CALFED Science Program Seminars

The CALFED Science Program hosts public lectures by renown scientists on key science used to accomplish the CALFED goals by its implementing agencies. These seminars highlight for managers and the public the state of knowledge of the Bay-Delta system critical for achieving the CALFED goals, as well as present new information and scientific interpretations necessary for implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the success of the CALFED Program. Seminars include CALFED Brown Bag Seminars; Lead Scientist seminars; and co-sponsored seminars from the CALFED Science Program and the University of California, Davis' Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture.



Brown Bag Seminars

Painted Chromosomes and Sex Probes: Using genetic markers to identify gender of California Chinook salmon

The CALFED Science Program Brown Bag Series will present a seminar on November 10 from Dr. Kevin Williamson on the limitations and prospects of using genetic tools to identify gender of California Chinook Salmon. Although exposure to pollutants during early development can alter the endocrine system and roduce male feminization and abnormal sexual development in fish species, controlled breeding experiments suggest that a genetic change rather than altered sexual development is responsible for some some XY-female salmon.


From Beef to Reef: Sediment Budgets in Great Barrier Reef Catchments

On September 9, the CALFED Science Program Brown Bag Series will present a seminar featuring Dr. Rebecca Bartley from Brisbane, Australia, speaking on potential detrimental effects that terrestrial sediments and nutrients are having on the Great Barrier Reef.


Estimating Route-Specific Survival and Distribution of Juvenile Salmonids Migrating through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

On August 20, the CALFED Science Program is sponsoring a Brown Bag seminar discussing development of a mark-recapture model that will provide information on survival and distribution of juvenile salmonids migrating through the Delta.


Evaluation of Four Delta Juvenile Salmon Survival Studies

On August 11, the CALFED Science Program sponsored a Brown Bag seminar evaluating four Delta juvenile salmon survival studies and their use as the basis for various management actions to protect juvenile salmon.


A Statistical Model of Central Valley Chinook Salmon Incorporating Uncertainty

Dr. Noble Hendrix and his colleagues will present a statistical modeling approach to the two Central Valley Chinook salmon species-at-risk using the winter Oncorhynchus Bayesian Analysis (OBAN) model—a user-friendly framework for exploring factors hypothesized to affect winter run population dynamics. Further discussion will include access to rearing in Yolo Bypass, striped bass adult abundance indices, and near-shore ocean conditions.

Note: This is a 2 hour seminar and Dr. Hendrix and his colleagues will also be available after the seminar to provide a demo of the winter OBAN model.


Biomarkers and Life History Indicators in Green and White Sturgeon: Essential Tools for Understanding Environmental Effects on Bay-Delta Sturgeon Populations

The CALFED Science Program will hold a discussion of Dr. Kueltz's project that is investigating effects of environmental stressors such as selenium, mercury, salinity, and temperature for two native species of sturgeon. The objective of the work is to better understand why green sturgeon populations are declining faster than those of white sturgeon. Such knowledge will inform population-level models and will contribute to better water management decisions.


Historical Ecology of the Delta

This brown bag presentation provided examples of how historical ecology has helped identify restoration opportunities in wetland and riverine systems throughout the state, and explored how similar efforts might be useful in the Delta.


Projecting Inundation Due to Sea Level Rise in the San Franciso Bay and Delta

This brown bag presentation examines how projected sea level rise over the coming century will cause new areas surrounding the San Francisco Bay and Delta to be inundated with a wide variety of ecological and socioeconomic consequences.


The REPEAT Project

This brown bag presentation focused on subsidence and other anthropogenic impacts on Delta peat soils, peat geochemistry, and the historic rates and future estimates of peat accretion in Delta marshes.


CALFED Brown Bag Seminar Series Presents: Fish Use of Shallow Water Habitats Of the Western Delta - Tom Cannon of Wildlands, Inc.

This brown bag presentation focused on fish surveyed in the western Delta of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers to determine patterns of their use of various types of shallow water habitat. The surveys focused on Kimball Island and adjacent shallow river habitats of the western Delta from 2002-2007.


CALFED Brown Bag Seminar Series Presents A Delta Reality: Subsistence Fishing and Fish Contamination - Fraser Shilling, Ph.D. UC Davis

This brown bag presentation focused on Dr. Fraser Shilling's ongoing research in characterizing fishing activities in the Delta region as environmental policy and public health issues. He talked about the ethnographic and geographic diversity of subsistence fishing and how this impacts environmental management and research.


Lead Scientist, Michael Healey Brown Bag: The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To Adaptive Management

"With Apologies to Doug Adams...This talk used some of the ideas from Doug Adams' series of radio shows and books starting with 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' to provide a humorous touch to the otherwise dry topic of Adaptive Management. Although I explained this when I introduced the talk, it may not be apparent to someone who simply looks at the power point slides (unless that person is a fan of Adams' work). If something looks strange in this set of slides it is probably because it comes from H2G2." Mike Healey




Special Seminars

A Statistical Model of Central Valley Winter Run Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus Bayesian ANalysis (OBAN) - 4/20/09

Drs. Noble Hendrix and Robert Lessard will conduct a workshop demonstrating new software for the Central Valley Winter Run Chinook Salmon OBAN model. Some background will be given on the approach used to model population dynamics, but the workshop will focus mainly on the following topics:

  • Installing the software
  • Conducting an analysis
  • Estimating coefficients
  • Selecting models
  • Building a management scenario
  • Forecasting

The Delta Dialogue: Perspectives on Science and Policy - 10/21/08

In this 1.5 hour forum, the John Muir Institute of the Environment (JMIE) will bring together past and present Lead Scientists with the Chair of the Independent Science Board(ISB) to re-imagine water and environmental management in California within the context of the debate over the future of the Delta. They will bring their unique perspectives to a discussion of the most important emerging issues in the Bay-Delta; and the role science and scientists can play as future policies unfold. This will be an opportunity to hear (and participate in) a discussion of the most important needs for new science in the Delta and to hear views on the future of science programs relevant to the Delta.

The panel will meet Tuesday, October 21 from noon to 1:45 p.m. in Room MU II of the Memorial Union Building at UC Davis. This panel is part of the JMIE's Distinguished Speaker Series on “Environmental Solutions: Lenses on the Delta.” A prelude to the 2008 CALFED Science Conference a day later, the panel is co-hosted by the CALFED Science Program.




Lead Scientist Candidate Seminars:

The CALFED Bay-Delta Program is conducting a search for a lead scientist to replace Dr. Michael Healey when his term expires at the end of the year. The Independent Science Board (ISB) recruited four lead scientist candidates that will be interviewed by a selection panel consisting of agency, stakeholder, and ISB representatives during October and November. Each candidate will present a noon Brown Bag Seminar to the public and will meet with the selection panel and CALFED staff.

Candidate Seminars:

  • Dr. Mark Bain, Cornell University - Oct 1
  • Dr. James T. (Tim) Hollibaugh, University of Georgia - Oct 9
  • Dr. Nicholas Clesceri, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Emeritus) - Oct 22
  • Dr. Clifford Dahm, University of New Mexico - Nov 2

Seminar Supporting Documents

Dr. Mark Bain

Dr. James T. (Tim) Hollibaugh

Dr. Nicholas Clesceri

Dr. Clifford Dahm


CALFED and UC Davis CABA Seminar Series

12/18/08: Effects of Environmental Stress on Fish Health

05/30/08: Fish Nursery Habitat, Unraveling the Secrets of the Estuary for Population Health

05/14/08: Refugial Delta Smelt Populations

03/07/08: Columbia River Salmon Research May Provide Insight For California

11/06/07: Seminar: Pyrethroids and the Delta: Laboratory Studies, Field Results, and Regulatory Actions