Annual Symposium of the Great Lakes &

 St. Lawrence Ecosystem

~Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Ecosystem Science on the St. Lawrence River~

May 30th & 31st, 2018

Thank you for attending the 25th Anniversary of our Annual Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Ecosystem Symposium.

Our symposium series began in 1993 (one year before River Institute was founded) as a means to bring scientists and communities together to discuss freshwater issues. We will celebrate our 25th Anniversary with the original conference theme, ‘Sharing Knowledge ~ Linking Sciences’. This theme celebrates our founding partners and neighbours, the Mohawks of Akwesasne, and will highlight projects and programs that link ecosystem science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK). We seek to develop a heightened awareness of the value of TEK and the stories that define our history as important pathways to engage people in environmental issues and inspire scientific inquiry and research, as has been our experience at River Institute.

View our 2018 Symposium schedule HERE

We're excited to introduce our guest speakers!

May 30th, 2018

Educator, environmentalist and social entrepreneur, Geoff Green is a respected and trusted leader in the national and international Polar community.

For the past 23 years Geoff has dedicated his career to raising awareness and understanding of the Arctic, the Antarctic and places in between. He is known as a connector and bridge builder with a visionary and creative spirit.

Geoff is the founder and president of the Students on Ice Foundation, an internationally renowned program that has taken more than 3,000 youth, educators, elders, experts, scientists, leaders and artists from around the world on educational journeys to the Arctic and Antarctic.

Geoff was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2012. In 2015, he was selected as one of the top 100 Greatest Canadian Explorers. In 2010, Geoff was voted as one of the Top 25 Transformational Canadians. The Globe & Mail called Geoff “the man who revolutionized polar and environmental education”. He was bestowed the Inuktitut name “Pitsiulak” by the Commissioner of Nunavut in 2009 for his work with Inuit youth. In 2007, Geoff was awarded the Citation of Merit for outstanding feats of exploration and service by the prestigious Explorers Club in New York City.

Geoff’s experience working and traveling across the Circumpolar Arctic, the Antarctic, and across the global ocean is extensive and diverse. He has worked and collaborated on national and international projects in education, science, media and conservation. He has led over 125 expeditions to the Polar Regions.


In 2017, Geoff completed his most ambitious project to date – the Canada C3 expedition, a 150-day, 25,000 km sailing journey around Canada’s coastline to celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation. The expedition’s themes were youth engagement, environment, diversity & inclusion and reconciliation. The successful www.canadac3.cajourney reached an audience of over 20 million.

Geoff and his partner Dr. Lisa Glithero live with their two children in Chelsea, QC.

May 31st, 2018

Professor John Smol OC, PhD, FRSC is a professor in the Department of Biology at Queen’s University where he is also holder of the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change.

John was the founding editor of the Journal of Paleolimnology and is currently editor-in-chief of the journal Environmental Reviews. He is also the series editor of the book series Developments in Paleoenvironmental Research and is on the editorial boards of several other journals.

John received his B.Sc. in Marine Biology from McGill University in Montreal, Canada in 1977, and a M.Sc. in limnology from Brock University (St. Catharines, Ontario) in 1979. His Ph.D. in 1982 is from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Following post-doctoral work in the High Arctic with the Geological Survey of Canada, he became a faculty member at Queen’s University in 1984. John was promoted to Full Professor in 1991. He holds and has held adjunct appointments in Canada, the United States and China.

John co-directs the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Laboratory (PEARL) at Queen’s University, a group of about 40 paleolimnologists (researchers studying long-term changes in aquatic ecosystems using lake and river sediments as archives of long-term natural and human-related environmental change) working throughout the world on a variety of limnological and paleoecological problems. Recent projects include studying the long-term effects of lake eutrophication, acidification, contaminant transport, calcium decline, fisheries management, and a large body of work on climate change with a special focus on the Arctic.

John has over 550 journal publications and book chapters to his credit. He has edited and authored 21 books, including one textbook on paleolimnology, now in its second edition, and co-authored a textbook on ecology, also in its second edition. Smol has over 31,000 Google Scholar citations. He has lectured on all seven continents, and has authored over 1000 conference presentations, which include many keynotes and plenary lectures. For example, he was the 2008 Rutherford Lecturer at the Royal Society (London) and presented the inaugural Thienemann Lecture at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology (Berlin, Germany) in 2016. Smol is a frequent commentator on environmental issues for radio, television, and the print media.


May 31st, 2018

Tony David has a Master’s Degree in Natural Resources from Cornell University and a B.A. of Environmental Studies from the University of Buffalo. He is manager of the Water Resources Program for the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe .

The Tribe’s Water Quality Standards program (WQS), under the authority of the Clean Water Act, is the only tribal program of its kind in New York State to achieve a federally enforceable WQS.

In his role as Manager of Water Resources, Tony oversees 3 key areas: water quality, wetlands protection, and fisheries management.  One of his milestone projects – the decommissioning and removal of the Hogansburg dam represents the first decommissioning and subsequent removal of a federally licensed dam by a Native American Tribe, as well as the first removal of a hydroelectric dam in New York State.

The Hogansburg dam removal project, completed in the fall of 2016, opened up and reestablished over 500 river and stream miles of spawning habitat for migratory fish.  In 2017, as a result of these efforts, Tony was named a recipient of the Environmental Champion Award bestowed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The award recognizes an individual’s dedication and commitment to protecting and enhancing environmental quality and public health.

Tony also oversees the SRMT Environment Division’s effort to protect and enhance Akwesasne’s water resources; including fish species through a partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Tunison Laboratory of Aquatic Science.  This joint effort seeks to reintroduce Atlantic salmon into the St. Regis River, as well as to improve the natural habitat for lake sturgeon and other species.

In 2017 he was appointed to a two-year term on the International Joint Commission’s (IJC) International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board of Control.

For more information contact: Christina Collard
Symposium Coordinator

Ontario Power Generation Visitor Center

2500B 2nd Street W, Cornwall, ON K6H 5R6


This symposium is brought to you by:
Thank you to our sponsors...