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December 21, 2016

The last quarter of 2016 has brought a whirlwind of activity among Delaware River Watershed Initiative partners. The process of planning for “Phase II” of the DRWI is in full swing, and with it comes an uptick in meetings and phone calls… meetings to plan for meetings and phone calls to plan for phone calls. From the development and roll-out of the Stream Reach Assessment Tool to iterative analyses and feedback of proposed Phase II Focus Areas, the Academy’s DRWI Science Support Team – especially Scott Haag, Will Ryan, Marie Kurz and myself – has been all over the watershed providing guidance and support to the clusters as they work on delineating Focus Areas and begin to think about monitoring and assessment. The increased collaboration with our partners has been intellectually invigorating; working through questions and concerns raised by cluster groups has resulted in some lively academic discussions back at the Academy, and while solid answers aren’t always found (though, more questions often are!), we are left with added excitement for what the future of the Initiative will bring.

It has been an intense process, and though it has filled up quite a bit of our schedules, it affords us the opportunity to strengthen the relationships we’ve built during the course of the DRWI. Many of you have gotten used to seeing me at cluster meetings over the past few years as the Academy’s monitoring and cluster support point person, and it has been my pleasure getting to know all the wonderful people who care so deeply about the Delaware Watershed. That said, it’s also been my pleasure to have some company on the road lately, and to introduce (or re-introduce) Scott, Will and Marie to the clusters.

Throughout the Phase II planning year (and beyond!) we will continue to provide support and guidance to cluster partners in the realms of planning, modeling, monitoring and data analysis. As we move into 2017, we are excited to work more closely with cluster partner groups, fostering the collaborative spirit that is a hallmark of this Initiative.

Kathryn Christopher

Calling All Data Requests!

As the science lead for the DRWI, the Academy welcomes requests and feedback on how partners can use the data we and our monitoring partners have collected. We are synthesizing data that has been submitted to us and are already beginning to produce various forms of data outputs for cluster groups. These include IBI scores for cluster data, as well as some summaries of water chemistry. Data requests can be sent directly to the ANS Biogeoinformatics team at

Examples of outputs from ANS can include:
  • Data requests (raw data, custom GIS outputs)
  • Analyses (IBI scores for fish, aquatic insects, algae)
  • Data interpretation (baseline stream assessments)
  • Summaries and recommendations (whole-cluster and/or focus area narratives)

Out and About

Stormwater crew has been out chasing storms throughout the Delaware Watershed this season. The crew has stationed ISCO automated portable samplers at several sites to study stormwater run-off. The Academy team is assessing the effect of clustered project sites upstream of the sampling locations. The samplers are programmed to collect water samples at flow-weighted intervals from beginning to end of a storm, which allows us to capture the full duration of a rain event. Pictured above is the gradient of storm samples from a site in the Middle Schuylkill cluster.

For more information on this research project, contact Lin Pérez.

Making the Rounds!

Scott Haag explains to the New Jersey Highlands Cluster how the Stream Reach Assessment Tool (SRAT) calculates loading, June 2016.
The Academy's DRWI Science Support Team has been out on the trail, visiting all the clusters to provide scientific analysis and assistance during Phase II planning. Various combinations of Kathryn, Will, Scott, Marie and Stef have been making the rounds, giving presentations on the Stream Reach Assessment Tool and its capabilities, gathering feedback, and taking requests for data-based products that we can create for the clusters to use to inform their planning processes. It has been an exciting endeavor, and we look forward to continued collaboration!

Presenting at River Rally

We’re putting together a session at this year’s River Rally, held by the River Network in Grand Rapids, Mich., May 8-11, 2017. If you are interested in presenting your DRWI work, please contact Stefanie Kroll. In the meantime, we’ll be reaching out to individual cluster groups for potential ideas for collaboration.
River Hero Awards
River Network created the River Hero Award to recognize and celebrate people whose efforts to protect and restore their local waters have been extraordinary in scope, scale, impact and heart. River Heroes are nominated by peers, selected by peers and celebrated by peers at the annual River Rally.

Click here to nominate someone for a 2017 River Hero award. Nominations are due by January 20, 2017.

For questions regarding the nomination process, contact Victoria Yu at
Job Openings

Wildlands Conservancy is seeking a full-time Aquatic Ecologist to be responsible for implementing water quality monitoring programs in the Lehigh River watershed and assisting with a variety of habitat restoration projects. The successful candidate will also provide support for activities related to grants, volunteer and outreach activities, water quality data analysis, and technical assistance to landowners on ecological restoration and environmental stewardship.

For a full description of the position, click here. To apply, contact Human Resources ( by December 31, 2016.
Darby Creek Valley Association seeks a Project and Administrative Assistant to help manage grant work and streamline operations. Responsibilities include providing administrative support to ensure efficient operation of Darby Creek Valley Association through a variety of tasks related to organization and communication.

For a full description of the position and/or to apply, contact Jaclyn Rhoades (
Watershed Grant Program

The Healthy Watersheds Consortium is accepting proposals for the 2017 Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program. The goal of the grant program is to accelerate strategic protection of healthy, freshwater ecosystems and their watersheds.

The deadline for proposals is February 1, 2017. Visit the website for more information on the Request for Proposals.

The Healthy Watersheds Consortium is a partnership of U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities Inc., Environmental Protection Agency, and Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Have a cool photo to share with DRWI partners? Need us to help spread some important news? Contact Kathryn Christopher for possible inclusion in an upcoming issue of Stream Samples.
DRWI Mapper
The DRWI Mapper is available whenever you need it. Contact Lin Perez with any questions or comments.
Miss an issue?
Access past Stream Samples updates on the newsletter page of our website.
Contact Us

Kathryn Christopher 

Data Access
Biogeoinformatics Team

Project Science or Research
Stefanie Kroll 
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University | 215-299-1000 
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway 
Philadelphia, PA 19103 

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The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University · 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway · Philadelphia, PA 19103 · USA