A wildlife biologist will discuss the use of fish assemblage metrics as an indicator of river restoration success during the first in the spring series of Unity College Fishbowl Talks.

The event – 11 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, Feb. 16 – will feature Brandon Kulik of Kleinschmidt Associates in Pittsfield. Kulik also serves on the board of the Sebasticook Regional Land Trust in Unity.

Kulik will discuss the use of fish assemblage metrics as an indicator of river restoration success in large New England rivers.

In recent years in New England, river restoration actions such as habitat improvement, restoration of flow and water quality, and removal of dams have become increasingly common, Kulik said. Strategic dam removals have restored flow regime, sediment transport, aquatic habitat, water quality and habitat connectivity for diadromous fish species, thus providing conditions more conducive to native riverine species, and increasing ecosystem connectivity and productivity potential.

Kulik will talk about recent work in Maine to develop an Index of Biotic Integrity. The IBI measures the structure and function of a faunal assemblage at multiple survey sites to determine areas in need of remediation, and/or changes over time in response to restoration or a new impact. Kulik will show how the IBI model reflects fish community changes pertaining to dam removal and water quality improvements in Maine.​

The IBI model is applicable to many northern New England river ecosystems, Kulik said, and the IBI is sensitive to relevant ecoregion parameters to provide an index of response to a range of restoration actions on either a localized or landscape scale.

Unity Fishbowl Talks is a colloquium series for Unity College faculty and invited outside speakers to discuss ideas on pedagogy and to present their scholarly work.

These discussions and presentations address the need for a trans-disciplinary forum for teaching efforts at Unity College and also provide an interdisciplinary forum for discussions on research. It is at this intersection of teaching and research goals where speakers can make the most impact on Unity College students.

Most Fishbowl events occur on the second Thursday at noon or the third Tuesday at 11:00 am in Parsons Wing Room 204 of the Student Activities Center and include light lunch and a coffee discussion immediately afterward.

Fishbowl is organized by the Teaching Discussion Group and generously sponsored by the Office of the President.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016