Union College

2013 - Mohawk Watershed Symposium







Flood waters in the Stockade of Schenectady

Kayak on the Schoharie Creek, Burtonsville

Old Erie Canal bridge crossing Schoharie Creek at Fort Hunter.


Flood level in Irene in downtown Middleburgh, NY

Gilboa Dam, with installed siphons, Sept. 2009.

New dike adjacent to Lock 8, Glenville NY


Rebuild Pratsville after Irene, headwaters of the Schoharie Creek









LINK to 2014 symposium

The Geology Department at Union College will host the fifth symposium on the physical aspects of the Mohawk Watershed in New York State.  The scientific program and timing of theme sessions will be determined by the composition of abstracts received.  The meeting will highlight recent and on-going work in the watershed during oral and poster presentations and the technical sessions will be followed by a banquet with a keynote address that evening.


The conference will run from 8:25 AM to 5:30 PM, with a reception to follow. The Banquet will begin at 6:30 PM, with dinner and featured speaker ending by 8:30 PM. Note that this year we are going to place more emphasis on poster presentations, which means a reduction in the number of slots of volunteered oral talks, and an increase the number of posters and the time for posters.


The Conference Schedule is here.

The online version of the Abstract Volume is here.

List of Talks/Posters with PDF of Presentations (only those available from authors)

The following themes will likely be the focus of volunteered abstracts:

  1. Water quality, including nutrient loading, the effects of agriculture and industry on water quality, contaminant fluxes and emerging contaminents.
  2. Floods, including flood frequency, causes of flooding, and flood mitigation strategies;
  3. Sediment yield, including transport and deposition through the watershed, bank erosion and potential hazards, slope processes, and sediment budget;
  4. Impact of watershed processes on infrastructure, including bridges, dams, locks, canals, and strategies for floodplain restoration;
  5. Water rights, including issues that that explore the balance between municipal water use and how this might conflict with demands by power generation, industry, drilling, ecosystem management, and maintenance of sustainable ecosystems. 
  6. Synoptic evaluations of the watershed including basin-wide overviews and compilations using LiDAR, GIS, databases, and other methods of integrating and analyzing regionally significant data.
  7. Water budget, including aspects of climate change, precipitation patterns, and weather-related phenomena.
  8. Watershed management strategies.
  9. Emergency management and hazards unique to this watershed.

INVITED TALKS (Go HERE for all talks and posters)


The Invited talks are focussed on recovery since Irene and Lee, floods, water quality and water use, and climate change. The following are confirmed.


Keynote Address: Rebecca R. Wodder, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Interior: The National Blueways System - Stakeholder-led River Conservation on a Watershed Scale (Keynote is delivered at the banquet).


Symposium highlight address: Congressman Paul D. Tonko, 20th District of New York. Talk title: Climate Change and the Mohawk: Challenges and Opportunities for Citizens and Stakeholders


William A. VanDeValk, P.E., NRCS Area Engineer - Schoharie, NY. Talk title: Natural Channel Restoration after Irene and Lee - a Schoharie County Opportunity


Steve Botsford, NYS-DEC Region 6 Water Engineer. Talk title: An Introduction to Water Quality Issues in the Upper Mohawk


Frank Montecalvo, West Canada Watershed Alliance, Inc., Talk title: The Competing Interests in the Waters of the West Canada Creek


John Vickers, P.E., Chief, Western Operations Division, NYC Environmental Protection Bureau of Water Supply, Operations Directorate. Talk Title: NYCDEP Dam Safety and the Reconstruction of the Gilboa Dam


Karin E. Limburg, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY. Talk title: River Herring: Past, Present, Future


Mark Cornwell, Dept. of Fisheries & Wildlife, SUNY Cobleskill, Cobleskill, NY. Talk title: Stream ecosystem changes in Schoharie Creek tributaries following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee


Amanda Stevens, Environmental Research, NYSERDA. Talk title: ClimAID: How climate science helps us understand and prepare for climate change in New York State


Don Rodbell, Geology Department, Union College. Talk title: The long-story: Reconstructing flood frequency along the Mohawk through the last 1000 years.


The Keynote address at the banquet is detailed here.



Submitted contributions in the form of extended abstracts are required for either oral or poster presentations. The abstract volume will be available to registered participants at the meeting and it will then be available here as a downloadable PDF after the meeting.  All presentations, whether oral or poster, are required to have an accompanying abstract that must pass review. Abstract requirements are described in detail on this web page.


Requirements for Poster and Oral presentations are outlined HERE. Abstract deadline for talks and posters is 22 February 2013.


Registration will be open on 15 January 2013. Pre-registration for this meeting is required. Badges will be provided at registration, and are required for entrance to the meeting. Registration fee includes lunch. The banquet and Keynote address is a ticketed event - BANQUET REGISTRATION ENDS on 15 March.


Professional $20; Students $10. REGISTRATION AFTER 1 March: $35. You will be mailed a receipt after we recieve payment. Pre-registration and prepayment for this meeting is required. The evening Banquet is $25 (Closes on 15 March). Union College's Alumni Office is sponsoring our registration this year and therefore able to process credit card payments.



Union College has a number of suggestions for places to stay that are close to the College. During the meeting, Dutch Hollow, a small campus eatery, will be open for lunch and breakfast.


Plenty of parking will be available on campus. This meeting is at the end of exam period, so the campus will have few students. Download this map for parking areas that will be open and available ("P"), but there is a large parking lot at College Park. Detailed directions to the Campus are here.


The announcement and program for the March 2013 Symposium at Union College is here and the 2013 Abstract volume is here

The announcement and program for the March 2012 Symposium at Union College is here and the 2012 Abstract volume is here.

The announcement and program for the March 2011 Symposium at Union College is here and the 2011 Abstract volume is here.

The announcement and program for the March 2010 Symposium at Union College is here and the 2010 Abstract volume is here.

The announcement and program for the March 2009 Symposium at Union College is here and the 2009 Abstract volume is here.



Program Chairs and coordination:

Jaclyn Cockburn, Department of Geography, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario Canada; +1,519-824-4120 Ext. 53498; jcockbur @ uoguleph.ca (remove spaces).

John Garver, Department of Geology, Olin Building, Union College 807 Union ST Schenectady, NY 12308-2311, USA +1, 518-388-6770 (Office) +1, 518-388-6770 (main office) +1,518-388-6417(fax) Email: garverj @ union.edu (remove spaces in email address).

Deb Klein, Technical Assistance and Registration, 310 Olin Bldg, Union College. 518-388-6770: Email: kleind2 @ union.edu (remove spaces in email address).


Katherine Czajkowski, Mohawk Watershed Coordinator Mohawk River Basin Program NYS Water Resources Institute at Cornell University 1130 N. Westcott Road Rotterdam, New York 12306 518-357-2383 518-357-2398 (fax) Email: Katherine Czajkowski <kmczajko @ gw.dec.state.ny.us> (remove spaces in email address).

Mailing address: Geology Department, Union College, 807 Union ST, Schenectady NY, 12308-2311