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Bucknell to Host 16th Annual Susquehanna River Symposium Nov. 5-6

President & CEO of Chesapeake Conservancy to Present Keynote Address

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 (BCSE) hosts the 16th Annual Susquehanna River Symposium on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 5 and 6, in the Elaine Langone Center (ELC). This year’s theme will be “Restoration to Resilience: Creating Partnerships to Improve Watershed Health from the Headwaters to the Bay.”

The symposium annually draws together people who share a common interest in rivers, watersheds, communities and the connections between them. Participants will share ideas to work toward a common goal of ensuring that local watersheds remain healthy for generations to come. At the event, the public can interact with academics and professionals through presentations and breakout discussions.

“This year’s event will highlight and promote collaborative partnerships that focus on improving the health and resilience of streams and aquatic ecosystems,” says Benjamin Hayes, director of the BCSE Watershed Sciences & Engineering Program and symposium chair.

Joel Dunn, president & CEO of the Chesapeake Conservancy — which gives leadership to the nonprofit organization based in Annapolis, Md., dedicated to protecting Chesapeake and Susquehanna landscapes that are vital to the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its cultural heritage — will be the keynote speaker at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 5 in the ELC Forum (Room 272). His keynote address is titled “Restoration to Resilience: Creating Collaborative Partnerships to Improve the Health of our Watersheds from the Headwaters to the Bay.” Dunn and the Conservancy, who have been active in the River Symposium from its beginning in 1995, are working with farmers and communities throughout our region to improve the health of the Susquehanna and Chesapeake Bay.

After Dunn’s keynote and continuing until 10 p.m., more than 100 students and faculty from multiple universities and Geisinger will present research posters in the ELC Terrace Room.

On Saturday, Nov. 6, Bucknell Professor Andrew Stuhl, chairman of the environmental studies and sciences department, will present, “Agnes Revisited: The Thing About the River Is It’s Never the Same Twice,” from 9 to 10 a.m. in the ELC Forum. His presentation will draw on the historical research he conducted with Presidential Fellow Bethany Fitch ’23, a theatre and environmental studies double major. Stuhl and Fitch created more than 20 oral histories with Pennsylvanians who lived through the flood of 1972 caused by the remnants of Hurricane Agnes and the torrential rain it brought upon the east coast.

Dave and Wendy Bray, educators and keepers of Oneo-gen, Seneca white corn, will speak from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday in the ELC Forum. They will present “Seneca White Corn: Change and Transmission of the Life Sustainers,” where they will share teachings about the many associated traditions of the Haudenosaunee Nation, also known as Iroquois. The history and science of corn, green corn traditional dishes and cooking methods, the Longhouse seasonal ceremonial cycle, and the gift of the Life Sustainers will all be discussed during their presentation.

Lara Fowler, assistant director of the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment, will deliver the luncheon keynote address from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. on Saturday in Walls Lounge of the ELC. She will present “Piloting flood resilience with Pennsylvania’s River Communities,” and share lessons learned from a pilot project between the Penn State Initiative for Resilient Communities and the Borough of Selinsgrove that focuses on flooding and community resilience. Her presentation will touch on research related to flood impacts and risk in this region, insights from an assessment of recent FEMA data, and concerns and opportunities raised by community members.

Saturday afternoon’s program will include additional oral presentations from 1 to 4 p.m. in the ELC.

Additional information is available on the symposium website.


CONTACTS: Benjamin Hayes, 570-577-1830,; Mike Ferlazzo, 570-577-3212, 570-238-6266 (c),

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