Skip to main content

Bucknell to Explore Susquehanna River Health, Communities at Symposium

Leading Figure in Chesapeake Bay Restoration, Ann Pesiri Swanson, to Give Keynote

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The health of the Susquehanna River and the communities along the river valley will be the focus when the Bucknell Center for Sustainability & the Environment hosts the 14th Annual Susquehanna River Symposium, “Healthy Rivers, Healthy Communities” Friday and Saturday, Oct. 18 and 19, in the Elaine Langone Center (ELC). The Pennsylvania Water Resources Research Center is also a sponsor of the event, which is free and open to the public with no pre-registration required.

The symposium brings together academics, consultants, state, federal and regional agencies, conservation groups, and the public to discuss ongoing scientific research and innovative projects. Participants will share ideas to increase awareness of the connection between river health and the communities within valley watersheds. Presentations and breakout discussions will explore various management and sustainability issues facing the mid-Atlantic region today.

“One of the symposium’s primary goals is to draw together people from all walks of life who share a common interest in rivers, watersheds, communities and the connections therein.” said symposium chair Ben Hayes, Bucknell director of watershed sciences and engineering. “It offers a time and a place where the public can interact with academics, professionals, and regulators, all working toward the same goal — a sustainable Susquehanna and Chesapeake Bay.”

Ann Pesiri Swanson, a longstanding leader in the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and the executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, will be the keynote speaker at the symposium on Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the ELC Forum. Her keynote address is entitled “Chesapeake Bay: Lessons Learned from 40 Years of Watershed Management.” A trained wildlife biologist and forest ecologist, Swanson was awarded the Bay region’s highest conservation award in 2001, Conservationist of the Year. She was recognized in 2008 by general assembly resolutions in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. She also received the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Leadership Award in 2013, and was recognized as an Admiral of the Chesapeake Bay in the state of Maryland in 2015.

After Swanson’s keynote from 8 to 10 p.m., over 100 students and faculty from 15 universities and Geisinger will present their research posters in the ELC Terrace Room.

On Saturday at 9:15 a.m., Lisa K. Iulo and Robert Nicholas will present Penn State Institute for Resilient Communities research on “Local Resilience Related to Flood Risk in Susquehanna Region Communities” in the ELC Forum.

Geoffrey Smith, a Susquehanna River biologist with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission; and Megan K. Schall, a biology professor at Penn State Hazleton, will then make a presentation entitled “It Takes a Village: Using Collaboration and Interdisciplinary Science to Unravel the Complex Dynamics of a Susquehanna River Fishery” at 9:45 a.m. in the ELC Forum.

At 10:45 a.m., Kelly Gutshall and Justin Spangler of Land Studies, Inc. — an ecological design and build services business from Lititz, Pa. — will present on “Restoring Floodplains — A Regional Approach to Improve Water Quality and Community Resiliency,” at 10:15 the ELC Forum.

The symposium’s schedule includes the following:

Friday, Oct. 18
7-7:30 p.m. Opening Remarks, The Forum (Rm. 272), ELC
7:30-8 p.m. Keynote Address “Chesapeake Bay: Lessons Learned from 40 Years of Watershed Management” by Ann Pesiri Swanson, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, The Forum, ELC
8-10 p.m. Poster Session, Terrace Room (Rm. 276), ELC

Saturday, Oct. 19
8-8:50 a.m. Breakfast and Poster Session (self-guided), Terrace Room, ELC
9-9:10 a.m. Welcome and Opening CommentsThe Forum, ELC
9:15-10:45 a.m. Plenary Talks, The Forum, ELC
11 a.m.-noon Breakout Discussions, The Forum, Rooms 241 A-D, ELC
1:30-2:30 p.m. Oral Presentations, The Forum, Rooms 241 A-D, ELC
2:30-3:30 p.m. Exhibits, Center Room (Rm. 256), ELC
3:30-4:30 p.m. Oral Presentations, The Forum, Rooms 241 A-D, ELC

More information is available at


CONTACTS: Ben Hayes, 570-577-1830,; Samantha Myers, BCSE Operations Manager, 570-577-2437,; Mike Ferlazzo, 570-577-3212, 570-238-6266 (c),; Nathan Madden, 570-577-3651,

Comments are closed.