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Potomac Instream Flow Methods Workshop

Introduction Agenda Participants List Panelists Presentations Breakout Group Reports Panel Recommendations Potomac Flow-by Studies


Dr. G. Mathias KondolfUniversity of California, Berkeley
Dr. John NestlerUS Army Corp of Engineers
Dr. Don OrthVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Dr. Piotr ParasiewiczCornell University
Dr. N. Leroy PoffColorado State University
Dr. Brian RichterFreshwater Initiative. The Nature Conservancy

Panelist’s Background and Experience

Dr. Kondolf

Dr. Kondolf is a fluvial geomorphologist whose research concerns environmental river management, especially as it applies to Mediterranean-climate rivers. He has published on the influences of land-use on rivers , notably effects of mining and dams on river systems, interactions of riparian vegetation and channel form, geomorphic influences on habitat for salmon and trout, alternative flood management strategies, and assessment of ecological restoration. Dr. Kondolf is an associate professor of Environmental Planning and Geography, Chair of the Portuguese Studies Program, and Interim Director of Environmental Sciences. His courses include Hydrology for Planners, Restoration of Rivers and Streams, Ecological Analysis in Urban Design, and Introduction to Environmental Sciences. He received his Ph.D. in Geography and Environmental Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, his MS in Earth Sciences from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and his AB in Geology (cum laude) from Princeton University. He has provided expert testimony to committees of the US Congress and California State Senate, and the California State Water Resources Control Board. Dr. Kondolf is a member of the Independent Science Board for the Calfed Ecosystem Restoration Program, and the Environmental Advisory Board to General Flowers, Chief of the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Dr. Nestler

Dr. Nestler is a Certified Senior Ecologist; an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia; Adjunct Professor at the Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research, University of Iowa; an Associate Editor of River Research and Applications; and active in many professional organizations. He has served on the committees of graduate students from Cornell University, Baylor University, University of Georgia , and University of Iowa. Dr. Nestler’s primary research interests include describing, predicting, assessing, and reducing the effects of reservoir operation on inpool and downstream natural resources. His research has resulted in significant contributions to instream flow methods, hydrologic methods for predicting cumulative impact on wetlands, techniques for predicting the effects of turbine passage on reservoir fishes, and the development of improved methods for fish protection and passage at dams, particularly at large main stem hydropower dams. Most recently, Dr. Nestler developed an ecosystem modeling capability within the ERDC by coupling fish movement and population models to engineering water quality and CFD models. His efforts allow engineering models to support simulation of higher trophic level organisms such as fish and shellfish. Dr. Nestler has authored or coauthored over one hundred professional publications and holds eight patents with another two patents pending. He is the Associate Editor of Regulated Rivers: Research and Management.

Dr. Orth

Dr. Orth is Professor of Fisheries Science and Head of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences at Virginia Tech. His principal interests are in the management of various human uses of rivers to enhance or protect valuable fish populations. He has performed instream flow studies since 1977, when he initiated his doctoral research, which was a critical examination of the key assumptions of the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology, developed by the Instream Flow Group, Fish and Wildlife Service.

After completing a PhD in Zoology from Oklahoma State University he accepted a position at Virginia Tech, where he teaches and conducts research on all aspects of river and stream fisheries including instream flow assessment methodologies. His research has formed the basis for many state policies regarding water withdrawals in Virginia and elsewhere. He firmly believes that the best assessments rely on good field data and sound hydraulic and habitat simulation procedures as well as a local assessment of the biological mechanisms which control fish communities in rivers.

Dr. Orth has published over 145 technical works, including 81 journal articles, book chapters or monographs. He is frequently called upon to lecture on instream flow, develop study design proposals, critique instream flow studies, or provide expert consultation or testimony. Most recently he provided written testimony for Genesis Power, Ltd. of Auckland, New Zealand, on the controversial instream flow proposal for the Tongariro River.

In addition to technical expertise on river fishes and habitats, he has developed skills in consensus building, interest-based negotiation, mediation, environmental justice and conflict resolution from the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute.

Dr. Parasiewicz

Dr. Parasiewicz is a civil and environmental engineer educated at the University of Agricultural Sciences in Vienna. He began his career 1988 as a research associate in an interdisciplinary team of biologists, water engineers and landscape ecologists at the Department of Hydrobiology, Fisheries and Aquaculture of the same university. This position strongly influenced his professional development and provided him with expertise on riverine ecology, ecosystem management and restoration, river morphology, physical habitat assessment, statistical and numerical modeling, as well as remote sensing. From 1997 to 1999 Piotr was a member of Austrian Network for Environmental Research, a governmental institution actively participating in the development of EU environmental and research policy. He is also the founding member of International Aquatic Modeling Group (IAMG), a collaborative platform of researchers aiming to improve knowledge on running water habitats. Since 1999, Piotr has focused on developing the Instream Habitat Program at the Department of Natural Resources of Cornell University. He is also adjunct assistant professor at the Department of Natural Resources Conservation of the University of Massachusetts and the Department of Natural Resources Management and Engineering of the University of Connecticut.

Dr. Poff

Dr. Poff received his PhD in 1989 from Colorado State University in stream ecology. From 1990-1997 he was a Research Scientist at the University of Maryland at College Park, and during 1996-1997 he also served as Senior Scientist for Trout Unlimited in Arlington VA. He returned to Colorado State in 1997 and is now Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, where he teaches courses in aquatic ecology and limnology and supports an active graduate training program. His research interests lie broadly in understanding the hierarchical organization of riverine ecosystems, especially how spatial and temporal variation in streamflow mediate species interactions, ecological process rates, community structure, and species invasion. He is particularly interested in ecohydrologic classification and how human alteration of natural environmental regimes influences riverine ecosystems. His 50+ peer-reviewed publications range in scale from individual stones to stream reaches to whole watersheds to global climate change and cover diverse taxonomic groups, including algae, invertebrates, fish and riparian communities. His research is currently supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the US Forest Service. He serves on numerous scientific review panels, including the Adaptive Management Forum for CALFED, the Normative Flows Project for King County (Seattle WA), and the National Research Council Committee on USGS River Science. He is also on the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee for American Rivers. (See homepage at

Dr. Richter

Dr. Richter has been involved in river conservation for more than 20 years. He is now the Director of The Nature Conservancy's Freshwater Initiative, a program that is supporting conservation projects across the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific Region. His current responsibilities focus on the global challenges of meeting human needs for water while keeping river ecosystems healthy. He works with public agencies, academic institutions, and other private organizations involved in river conservation, and leads a staff that includes hydrologists, aquatic ecologists, policy specialists, educators and communicators. He has published numerous scientific papers on the importance of ecologically sustainable water management in international science journals. He has also co-authored a new book with Sandra Postel entitled “Rivers for Life: Managing Water for People and Nature,” to be published by Island Press in summer 2003.

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This page was updated on May 30, 2003.