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SFS Annual Meeting


Preparation for Diatom Taxonomic Certification

9:00 am - 5:00 pm; Limit: 40 participants

Cost: $150.00 SFS members; $75.00 SFS student members
Participants that wish to take the Diatom level I test must register separately on the SFS TCP website.

Although periphyton has been integral to river and lake assessment for many decades, resources to dramatically improve diatom taxonomic consistency are now available. Instructors Sylvia Lee (US EPA), Meredith Tyree (University of Colorado), and Sarah Spaulding (USGS) will lead the workshop that will include a combination of discussion and microscopic lab practical sessions. We will explore several new tools and their application to small- and large-scale surveys to obtain consistent, transparent species data. First, Diatoms of North America ( is a peer-reviewed web flora that guides users to identification of 160 genera and over 900 species. After an introduction to the diatom genera, participants will use the website to practice their genus level identifications with samples from North American rivers. Second, several regional “voucher floras” have been developed and are publicly available. We will discuss voucher floras and we will practice using them to produce transparent, verifiable records of species data. Third, through the USGS NAWQA program, QA/AC protocols have been refined to eliminate analyst bias. We will explore the steps necessary to design survey analyses so that analyst bias, if present, can be corrected. Finally, a diatom taxonomic certification program is being developed, and is planned to be administered through the Society for Freshwater Science (SFS).

Metabarcoding workshop

9:00 am - 5:00 pm; Limit: 25 participants

Cost: $75.00 SFS members; $25.00 SFS student members

DNA based species identification is revolutionizing biodiversity research. DNA metabarcoding allows rapid and reliable identification of bulk samples, such as macroinvertebrates and diatoms. Taxa can even be detected by passive sampling methods, such as filtering of environmental DNA (eDNA) from water samples to detect e.g. fish species in lakes and streams. Although these new techniques will substantially improve our ability to assess and monitor aquatic communities, it is also critical to understand their shortcomings and limitations.

This workshop will provide an overview of DNA-friendly sample collection and processing, laboratory workflows, DNA sequencing technologies, and bioinformatic processing of sequence data. We also will discuss current methodological challenges such as the estimation of taxa biomass or abundance, uncertainties in relation to eDNA, and the completion of reference databases. After completion of this course you will have a good understanding how different DNA based techniques can be useful for your research, and also a basic understanding on how to plan and execute metabarcoding projects in your own laboratory. The course will be instructed by Vasco Elbrecht a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Biodiversity and Genomics (University of Guelph) and Lead Bioinformatician at Jonah Ventures (Boulder, Colorado). No prior knowledge of DNA based techniques is required. Since we are using a web based bioinformatics platform ( no bioinformatics or programming skills are necessary. However, please bring a laptop to follow along with the practical part of the course, and R/Rstudio, Excel or other statistics software installed for data exploration.

Enhancing confidence and effective communication skills through improvisation

8:00 am - 12:00 pm; Limit: 30 participants

Cost: $25.00 SFS members; $15.00 SFS student members

Workshop Flyer

This workshop is focused on the effective use of improvisation techniques to advance communication and confidence in the scientific community, to foster professional development for individuals to network and communicate successfully. It’s designed specifically to allow time for both education and improvisation exercises in a group setting because communication success is fostered by practice. Workshop agenda items will include a brief introduction of experiences communicating with people, a discussion of common networking challenges, and the improvisation techniques for success. Following the introduction, all attendees will participate in a plethora of progressive exercises designed to strengthen communication skills and confidence in public settings. The exercises will require vocal projections and physical movement, therefore plan to bring your healthiest self. Attendees will be both participants and audience members to maximize education and reflection. The workshop will conclude with discussion and feedback, self-reflection/evaluation, and closing remarks. Juliana D’Andrilli and Kaleb Heinrich will facilitate the workshop. No prior improvisation, public speaking, or theatrical experience is necessary, just the willingness to participate and be open to learning new techniques.

Curating free-information on the aquatic sciences via Wikipedia

Sunday, May 19, 2:00-4:30 pm; Limit: 50 participants

Cost: Free

Are you interested in curating scientific information available in the public domain? Do you want to improve your writing and citation skills? Are you looking for a new and fun outreach activity?

This workshop will show participants how to edit Wikipedia articles and utilize Wikipedia as a free and easy-to-use education, communication, and outreach tool. The workshop will include a short tutorial on how to contribute to Wikipedia, a discussion of how to incorporate Wikipedia editing into classrooms and outreach activities, and a hands-on “edit-a-thon” where participants will improve Wikipedia articles related to the aquatic sciences. This workshop aims to introduce aquatic scientists at any career stage and disciplinary expertise to editing Wikipedia in order to expand the diversity and expertise of the Wikipedia editor base, with the goal of training and encouraging participants to bring their disciplinary expertise into the public sphere at the workshop and beyond. This workshop will be led by members of the WikiProject: Limnology and Oceanography, a working group started at the 2018 Ecological Dissertations in the Aquatic Sciences (Eco-DAS) Symposium. We welcome participants at any career stage and disciplinary expertise.

SRC Workshop

The Society for Freshwater Science Student Resource Committee is partnering with the Utah Conservation Corps to lead a nature walk and river cleanup on Sunday, May 19. Leaving from the Salt Palace Convention Center, we will walk by the Utah State Capitol Building, along Canyon Road, and through City Creek Natural Area. The Utah Conservation Corps works on environmental and sustainability projects throughout the state and will be giving us a tour about the history of the city, drinking water supply, and natural features of the park. Lunch is included with the price of the workshop.

Early Career Workshop

Thursday, May 23, 12:00-1:30 pm; Limit: 30 participants

Cost: $15

Advancing Freshwater Science: A Discussion with the National Science Foundation," NSF panelists will continue with a Q&A-style discussion workshop focused on tips and advice for early career scientists wanting to learn how to apply for NSF funding and interact with program officers. Open to SFS members who have finished their terminal degree within the last 10 years. Lunch is included.

Student Orientation

Students, please join the Student Resource Committee (SRC) for our first ever student orientation (replacing the SRC luncheon). Learn about the SRC's activities (e.g. live auction, silent auction, student-mentor mixer), opportunities to get involved in the society, and how to have a rewarding meeting experience. We will also seek nominations for leadership and committee positions. Light refreshments provided."