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2018 Copper River Delta Science Symposium

March 27, 2018March 29, 2018

copper river delta science symposium

Update April 13, 2018: Presentation files are available for viewing and download.

Alaska’s Copper River delta is the largest contiguous wetland on the Pacific Coast of North America and an important region for both fish and wildlife. The delta provides vital salmon habitat, serves as a key shorebird stopover and breeding site, and is the primary nesting area for Dusky Canada Geese.

To better integrate current knowledge and plan future research efforts, Copper River Delta Science Symposium presentations will focus on the delta as a system, covering topics from hydrology and geomorphology to avian nesting ecology and trophic relationships. This conference will provide an opportunity for interdisciplinary examination of the delta and to identify future research needs to better manage and conserve this ecologically significant area in the face of climate change and other environmental transformations.


The Copper River delta has a long and rich research history based on its many ecological, biological and physical systems. Thirteen delta research conferences have been held, beginning in the early 1970s. The US Forest Service’s Cordova Ranger District and Pacific Northwest Research Station, Ecotrust and Alaska Sea Grant supported the most recent conference in 2011. Since that year many research projects have come to fruition, new initiatives have been put in place and many issues have come to the fore including climate change impacts.

Agenda and Abstracts

The Agenda is available for download (2-page PDF). Or download the full Agenda and Abstracts (44-page PDF). Please note the welcome reception the evening of March 27, and a public poster session the evening of March 28, both at the Cordova Center.

Dr. Gordon Reeves, USFS, Corvallis, OR

Keynote Speaker

The keynote speaker is Dr. Gordon Reeves, USFS, Corvallis, Oregon. Gordie Reeves first set foot on the Copper River delta as a fisheries biologist in 1987. His expertise is in freshwater ecology of anadromous salmon and trout, conservation biology of those fish, the impacts of climate change on aquatic ecosystems and associated biota, and aquatic aspects of landscape ecology.


Registration deadline is March 16—our caterers need firm numbers to accommodate timely food ordering. Symposium registration is $75 US and covers daily continental breakfast, lunch, receptions and break refreshments.

Instructions for Presenters

Guidelines for both oral and poster presentations are downloadable.

Location and Facilities

The symposium will be held at the new Cordova Center co-located with Cordova’s library, city offices and museum. Cordova is nearly in sync digitally with the outside world—most hotels have wireless, and major cell phone carriers including GCI, ACS, Verizon and AT&T are worth a try.

Cordova housing options include the Reluctant Fisherman Inn, Prince William Motel, Lighthouse Inn, and many B&Bs. We have an airport shuttle (the airport is 13 miles one-way), and a car rental. USFS will provide some airport shuttles.

Visitor Information

For information on hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, museums, sightseeing opportunities and attractions, and car rental please visit the Cordova Chamber website.

Steering Committee

Torie Baker (co-chair) Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Erin Cooper (co-chair) Cordova Ranger District, USFS
Stormy Haught Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Rob Campbell Prince William Sound Science Center
John Whissel Native Village of Eyack
Chantel Adelfio Copper River Watershed Project
Melissa Gabrielson Cordova Ranger District, USFS


Alaska Sea Grant College Program
Cordova District, US Forest Service
Pacific Northwest Research Station, US Forest Service
Prince William Sound Science Center
Copper River Watershed Project
Oil Spill Recovery Institute


March 27, 2018
March 29, 2018
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Torie Baker
Erin Cooper


The Cordova Center
602 1st st
Cordova, AK 99574 United States
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