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SNEC 2023 Winter Conference

Winter Conferences

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SNEC 2022 Winter Conference

SWCS SNEC 2023 Winter Conference “Water Quality in Southern New England: The Latest Research, Practice, and Policy”

Thursday MARCH 30, 2023
University of Massachusetts Amherst Campus Center
Amherst and Hadley Rooms (10th floor)
8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Join us for our first in-person winter conference since 2019! Our program will delve into current issues in water quality and explore solutions for reversing damage to our precious natural resources. Speakers will discuss the latest water quality research, practice, policy affecting Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Program Information

CLICK HERE for Speaker Information

Final Agenda 3.21.23

View the Agenda as a PDF.



Online Registration Only | No Checks

General Admission $125

SNEC Member $75

Full Time Student $50

SWCS Student Chapter Member $25

Exhibitor $400


Join the Soil & Water Conservation Society now at the $115 Conservationist level and benefit immediately by registering at the $75 SNEC Member rate! Select the Blue Light Special option and we’ll handle the SWCS membership paperwork.

Note: this offer is available only to first-time SWCS members.


  • Rain or Shine | No Refunds | Transfer Allowed
  • Lunch and coffee will be provided.
  • Your registration includes presentations and access to exhibits.
  • Parking is available at the Parking Garage at the conference rate of $6.50.
  • UMass Amherst is a Smoke Free campus.


Additional information will be provided via e-mail prior to the event. This will include the agenda, links for handouts if any are provided by speakers, and parking information.

If any COVID-19 precautions will be required by UMass, that information will also be provided. There are no restrictions in place at this time (19 Jan 2023). Current Guidance for Campus Events is posted at


Exhibitor Information

SWCS Southern New England Chapter’s mission is promote, educate and advance the science of soil, water and related resources conservation. We seek subject matter experts that can help deliver solutions.

To get a sense of the prospective audience, see lists of attendees at past SNEC Winter Conferences:

We have use of the entire 10th floor of the Campus Center. To see a floor plan, go to and click on 10th Floor Campus Center. Presentations will be in the Amherst Room. Exhibits, coffee and the lunch buffet will be in the Hadley Room and foyer.  

Exhibitor Registration $400

includes one 6-foot table with paper drape and registration for one (1) person.

Additional Exhibit Staff $75
Register online via credit card.

–> For more information, contact

Speaker Information (pdf)

Speaker Bios

“Microplastics in the Environment”
Baoshan Xing

Professor and Director of Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Baoshan Xing is Professor (Environmental & Soil Chemistry) and Director of Stockbridge School of Agriculture at University of Massachusetts Amherst. His current research includes agricultural application of engineered nanomaterials, environmental processes of microplastics, use of biochar for soil improvement and remediation, and food safety. He is a “Most Cited Scientist” every year since 2014 when this analytics started, indicating the impact and significance of his research. His h-index is currently at 135 and the total citation on his research is over 75,000 (Google Scholar). Dr. Xing is currently an Editor of Environmental Pollution, Biochar, and Carbon Research. He received numerous national and international awards/honors. His research program is recognized nationally and internationally.

“Through the River and Over the Woods: Global PFAS Exposure and Implications for Ecosystem Health”
Lisa McIntosh

Senior Technical Manager, Woodard & Curran

Lisa McIntosh is a senior technical manager and principal at Woodard & Curran, with an academic background in environmental toxicology and over 25 years of experience in environmental consulting. Ms. McIntosh is certified as a general toxicologist by the American Board of Toxicology. During her career, Lisa has focused primarily on environmental risk assessment to support cleanup of contaminated sites, with special interest in risk communication and emerging contaminants. Her interests and background in ecology have also allowed her to dabble in the fields of wetlands and ecological restoration. She is actively involved in the scientific and regulatory community, including the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Society for Women Environmental Professionals and the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council PFAS workgroup. In her free time, she spends as much time as she can either at home in the garden or out in the woods hiking and camping.

“Improving Water Quality One Field at a Time: NRCS Practices for Producers”
Nancy Ferlow

Connecticut Natural Resources Conservation Service

Nancy Ferlow is the State Resource Conservations for USDA-NRCS in Connecticut.  She has been with the agency for 30 years.  Nancy’s current responsibilities include Agency compliance with the Endangered Species Act, Highly Erodible and Wetlands compliance, conservation planning tools, quality assurance and staff training.  Her education is in Biology, Geology and Forestry.

“MassDEP’s Environmental Justice Initiatives to Improve Water Quality”
Dr. Padmini Das

Chief, Nonpoint Source Management Program, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

Dr. Padmini Das oversees MassDEP’s Nonpoint Source Management Program as the NPS Section Chief in the Watershed Planning Program. Her responsibilities include the development and implementation of the NPS Management Program Plan through Clean Water Act Section 604(b) Water Quality Management Planning Grants, and Section 319 NPS Competitive Grant Program. Dr. Das was previously the Chair of the Department of Biology at Nazareth College of Rochester, where she was also an Associate Professor, Director of the Environmental Science and Sustainability Program, and Director of the Environmental Quality and Remediation Research Group. She has research expertise in soil and water quality assessment and the design and implementation of sustainable best management practices to remediate a wide array of soil and water contaminants, notably lead, arsenic, plastic degradants, nutrients, TNT, RDX, PCBs, and emerging contaminants. Through these community-driven environmental projects, she has worked for the benefit of disadvantaged communities, engaging community youth as an integral part of these projects. Dr. Das has a Ph.D. in Environmental Management from Montclair State University, two Master of Science degrees in Environmental Science from the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Pune (India), and a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from the University of Pune.

“Implementing the Single Standards Act to Increase State Protection of Buffers for Freshwater Wetlands in Rhode Island”
Chuck Horbert

Deputy Administrator, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Office of Water Resources

After graduating in 1989 from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in Wildlife Biology and Management, Chuck was hired as a biologist by RIDEM in their Division of Freshwater Wetlands. Three years later, he became a Supervisor for that Program, where he spent most of his career to date until his promotion to Deputy Administrator in the Office of Water Resources in 2019, where he primarily oversees stormwater permitting and the Water Quality Certification Program but still gets his hands on the Freshwater Wetlands Program from time to time. When he isn’t at work, he is often found in a canoe somewhere on the waters of New England or the Adirondacks.

“Quality of Massachusetts Waters: Regulation, Improvement and Challenges”
David Wong

Environmental Analyst, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

David Wong is an Environmental Analyst overseeing the 401 Water Quality Certification Program/WM 04 Chemical Application Program within Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. He holds a PhD in Marine Ecology, a MS and BSc in Fisheries/Aquaculture. David’s interests and experience include Water Quality Monitoring, Biological Invasions, Risk Assessment, Eutrophication Management, Ecological Restoration, and the Clean Water Act.

“Wetlands and the MA Contingency Plan”
Mia McDonald

Circuit Rider, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Central Regional Office

Mia McDonald is the Wetlands Circuit Rider for the Central Regional Office. Mia comes to MassDEP from her position as the Agent for the Towns of Northborough and Paxton. She also served on the Worcester Conservation Commission for approximately nine years. Mia graduated from WPI with a degree in environmental science which focused on environmental engineering and planning. She spent over a decade of her career in the private sector working on design, permitting and construction of drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

-> Sponsorship Opportunities Available <-

Learn more

2023 SNEC Sponsors

  • Date and time

    Thu, March 30, 2023

    8:00 AM – 4:30 PM EDT
  • Location

    Campus Center

    10th floor
    1 Campus Center Way
    Amherst, MA 01003


2023 SWCS Southern New England Chapter Winter Conference

Campus Center

10th floor
1 Campus Center Way
Amherst, MA 01003

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2022 Winter Conference – Soil Carbon Storage: Combating Climate Change from the Ground Up

Winter Conferences

Past Events

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SNEC 2022 Winter Conference

SNEC 2022 Winter Conference
The objective of the SWCS Southern New England Chapter is to promote, educate and advance all phases of the science of conservation of soil, water, and all related resources. With this mission in mind, the Chapter hosts an annual winter conference to discuss new and local conservation topics. This year’s theme is soil carbon sequestration. We will have several presenters representing all angles of soil conservation who will dive into topics like blue carbon, carbon credits, regenerative agriculture, soil productivity, and climate change regulations and mitigation. This was a virtual, one-day event on Friday, March 25, 2022.


Dr. Lal is an entrepreneur, a distinguished university professor, and a globally renowned soil scientist. Currently, Lal is the Director of the CFAES Rattan Lal Center for Carbon Management and Sequestration at the Ohio State University. Dr. Lal received the Glinka World Soil Price in 2018, the World Food Prize in 2020, the Good Will Ambassador of IICA in 2020, and the Padma Shri Award in 2021. His research interests are in regenerative agriculture, soil carbon sequestration, soil restoration, natural resource management, and global food security. President Biden appointed Lal as a Member of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development in January 2022.

The World Food Prize writes, “Dr. Rattan Lal, a native of India and a citizen of the United States, wil I receive the 2020 World Food Prize for developing and mainstreaming a soilcentric approach to increasing food production that restores and conserves natural resources and mitigates climate change. Over his career spanning more than five decades and four continents, Dr. Lal has promoted innovative soil-saving techniques benefiting the livelihoods of more than 500 million smallholder farmers, improving the food and nutritional security of more than two billion people, and saving hundreds of millions of hectares of natural tropical ecosystems.”

Dr. Rattan Lal

For future generations, it is very important that soil resources must be protected, preserved, restored, and enhanced. That is where the future of humanity lies.

Speaker Bios and Abstracts

Stacy Minihane

Beals + Thomas, Inc /

For future generations, it is very important that soil resources must be protected, preserved, restored, and enhanced. That is where the future of humanity lies.

Soil Carbon Sequestration in the Massachusetts Regulatory Framework
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts continues to be a leader in preparing for and responding to the effects of climate change. This presentation will provide a preview of coming questions and information that project proponents should begin to consider more deeply, particularly with regard to soil carbon sequestration. In relation to soils considerations, recent experience with MEPA requests for information pertaining to Greenhouse Gas analyses will be overviewed, along with the decarbonization considerations in the new Resilient MA Action Team Statewide Climate Resilience Design Standards Tool now required by MEPA, as well as other intersecting considerations such as wetlands impacts/mitigation and MEPA agricultural land alteration thresholds. The presentation is intended to end with time for open discussion regarding the role that soil scientists and other experts should play in the Commonwealth’s development of updated Greenhouse Gas analyses that more fully consider our soil’s role in carbon sequestration.

Hillary Sullivan
Hillary Sullivan

Woodwell Climate Re search Center /

Hillary received her B.S. in Environmental Science from Clark University, and her M.S. in Biology also from Clark University. She has worked as a research assistant studying nitrogen cycling in salt marshes for the past seven years. In 2019, she started her PhD at Northeastern University studying the effects of hydrology on salt marsh biogeochemistry.

The impact of runelling as a hydrologic restoration strategy on salt marsh carbon decomposition
High rates of primary productivity and slow rates of decomposition lead to significant blue carbon stores in salt marsh peat soils. However, marshes are experiencing vegetation dieback and drowning due to interactions of sea level rise and anthropogenic disturbance. Runelling, a proposed mitigation strategy, is designed to connect standing water on the marsh to nearby open water, thereby restoring marsh hydrologic patterns and decreasing the area of standing water that can lead to vegetation dieback. Currently, the impacts of this adaptation strategy on carbon decomposition are unknown. We hypothesized that altering marsh hydrodynamics would impact edaphic drivers of decomposition by decreasing water content, increasing redox potential, and decreasing temperature. This in turn would increase decomposition in dieback areas, only in the short term until revegetation. In year one, before digging runnels, we conducted a decomposition experiment using the Teabag Index in Buzzard’s Bay, Massachusetts. Areas of dieback and standing water had higher moisture content and lower redox conditions, and as a result, rates of decomposition were lower in these areas compared to drier, vegetated zones, though not significant. After the year one growing season, we dug runnels at treatment creeks. We replicated the Teabag Index study, and in addition, buried aboveground Spartina alterniflora in litterbags to measure long-term decomposition rates of biomass. We will describe how runnels alter marsh hydrology and edaphic conditions and present preliminary decomposition results from the first growing season after runnel creation.


BSC Group / /

Gillian Davies is a Senior Ecologist and registered Soil Scientist (SSSSNE) at BSC Group, focusing on climate change and wetlands and working with local communities to develop Nature-based Solutions, particularly wetland, forest, and soil conservation and restoration.

Keith Zaltzberg-Drezdahl

Keith Zaltzberg-Drezdahl is an environmental designer and founding principal of the Regenerative Design Group. He works with clients to create resilient and productive landscapes that contribute to human well-being and social justice, regenerate ecological vitality, and create beauty.

Making it happen: Three case studies for increasing soil carbon storage and fighting climate change

The Earth’s soil contains about twice as much carbon as is contained in the atmosphere and biosphere together. How we conserve and manage soils has a b ig impact on carbon emissions and withdrawals from the atmosphere. Wetland soils are particularly significant, as wetlands store approximately 30% of the world’s soil carbon, despite occupying only 5 – 8% of the earth ‘s land surface. Most of the carbon stored in wetlands is stored in the soil. This presentation will discuss three projects where soil conservation, restoration, and management for soil health were central elements. In one case study, a specific approach to conserving and translocating hydric soils from a wetland impact area to a wetland replication area will be discussed. In another case study, state climate resilience funding was used to implement a regional assessment and planning project that identified and prioritized Nature-based solutions focused on conserving and restoring wetlands, floodplains, forests, and other ecosystems that harbor significant soil and biomass carbon.

Kaitlin Farbotnik
Kaitlin Farbotnik And Joshua Beniston


Kaitlin Farbotnik is Kaitlin is the State Conservation Agronomist and Grazing Specialist for New Jersey NRCS. She has a B.S. in Agroecology with minors in Agricultural Entomology and Soil Science from the University of Wyoming. Kaitlin began her career with NRCS as a Conservation District intern writing HEL compliance plans in college.

Dr. Joshua Beniston

Dr. Joshua Beniston is a Regional Soil Health Specialist for the Soil Health Division. Research and education in soil health have been Josh’s professional focus for the past 15 years. Josh earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Soil Science at the Ohio State University. His research at Ohio State focused on soil carbon, soil health, and urban agriculture.

Improving soil health for urban agriculture by managing soil carbon

An abundance of vacant land exists in the formerly industrial cities of the U.S. Many communities have begun utilizing this land for functional greenspace and urban agriculture (UA) to improve the overall quality of life. This presentation will provide a summary of two projects that measured changes in soil carbon and health from management for UA. The first project focused on an experimental site located in vacant urban lots in Youngstown, OH where houses were recently demolished and removed and the soil was left in a degraded state. The experiment measured changes in soil properties and vegetable crop yields from applying organic amendments produced from urban green wastes. The second project was a field evaluation of soil health at nine urban market gardens in Ohio. Soil physical, chemical, and biological properties were measured and soil health was compared by calculating a soil quality index. These sites demonstrated h igh levels of both soil carbon and overall soil health. Observations from both projects indicate that management for UA can result in high quality soils. This presentation will a lso provide a short introduction to the NRCS Soil Health Division and our primary programs.

David Aiken
David Aiken

University of Nebraska /

Professor Aiken joined the University of Nebraska Department of Agricultural Economics as a water and law specialist in 1975. A member of the Nebraska State Bar Association, Aiken has published over 100 technical and popular publications dealing with state water law, agricultural law, and more recently agricu ltural carbon credits.

Ag Carbon Credits

Ag carbon cred its may provide a modest income stream to ag producers. The principal buyers are corporations who want to buy cheaper ag carbon credits instead of actually reducing corporate greenhouse gas emissions. But the market is an emerging one and f inding the r ight carbon program is challenging. Pending federal legislation would provide significant carbon market clarity but prospects for enactment are 50-50. If the US significantly regulated US greenhouse gas emissions, carbon cred it prices would likely increase, including prices for ag carbon credits. Forestry provides most of the US land-based carbon sequestration, which ag carbon credits are based on. Current US cropland carbon sequestration equals about 0.3% of current emissions, while grasslands equals about 0.2%.

Meagan Eagle
Meagan Eagle

United States Geological Survey /

Meagan Eagle is a Research Scientist in the Environmental Geochemistry group at the Woods Hole Coastal & Marine Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey. Her research on coastal ecosystems, such as estuaries and wetlands, is used to build understanding and develop new tools to address adaptation of coastal wetlands to sea level rise. Dr. Eagle has a B.S. and M.S. in Geological and Environmental Sciences from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program.

Impact of historic hydrologic manipulation and recent restoration on coastal wetland soil carbon

Over the past century, -50% of U.S. salt marshes have been lost to inf illing, impoundment, draining, or other land-use modification, with an estimated 0.48 million hectares of restricted and impounded wetlands and 0.24 mi llion hectares of drained former wetlands. Such modifications of t idal hydrology have negative impacts on coastal wetland carbon storage. Draining wetlands lowers the water level, exposing buried organic material to oxygen, resulting in loss of both stored carbon and associated e levation of the marsh. Additionally, impoundment commonly results in conversion of salt marsh habitat to another ecosystem that is disconnected from the natural feedbacks between sea-level rise and p latform elevation, leaving coastal wetlands with a reduced capacity to respond to future changes. Carbon storage is likewise negatively impacted when hydrology is altered. Here I will present carbon storage rates across the diverse ecosystems currently found in the impounded and drained former salt marshes of the Herring River estuary (Cape Cod Nat ional Seashore, MA, USA) as well as carbon sto rage data from Cape Cod marshes that have been hydrologically restored. Since diking over a century ago, freshwater ecosystems, including Phragmites Australis, Typha sps., and forest and shrub areas replaced former salt marsh habitat. Each of these ecosystems has unique carbon burial rates and thus projected elevation trajectories. Ultimately, drained and impounded former marshes in the Herring River system do not store carbon at rates (70-180 g C/m2/y) that match adjacent healthy salt marshes responding to sea-level rise (160-250 g C/m2/y) . Wetland systems, such as the Herring River, that continue to have altered hydrology are sites of reduced carbon storage compared to natura l analogues.

Kaitlin Farbotnik
Emily Cole And Julie Fine

American Farmland Trust / /

Dr. Emily Cole is the New England Regional Deputy Director at American Farmland Trust. Dr Cole directs the Climate and Agriculture Programming in the region which works to advance the adoption of smart solar siting, regenerative agriculture, and climate-smart management through on-the-ground technical assistance, financial assistance, farmer and service provider education, and policy outreach.

Dr. Joshua Beniston

Julie Fine is the climate and agriculture specialist at AFT New England. She has experience in agricultural research, organic farming, and as an agricultural service provider. In 2018 Julie earned an MS in plant and soil science from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst researching the effects of winter-killed cover crops on nutrient cycling, weed suppression, and soil health.

Advancing Farmer Adoption of Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative agriculture is key to improving the resiliency of New England’s farmland, protecting our environment, feeding our region – and combatting climate change. New England’s farmers are tasked with sustaining our local food system and supporting the agricultural economy, while facing increased expectations to meet local and market-based demands for sustainably produced food. Smaller and family farms f ind profitabi lity a continuous struggle and the adoption of regenerative practices can feel too burdensome or financially risky for farmers to transition from current practices. While there are pathways to overcoming these barriers and transition to regenerative agriculture, the responsibility cannot be shouldered by the farmer alone. American Farmland Trust has created regional programming that assists farmers (both technically and financially), using public and private funding, to provide the support necessary for farmers to move past the barriers to adopting regenerative agriculture practices. This presentation will share highlights and lessons learned from AFT’s work on advancing regenerative agriculture in New England.

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2020 Winter Conference – Lights Up: Sustainable Solar in New England

2020 Winter Conference –
Lights Up: Sustainable Solar in New England

No Events Found

Thursday December 3rd &
Friday December 4th, 2020

The objective of the Soil and Water Conservation Society Southern New England Chapter is to promote, educate and advance all phases of the science of conservation of soil, water, and all related resources, as well as to provide a medium of exchange of facts, experience, and thoughts. We aim to represent, advance and promote the standards of the science of soil and water conservation. 

Our 2020 conference will shine a light on the role of sustainable solar energy in New England. We will discuss the current status of solar and how innovation and community involvement can be combined to expand the use of sustainable solar. Each day in this 2-day virtual event will have around 5-6 hours of content including time for social events! 


(Login Information Redacted)

Networking Opportunities

Our previous conferences have attracted a wide range of participants from the private and public sectors.  Don’t miss out on this opportunity to network with these Registered Attendees.

We’ve expanding networking through discord. Our attendees have the option of interacting with other conference goers through the Lights Up discord server. 

Visit with our exhibitors in two individual breakout sessions. Each exhibitor will have their own Zoom breakout room. You will be able to move around between rooms and network.

Speaker Information

Abstracts, Links to Presentations & Resources

Thursday December 3rd:

  • Emily Cole (Climate & Ag Program Manager, American Farmland Trust) – A Balanced Approach to Solar Siting – We are simultaneously experiencing increasing demands for clean and renewable energy and increasing threats to the working lands of New England. We cannot move towards a climate stable future without clean energy, and we also cannot afford to lose our productive farmland and forest lands. Luckily – one does not preclude the other. There is a balanced approach to solar siting that forges a path ahead – Smart Solar Siting. With smart solar siting we can accelerate the expansion of renewable energy generation and cut greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining our natural and working lands. Link to Slides.
  • Karen Ribeiro (Policy & Commercial Design, PV Squared Solar) – “Energy Insights from PV Squared Solar” will cover the rationale behind choosing a worker-owned cooperative business model and a governance model of values-based decision making, a few statistics about women in the energy sector, and a number of anecdotes about growing a solar business in the current political environment both regionally and nationally. Outline. & Link to Slides.
  • Chris Stone, P.E. (Stormwater Permit Engineer, CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection) – Recently enacted economic incentives have produced a large increase in the number and size of utility-scale solar arrays being built in Connecticut in the past few years. These projects can involve disturbing anywhere from 10 to 500 acres of land during construction. Connecticut’s Department of Energy & Environmental Protection regulates the construction of these sites through its construction stormwater general permit. However, CTDEEP has learned that many of these large projects present significant challenges in stormwater management and erosion control that are not always well addressed by the stormwater general permit. This presentation will discuss the nature and extent of these challenges and CTDEEP’s plans to address them while encouraging sustainable energy solutions. Link to Slides.
  • Sharon Klein (Associate Professor, University of Maine) – Energy information is complex, requiring considerable resources and time for all interested parties. As more and more local energy groups (e.g., town committees, grassroots citizen groups, established local non-profit organizations, etc) move toward 100% renewable, energy independent, and/or carbon neutral goals, the need for accessible, easy-to-understand, comparative information about sustainable energy options for people with limited technical knowledge is critical. We developed a quantitative, data-driven, web-based Dam Decision Support Tool and associated participatory process, intended for use by both individuals and groups to help inform and support hydropower dam decisions by diverse stakeholder groups. A new proposed study will build on this hydropower-specific work to co-develop a Decision Support Tool for local energy groups through a research process that engages local energy groups in the tool’s creation. This presentation will describe the Dam Decision Support Tool and collaborative process used to develop it. It will also outline future plans to engage local energy groups in a similar process to help them choose between different renewable energy and energy efficiency options that may help meet their goals. Link to Slides.Link to Draft Paper. & Link to Google Drive of Community Solar Resources.
  • Yasmin Yacoby (Program Manager for Energy Justice, RI Office of Energy Resources) – It is crucial that everyone has access to clean, affordable, and reliable energy, and that our low-and-moderate income communities, our frontline communities, and our environmental justice communities are equitably benefiting from underlying clean energy investments and programmatic outcomes. We are at an incredible moment where we are redesigning our energy system to be more sustainable and clean. With that transition, we can consciously make the choice to be equitable, to design for those historically marginalized, and to uplift the voices of local experts. This presentation will serve as a case study of Rhode Island’s work towards energy justice, and will provide some tools to begin thinking about equity at your organizations. (Slides Unavailable for Distribution.)

Friday December 4th:

  • Lucy Bullock-Sieger (Director of Civic Engagement, BlueWave Solar) – We know that solar is needed in order to meet the New England States’ clean energy goals and stop climate change. The solar industry has a unique opportunity to be a partner in supporting states’ land preservation, agricultural production and clean energy goals all at the same time. Come learn about what sustainable solar siting best practices are, what the pillars of a strong solar siting policy are and how the industry can press the reset button on the land use conversation across New England. Link to Slides.
  • Stephen Herbert (Professor of Agronomy, University of Massachusetts Amherst) – Developing sound policy and effective on-farm practices to transition to renewable energy sources while accommodating and increasing our local and regional food supply requires maintenance of our land base for farming and food production. At the farm scale, integrating solar energy to support on-farm and community electrical needs has resulted in some ground-mounted solar PV on the farm to the exclusion of farming, as the land has been taken out of agriculture. Facing economic pressures, farmers and farm landowners have accepted offers to lease land for large scale solar installers eliminating agricultural use of land for 20-25 years.Our land resource is finite and must be protected to feed the ever increasing world population. In Massachusetts we produce less than 10% of the food consumed and reducing our land base for solar can be a short-term gain for a longer-term problem. The research at the UMass solar installation lead by Dr. Herbert is designed to be compatible with farming as the minimum height above the ground level is 7 feet. The project started with grazing cattle beneath the solar panels and has now transitioned to vegetable production. Clusters of three panels have variable spacing between clusters from 2 to 5 feet. The varying gaps between clusters provide more or less light to the crops growing beneath and not area is fully shaded throughout the day. A gap of 4ft between clusters yielded 90-95% of pasture yield of control areas without panels. With vegetables in grown in hot, dry years the areas under the panels providing shade were 15oF cooler than unshaded areas and yielded more or similar to unshaded areas, whereas in cooler years vegetables not shaded by panel cluster had higher yields than in partially shaded areas. Link to Slides.
  • Abby Barnicle (Renewable Energy Program Coordinator, MA Department of Energy Resources) – DOER’s presentation, “Land Use, Agriculture, and the MA SMART Solar Program,” will provide a brief overview of recent changes made to the Land Use and Siting Criteria in the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program, including the qualification of dual-use solar photovoltaic (PV) systems as Agricultural Solar Tariff Generation Units (ASTGU). The presentation will provide an update on the Guideline Regarding the Definition of ASTGUs, including a review of DOER’s proposed revisions to the Guideline, the ongoing stakeholder process, and next steps. Resources for attendees. & Link to Slides.
  • Dwayne Breger (Director, UMass Clean Energy Extension)As solar development expands in Massachusetts, the opportunities and reservations regarding siting of ground-mounted solar installations will continue to mount, particularly in rural communities and on agricultural lands.  The Clean Energy Extension will provide updated information on the early development of dual-use solar on agricultural lands in the state and key research questions raised by this development.   We will also review our on-going work to support rural municipalities to be better informed and positioned to proactively engage in solar development that supports the community’s values and economic interests. Link to Slides.
  • Zara Dowling (Research Fellow, UMass Clean Energy Extension) – Utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities provide an important source of renewable electricity generation, but development of these facilities can also raise concerns about environmental impacts. In Massachusetts, the growth of solar PV capacity has led to concerns about conversion of land from open space to solar energy facilities, and the degradation of native habitats. One approach other states have taken to moderate the impacts of solar PV expansion is to develop pollinator-friendly certification programs that encourage the management of vegetation under and around solar PV arrays to support native flowering plants and associated pollinator species. In Massachusetts, UMass Clean Energy Extension spearheaded development of a Pollinator-Friendly Certification Program for solar PV facilities within the state. This presentation will provide an overview of the program, including how it was developed, program components, and the status of newly-certified facilities. Attendee Notes. & Link to Text of Slides.

Speaker Biographies & Contact Information

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Learn more about our Conference Sponsors & Exhibitors by clicking their logos below.

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Supporter

Additional Supporters Include:

TRC | Stantec | Davison Environmental |POWER Engineers

Supreme Industries | Watkins Strategies – Public Involvement Specialists

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Past Conferences

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2019 Winter Conference – Going With the Flow: Stream Continuity

2019 Winter Conference –
Going With the Flow: Stream Continuity

No Events Found

The Soil & Water Conservation Society (SWCS) Southern New England Chapter (SNEC)

2019 Annual Winter Conference

Friday March 22, 2019

8:00 am – 4:30 pm

Eversource Energy

107 Selden Street, Berlin, CT 06037

Our Conference focus will be ‘Stream Continuity’.

Registration open to the first 100 registrations – WE ARE SOLD OUT!

A light breakfast and Lunch are included!

Certificate of Attendances will be provided, upon request during registration.

$75 SWCS Members
$75 Government Staff
$100 Non-Members
$40 Students


Don’t miss the chance to network with these Registered Attendees

We are excited to announce the program’s following Guest Speakers!



Scott Jackson, Extension Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Environmental Conservation, presented “Assessing and Addressing Ecological Disruption and Transportation Vulnerability Associated with Road-Stream Crossings”.

MA Stream Crossings Booklet

Taylor M. Bell, RI Project Manager for the US Army Corps of Engineers New England District will be presenting “Quantifying Stream Function”.

James Turek, Restoration Ecologist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Restoration Center and stationed at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center Lab in Narragansett, Rhode Island, will present “NOAA’s Role and Experiences in Restoring Migratory Fish Passage and River Restoration in the Northeast”.   (No reuse of these materials are allowed by others without the consent of the author and sources.  Thank you.)

Christine Odiaga Assistant Project Manager of Friends of Herring River will provide an overview of the HERRING RIVER RESTORATION PROJECT, the largest wetland restoration project in the northeastern United States, Full Stream Ahead!”

Tom Hennessey, is a Bridge Consultant at Contech Engineered Solutions LLC for MA, RI, and CT and will discuss “Open Bottom Structures for Fish Migration”, sharing local CT, MA, and RI projects recently completed.

Tayler Engel , lead GIS Analyst and UAS Pilot at ARE-AirShark will have a presentation on Environmental Monitoring and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)/drones, “UAS LiDAR for Environmental Analysis”.  

Tom Benjamin,  Registered Landscape Architect (RLA), LEED-AP BD+C, of WELLNESSCAPES will have some great restoration projects while presenting “Bioengineered Waterway & Slope Stabilization Applied”

Laura Wildman, Director of the New England Regional Office at Princeton Hydro, LLC, will present “Dam Removal; When Less is More”.

Steve GephardSupervising Fisheries Biologist, State of Connecticut- DEEP/Inland Fisheries Division of the Diadromous Fish and Habitat, Conservation, and Enhancement programs will present “Getting Migratory Fish Over the Myriad of Barriers in Connecticut”.


Silver Sponsors

  • Eversource Energy

    Eversource Energy

  • BSC Group

    BSC Group

  • GZA GeoEnvironmental

    GZA GeoEnvironmental

Bronze Sponsors

  • VHB


  • STANTEC Consulting Services, Inc.

    STANTEC Consulting Services, Inc.

  • Fuss & O’Neill, Inc.

    Fuss & O’Neill, Inc.


If you would like to be involved as a 2019 Sponsor or Exhibitor, please use the –
 Sponsorship & Exhibitor Sheet.


  • EJ Prescott, Inc.

    EJ Prescott, Inc.





Attendees >>

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2018 Winter Conference – Healthy Forests, Healthy Habitats

2018 Winter Conference –
Healthy Forests, Healthy Habitats

No Events Found

HEALTHY FORESTS, HEALTHY HABITATS Friday March 16, 2018, 8am – 5pm
Publick House Historic Inn, Sturbridge, MA

Continuing Education Units! 

The State of Connecticut has approved 2.5 CEUs for CT Certified Forest Practitioners!

Both the national Society of American Foresters (SAF) and state of Massachusetts have approved Continuing Education Units for attendance of this conference!


Healthy Forests Healthy Habitats Program.

Speaker Biographies

$65 SWCS Members & SAF Members
$65 Government Staff
$90 Non-Members
$40 Students
Group Discounts (25% OFF)

Don’t miss the chance to network with these Registered Attendees.

Guest Speakers include;

Lois Bruinooge, Executive Director, The Last Green Valley & Coordinator, Southern New England Heritage Forest Project
“Partners Bring $6.1 Million to the Region for Forest Conservation!”  

The Last Green Valley Presentation, CLICK HERE

Michael Downey, Service Forester, MA DCR
“Introduction to Agroforestry: The Science, Practice and Possibilities for Massachusetts” Agroforestry Presentation

Jennifer Fish, Service Forestry Program Director, MA DCR
“Foresters for the Birds Program”  MA Audubon & DCR Foresters for the Birds Program

Fern Graves, Principal Forester & Stewardship Coordinator, RI DEM
“Healthy Forests” Healthy Forests Presentation

Douglas Hutcheson, Service Forester, MA DCR
“Forestry Best Management Practices”   MA Forestry-BMP-Manual

Dr. Steve Johnson, Senior Ecologist, SWCA Environmental Consultants
“Rare and Endangered Species and Forest Cutting”

Christopher Martin, Forester, CT DEEP
“Forestry and Water Quality” CT Forestry & Water Quality BMP Presentation

John Scanlon, Habitat Program Supervisor, MA FWE
“MassWildlife Landscape Goals for Wildlife Habitats” MassWildlife Landscape Goals for Wildlife Habitats

Thomas E. Worthley, Associate Extension Professor, University of Connecticut
“Perspectives on Woodland Management in a Parcelizing World”

In keeping with the Forestry and Wildlife theme, we will be joined for the day by members of the Yankee Division of the Society of American Foresters (YDSAF), the professional forestry organization in Southern New England, for their Annual Meeting.

In conjunction with the conference, EnviroCert International, Inc. (ECI) will be leading review courses and a next day exam for several professional certifications including but not limited to the Certified Professional in Erosion & Sediment Control™ (CPESC®) and Certified Erosion, Sediment & Stormwater Inspector™ (CESSWI™) programs. Registration for these review courses and exams are available at and is a separate registration.

 Sponsors & Exhibitors 

* BluRoc, LLC * National Grid * Eversource Energy *GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. *
* Stantec Consulting Services, Inc., * VHB * Fuss & O’Neill * BSC Group *
*Milone & MacBroom * Tighe & Bond *
* Bay State Forestry Service * Hull Forest Products *
* E. J. Prescott, Inc. * Filtrexx Northeast Systems *
* MA Department Conservation & Recreation (DCR) *
* The Last Green Valley * NRCS * MA Fisheries & Wildlife (FWE) *
* MA Forest Alliance * Mass Audubon * MA Woodlands Institute *

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2017 Winter Conference – Resiliency Planning

2017 Winter Conference –
Resiliency Planning

No Events Found

21 Feb:  AirShark added as Exhibitor


February 24th (Friday)
8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Eversource | Berlin CT

Community Building Auditorium

–>> AGENDA (PDF) <<–

–>> BROCHURE  (PDF) <<–

rev 17 Feb 2017 – includes agenda, speaker information, workshop/presentation descriptions and more

The SWCS Southern New England Chapter 2017 Winter Conference program will deliver 6 hours of professional development content.  Conservation district and Government employees register at the Member rate; Student and Group Discounts are being offered.

Go to the PROGRAM page for the Agenda, descriptions of the Workshops & Presentations and Speaker biographies & contact information.


Certificates of Attendance will be provided.  The agenda will be included to facilitate use for maintaining professional certifications.  CT FORESTERS:  the program has been approved for 2.0  Continuing Education Units for CT Certified Forest Practitioners.

A limited amount of exhibit space is available.  Scroll down for more information.  3 tables available 

Benefits of sponsorship range from website and program exposure for your company, to signage at the venue and prominent exhibit space for higher levels.  Scroll down for information about sponsorship opportunities.

Register 3, Get 1 FREE !!

  • 25% off each Member/Government registration when ANY combination of 4 OR MORE members/government employees register together – save $12.50 each!
  • 25% off each Non-Member registration when ANY group of 4 OR MORE non-members register together – save $16.25 each!
  • 25% off each Student registration when ANY group of 4 OR MORE students from any combination of schools register together – save $7.50 each!


$140 includes 1 year SWCS & SNEC membership at the Conservationist level and conference registration at the member rate
 * for first-time SWCS members

Exhibitor  $350

includes 6-foot table with one chair and registration for one person. Additional exhibitor staff:  $50.

14 Feb:  3 tables still available

The Soil & Water Conservation Society (SWCS) is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization.  The Southern New England Chapter (SNEC) was founded in 1946 to serve CT, MA and RI.  SNEC is funded by event income, membership dues (<$500/year) and sponsorship; the annual Winter Conference is the SNEC’s primary source of revenue.  Benefits of sponsorship range from website and program exposure for your company, to signage at the venue and prominent exhibit space for higher levels.

Sponsorship Info (PDF)

The SNEC Board of Directors would like to thank EVERSOURCE for hosting this event.

Eversource (NYSE: ES) transmits and delivers electricity and natural gas for approximately 3.7 million electric and natural gas customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Eversource harnesses the commitment of its approximately 8,000 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of delivering reliable energy and superior customer service.  For more information, please visit our website ( and follow us on Twitter (@EversourceCorp) and Facebook (

–>> AGENDA (PDF) <<–

–>> BROCHURE  (PDF) <<–

includes agenda, speaker bios, workshop/presentation descriptions and more – rev 17 Feb 2017

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2016 Winter Conference – Swamp Things

2016 Winter Conference –
Swamp Things

No Events Found

  • 1

    Eversource Energy – Millstone Line Separation Project, Waterford, CT / Photo Credit: Devleena Ghosh-Brower, Tighe & Bond, Inc.
  • 2

    National Grid – Line 015S, East Longmeadow, MA / Photo Credit: Katy Wilkins, Tighe & Bond, Inc.

  • 3

    Installation of composite Mabey Mats – Warwick, RI / Photo Credit: Jeff Peterson, VHB
  • 4

    Mabey DuraBase® Mats being installed on a jobsite in Mickelton, NJ. After the mats are removed, vegetation springs back / Photo Credit: Julia Delligatti, Mabey Inc.

SWAMP THINGS (2016 Winter Conference)

*** S O L D   O U T !! ***

F R I D A Y   1 1   M A R C H   2016

AGENDA (pdf)  –   SPEAKERS (pdf)


Publick House Historic Inn – Sturbridge, MA


Eversource, Tighe & Bond, National Grid, Mabey Inc and VHB are confirmed participants.

Eversource Energy – Millstone Line Separation Project, Waterford, CT / Photo Credit: Devleena Ghosh-Brower, Tighe & Bond, Inc.

Conference Resources:

Speaker Biographies





SWCS is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization.  The Southern New England Chapter is currently funded entirely by event income, membership dues (< $500/year) and sponsorship.  FY 2016 is a rebuilding year for the SNEC, so we decided to aim high in our request for financial support, so that we can both put on a quality event and pursue other ways of serving our members.

The response was incredible!  Combined with selling out, we raised enough to definitely fund another training event in 2016 in addition to our annual Summer Meeting.


National Grid is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast.  Through its U.S. Connect21 strategy, National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions.  In addition, National Grid offers energy efficiency solutions for businesses in all of its service territories.  See how you can save energy, and improve your business.

Thank you for your EARLY BIRD contributions, BRONZE Sponsors!!

Thank you, BRONZE Sponsor

Thank you as well to our SUPPORTER

CT and MA FORESTERS:  Credits Assigned
Thank you, Chris Martin & Dave Kittredge, for setting this up.

SWAMP THINGS was approved for 1.5  Continuing Education Units for CT Certified Forest Practitioners.

The MA Forester Licensing Board approved SWAMP THINGS for 5 “CATEGORY 1” Continuing Forestry Education credits.

If you did not pick up your Certificate of Attendance, please contact Christine at and specify which state(s).

Timber “swamp” mats have been used for decades on forestry and linear energy projects to facilitate low-impact, temporary equipment access across wetlands and waterways.  Composite material products emerged more recently and continue to be developed.  Environmental regulations governing temporary wetland crossings in southern New England are evolving; requirements for the same project may vary by location.

SWAMP THINGS brought together regional experts in the fields of energy transmission management, wetland crossing construction and environmental regulation to describe how wetland crossings are designed, permitted, constructed and restored.  Manufacturers and suppliers of timber and composite mat systems exhibited and promoted their products as solutions to access issues.  State-agency foresters discussed BMPs to protect water quality.

The conference program also included an exam review session for Certified Professional in Erosion & Sediment Control®.  For information about the CPESC® Program (including links to the Certification Portal to apply on-line for professional certification), go to

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