With over 130 authors presenting their oral and poster presentations to an audience of over 250 people, this weekends River Symposium was a smashing success. Congratulations to everyone and we look forward to next year’s event (November 4-5, 2022.

Photo of students, faculty, and invited speakers presenting at the river symposium this year

A portion of the students, faculty, and invited speakers presenting at the river symposium this year.

1st Place
Undergraduate Poster

Raegan Dunwoodie

Dept. of Biology
Bucknell University

“Effect of leaf detritus on nutrient uptake in agricultural streams”

Dr. Matthew E. McTammany (research advisor)

2nd Place
Undergraduate Poster

Madeline Freed

Dept. of Earth & Environmental Sciences
Susquehanna University

“Compositional analyses of Christmas 2020 flood alluvium of the Susquehanna River”

Dr. Jennifer M. Elick (research advisor)

3rd Place
Undergraduate Poster

Katelyn Mahoney

Dept. of Civil and Environmental Studies
Bucknell University

“Constructed wetlands and wastewater treatment plant comparison summary”

Dr. Matthew Higgins (research advisor)

Best Graduate Student Poster

Mitchell Liddick

Dept. of Biological and Allied Health Sciences
Bloomsburg University

Methods: using mesocosms to investigate the role of polyester microfibers on stream biofilm community structure and function

Dr. Steven Rier (research advisor)

Program With Abstracts

Click the button below to download a PDF copy of the symposium’s Program With Abstracts.


Joel Dunn

President & CEO

Chesapeake Conservancy

Andrew Stuhl

Profesor of Environmental Studies and Sciences

Bucknell University

David and Wendy Bray

Farming and Traditional Wisdom

Seneca Nation

Lara Fowler

Senior Lecturer

Penn State University



November 5, 2021

7:00-7:05 pm – Welcome

Peter Jansson, Faculty Director
Bucknell Center for Sustainability and the Environment

7:05-7:20 pm – Opening Remarks

John Bravman, President
Bucknell University

7:20-7:30 pm – Announcements

Benjamin Hayes, Symposium Chair

7:30-8:00 pm – Keynote Address

Joel Dunn, President & CEO
Chesapeake Conservancy

8:00-10:00 pm – Poster Session

Terrace Room
Elaine Langone Center


November 6, 2021

9:00-10:00 am – Plenary Address

Andrew Stuhl, Professor
Bucknell University

10:00-11:30 am – Plenary Address

David and Wendy Bray, Farmer and Teacher
Seneca Nation

11:00 am – 4:00 pm – Exhibits

Watershed Organizations, Conservancies
State and Federal Agencies

12:00-1:00 pm – Lunch

Walls Lounge
Elaine Langone Center

12:15-12:45 pm – Keynote Address

Lara Fowler, Senior Lecturer
Penn State University

1:00-4:00 pm – Oral Presentations

Gallery Theater and The Forum
Elaine Langone Center


Registering for this year’s River Symposium allows us to run things much more smoothly upon your arrival. As in years past, we are once again asking everyone to register for this event as this will continue to aid us in a seamless symposium, as well as prepare us if the symposium should unexpectedly move to virtual. It will be free and will only take a minute.

Registration provides you a copy of the symposium proceedings, access to all the Zoom links (should we go virtual), and subsequent symposium newsletters and updates.

Elk Creek Restoration Project Highlights Future of Chesapeake Conservation  - Chesapeake Conservancy

Chesapeake Conservancy and partners install vegetation and structures to reduce nutrient and sediment runoff and improve water quality on a property on Elk Creek, a tributary of Penns Creek, in Centre County, PA

Keynote Address

Friday, November 5th
7:30-8:00 pm: The Forum (Room 272)
Elaine Langone Center (ELC)

“Restoration to Resilience: Creating Collaborative Partnerships to improve the Heath of out Watersheds from the Headwaters to the Bay”

Joel Dunn

President & CEO Chesapeake Conservancy

Joel Dunn gives leadership to this non-profit organization based in Annapolis, MD dedicated to protecting Chesapeake and Susquehanna landscapes that are vital to the health of the Bay and its cultural heritage.  With a regional population approaching 18 million and growing and with tens of thousands of acres of open space vanishing each year, the Conservancy strives to restore the health of the Bay and its rivers by preserving working farms and forests and protecting the region’s rich history and character, ensuring a brighter future for the Bay for generations to come.

Joel and the Conservancy have been active in the River Symposium from its beginning in 1995. We are delighted that he will give this years keynote address.

PA Environment Digest Blog: Bucknell University Agnes Revisited - The  Performance: Learning To Live With Floods - History, Change, Remembrance,  And Resilience April 22
Flooding and subsequent fires and bridge collapses caused catastrophic destruction and loss of Life from Hurricane Ages in June of 1972. Photo courtesy Times Leader Wilkes Barre

Plenary Address

Saturday, November 6th
9:00- 10:00am: The Forum (Room 272)
Elaine Langone Center (ELC)

“Agnes Revisited: The Thing About the River is it’s Never the Same Twice”

Andrew Stuhl

Professor Environmental Studies and Sciences, Bucknell University

Nearly 50 years ago, Tropical Storm Agnes descended on the Susquehanna River Basin, upending lives, devastating homes, and transforming the Susquehanna Valley. This presentation draws on the historical research of Presidential Fellow Bethany Fitch (‘23) and Prof. Andrew Stuhl (Environmental Studies and Sciences), which includes more than 20 oral histories with Pennsylvanians who lived through the storm and resulting recovery.


David Bray (Seneca) holds Onëo, Seneca White Corn, planted and harvested at his farm in Cattaraugas Territory (New York, USA). Brought to California as seeds through The Cultural Conservancy, this corn has been adapted and shared with the Bay Area intertribal community. David’s daughter, Kaylena, and his wife, Wendy, shared the knowledge of how to cook the corn in the vast diversity of ways possible at each moment of its growth. Photo courtesy Mateo Hinojosa, Langscape Magazine.

Plenary Address

Saturday, November 6th
10:00-11:30am The Forum (Room 272)
Elaine Langone Center (ELC)

“Seneca White Corn: Change and Transmission of the Life Sustainers”

Dave and Wendy Bray

Educators and keepers of Oneo-gen

This plenary address features husband-wife team and Traditional Knowledge Holders Dave and Wendy Bray from the Seneca Nation in Western New York.  Dave Bray is a traditional corn farmer and teacher and Wendy Bray a professional educator, cook, and keeper of Oneo-gen, Seneca white corn. 

They will talk about the process of sharing their heirloom Native white corn with conservancies across the United States. They will share teachings about the many associated traditions of the Haudenosaunee Nation.”Iroquois.” The history and science of corn, green corn traditional dishes and cooking methods, the Longhouse seasonal ceremonial cycle, and the gift of the Life Sustainers are all discussed with wisdom, humility, and humor.

Flooding along the town of Selinsgrove and the Isle of Que during Tropical Storm Irene, September 8, 2011

(Click image for original source on Flickr.)

Keynote Address

Saturday, November 6th
12:15- 12:45 pm: Walls Lounge (over lunch)
Elaine Langone Center (ELC)

“Piloting flood resilience with Pennsylvania’s River Communities”

Lara Fowler

Senior Lecturer, Penn State Law
Assistant Director, Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment

Increasing understanding of engagement with communities affected by climate change is a pressing challenge. A pilot project between the Penn State Initiative for Resilient Communities and the Borough of Selinsgrove focuses on flooding and resilience. Now three years along, our presentation will share lessons learned from this partnership. We reflect on how insights from our experiences relate to managing flooding and thinking about community resilience across Pennsylvania. We briefly touch on research related to flood impacts and risk in this region, insights from an assessment of recent FEMA data, and concerns and opportunities raised by community members. The partnership demonstrates the potential value of sustained collaborative partnerships in improving community resilience.

Poster Session

Friday, November 5th
8:00-10:00 pm The Terra Room
Elaine Langone Center (ELC)

Come join us for an evening social and interact with students and faculty from over twenty colleges, organizations, and state and federal agencies. Over 100 authors will be presenting their work. Refreshments will be served. 


Learn more about the fantastic work underway by agencies and watershed groups throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and interact with representatives.

Exhibits will be on display from 11 am to 4 pm in the Center Room of the Elaine Langone Center.

Students and faculty hold Susquehanna freshwater mussels and pose when asked to “show us your muscles!”

Coming together to inspire change

This symposium draws together people from all walks of life who share a common interest in rivers, watersheds, communities, and the connections therein. It also offers a time and a place where the public can interact with academics, professionals, and regulators, all working toward the same goal – ensuring our watersheds remain healthy for generations to come.

This year’s event, themed “Restoration to Resilience: Creating Partnerships to Improve Watershed Health from the Headwaters to the Bay”, will highlight and promote collaborative partnerships that focus on improving the health and resilience of streams and aquatic ecosystems.

Commitment to Care

Bucknell is preparing to host this year’s symposium as an in-person event so that all individuals onsite — attendees, speakers, staff, vendors, and venue personnel — remain safe and comfortable. Creating a safe, worry-free symposium experience is our top priority.

We are monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and following the guidance of our partners at Geisinger Medical Center, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and the Center for Disease Control.

Up-to-date information on COVID and events on the Bucknell campus is available at: https://www.bucknell.edu/life-bucknell/fall-reopening. Should conditions change, we are prepared to offer the symposium entirely online (virtual) like we did last year.

Getting Here

Please feel free to use the helpful links below to plan your trip to the River Symposium



“This is a terrific event! It’s great to see the students present their posters on Friday night and attend the talks and breakout sessions on Saturday. I made a lot of contacts too.” (member of the public)

“I get a lot out of the plenary talks, breakout discussions, oral presentations, and conversations over lunch. I learned so much and plan to come back next year.” (undergraduate student)

“I really appreciate the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of this symposium. It’s a great networking event too. The evening social during Friday’s poster session and the lunch and refreshments during the exhibits are a very nice touch.” (member of local conservancy)

“I really appreciate the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of this symposium. It’s a great networking event too. The evening social during Friday’s poster session and the lunch and refreshments during the exhibits are a very nice touch.“I like how this symposium tries to weave together art, religion, science, economics and policy. I hope Bucknell continues it for many years to come. (local citizen)






Oral Presentations

The River Symposium is an educational outreach event offered by the Bucknell Center for Sustainability & the Environment.

For more information, please contact Dr. Benjamin Hayes, Director of the Watershed Sciences and Engineering Program at the BCSE.