September 2014: River of the Undammed: Metapopulation Dynamics, Recovery and Resilience of an Aquatic Stream Community in Eastern Connecticut

The Eightmile River is an important tributary on the eastern versant of the Connecticut River. Our study area is in the upper 5 miles of the watershed. Our research began a year before the The Nature Conservancy removed a small dam on the river that had been in place since the 1760's. We studied the benthic aquatic invertebrate and the fish faunas of several sites above and below the dam site before, during and for four years after dam removal. During the study, two years of drought occurred. We investigate the effects of dam removal and ask if the removal of the dam has resulted in recovery? Can we distinguish the effects of dam removal from the effects of the droughts? Furthermore, do the benthic aquatic invertebrates respond in the same way that the fishes do to dam removal and drought? Can the structure of the fish community be predicted from the structure of the invertebrate community? I will use the results to get us to think about dam removal as a "one-size-fits-all" approach.

Join Barry Chernoff, Wesleyan University; and Lisa Brush, The Stewardship Network as they present on this important stewardship topic.

Barry Chernoff - Professor Barry Chernoff joined the Wesleyan Faculty in 2003 where he holds the Robert K. Schumann Chair of Environmental Studies. He is currently chairs the Environmental Studies Program and is Director of the College of the Environment. He teaches courses in Environmental Studies, Tropical Ecology, Aquatic Ecosystem Conservation, Quantitative Analysis and Evolutionary Biology for the departments of Biology and Earth and Environmental Sciences. Chernoff's research centers on the freshwater fishes of the Neotropical region, primarily those in South America in the Amazon. His research includes, ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation. Chernoff has published 89 peer-reviewed scientific works, including 6 books and edited volumes. He has led international teams on expeditions designed to conserve large watersheds of the world, having made more than 32 expeditions in 12 countries. Recently, Professor Chernoff and his students have been working on aquatic ecology and conservation genetics of fishes in Connecticut watersheds. In the past he has held professorial and curatorial positions at the Field Museum, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Pennsylvania and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. He holds visiting positions at Universidad Central de Venezuela and the Museu Zoologia de Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brasil. Chernoff has received a number of awards including the Caleb T. Winchester Outstanding Scholar and Teacher Award, 1 May 2006, awarded by Xi of Psi Upsilon, Wesleyan University and a Commendation for Excellence in Teaching, University of Chicago, 2000. Chernoff was elected to the Connecticut Academy of Sciences and Engineering in 2005, where he chaired the Environmental Science and Technology Board until 2010. From 1993-1999, he served on the U.S. National Committee for the International Union of Biological Sciences elected by the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council, and served as Vice-Chairman from1995-1997 and Chairman from 1997-1999. He serves on the Inland Fish Commission's Endangered and Threatened Fishes Panel for the CT Department of Environmental Protection. Chernoff co-wrote the script for a short documentary film entitled "Understanding Biodiversity" that was awarded finalist status at a number of film festivals, including Cannes, Toronto and Sundance, and received the Silver Apple Award from the American Educational Network. He has served on the boards of a number of community-oriented foundations, including the Confluence Greenway Project of St. Louis, Mo., and as President of the Sustainable Aquatic Research Center. A co-founder, Chernoff served as President of The Jonah Center for Earth and Art, from 2004-2010 in Middletown, CT. Chernoff performs with two musical groups: the electric rock band, The Boneshakers, and the acoustic string band, Mattabesset.

Lisa Brush - Executive Director, The Stewardship Network. Lisa has worked in the environmental field in Michigan for the last fifteen years. She is currently the Executive Director of the Stewardship Network and has been involved with the Network since its inception more than 10 years ago. She has a wealth of experience helping non-scientific people understand scientific issues. For over nine years, as she has built and coordinated The Stewardship Network, she has emphasized effective and meaningful stakeholder involvement in developing and implementing all aspects of this program. She has a M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan and a B.A. (Science in Society) from Wesleyan University.

Webcast Date: 
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 12:00pm
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