Symposium Short Courses

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Full Day Short Courses


Full Day

Instructors: Rocko Brown, PhD & Joseph Merz, PhD

Ecohydraulics is a multidisciplinary field and practice that combines ecology, biology, chemistry, engineering, hydrology, hydraulics and geomorphology to understand how aquatic organisms and their ecosystems are shaped and evolve with lotic systems. This course aims to introduce ecohydraulics for people interested in learning about some of the basic principles and concepts in ecohydraulics, with a focus on applications to solve real world management questions.

Course objective and anticipated skill transfer: Understanding current and future flow and fisheries relationships is at the heart of applied and basic fisheries science and management. Advances in science and technology, such as numerical modeling and field-based evaluations of fish community and flow structure, make this topic important.

Material to be covered: The morning will cover an introduction and history of ecohydraulics, how aquatic organism use lotic systems, human influences on aquatic systems, and characterizing water flow and aquatic habitats. After lunch the instructors will give insight into habitat suitability and habitat suitability modeling.  The course will end with two case studies including details on incorporating populations on the Kings River. 

Target audience and recommended prerequisites: We intend this course for new employees and journey level professionals seeking an introduction or refresher on ecohydraulics.

Facilitating in the Wild: Working with Complexity and Diversity

Full Day

Instructor: Maggie Chumbley

A facilitation short course on how to run a room so you get great participation, balanced voices, and progress on chronic challenges.

Join this short course to brush up on your foundational facilitation skills, and then learn practical methods to lead groups better when things are complex, stakeholders come from diverse backgrounds and adaptive strategy is your aim. You’ll leave feeling tuned up with not only a plan to improve everyday meetings, but also doable designs for ambitious large systems projects. You may even gain a reputation for holding meetings that people want to come to, aren’t boring, and where things get done. 

Material to be covered:

Foundational Facilitation

    • Clarity of purpose of your session and priming the group
    • Does every agenda item have a goal and is there an interactive activity? (if this meeting can’t be an email, then prove it)
    • Analysis of how good design makes for the group dynamic and results you want

Adaptive Strategy: How to facilitate and lead among complex systems

    • Seeing your system through the lens of complexity
    • Fostering the right amount of structure, and letting direction arise. 

4-5 structures to aid facilitating strategically in the wild

    •  Un-fancy methods to change the pattern of engagement in the group.
    • Doable moves you can apply right away.

Recommended pre-symposium reading and/or web site:

Liberating Structures

Nine Emerging and Connected Organizational and Leadership Principles

SRH-2D: Erosion, Aggradation and Sediment Transport Modeling

Full Day

Instructor: Yong Lai

Ever encounter a study question related to erosion or aggradation with your project? Ever feel that it is difficult to gain insights to answer sediment study questions? Overwhelmed by the sediment theories, or the extensive empirical choices, or the large collection of input parameters with sediment models? Or wonder which model to use for a specific project? Welcome to this one-day short course - as it is prepared for engineers like you.

The instructor has faced many similar challenges when sediment study questions were asked of him with many agency projects. Research, development and application by the instructor in the past 20 years led to the development of a two-dimensional (2D) flow and sediment model named SRH-2D. Extensive experiences and best practices have been accumulated in the process, which have been shared to the hydraulic engineering community. In this course, the relevant sediment theory will be explained, best practices and guidelines will be presented, and study questions will be discussed using sample field cases. In particular, hands-on training of SRH-2D is taught to solve various erosion, aggradation and sediment transport processes.

Course objective and anticipated skill transfer:  The short course centers around SRH-2D model - a 2D depth-integrated flow and sediment transport model developed at U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The model has been freely distributed for public use since 2006. Federal Highway Administration has partnered with Reclamation since 2013 to advance and apply SRH-2D for hydraulic and erosion analyses. The model is becoming rapidly adopted by state DOTs and FEMA as a 2D assessment tool and covers the spatial scales from small-structures to watershed processes. The objective of the course include: (a) explain sediment theory in simple terms; (b) prioritize various process model options and input data needs; (c) offer modeling guidelines; (d) discuss model applicability and limitations; and most importantly, (d) learn SMS and SRH-2D for practical applications.

In the course, relevant manuals/publications and the latest SRH-2D will be distributed.

Target audience and recommended prerequisites: The course is designed for project engineers in the river engineering field. Trainings and materials should be applicable to all levels of user experience and no prerequisites are necessary.

Half Day Short Courses

Diverting Bias

Half Day: Morning

Instructor: Dr. Derron Coles 

This session will examine cultural impacts on our ability to build and maintain diverse teams and authentic community participation in watershed restoration, enhancement, and protection. We will use the neuroscience behind implicit bias and cultural conflicts to better understand how and why our biases impact our decision-making team cohesion, and the level of engagement community partners have in our projects. Along the way will learn specific barriers to engagement cited by members of historically disenfranchised cultural groups and identify strategies for diverting our biases to provide space for collaborations to grow.

Course objective and anticipated skill transfer:  By the end of the workshop, participants will understand (a) what implicit bias is, its connection to culture and cultural norms, how it impacts our teams and environmental stewardship, and strategies for disrupting or reducing its occurrence. 

Material to be covered: Implicit biases, cultural values and cultural conflict management, and barriers to inclusion and belonging.

Target audience and recommended prerequisites: This session is for water resources professionals who are new to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion work, or are knowledgeable but looking to gain new perspectives and strategies for integrating JEDI practices into their work.

Recommended pre-symposium reading and/or web site: Too many to name, but Daniel Khaneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow” captures the science behind bias well.

Speaking of Science — Delivering Inspired Presentations

Half Day: Morning

Instructors: Janine Castro

We are offering a Part 1 online on January 19th from 9am-12pm PST. This will allow those who are presenting at RRNW time to incorporate the information from this great workshop into their presentations. Part 2 will be in person on Monday February 5.

Scientists and engineers should not be condemned to dry, monotonous, and uninspired presentations, because science is not boring. River restoration is one of the most exciting and dynamic fields of science and it is up to us to reflect our enthusiasm and passion in every talk we give and every message we deliver. Improve your public speaking skills, feel less nervous, and actually enjoy getting up in front of a crowd. Become a river restoration champion! Join me to learn a few simple techniques to dramatically improve your delivery and your impact.  You will leave the workshop armed with useful skills to develop and deliver inspired presentations and to improve your everyday communication. Whether you are a seasoned speaker or a relative novice, this course is for you.

Course objective and anticipated skill transfer: If you would like to improve your public speaking and science communication skills, please join me for a half-day session on making your presentation interesting and effective, while also reducing your stress and actually enjoying the experience.  Participants will leave the workshop with a greater skill set, including a comprehensive checklist and personal coaching, to develop and deliver presentations, which is directly transferrable to our everyday communication. The workshop is highly interactive and builds on the collective experience of the audience and the instructor.

Target audience and recommended prerequisites: Everyone…especially if you will be speaking at RRNW or any other scientific conference.

Indigenizing Restoration

Half Day: Afternoon

Instructors: Serina Fast Horse and Toby Query

How can we realign our projects and ourselves to form better relationships with the land and its First Peoples?  What are examples of projects that acknowledge this history of the land, its peoples, and include not just ecological restoration but cultural and spiritual restoration? 

In this workshop, we will have a dialogue about the history of native peoples and white supremacy in the northwest and how it intersects with ecological restoration. We will be using the example of the Shwah Kuk wetland enhancement project which includes ITECK (Indigenous Traditional Ecological and Cultural Knowledge) as well as Western methods.  We will compare ITECK approaches and western approaches and look for common ground, including themes of healing through reciprocity, respect, and relationships. We will share learnings and challenges faced in our project when creating a co-created and co-managed project between the urban native community (including Portland State University’s Indigenous Nations Studies program) and the City of Portland, that will support your future projects with a wider and more inclusive spirit.

Course objective and anticipated skill transfer:  The objective to show the importance of partnering with Indigenous community members in a respectful manner and steps that can be taken to foster relationships.  You will learn how projects can meld ITECK and western knowledge systems.

Material to be covered:  General history of native people in the US.  ITECK and western knowledge systems that are applied to land stewardship.

Target audience and recommended prerequisites:  Anyone interested in partnering with Indigenous people in a land stewardship project. 

Recommended pre-symposium reading and/or websites: The Confluence Project; Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer; Original Instructions by Melissa K. Nelson; “On the role of traditional ecological knowledge as a collaborative concept: a philosophical study” by Kyle Whyte