir Institute of the Environment, was the first recipient of this prestigious award in 2008.

Monday’s plenary session concludes with talks from two members of the new Delta Independent Science Board. Vince Resh from the University of California, Berkeley, will share his recent experiences in developing a biological monitoring program in Vietnam’s lower Mekong River. John Wiens of the Point Reyes Bird Observatory Conservation Science Program will explore conservation and management in the labyrinth that is the current Delta.

Special sessions will be held throughout the conference. A display of landscape quilts by Linda Gass will be held throughout the day on Monday on the 3rd floor lobby. Gass will give a short talk about her environmental art as part of the plenary presentations. On Monday evening a preview of the video RiverWebs will be screened. The documentary is a moving tribute to Sheguro Nakano, a leading aquatic ecologist from Japan who died tragically in the Gulf of California, and the research he inspired with collaborators from the western U.S. and Japan. RiverWebs takes a close look at an international group of river ecologists who share a story of tragedy, growth, and recovery. The inspiring lives and experiences of these scientists build a rich story of hope and interconnectedness, while providing a personal window through which to view rivers, ecology, and conservation.

On Tuesday, a media communication workshop will be held from 12:20 to 1:20 p.m. in rooms 308-310. Members of the scientific community often say they have difficulty communicating results to the media and that the media rarely gets the message right. The proliferation of new media (blogs, Facebook, Twitter) complicates the issue. The workshop will bring together a panel of media experts for a discussion of how to increase communication effectiveness.

Oral sessions focusing on water quality, habitats and restoration, species and communities, integrated science and management, and long-term challenges for the Delta and the Bay are scheduled for Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday and Wednesday. Poster sessions will allow for visits with the presenters during a reception on Monday from 5 to 7 p.m. and Tuesday from 5:15 to 7:15 p.m. in Exhibit Hall B on the 1st floor of the Convention Center.

“This year’s conference has been ably organized by Jay Lund of UC Davis, and David Schoellhamer from the US Geological Survey,” said Dahm. “I strongly urge scientists, policy makers, decision makers, and the interested public to join us to get an up-to-date look at new scientific understanding of the Delta and Bay.”

For further information on the Science Conference, click here.