SonTek International Users Conference & Rodeo Regatta

HOWDY PARDNER and thank you for your interest in the 2018 SonTek International Users Conference and Rodeo Regatta - an event for users of hydrologic and coastal acoustic Doppler instrumentation who want to share their experience and application knowledge with other intermediate to advanced users of this ADCP/ADP® and ADV® technology.

Expect a global array of water monitoring expertise hunkered down for a couple days at the acclaimed Driskill Hotel, followed by a hands-on field day in the cozy little town of Bastrop where we'll conduct our first-ever SonTek Rodeo Regatta with the help of our friends from the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) and Water Monitoring Solutions Inc.

Share your story and help your peers!  Submit an abstract for a presentation or a poster. Posters will be presented during our hosted Happy Hour Cowboy Jamboree!

Have a general question that we can help answer? Contact us at!

  • About the Event
  • Rodeo Regatta
  • Schedule
  • Speaker/Staff Bios
  • Registration Form
  • Hotel Info
  • Partner & Exhibit
  • About Austin

International in scope, but intimate enough to get to know your water monitoring neighbor, the 2018 SonTek Users Conference and Rodeo Regatta will bring together hydrographers, researchers, scientists and all those who collect and use data aggregated by hydroacoustic instruments to better understand velocity distribution in bodies of water.

If you fit this profile, and you have a story to share, consider joining your like-minded posse in Austin, Texas, October 2-4, 2018!

We are looking for submissions in all application areas, however our highlighted theme for this event is "Quantifying Flooding Events with Acoustic Data" and other applications relating to changes in climate. This is one of the primary reasons we selected Austin, Texas as the site of conference - a region still recovering from the massive impact of Hurricane Harvey. Our friends at a local water authority, who are graciously providing logistical support for this event, will talk about their experiences collecting data during Harvey and other "extreme events". They will join others in our extensive line-up of international speakers (be sure to check our schedule regularly for updates!)

Texas Flood Event

Other application areas that are included and certainly not limited to are:

  • Flooding
  • Stormwater
  • Sediments
  • Irrigation and operational deliveries
  • Bathymetry
  • Advanced Research

What makes this event "different"? Well, this is not another one of those “show-and-tell” conferences - you’re going to walk away learning something through hands-on experience and active dialogue with passionate water monitoring professionals representing agencies around the globe.

And our SonTek team is prepared to talk with you – not at you. A trusting relationship is at the core of what we do. Our product managers, application engineers, and other technical experts have stood in your shoes, felt your frustrations, and appreciate the satisfaction of success. You'll have a direct line of communication with technical expertise to answer your questions individually with the added benefit of learning from the some of the best in our industry!

Day-three of the conference, participants will have the chance to get out in the field and enjoy some hands-on time with the gear and colleagues! The Rodeo Regatta is an optional segment of our Users Conference and will be held in Bastrop's Ferry Park, which is about 40 minute drive from Austin. Bus transportation will be provided and strongly encouraged, although attendees also have the option to bring their own vehicles. The goal of the regatta is two-fold: demonstrate the advanced application of acoustic Doppler instruments, and stimulate discussions on site selection requirements and acoustic Doppler standards. More specific take-aways include:

Rodeo location

  • Hands-on application of Acoustic Doppler technology in real flow conditions,
  • Receive technical assistance from experienced professionals on Acoustic Doppler instrumentation,
  • Application of hydraulic and Acoustic Doppler principles in Site Selection
  • Discussion on the latest measurement standards and best practices and how it can improve overall measurement accuracy,
  • Review your standard operating procedures against best practices,
  • Independent review of measurement results against national standards,
  • Prizes on the table for measurement results closest to actual flow, smallest coefficient of variance between transects, etc.

Expect full representation from SonTek staff from the San Diego manufacturing facility, as well as application experts from  Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Americas and more. 

Participants are encouraged to bring their own ADCP/ADP instrumentation.

And what is a rodeo without some tasty Texas chow?  We're planning on a full barbecue lunch with all the fixins’!

Recent SonTek Training Event

During the first two days of the conference, hear from speakers, influencers, and attendees from around the world who will converge to explore, learn, and share their experiences on a broad range of water monitoring topics.

The schedule will be continually updated, so we strongly encourage you to bookmark this page and visit often!

Tuesday, October 2nd

Time Session
7:00 Breakfast
8:00 Registration
9:00 Key Note - Flooding
9:30 Flooding
9:45 Flooding
10:00 Flooding
10:15 Break
10:45 Flooding
11:00 Flooding
11:15 Key Note - Stormwater
11:45 Stormwater
12:00 Stormwater
12:15 Lunch
13:15 Stormwater
13:30 Stormwater
13:45 Stormwater
14:00 Key Note - Sediments
14:30 Sediments
14:45 Sediments
15:00 Break
15:30 Sediments
15:45 Sediments
16:00 Sediments
16:15 Day 1 Concludes.

Wednesday, October 3rd

Time Session
7:00 Breakfast
8:00 Registration
9:00 Key Note - Operations
9:30 Operations
9:45 Operations
10:00 Operations
10:15 Break
10:45 Operations
11:00 Operations
11:15 Key Note - Bathymetry
11:45 Bathymetry
12:00 Bathymetry
12:15 Lunch
13:15 Bathymetry
13:30 Bathymetry
13:45 Bathymetry
14:00 Key Note - Research
14:30 Research
14:45 Research
15:00 Break
15:30 Research
15:45 Research
16:00 Research
16:15 Day 2 Concludes.

Thursday, October 4th

Time Session
8:00 Leave for the Rodeo Regatta - Meet outside the Driskill for bus transport to Bastrop.
17:00 Day 3 Concludes.
Daniel Wagenaar, Senior Hydrologist

Daniel Wagenaar

Senior Hydrologist

Daniel started his hydrographic career in South Africa with experience in surface water and ground water monitoring. He continued with his career progression as Technical Manager of hydrographic operations overseeing all computations including stage-discharge development and data processing. He expanded his 25 years’ experience in hydrographic operations by accepting Manager of Water Monitoring Systems position in Australia, responsible for the design of business process frame works and the development of operational standards, quality assurance systems and training programs. He holds a B.Sc. in Water Engineering from Central University Technology and B.Sc. in Geohydrology from Free State University.

Lee Pimble

European Hydrology Technical Manager

Lee has close to 30 years of experience in the field of hydrometry, through both the UK Environment Agency and a leading hydrology consultant and specializes in hydrometric field measurements and his now in his 16th year at SonTek. He currently travels Europe and beyond training on the correct application of and use of SonTek acoustic Doppler instruments (and other gauging techniques) and managing the Xylem Analytics hydrology products Sales Partners throughout Europe. He is currently also a member of the BSI/ISO committee CPI/113 for hydrometry - velocity area methods

Kevin Labbe

Kevin Labbe

Application Engineer

Kevin started with the USGS in the Baton Rouge office. His first duties included water quality sampling, water quantity sampling and computation, and ground water work. He began working with acoustics in 1996 and throughout his USGS career, was involved with Index Velocity computations. At the end of his USGS tenure, he was the database administrator and part of the Central Region Advisory Committee on Data. He began his new career with SonTek in 2003, and has travelled extensively in the U.S. in support of both Sontek and YSI products and services.

Isaac Jones

Isaac Jones

Product Segment Manager, Outdoor Water Flow/Velocity

Isaac joined SonTek in 2011 and for the past 5 years has worked in tech support, application engineering and now as a product manager. Before joining SonTek he worked with the USGS, while a graduate student at San Francisco State University, where he learned how to use ADCPs and ADVs to study near shore circulation off the San Francisco coast. Since starting at SonTek he has helped support users across the US and around the world.

Dr. Xue Fan

Dr. Xue Fan

Application Engineer

While you may already know her from SonTek’s stellar Technical Support group, Xue joined the Product Management team in 2015 as an Application Engineer. She has a Doctorate in Physical Oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Bachelors in Physics and Atmospheric/Oceanic Sciences from McGill University (Canada), She speaks English, Chinese and French.

Janice Landsfeld

Janice Landsfeld

Product Manager

Janice got her degree in oceanography and environmental science from Oregon State University, after serving in the US Coast Guard. She then worked on NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) rapid response survey boats in Washington state, employing many kinds of acoustic systems and GIS products. Upon moving to San Diego, Janice joined the SonTek team in 2008 as a technical support representative, and then to sales. Janice’s comprehensive view of SonTek’s products and appreciation for SonTek’s customers continue to inspire her in her current role as a product manager.

Chris Iarossi

Christina Iarossi

Marketing Communications Manager

Chris has a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Guam and started her career as a reporter and news anchor for an NBC affiliate station on Guam and Asia. She was later recruited by Citigroup as Public Relations/Marketing Communications Manager and worked in the financial services industry for eight years. She eventually relocated to San Diego and joined the SonTek team in 2006. Chris is an active volunteer for local environmental monitoring groups such as the SD River Park Foundation, SD Coast Keepers and the Xylem Watermark foundation.

A registration fee of $685.00 includes conference materials and presentations,  lunch and refreshment breaks daily, a hosted reception and transportation to/from the Rodeo field site. This does not include lodging, air or other ground transportation

Application Engineer Lee Pimble

Please complete this online registration form if you would like to pay by credit card. You will be prompted to provide payment information after you completed the request fields of registration information. However, if you need to pay by Purchase Order, please download this brochure/reg form and send via email to our SonTek Marketing Communications Manager, Christina Iarossi:

As a reminder, the conference will be held at the Driskill Hotel. While there is a room block available, there are other hotel options available - see the Hotel Information tab for more information.

Register Now

SonTek has an event room block available at the historic (and purportedly haunted) Driskill Hotel (604 Brazos St. Austin TX 78701) for $270.00 a night. There are a limited number of rooms available and it is strongly recommend you book as soon as possible because of several special events being held in the city during the same time frame.

The Driskill Hotel

Book your room at the Driskill here

There are other nearby hotel options available. Here are a few options you may consider.

The closest international airport to the conference venue is the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, which is about a 20 minute drive to the Driskill.

The hotel does not provide shuttle service, so taxi, Uber or rentals are recommended.

If you require a formal Letter of Invitation, please contact Marketing Communications Manager ( and we will be sure to remit as soon as possible!

We have a limited number of spaces available for small exhibit displays. If interested, please contact organizers at to inquire. There is a $500 charge per exhibit space and does not include conference registration.

A warm thank you is extended to our friends from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Water Monitoring Solutions Inc., for your logistical support!


Our host city of Austin is a metro full of culture and life. Known as the "Live Music Capital of the World," Austin boasts more live music venues per capita than anywhere else in the nation.

And another fun fact - did you know that "Keep Austin Weird" is a phrase that was adopted to promote the independently owned businesses in the city, but it's taken on a life of its own?

So maybe you're not necessarily interested in the weird side of the city - you're in luck! We've consolidated a list of Austin's most famed attractions, popular places to eat, and few choice "saloons' you might be interested in perusing during your Austin stay!

Austin Bats

Top 10 Recommended Things to Do:
Barton Springs Pool
Zilker Metropolitan Park 
Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum
State Capitol 
Austin Bats
Blanton Museum of Art
Esther's Follies
Sixth Street
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Bullock Texas State History Museum

Auston Dining Options

Hot New Places to Eat in Austin:
Juliet Italian Kitchen
Emmer & Rye
Native Hostel
El Chipirón
Pitchfork Pretty
Bao'd Up
Boiler Nine Bar + Grill
Red Ash

Austin Bar Options

Locals Tap: Top Austin drinkeries for craft beer and cocktails
The Jackalope Bar
Craft Pride
Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden
Garage Cocktail Bar (a hidden gem in the South Congress Hotel)
Ranch 616
The Roosevelt Room (right here in the Driskill!)
Midnight Cowboy
The Cedar Tavern at Eberly