Johnson Creek Science Symposium

Johnson Creek Science Symposium
Thursday, 26 May 2016 @ 1p – 6p

Reed College, Performing Arts Building 320
3203 S.E. Woodstock Blvd.
Portland, Oregon  97202

The 2nd Annual Johnson Creek Science Symposium will be held on Thursday, 26 May 2016 at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. The Johnson Creek Watershed Council was formed in the mid-1980s in response to long-term water quality issues and an endemic degradation of the riparian corridor. Several local government agencies had tried unsuccessfully to solve the flooding problems, prescribing top-down engineering solutions which ultimately failed. The Johnson Creek Watershed Council (JCWC) was formed in 1995 fostering the nascent stewardship ethic in the watershed.

Johnson Creek flows 26 miles from its headwaters near Boring, Oregon to where it joins the Willamette River, passing through a diverse topography of forests, farms, golf courses, parks and natural areas, industrial stretches, alongside trails and through residential communities. The corridor serves as home for a number of threatened and native fish and wildlife, including steelhead and cutthroat trout, coho and Chinook salmon, as well as red-legged frog, painted turtles, salamanders, pileated woodpeckers, and great blue herons.

My involvement with Johnson Creek started quite by accident. While at the National Park Service, I developed an interest in water quality issues. I had the opportunity to participate in river restoration coursework at OSU and, seeking to learn new computer programming skills, had joined the PDX R User Group in Portland. With more of a naturalist background then one in computers, I was asked to give a talk on local water quality issues and chose nearby Johnson Creek. The USGS (United States Geological Survey) and NWS (National Weather Service) both provide excellent historical water quantity and quality data, and I was able to do a basic statistical study of water flow in the Johnson Creek basin.

The R User Groups draw an interesting cross-section of participants, and as it turned out there was a professor from Reed College in attendance who took an interest; Johnson Creek is adjacent to the campus and he had been studying formally and informally for a number of years. Several meetings (and beers) later, I had come to appreciate this “case study” in riparian restoration.

This annual gathering of academic, jurisdictional, non-profit, and community partners is focused on sharing current science around the Johnson Creek Watershed. This year’s event will feature talks and posters about water conditions, restoration, and wildlife. While I most likely won’t be able to attend, I retain my affinity for Johnson Creek, its restoration and preservation.

The Science Symposium directly precedes the Johnson Creek Annual Celebration and fundraising dinner. Short talks will be given from 1pm – 5pm followed by a poster session from 5p – 6p. The event is free and open to the public. Space is limited to 100 attendees so early registration is recommended. Register soon at

1:00 – Introduction
1:10 – Restoration presentations
2:10 – Water conditions presentations
3:10 – Coffee and snack break
3:40 – Wildlife presentations
5:00 – Poster session in Kaul Auditorium

For further information please contact Emma Eichhorn, Symposium Coordinator, Johnson Creek Watershed Council at (971) 235-6361

Sponsors for the Symposium include, Riverview Community Bank, Oregon RFID, Otak, City of Gresham, Aquatic Contracting, Brown and Caldwell, Otak, Kern-Thompson, Metro, and ESA Vigil-Agrimis.



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