February 2022
River Field Studies Network

Connecting rivers, people, & science through immersive field-based education

Events of interest in February!

  • 9 Feb - Rights of Rivers: Understanding an Emerging Policy to Protect Riverine Ecosystems
  • 18 Feb - Exploring opportunities to connect river field curriculum to current momentum in US river protections 
  • 24 Feb - Film "River of Return" and panel with River Newe
  • 25 & 28 Feb - Information session on the River Management Society River Studies and Leadership Certificate Program

9 Feb -  Rights of Rivers: Understanding an Emerging Policy to Protect Riverine Ecosystems 

Hosted by the US Wild & Scenic Rivers Coalition & International Durable River Protection Coalition 

This webinar featuring Grant Wilson of Earth Law Center, Monti Aguirre and Bonnie Barclay of International Rivers, and Julian Matthews of Nimiipuu Protecting the Environment will discuss Rights of Nature & Rights of Rivers, the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Rivers, and two case studies that involve this policy strategy in the western United States.

Register in advance for this webinar:

Time: 9 am PT/12 ET
Note: the webinar runs from 9am PST/12 ET through the registration link will tell you it begins at 8:30amPT/11:30amET.

18 Feb - Exploring opportunities to connect river field curriculum to current momentum in US river protections 

Hosted by The River Field Studies Network *

Katherine Schmidt Lapham River Conservation Fellow at American Rivers joins The River Field Studies Network to share recent developments in river protection policy arising from the recently signed federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which includes $3 billion for dam safety, modernization and removal, as well as for hydropower projects. This will be followed by breakout discussion to explore potential intersections of this momentum with the RFSN's mission to build instructor capacity, develop curriculum, and broaden participation.

*2022 RFSN Kick off event

Time: 1:00 pm PT/4:00 pm ET

24 Feb - Free screening of 'River of Return' and panel featuring @river.newe

Hosted by The River Field Studies Network, VCU Biology Department, & RVA Environmental Film Festival

Follow Jessica and Sammy Matsaw, Shoshone-Bannock tribal members and co-founders of River Newe, as they share their story about hope, resilience and resurgence, and the vitality of sharing lands and waters with today's tribal youth and the generations to come.

With post-film Q+A and discussion around Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Indigenous Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics, and decolonizing and reconnecting to homelands, places and knowledge.

Time: 3:30pm PT/6:30pm ET

25 & 28 Feb - Informational webinars: River Management Society's "River Studies and Leadership Certificate program"

Hosted by the River Management Society

Calling all River Loving Professors! Learn how the River Studies and Leadership Certificate opens the study and practice of river management for students, seasoned with your commitment to healthy water resources and safe recreation on our nation’s rivers.Professors who understand the wonder, complexity and environmental imperative of river study, protection and management are invited to attend an information session on the River Studies and Leadership Certificate (RSLC), a program offered by the River Management Society (RMS) that prepares undergraduate and graduate students for river-based careers.

Attendees will learn how the RSLC introduces students to a unique set of interdisciplinary study experiences and professional opportunities, and what is required of schools interested in offering this timely program.

RSLC students explore and study river systems in ways that integrate the life and earth sciences, policy and conservation, socio-cultural and economic factors, and education and recreation. In addition to the river-based coursework, students have several opportunities to network with and learn from current and retired river professionals. Graduates of the program have gone on to work for the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and several private companies in fields like aquatic science, fisheries management, hydrology, geographic information systems (GIS) and outdoor recreation. 
If you are an educator in any of these or related areas, RMS enthusiastically invites you to attend one of two information sessions to learn more about offering the RSLC:

Friday, Feb. 25 at 11 am PT/ 2 pm ET (Register)

Monday, Feb. 28 at /1pm PT/ 4 pm ET (Register)

SFS Making Waves Podcast 53: Field Safety

Listen to RSFN & Society for Freshwater Science members Susan Washko, at University of Arizona, and Jabari Jones, a PhD student at University of Minnesota, and Lauren Diaz, a PhD student at Oregon State University, tell us how to keep people of all identities safe in the field.

SFS INSTAR & EMERGE Program Student Application Deadlines


Eligibility: Undergraduate students, graduate students, and early career professionals from historically underrepresented backgrounds interested in freshwater science.
Emerge fellows will engage with each other to build a scientific and support network, develop skills in science, and collaborate using data from NSF NEON sites. They will be able to take part in the extended network of freshwater scientists as facilitated by the SFS. Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in the SFS Annual Meeting (May/June), as well as in professional development workshops geared to advance skills in data management, dissemination of research, science communication, and skills working in freshwater environments (e.g., river safety through river float trips, excursions, etc.). In addition, fellows will expand on their general knowledge of freshwater ecosystems and associated careers in freshwater science through connections with members of the Steering Committee and collaborators who will increase their exposure to other freshwater science professionals, collaborators, and/or employers. They will also have access to an array of face-to-face and online collaborative opportunities. Fellows will also learn from the other fellows, which includes career stages from undergraduate, graduate student, to early career professionals.
 Eligibility: Undergraduate participants from historically underrepresented backgrounds interested in freshwater science.
Instars is a continuing program within the SFS that seeks to increase diversity and inclusivity within the freshwater sciences. This program is open to undergraduate students from historically underrepresented backgrounds who plan on participating in the SFS Annual Meeting. Launched in 2011, Instars serves undergraduate students from historically underrepresented backgrounds at the SFS Annual Meeting by helping them develop science identity and a sense of shared values. We hope to inspire and excite students about our science by offering activities at the SFS Annual Meeting with other undergraduates, graduate student mentors, and professional SFS members. 
Applications close March 7, 2022*

Applications close April 11, 2022

Application Information here

Looking to summer field courses!

Let us help spread the news about your field course! It is great to see who is doing what around the country! Sharing course information can facilitate student exchanges across the network. If you are not teaching a river field course, encourage your students to consider one of the courses below that are open to students from other programs. Beyond student exchange, sharing course information can highlight other opportunities for cross-network collaboration. For example, multiple programs offer courses on the Salmon River in Idaho - is there a benefit to combining effort and sharing expertise among faculty? In addition, knowing what river courses are being offered might create opportunities to work together to explore issues around effective river field pedagogy (e.g., if we leveraged a common assessment tool across classes, we might be able to gain deeper insight into what makes river field courses sink or float! If you want to share a information about a course planned for 2022 email

Humboldt State University
Alison O’Dowd (

During this action-packed 14-day field course (July 9 - 22), students will focus on the restoration of the Klamath Basin while studying its social-ecological systems, drawing on local cultural perspectives and historic and present-day human relationships with wildlife and the environment. Students will explore course topics via hiking to high alpine lakes, working on a variety of restoration projects in the Basin, visiting Klamath River dams, rafting a section of the mid-Klamath, snorkeling in Klamath tributaries and camping throughout the Basin. This course is an interdisciplinary synthesis of topics concerning restoration, ecology and natural history within the Klamath River Basin. Students that successfully complete this course will receive 3 units of ESM 480 from Humboldt State University. This course is open to students from any University. *This course was developed in collaboration with the River Field Studies Network. Application deadline: April 1, 2022. Online application will be available by Feb 1, 2022.

Rivers 2 Reefs Field Institute, The College of Idaho
Chris Walser (
David Fornander (

Pacific salmon and steelhead migrate 900 miles to spawn in the same high mountain streams in which they were born.  Join us on an adventure in central Idaho where we will explore the ecology, conservation, and cultural significance of salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River system.  The field element of this college level 4-credit course will occur July 14-29, 2022, in and around Stanley, Idaho (at the foot of the Sawtooth Mountains). Three brief online components to the course will be held prior to the field element. Program adventure activities include whitewater paddling, snorkeling, fly fishing, hiking, and hot springs. This program is open to all students who have completed at least 1-year of undergraduate study.  Please check with your home institution (study abroad coordinator or academic advisor) for their requirements regarding credit transfer, financial aid, and any other internal summer scholarships they may offer. Program Cost: $3500 USD 


Sierra Nevada University 
Andy Rost (

This exciting and rich immersive field course will combine on campus classroom work with an 50 miles of wilderness white rafting field expedition on the Wild and Scenic Rogue River in Southern Oregon. The class will focus on the range of natural history topics including watershed geography, geology, hydrology, forest and stream ecology, and human history through readings, discussions, lessons. Student will collect field observations in field journals and conduct a field research project which includes field data collection, data analysis and presentation of your results. Wilderness river expeditions require planning, specialized gear, trained boat handlers, and good judgment. The reward for those who can accomplish these tasks are exhilarating rapids, amazing camp locations, and memories to last a lifetime on the Wild and Scenic Rogue River in Southern Oregon. Students in this class will learn all of the skills required to be a river expedition member, creating a foundation to becoming a wilderness river guide. Students will be challenged every day to learn and use new skills, from rowing heavy gear boats to cooking dinner for the whole group. Everyone will participate in all aspects of the expedition, as a cohesive team. The general schedule will be days 1-3 on campus doing prep work, days 4-13 in field camping and river travel, and days 14-16 on campus cleaning up, finishing final projects and presenting your field research project. Course fee covers all student travel, food during field portion of course, gear, additional instructional staff

State University of New York, College at Oneonta Susquehanna River
Jeff Heilveil  (
Prerequisite(s): SoS; 3 s.h. of BIOL or ENVS or GEOL or ESCI.

This is a 16-day, field-based course.  Students will learn to identify the organisms commonly encountered in and around the streams and they will also have guest-led workshops on pearly mussel science and electrofishing.  The major part of the course is a student-designed research project that will be carried out in rivers surrounding our Biological Field Station.  We will also have evening seminars on careers in stream ecology and graduate school and how to get there. The Oneonta Biological Sield Station is in Cooperstown, NY, with a boat house on Otsego Lake, the start of the Susquehanna River. ents, but tents can also be provided for free. The tuition and fees for this 4-credit course come to $1270 for NYS residents, or $2922 for out-of-state students. Housing is free and students pay ~$200 in additional fees to cover all food (meals and snacks) for the 16 days.  The menu is diverse and will accommodate any dietary restrictions (vegan, celiac, halal, etc.).  
Virginia Commonwealth University
Dan Carr (
James Vonesh (

This expedition class explores the intersection of human and natural history in the James River and its watershed. By immersing themselves in this environment, students will experience this intersection firsthand, learning the landscape that shaped the development of many cultures, including our city, state and nation. The 2022 Footprints on the James Expedition will travel for 5 weeks days, covering ~200 river miles between the Blue Ridge and Tidewater, Virginia, via sea kayak, canoe, raft, and historic bateau. Photojournal from past classes. Program Cost: Est. $600. More details to follow.

Western Washington University
John McLaughlin (

This program emphasizes student-designed research on rivers and river restoration in the Pacific Northwest. ESCI Field Camp consists of four integrated courses taught in spring (29 March - May 2022). We will spend 2 weeks learning about field system histories, designing research projects, and practicing sampling methods. Then we will implement student research designs during a 2-week backpacking expedition along the Elwha River, site of humanity's largest dam removal project to date. After returning to town, we will attend a scientific conference and make final revisions to a second set of research projects. We will implement those projects on another 2-week expedition, rafting 92 miles down the Grande Ronde River to its confluence with the Snake River. We will return to campus to analyze project data and prepare poster presentations for a university-wide research symposium. Courses total 15 credits (10 semester credits). Please check with your home institution for requirements regarding credit transfer, financial aid, and any internal scholarships. Program cost: $700, not including tuition.
Rolling admissions, application available at:

University of California, Davis
Nicholas Pinter (Earth and Planetary Sciences; 
Sarah Yarnell (Center for Watershed Sciences;
Spring Quarter, 2022 

The Departments of Earth & Planetary Sciences and Plant Sciences, and the Center for Watershed Sciences, are offering a unique Spring quarter course in Applied Watershed Science. Part of the "Ecogeo" series taught in previous years through the Geology department (see, this course is a multidisciplinary study of the ecology, geomorphology and management of rivers in the western US. Open to senior undergraduate students and first-year graduate students, the course brings together students from a range of backgrounds in biological, ecological, and physical sciences, and engineering to address conservation and management issues in selected watersheds. The course provides classroom/laboratory training and discussions during the spring quarter and weekend fieldtrips to various river locations near Davis. The course will culminate with a seven-day camping and rafting trip along the San Juan River (Są́ bito' in Navajo) the week after final exams, during which students will collect and analyze field data. Following the trip, students will produce written reports using the field data that address management issues within the watershed, such as: what are the impacts of changes to the flow regime on aquatic and riparian biota in the regulated San Juan watershed, and what long-term monitoring data are needed to address on-going conservation strategies in the face of climate change?

Presentation introducing the RSFN made that the Spring 2021 SFS and RMS virtual meetings.
Copyright © 2022 Virginia Commonwealth University, All rights reserved.

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