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Thank you to everyone who attended the 11th Annual Salt Lake County Watershed Symposium! This free two-day conference encourages a comprehensive review of the current state of our watershed while creating learning opportunities for a diverse array of stakeholders. Sessions covered a broad range of topics on water quality and watershed issues with local, regional, and national relevance. Hosted by Salt Lake County Watershed Planning & Restoration.

Powerpoints and audio recordings are available.  Click on a session and scroll down to the attached files.
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Education/Outreach [clear filter]
Wednesday, November 15
 

8:40am

KEYNOTE Unveiling the Anthropocene—A Super Wicked Story
KEYNOTE Unveiling the Anthropocene—A Super Wicked Story

Humanity’s disruption of the planetary climate system represents an existential threat to an organized global community. This is the robust conclusion of an extraordinarily large scientific community, based on an observational dataset of unprecedented scale. And yet, global climate disruption is but one of a host of existential environmental challenges we face, all emergent from the same underlying pathologies. At this juncture, with an unprecedented opportunity to begin the transformation to a truly sustainable human civilization, it is critical that we address our challenges holistically, each in context of all the others. Fortunately, solid frameworks are emerging for doing exactly this.

Speakers
avatar for Robert Davies

Robert Davies

Physicist, Utah State University
Dr. Robert Davies is Associate Professor of Professional Practice with Utah State University’s Dep’t of Physics. Focusing on synthesizing and communicating a broad range of Earth- and human systems science through a lens of human sustainability, Rob has been communicating climate... Read More →



9:10am

Creating Water Strategy Using High-Altitude Idea Collisions
Creating Water Strategy Using High-Altitude Idea Collisions

Summary:
In 2013, Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert launched a water strategy initiative that became a three-phase, four-year process and ended in an exemplary synthesis of ideas and ideologies. The presentation describes lessons learned by the team in managing the “human factor” among the high deserts, political polarity, and powdery peaks of Utah.

Full Abstract:
Creating Water Strategy Using High-Altitude Idea Collisions In 2013, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert launched a water strategy initiative that became a three-phase, four-year process and ended in an exemplary synthesis of ideas and ideologies. The process culminated in a series of reports, with a 201-page final report and its 93 recommendations delivered to Gov. Herbert by the diverse 41-member advisory team in July, 2017.

The three phases produced distinct deliverables consisting of:
  • In Phase 1, extensive public comments and written reports on six key topics. 
  • In Phase 2, participation in the Envision Utah Your Utah, Your Future statewide visioning project. The project produced two public values surveys that ranked water as the most significant issue affecting Utah’s future. 
  • In Phase 3, a 201-page final report from a diverse 41-member advisory team that included 93 recommendations organized around eleven key policy questions. 
The key policy questions addressed are listed below (quoted verbatim from the report):
1. What is the role of water conservation and efficiency in Utah?
2. How will diverted water supplies be developed to meet competing and ever increasing demands?
3. How does Utah provide water for agricultural lands and food production in the face of competing water demands?
4. What should we do to preserve natural systems in the face of increasing water demands?
5. How do we protect and sustain the quality of Utah’s water?
6. How will Utah plan for, adequately fund, and use innovative solutions to maintain, replace, and redesign existing water infrastructure and build new water infrastructure over the next 40-50 years?
7. In what ways will weather and a changing climate impact future water supply and demand?
8. How do we optimize our water resources to sustain the economy and quality of life for Utah residents?
9. What is the framework for Utah water law and policy, and how will stakeholders modernize it?
10. What is the role of policymakers, both elected and appointed, at all levels of government?
11. What roles will science, technology, and innovation play in addressing Utah's future water needs?

The team included a broad range of stakeholder interests and viewpoints, yet the team members reached agreement on the report. As stated in the report, the advisory team recommendations represent not only a collaborative and balanced look at the key water issues facing Utah, but also an outreach and education effort to Governor Herbert and other “elected officials and policymakers, water planners, state and federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, water user groups, and the public at large.” The presentation describes interplay among the stakeholders in developing a consensus report, key findings, the team decisions to emphasize climate change adaptation rather than causation, and to emphasize conservation, and the prospects for implementation of significant recommendations. It also includes lessons learned by the team in managing the “human factor” among the high deserts, political polarity, and powdery peaks of Utah.

Speakers
avatar for Ari Bruening

Ari Bruening

Chief Operating Officer, Envision Utah
Ari Bruening has extensive experience in visioning and implementation efforts for regions and large-scale projects. Prior to joining Envision Utah, he helped manage visioning and entitlement projects for the San Diego region; Laie, Hawaii; the 93,000-acre Kennecott Land Company project... Read More →



9:50am

Deciphering Cyano-blooms Using Molecular Approaches in Utah Lake
Deciphering Cyano-blooms Using Molecular Approaches in Utah Lake

Summary:
This abstract will present findings on our continuous monitoring of Utah Lake and tracking the diversity of Cyano Blooms with the help from Utah Division of Water Quality. .

Full Abstract:
Although there are several environmental problems associated with HABs, the presence of CyanoHABs is of particular importance because certain species of cyanoHABs produce cynotoxins which have direct health related negative implications. CyanoHABs cause serious environmental and economic losses. Shallow, eutrophic Utah Lake encountered an extreme algal bloom event in the summer of 2016. As for the summer of 2017, an algal bloom event was identified in one location at the lake, Provo Bay. Conventionally, microscopic identification is used as the main method for phytoplankton identification. However, microscopic counting methods are time-consuming and results given are in low resolution and can overlook smaller cyanobacteria. For example, light microscope techniques usually exclude the study of picocyanbacteria because of the lack of its morphological knowledge (Ouellette et al., 2005) and the small size of picocyanobateria (0.2 to 2.0 μm) (Jakubowska and Szeląg-Wasielewska, 2015). Morover, microscopic methods may not be able to differentiate between toxin-producing and non-toxin producing strains. For example, different strains of Microcystis aeruginosa can be morphologically identical but differ in toxigenicity (Otsuka et al., 1999). To overcome these problems, we have applied molecular methods for cyanobacterial speciation by sequencing all the bacterial DNA from water and sediment samples as well as targeting dominant species in Utah Lake by quantitive PCR. To establish the presence with their functionality, we have been also extracting mRNA and tracking gene expressions. Five sites were monitored in 2016 and cyanobacterial communities were genetically identified via high throughput amplicon sequencing. Similarly, seven sites were monitored in summer 2017. Sediments were collected in August of 2016 and August of 2017. Our findings for summer of 2016 show that temperature and chlorophyll a increased throughout. Nutrients and pH were the highest during the bloom. As for cyanobacteria identification via high throughput amplicon sequencing, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae and Synechocuccos sp (picocyanobacteria) dominated the water column. As for sediment cyanobacteria identification, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae dominated. Furthermore, sediments were dominated by Ca-bound phosphorus and sediment mineralogy contained around 70% calcite. As for summer of 2017 findings, pH, temperature and chlorophyll a increased significantly from early May to mid July. In Provo Bay where algal blooms appeared in 2017, nitrate was significantly reduced while the phosphate was high. Blooms faded towards the end of summer in Provo Bay. In addition, DNA was extracted for each site in 2017 for sequencing and cyanobacterial speciation analysis. Dominant gene expressions are detected by extracting mRNA. By analyzing our collected biological and chemcical data from both summers, we can get a better understanding of algal and cyanobacteria bloom occurences at Utah Lake and capable of determining ecosystem tipping point. Audience will be able to learn; (1) What is CyanoHABs and why they form, (2) what environmental factors trigger their formation, (3) what is the ecological diversity with seasonal changes and (4) how citizens can be involved in ongoing efforts to address water quality problems in Utah.

Speakers
RG

Ramesh Goel

Professor, U of Utah
Dr. Ramesh Goel is a professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Utah. He researches in nutrient management in municipal wastewater treatment plants, surface water quality, environmental microbiology, virology.



9:50am

The Great Water Decoupling, the Bear River and the Salt Lake Valley
The Great Water Decoupling, the Bear River and the Salt Lake Valley

Summary:
Although some believe the Wasatch Front is need more water for growth, booming cities outside Utah have seen water demand drop through a mix of good planning, clever storytelling and market economics. Come learn how this Great Decoupling has been achieved and what must happen for it to occur in Salt Lake County and the Wasatch Front.

Full Abstract:
For decades, water leaders across the American West have been warning the public about the coming water shortage due to population growth occurring in an arid land. Media stories have showered our culture in a cloud of doom about the coming water crisis owed to our love of urban growth and its impacts upon our environment. Conservationists have drawn a line in the sand trying to save the last of our aquatic landscapes, turning water planning dialogues into ethical lessons about climate change and species extinction. But a funny thing happened on the way to the debate: The Great Decoupling. In contrast to what the Population Bomb taught us, municipal water use has decreased in the face of rapid population growth. This Decoupling between population growth and municipal water demand can be seen again and again over the last 20 years outside Utah, where communities are reaping the rewards from decisions made by a new generation of water planners. Urban centers like Las Vegas, Phoenix and Los Angeles decreased their total water demand, even while their population has greatly increased over several decades. Contrary to past dire warnings about running out of municipal water, a new generation of water leaders has managed to implement sustainable water policies originating out of a combination of economics, grassroots education and cutting edge marketing. Much is at stake for the Salt Lake Valley, as some water leaders claim that multi-billion Bear River Development is essential to the future of suburban residents, less our municipal population runs out of this precious liquid we all love. But critics worry about the project’s many impacts since the Bear River is the single largest source of surface water to the Great Salt Lake. Many fear proposed Bear River Development will lower the elevation of the Lake dramatically, impacting the hundreds of migratory bird species which rely upon the Lake’s shoreline wetlands in their travels across the Western Hemisphere. Health advocates worry about air quality impacts from the project by virtue of increasing lakebed airborne dust levels during windstorms. Will Utah experience the Great Decoupling and avoid these impacts? In this workshop, we explore how large urban centers managed to grow their populations while either decreasing or keeping their total water demand level. These communities reduced water use by changing their perspective on how they communicate water stories, how they value water and how they market water to their constituents. Participants will come away with bold new perspectives on water in Utah, why it matters how we value water, how we communicate water decisions and identify opportunities to apply this perspective to Utah water dialogues differently.

Speakers
ZF

Zachary Frankel

Executive Director, Utah Rivers Council
Zachary Frankel is the founder and Executive Director of the Utah Rivers Council. Zach started the organization in 1995 after he received his B.S. in Biology at the University of Utah. Zach has been working on water education and conservation across the American West for over 25 years... Read More →
DM

Dan McCool

Professor Emeritus, Political Science Department, University of Utah
Dan McCool is the former director of Environmental & Sustainability Studies at the University of Utah. Dan has written and been interviewed widely on environmental issues, particularly related to water in the west. He holds a Ph.D.in Political Science from the University of Arizo... Read More →



11:20am

Partnering to Build Effective Drought Early Warning Systems
Partnering to Build Effective Drought Early Warning Systems

Summary:
This presentation focuses on support provided to Utah and to the nation by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Integrated Drought Information System and the Western Water Assessment for more effective drought mitigation and drought response planning.

Full Abstract:
Drought is a significant threat to the economy, to municipal and industrial water supplies, and to social and environmental resilience. In the West, increasing population threatens limited and variable water resources and will push drought to the forefront of water issues. The cyclical nature of drought guarantees that Utah will experience drought in the future, so a pro-active risk reduction approach to drought is a critical priority. This presentation focuses on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), which was created in 2006 by public law to catalyze drought research and systematic planning for more effective drought mitigation and response. NIDIS is mandated to provide drought early warning systems (DEWS) that support decision-makers, the private sector, and communities to establish and strengthen a pro-active, coordinated approach to prepare for and reduce risks of future droughts. DEWS build on and leverage existing local, state, academic, regional, and national partnerships and networks. A key NIDIS partner is NOAA’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA), a network that includes Western Water Assessment (WWA), which provides climate information, analyses and original research to support decision-makers in the Intermountain West. In this presentation, Elizabeth Weight (NOAA/NIDIS) and Seth Arens (WWA) will share information on NIDIS, DEWS, and WWA research that supports drought preparedness in Utah.

Speakers
SA

Seth Arens

Utah Research Integration Specialist, Western Water Assessment
Seth Arens has served as the Utah Research Integration Specialist for Western Water Assessment since 2015. He has a diverse background in science, including research experience in ecosystem and plant physiological ecology, snow hydrology and atmospheric science. From 2010 to 2015... Read More →
EW

Elizabeth Weight

Regional Drought Information Coordinator, National Integrated Drought Information System, NOAA
Elizabeth Weight is the Regional Drought Information Coordinator for the Intermountain West and Southern Plains Drought Early Warning Systems of NOAA's National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS). Prior to joining NIDIS, Elizabeth worked with research institutes and non-profit... Read More →



12:50pm

Poster Session
The poster session is a forum for presenters from around the world to highlight programs and to share successful ideas with colleagues by presenting a research study, a practical problem-solving effort, an innovative program, and more. Poster presentations provide other conference participants an opportunity to quickly and easily become acquainted with a variety of topics.

Check the POSTERS tab to see all poster presenters!


1:40pm

What’s Your Watershed Address? The Power (and Fun!) of School Outreach
What’s Your Watershed Address? The Power (and Fun!) of School Outreach

Tracy Aviary inspires curiosity and caring for birds and nature through education and conservation not only on our grounds, but in schools throughout Salt Lake County! Through our suite of watershed-focused school outreach programs, we utilize hands-on and inquiry-based activities to build student interest in their local watershed. In this presentation, Tracy Aviary educators will outline the benefits and challenges of school outreach, demonstrate a portion of our most popular watershed-focused outreach program, and help participants brainstorm ways they can also reach out to schools in our community.

Link to Powerpoint (with videos)

Speakers
MA

Marina Astin

Educator, Tracy Aviary
Marina is an educator at Tracy Aviary. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Environmental Science. As an intern at Tracy Aviary she was introduced to environmental education. Marina especially loves working with Tracy Aviary’s Nature... Read More →
KJ

Kylie Jones-Greenwood

Educator, Tracy Aviary
Kylie Jones-Greenwood is an educator at Tracy Aviary. She holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from the College of Idaho, and is currently working toward a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences from Oregon State University. Prior to joining Tracy Aviary's education team, she taught third... Read More →



3:20pm

Critical Outcomes, Lasting Impact: 5 Years of Science for Utah's Water Future [70 min.]
Critical Outcomes, Lasting Impact: 5 Years of Science for Utah's Water Future

In this series of 5 presentations, research and education/outreach leads for iUTAH, a statewide, NSF-funded infrastructure-building project, present important outcomes and lasting impacts of the research, training, education and outreach activities conducted by iUTAH's 800+ current and former participants, 10 participating institutions of higher education, and over 100 partner organizations.

Full Abstracts:
* denotes presenter

I. Transcending system boundaries through integrative ecohydrologic research
Dr. Zachary T. Aanderud*, Brigham Young University, Amber Spackman Jones, Utah State University, Jeffery S. Horsburgh, Utah State University, David Eiriksson, University of Utah, Dylan Dastrup, Brigham Young University, Christopher Cox, Utah State University, Scott Jones, Utah State University, David Bowling, University of Utah, Jobie Carlisle, Utah State University, Greg Carling, Brigham Young University, and Michelle A. Baker, Utah State University

The effects of urbanization on water quality vary in time and are extremely hard to capture. Further, in the semi-arid Western U.S., variable snowpack levels due to a warming climate, seasonal flows from agriculture run-off, and unprecedented population growth and water use in metropolitan areas may create rapid changes in water quality. To more fully understand the temporal impact of urbanization on water resources, we created a real-time observatory network spanning three watersheds in northern Utah which possess similar climates and a common water source, mountain winter-derived precipitation, but differ levels of urbanization. The aquatic monitoring stations in the GAMUT Network include sensors to measure chemical (dissolved oxygen, specific conductance, pH, nitrate, and fluorescent dissolved organic matter, (fDOM)), physical (stage, temperature, and turbidity), and biological components (chlorophyll content and phycocyanin) logging every 15 minutes. As fall transitioned to winter, our high frequency water quality data captured runoff events in urbanized areas carrying pulses of nutrients and organic matter to rivers. In Red Butte Creek, the most urbanized of the GAMUT watersheds, pulses of fDOM occurred 22 times over a three-month period, sometimes lasting up to 3 days. By comparison, levels of fDOM remained relatively constant around 30 quinine sulfate units (QSU) in the Provo River and 1.5 QSU in the Logan River over the same time period. Further, urbanization led to more blooms demonstrated by Red Butte Creek experiencing 236 cyanobacteria blooms, measured as changes in phycocyanin. Over the same time period, 75 green algal blooms occurred, which increased chlorophyll-a concentrations an average of 313% per day compared to days without elevated levels. Photosynthetic pigment spikes were also present in the Provo River from mid-November to the end of December but to a much lesser extent (33 algal and 11 cyanobacterial). Our findings suggest that the built infrastructure, high percentages of impervious surfaces, and multiple storm drain outfalls that often accompanies the urbanization of rivers may lead to the flashier changes in water quality.


II. Innovations and integration in social and engineering water science
Dr. Courtney G. Flint*, Utah State University

iUTAH’s social and engineering water science investigated the drivers of water and land use management in the Wasatch Region Metropolitan Area as well as how natural, built, and social structures interact in the water system. We explored the potential for green infrastructure to improve water sustainability and modeled the impacts of urban growth and planning. Using innovative methods for integrating data representing water perspectives, alternatives, and actions across a diverse set of stakeholders, we have informed decision-making throughout Utah’s water system.


III. Coupling the human-natural water system: five years of participatory modeling and innovative visualization
Dr. Courtenay Strong*, University of Utah, and Dr. Sarah E. Null, Utah State University

iUTAH research on coupled human-natural water system modeling builds on Utah’s strengths in hydrologic modeling to enhance forecasting capabilities for water managers and stakeholders. Our teams have created new models and linked previously disparate models and data sets to investigate system processes and future water outcomes focused on supply, demand, quality, and ecosystem services. New capabilities include agent-based modeling of households, a framework for decadal-scale water supply criticality analysis, the HydroCouple Software framework which enables linkage of diverse modeling frameworks, methods for optimizing strategies for infrastructure changes such as water barrier removal, and impactful visualization technologies.

 
IV. Cyberinfrastructure to support large scale, collaborative water research in Utah: critical outcomes from the iUTAH project
Dr. Jeff Horsburgh, Utah State University, and Amber Spackman Jones*, Utah State University

iUTAH (innovative Urban Transitions and Aridregion Hydro-sustainability) is a statewide effort focused on water sustainability in Utah. Synthesis of diverse data collection and modeling by cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional research teams, such as those working on the iUTAH project, requires storage, software, networking, computational, and human resources. Over the past 5 years, our team has built cyberinfrastructure to support the full data life cycle and increase capacity for data collection, organization, management, sharing, synthesis to higher-level products, and integration with models. iUTAH cyberinfrastructure is comprised of hardware and software systems that have enabled iUTAH researchers and partners to share data, models, and other digital resources. This includes cyberinfrastructure deployed for management of streaming sensor data from iUTAH’s Gradients Along Mountain to Urban Transitions (GAMUT) network of aquatic and terrestrial monitoring sites, databases and web applications supporting publication of water quality and biological data derived from samples, tools for interactive dissemination of extensive social science survey datasets, and a sharing and publication workflow for the various other types of data collected by iUTAH researchers. In this presentation, we describe the challenges associated with creating cyberinfrastructure to support a research project of this scale, which are not unique to iUTAH, but are faced by many collaborative scientific groups. We describe how iUTAH Cyberinfrastructure coordinates across Utah universities, including provisioning hardware that enables hosting of data publication and sharing services as well as data storage resources for redundancy and for High Performance Computing. We also describe the hardware and software platforms that have improved data access and new tools for collaboration among iUTAH participants.


V. Advancing a water-literate workforce and citizenry for Utah
Dr. Mark W. Brunson*, Utah State University, and Ellen Eiriksson, Utah State University

Utah has both incentive and opportunity to lead the nation in innovative solutions for water management and sustainability. A critical component of iUTAH’s mission has been to help build a foundation for innovation in sustainable water management through education and outreach programs that can train students to meet the challenges facing our state while increasing awareness of those challenges by Utah residents. iUTAH’s Education, Outreach, and Diversity (EOD) activities have encompassed the work of four teams – Workforce Development, External Engagement, Diversity Enhancement, and Communications – whose efforts are designed to have lasting impact

Moderators
AL

Andreas Leidolf

Assistant Director, iUTAH EPSCoR
Andreas (Andy) Leidolf received a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry/Wildlife Management from Mississippi State University in 1995. He pursued his graduate education at Utah State University (USU), where he received a Master of Science degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Ecology... Read More →

Speakers
ZA

Zach Aanderud

Associate Professor, Brigham Young University
Dr. Zach Aanderud is an Associate Professor of Microbial and Ecosystem Ecology at Brigham Young University. His research links temporal fluctuations in resources to microbial community structure and ecosystem services. This overarching theme has inspired questions relating to the... Read More →
avatar for Mark Brunson

Mark Brunson

Professor, Department of Environment and Society, Utah State University
Mark Brunson is a professor of Environment and Society at Utah State University and director of education, outreach, and diversity programs for iUTAH. His research explores how and why human behavior affects, and is affected by, the natural environment, including ongoing study of... Read More →
CF

Courtney Flint

Professor, Utah State University
Dr. Courtney Flint is a Professor of Sociology at Utah State University. Her research focuses on community and regional response to environmental disturbance and risk as well as the integration of social science and environmental science to address natural resource related vulnerabilities... Read More →
AJ

Amber Jones

Research Engineer, Utah State University, Utah Water Research Laboratory
Amber Jones is a research engineer at the Utah Water Research Laboratory at Utah State University with background in watershed hydrology, water quality, and environmental information systems. She has played an integral role in development and implementation of cyberinfrastructure... Read More →
CS

Court Strong

Associate Professor, University of Utah
Court Strong is an Associate Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Utah. His research focuses on atmosphere-cryosphere interactions, where the cryosphere is the frozen part of the climate system including mountain snow pack and sea ice. He studies climate change using... Read More →



 
Thursday, November 16
 

8:40am

KEYNOTE Salt Lake County's Climate Adaptation Plan for Public Health
KEYNOTE Salt Lake County's Climate Adaptation Plan for Public Health

The release of greenhouse gases into the earth's atmosphere has set the climate on a course to change drastically in the near future, and these changes are having a significant impact on human health in Salt Lake County. There is broad scientific consensus that climate change is occuring at a rate raste than previously anticipated, and is causing warmer temperatures, droughts, and more frequent extreme weather events in our region. It is important that we take action now, both to mitigate the impacts of climate change and to develop adaptation strategies that enhance the region's resiliency to the inevitable changes it will experience. Many responses to climate change could positively impact the region in multiple ways, simultaneously reducing the burden of disease, saving money, protecting the environment, developing community, and addressing inequality. Salt Lake County's Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Public Health will provide a plan for organizations in the Salt Lake region to respond to the health impacts of climate change, serving to build a healthier, more resilient community, and setting an example for other local health departments in Utah.

Speakers
avatar for Royal DeLegge

Royal DeLegge

Director, Environmental Health, Salt Lake County Health Department
Royal DeLegge has served as Environmental Health Director for the Salt Lake County Health Department since August 1999. Previously, Royal served as Director of Environmental Health for the Winnebago County Health Department in Rockford, Illinois and before that held various positions... Read More →



1:10pm

The Great Salt Lake: Water Not Wasted
The Great Salt Lake: Water Not Wasted

This presentation will highlight the importance of keeping water in Great Salt Lake. Great Salt Lake brings millions of birds to the State of Utah to fuel up for their long migrations and it also hosts many birds that stay in the valley to feed on brine shrimp and brine flies. The lake is also important for many big industries that use it's resources for the benefit of human life, from table salt to fertilizers. The beauty of lake brings photographers, tourists and recreation to our State. There are so many reasons why the water that flows into Great Salt Lake is not wasted and this talk will cover five of the main reasons and hopefully shine a light on just how amazing this natural resource is.

Link to Presentation (Prezi)

Speakers
avatar for Ashley Kijowski

Ashley Kijowski

Wildlife Biologist II, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Ashley Kijowski is a Wildlife Biologist at the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Program (GSLEP) within the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR). Here she develops research questions, prepares study design and conducts research in regards to the Great Salt Lake ecosystem. The focus... Read More →



2:50pm

What Can We Restore on the River?
What Can We Restore on the River?

Over the past three decades, many ambitious restoration and enhancement projects have been completed along the Jordan River Corridor. This presentation will provide a broad-scale overview of many of the projects that have been completed, some that are underway, and some that are planned for the future. The main topics will center on what it takes to create and maintain a successful restoration project in this highly altered urban river system. After a broad discussion of the entire corridor, the presentation will then shift focus to a few example projects including the West Jordan Big Bend, Riverton Ponds, Lower Jordan River, and others. We will lay out a strategy for success which includes a base of building community support for stewardship through place-based learning opportunities, integration of primary education curriculum, and collaborative planning. Developing this strong support network, we can build the momentum for improving the river and riparian ecosystems and help folks upstream to understand their place in the watershed and how important their participation is in sustaining the long-term health of the Jordan River.

Link to Presentation (Prezi)

Speakers
avatar for Eric McCulley

Eric McCulley

Watershed Scientist, RiverRestoration
Eric McCulley has managed restoration and recreation enhancement projects on streams, rivers and wetlands across the Intermountain West for more than 15 years. His expertise is in the design and implementation of river and riparian projects that balance the needs of communities and... Read More →
SS

Soren Simonsen

Executive Director, Jordan River Commission
Soren Simonsen is the Executive Director of the Jordan River Commission. He is an urban planner, architect, educator, community-builder and social entrepreneur. Over the past three decades, including 18 years of public service as an elected and appointed official, he has worked to... Read More →