Portland Speaker Series

RRNW Speaker Series January 12th: Rick Hafele, former Manager of Oregon DEQ's statewide water monitoring and bioassessment programs (retired)

Join us for our first virtual Speaker Series!

Title:A history of the Willamette River Basin and its implications for water quality management and restoration.

Where: Virtual - Registration Available in January

When: Tuesday, January 12th 6:00-7:00 pm Presentation

This program will provide a historical perspective of watershed and stream conditions in the Willamette River Basin starting with the arrival of EuroAmericans in the region in the early to mid 1800s. Monitoring and restoration programs often use reference or least disturbed sites to describe “natural conditions.” But how different are today’s reference sites from the conditions that existed prior to the large scale changes that have taken place since EuroAmericans populated the region? While returning to pre-European conditions is not possible, understanding the historical context and the type of changes that have occurred, might help today’s monitoring programs better define reference condition and help restoration programs develop the best possible goals or targets for stream habitat and aquatic life.

Note: The information presented in this program was funded as part of a larger national EPA program called the Biological Condition Gradient (BCG). The BCG is intended to help states more precisely define and interpret baseline biological conditions, help evaluate improvement potential of degraded waters, and measure and document incremental changes in condition along a gradient of anthropogenic stress.

A BCG program in the Pacific Northwest began three years ago using macroinvertebrate data collected from streams across a wide range of stream conditions in the Willamette Valley and Puget Lowland ecoregions. More information about the BCG program can be found at:  https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-02/documents/bcg-practioners-guide-report.pdf


Speaker Biography

Rick Hafele, M.S. has worked as an aquatic biologist in Oregon for the past 40 years. He worked for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for 22 years (1986 – 2007), and was the manager of the statewide biomonitoring and water monitoring programs.  During his career at DEQ he was one of the lead biologists in developing the biomonitoring program and biocriteria. Rick has also participated in a variety of state and national interagency and public policy workgroups involved with water quality and bioassessment issues.

RRNW Membership

There is no charge for the event and you do not need to be an RRNW member to attend; however, we encourage you to join RRNW.  The current membership year is from February 10, 2020 through February 9, 2021, so don’t forget to renew your membership. By becoming a RRNW member you will receive a discount on registration fees for the annual River Restoration Symposium the first week in February and other benefits, connect to a network of restoration professionals, and help support future speaker events! Annual membership is only $50 ($25 students).


These event are made possible by our generous sponsors, if you would like to sponsor this or future events click here.

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Past Speakers

  • Dan Bingham – March 2020
  • Bruce Roll – December 2019
  • Gabe Sheoships – May 2019
  • Randy Reeve – March 2019
  • Leslie Bach – December 2018
  • Matthew Johnson – September 2018
  • Daniel Newberry – May 2018
  • Esther Lev – December 2017
  • Rose Wallick – March 2017
  • Desiree Tullos – December 2016
  • Janine Castro – October 2016
  • Gordon Grant – May 2016
  • Matt Van Ess – March 2016
  • Mike Houck – November 2015
  • Celeste Searles Mazzacano – October 2015
  • Dan Bottom – June 2015
  • Bob Beschta – April 2015
  • Michael Pollock – December 2014
  • Laura Brophy – October 2014
  • Colin Thorne – June 2014
  • Bill Bradbury – April 2014
  • Stan Gregory – December 2013
  • Ken Bierly – October 2013
  • Janine Castro – October 2013