Short Courses

The following short courses, held on either Sunday June 19th or Thursday June 23rd, are offered in conjunction with Fish Passage 2016. Short course fees are in addition to the cost of conference registration. Attendees can register for short courses during the online conference registration process.

To sign-up, please go to the UMass Conference Services page and click Register Now.

Sunday, June 19th


Advanced Telemetry Techniques: Data Management and Analysis for Fish Passage Studies

Description Fish passage is about movement, and fish passage effectiveness can only be understood by measuring rates at which fish move past barriers. Telemetry is often the best tool for measuring effectiveness. Many studies, however fail to make optimal use of available data, and over-simplistic analyses can often lead to inaccurate conclusions. In this course we will discuss the three principle types of telemetry data (PIT, radio, acoustic), reviewing their common characteristics and challenges associated with managing the very large datasets these technologies can produce. In the morning we will review study design concepts, and students will learn about relational database structure, optimal database design, and extraction of basic passage metrics (proportion entering, proportion passing. In the afternoon we will delve deeper into analysis methods, with an overview and rationale for applying time-to-event analysis to passage data. This approach allows researchers to explicitly account for environmental covariates that change over time, address the problems associated with fish that are exposed to multiple and changing conditions, and show how these factors can be incorporated into metrics of passage performance without incurring bias.
Instructor(s) Theodore Castro-Santos (contact:
Date and Time Sunday, June 19 at 9 AM (full day)
Cost $250 (general), $150 (agency), $60 (student)
Registration Status FULL

USFS Stream Simulation Design at Road Crossings

Description This short course will introduce and review the salient design principles of US Forest Service stream simulation design methodology at road crossings for aquatic organism passage. Data collection, site assessment, selection of reference reaches, site layout, sediment mobility & stability analysis, development of bed material gradation, bed material design configuration, and construction will be reviewed and class exercises provided.
Instructor(s) Robert Gubernick R.G. (contact:, Mark Weinhold P.E., Dale Higgins, Erica Borum
Date and Time Sunday, June 19 at 9 AM (full day)
Cost $250 (general), $150 (agency), $60 (student)
Registration Status OPEN

Dam Removal: What You Should Know During Construction

Description This 8-hour training course will benefit engineers, biologists, environmental scientists, contractors, regulators, dam owners, municipal staff, and project managers involved in the bidding processes, construction management, and demolition of dams. Topics will include:
  • Initiating Construction
    • Bidding
    • Bid Packages
    • Bonding
    • Liability
  • Start Up
    • Regulatory Steps
    • Aquatic Organism Relocation
  • During Construction
    • Constructability
    • Oversight
    • Cost Saving Approaches
    • Expecting the Unexpected
    • Construction Methods
  • Post Construction
    • Notifications
    • As-Builts
    • Monitoring
  • Round Table
    • Issues that arise during construction – Using examples from the participants and instructors.

    Click here for more information.

Instructor(s) Laura Wildman (contact:, Amy Singler, Gwen McDonald, Paul Woodworth, Mike Chelminski, Steve Gephard, Jeff Boyer
Date and Time Sunday, June 19 at 9 AM (full day)
Cost $60
Registration Status OPEN

Thursday, June 23rd


Fish Passage Training Course

Description This 8-hour training course will benefit engineers, biologists, hydrologists, environmental scientists, and other practitioners involved in the design, operation and oversight of fish passage projects. Course material will incorporate recently completed federal resource agency guidelines, and be presented through lecture and team-based design exercises. Instructors will be comprised of an interdisciplinary team of ecologists and engineers from USFWS, NMFS, and USGS. The course will be held at the USFWS Regional Office, conveniently located 2 miles from campus on the PVTA bus route (for a map of the location, click here). Topics will include:
  • design flows
  • biological and engineering criteria
  • upstream technical fishways
  • downstream technical fishways
  • nature-like fishways
  • eel passage

Click here to view the course flyer.

Instructor(s) Brett Towler (contact:, Alex Haro, Jim Turek, Bryan Sojkowski, Matt Bernier, Kevin Mulligan
Date and Time Thursday, June 23 at 8 AM (full day)
Cost $250 (general), $60 (student). A limited number of registration fee waivers are available for state and federal employees, tribes, and NGOs with a conservation mission. Contact Brett Towler at for more information.
Registration Status FULL

NAACC Protocols and Field Training

Description This full day workshop will provide training on the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC) protocol for assessing aquatic passability for road-stream crossings (culverts and bridges). In the morning there will be an indoor session covering the NAACC program structure, data collection protocols, data entry and QA/QC measures. In the afternoon will be a field training component. Participants will travel to a number of road-stream crossings in the vicinity of Amherst to gain experience in the field assessment of road-stream crossings. This training will help participants meet certification requirements for participation in the NAACC data collection program.
Instructor(s) Scott Jackson (contact:
Date and Time Thursday, June 23 at 9 AM (full day)
Cost $30
Registration Status OPEN

If you have any questions or would like more information about these courses, please feel free to email