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.

NEW! SonTek is pleased to our keynote speaker for the conference - author, surface water hydrology and flood inundation expert, Dr. David Maidment from the University of Texas at Austin. [FULL BIO]

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 Location Presentation Title
7:15 Breakfast Jim Hogg Parlor
8:00 Registration The Mezzanine
9:00 Introductions Maximilian Room

Event Chairman, Daniel Wagenaar and Program Chair, Janice Landsfeld

9:10 Dr. David Maidment, Keynote Speaker Maximilian Room

Hurricane Harvey and Flood Emergency Response in Texas

9:45 Paul Hannah, Senior Environmental Officer of Otago Regional Council Maximlian Room

ADCP Hull Dynamics During Flood Gaugings

10:10 Break Jim Hogg Parlor
10:30 Marsha Gipson, Field Office Chief at the USGS Nevada Water Science Center Maximilian Room

2017 Floods in Northern Nevada

10:55 Ole Smith, Chief Hydrologist, & Dr. Rasmus Ringgaard, Surface Water Hydrologist, Orbicon A/S Maximilian Room

SonTek Dopplers in Small Danish Rivers: A story on Water Weeds and the Challenges of Measuring

11:30 Dave Mueller, USGS Hydrologist Maximilian Room

QRev—Software for Computation and Quality Assurance of Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler Moving-Boat Streamflow

12:00 Lunch The Driskill Grill
13:30 Pete Vidmar, Principal Engineer, Streamflow Gaging Maximilian Room

Objectively Determining Uncertainty of Stream Gages Along the Snake River in Southern Idaho

13:55 David Mueller, USGS Hydrologist Maximilian Room

Importance of Boat Speed and Heading Accuracy When Using GPS with ADCPs

14:20 Lincoln Pitcher, Researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles Maximilian Room

Measuring surface meltwater runoff through supraglacial rivers on the Greenland Ice Sheet using hydro-acoustics, remote sensing, and surface energy balance models.

14:55 Dr. Scott Banjavcic, College DuPage Professor of Engineering Maximilian Room

Examination of Longitudinal and Transect ADCP Measurements to Map Velocities Throughout a River Reach

15:20 Break Jim Hogg Parlor
15:40 Dr. Art Schmidt, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Associate Professor Maximilian Room

Application of ADCP Measurements to Fish Habitat Assessment Throughout a River Reach

16:05 Sorin Bogdan, CEO of MDS Electric Maximilian Room

Growth of ADCP Usage on the Danube River in Romania

16:30 Dr. Michael Hughes, Associate Professor of Water Resource Science at the Oregon Institute of Technology Maximilian Room

Process-Form Interactions of a Restored Fluviodeltaic Channel System Revealed by the RiverSurveyor

16:55 Announcements Maximilian Room
17:00 SonTek Hosted Reception and Poster Session The Mezzanine

Wednesday, October 3rd

Time Session Location Presentation Title
8:00 Breakfast Jim Hogg Parlor
9:00 Announcements Maximilian Room

Program Chair, Janice Landsfeld and SonTek Team

9:10 Katie Landry-Guyton, National Weather Service Senior Service Hydrologist Maximilian Room

NWS Hydrologic Support During Hurricane Harvey

9:45 Dr. Marian Muste, Research Engineer with IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering Maximilian Room

Hysteresis in Streamflow Ratings Happens! Here’s How.

10:10 Break Jim Hogg Parlor
10:30 Mark Moore, Hydrologic Technician with the Harris County Flood Control District Maximilian Room

Hurricane Harvey's Impact on the Harris County Flood Control District's Flood Warning System: A Test of the ALERT2 Technology

10:55 Jim Reilly, Director and Alejandro Paz, Lead Surveyor, Delos Restorative Islands Maximilian Room

Sustainable Development Technology as a Catalyst for Biodiversity Conservation and Coastal Resilience

11:30 Keith Ging, Senior Hydrologist for the Lower Colorado River Authority Maximilian Room

Monitoring Extremes: Floods and Droughts in the Lower Colorado River Basin, Texas

12:00 Lunch The Driskill Grill
13:30 Dr. Marcus Gary, Field Operations Supervisor at Edwards Aquifer Authority Maximilian Room

Application of Hydroacoustics to Characterize and Quantify Flow from Comal Springs, Texas, U.S.A.

13:55 Dr. Xue Fan, SonTek Application Engineer Maximilian Room

Elements of a Successful Citizen Science Program to Quantify Hydrological Parameters in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

16:05 Daniel Wagenaar, SonTek Senior Hydrologist Maximilian Room

Application of Acoustic Doppler Technology in Estimating Suspended Sediments

14:55 Ron Marotto, Supervising Hydrographer with the County of Ventura Maximilian Room

RiverSurveyor-M9 HydroSurveyor Bathymetry Project on Matilija Lake in Ventura California

15:20 Break Jim Hogg Parlor
15:40 Harold Orlinsky, President of HYPACK Maximilian Room

Riverine and Coastal Applications of ADCP Data Including Bathymetry

16:05 Dan Wagner, USGS Arkansas Maximilian Room

Bathymetric Surveys of Reservoirs in Arkansas Conducted Using Multi-Beam Sonar and Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) Technologies

16:30 Regatta Logistical Overview Maximilian Room

Conference Chairman, Daniel Wagenaar

18:00 Xylem Analytics Sales Happy Hour Reception Buffalo Billiards

Thursday, October 4th

Time Session Location Presentation Title
8:00 Depart Driskill Hotel for Bastrop/Rodeo Regatta
8:45 Regatta Registration Opens. Groups A-F pre-designated station assignments.
10:00 Refreshment Break I
11:20 Refreshment Break II
13:00 Depart for Osprey Point Hall – Lake Bastrop
13:15 Lunch provided by Southside BBQ
13:15 Live HydroSurveyor data collection
14:00 Regatta Data Review
16:00 HYCAT Demo
17:00 Departure for return trip to Driskill
David Maidment

Dr. David Maidment (Keynote Speaker)

Author and Professor at the University of Texas at Austin

David R. Maidment is the Hussein M. Alharthy Centennial Chair in Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin where he has been on the faculty since 1981.  He received his Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Engineering with First Class Honors from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, and his MS and PhD degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Texas, he was a research scientist at the Ministry of Works and Development in New Zealand, and at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna, Austria, and he was also a Visiting Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University.

PRESENTATION TITLE: Hurricane Harvey and Flood Emergency Response in Texas

Hurricane Harvey was a storm with the largest precipitation of 3-5 days duration in US history.  Dr Maidment served in the Texas State Operations Center for 10 days helping to provide information for flood emergency response using the new National Water Model developed by the National Weather Service.  In this presentation he will describe this experience and assess how the insights gained could lead to better flood emergency response in the future.

Scott Banjavcic

Dr. Scott Banjavcic

Associate Professor, College of DuPage

Dr. Scott Banjavcic is an Associate Professor of Engineering at College of DuPage and an Illinois Professional Engineer experienced in water resources projects. His research focuses on using hydro-acoustic instruments to improve quantitative description of open channel flow. In addition, his teaching responsibilities require innovative approaches for presenting engineering material to provide the best possible learning environment and assessment for his students. Prior to his position in academia, Scott worked for CDM Smith, a full service engineering firm in Chicago, Illinois on a variety of water resources projects including flood plain management, sewer system design, inland lake wave modeling, and open channel field data-collection and modeling.

PRESENTATION TITLE: Examination of Longitudinal and Transect ADCP Measurements to Map Velocities Throughout a River Reach

Most measurements of velocities in rivers rely on a historically proven methodology that was primarily focused on determining accurate discharge for streams and rivers. This approach, which utilizes time averaged stationary measurements or repeated transect measurements (performed for cross sections roughly perpendicular to the flow), is also frequently used to describe complex, spatially varying hydraulic processes. Resulting data for reaches are generally spatially sparse, providing a detailed description of a small number of points or cross sections.

Numerous hydraulic applications such as habitat suitability, scour/deposition, and model calibration/validation all require determining water velocities throughout a reach.  In order to provide the most reliable results to make ever increasing critical water management decisions, there is a fast-growing need for precisely interpolated velocities at all points throughout a river reach.  This necessitates a more spatially diverse approach to data collection than previous methods can provide. This paper examines a longitudinal Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) measurement approach as an alternative to the widely used practice of measuring along transects.

Specifically, this paper examines differences between using transect and longitudinal ACDP measurements to interpolate velocities throughout the water column.  In order to provide a useful comparison, various transect spacings were selected, the time required to collect data for the given transect spacing (following standard protocols) was determined, and then longitudinal data requiring the same measurement time were compared.  Results indicate that at equivalent measurement times, the longitudinal measurement technique provides a better alternative to interpolation between transect measurements for describing velocities at various depths and locations throughout a river reach.  Furthermore, a layering approach based on dimensionless depth performs better than layering by elevation difference (horizontal layers) for river reaches with significant bathymetric variation.

Finally, this paper examines an application of longitudinal measurements to examine habitat for an endangered species (Pallid Sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus) in a 5-mile reach of the middle Mississippi River.  A generalized adaptive model (GAM) was used to examine correlations between the abundance of Pallid Sturgeon and six hydraulic parameters (mean velocity and depth, longitudinal and lateral velocity gradient, longitudinal and lateral bed elevation gradient ).  The combined GAM model explained (34%) of the variance in the distribution of Pallid Sturgeon and showed that the bed elevation gradients were more significant than the other four variables examined.

sorin bogdan

Sorin Bogdan

CEO of MDS Electric

Sorin Bogdan is the CEO and founder of MDS ELECTRIC, representing SonTek in Romania. He has 22 years of experience in sales and technical support for the water related products and three years as a Gas and Electricity Market Manager of Schlumberger Industries in Romania. Since 2004 he completed his hydrology knowledge by installing over 400 level and temperature dataloggers, 250 GPRS dataloggers for boreholes and Danube river, over 40 ADCPs and three Ecomapper AUV’s, trainings and seminars. and mappings of lakes in Romania. MDS ELECTRIC has been awarded two times as the “best dealer in Europe” for SonTek.

PRESENTATION TITLE: Growth of ADCP usage on the Danube River in Romania

The Danube River (Dunarea in Romanian) is the second largest in Europe.  The Danube Delta lies mostly in Romania and is a rich ecosystem whose management and protection is a growing area of concern. Romanian governments and universities in the past few years have seen growing use of ADCPs in response to management concerns in the delta as well as in the upstream waters throughout Romania. Not only flood but drought conditions also require ADCP data for understanding and response.  Examples of growing implementation of SonTek ADCPs in the country will be discussed, incuding those for flood and drought conditions, and Delta ecosystem restoration.

Marcus Gary

Dr. Marcus Gary

Field Operations Supervisor at Edwards Aquifer Authority

Dr. Marcus Gary is a karst hydrogeologist specializing in investigations of karst processes and the implications that karst aquifers have on natural resource management. He received a Ph.D. in hydrogeology from The University of Texas at Austin in 2009. He studied one of the deepest underwater cave systems in the world, Sistema Zacatón, which was explored by the NASA funded DEPTHX autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). He has worked as a hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, 4 a private environmental consultant, and is currently the Field Operations Supervisor for the Edwards Aquifer Authority in San Antonio, Texas. He is an adjunct professor at The University of Texas at Austin, teaching a class in Applied Karst Hydrogeology.

PRESENTATION TITLE: Application of Hydroacoustics to Characterize and Quantify Flow from Comal Springs, Texas, U.S.A.

Comal Springs is the largest spring in Texas and the largest karst spring west of the Mississippi River in the United States. The spring system, located in the town of New Braunfels near San Antonio, is the primary natural discharge feature of the Edwards Aquifer and habitat for numerous Federally listed endangered species. Total flow from the springs averages eight cubic meters per second (280 cfs), as flow emerges from hundreds of individual spring discharge points into Landa Lake. Water then flows from the lake through the Comal River via two channels: one along the old, original flow path; and a second along a second, man-made route. The two channels converge and flow for another mile before the river’s confluence with the Guadalupe River.

Accurate quantification of flow throughout the entire Comal Springs/River system is critical for several reasons, including measurement of cumulative flow rates used to trigger major, regional drought measure, and identifying spatially and temporally variable flow in specific habitat zones that effect endangered species viability. The application of hydroacoustic instruments has been a key tool to improve how the spring system is monitored. Examples of these applications include: 1.) U.S. Geological Survey investigation in 2006-2008 resulting in the addition of independent gauging of the two outflow channels (old channel and new channel). 2.) Acoustic Doppler Profilers used to separate and quantify specific spring discharge zones emerging from the bottom of the lake. 3.) ADPs are used to improve discharge measurements at the primary USGS gauge in low-flow conditions by documentation of non-standard velocity profiles. As water resources become more stressed in central Texas due to intense population growth, it will become critical to improve flow measurement techniques of Comal Springs, which is a primary index used to document available groundwater in the Edwards Aquifer.

Keith Ging

Keith Ging

Senior Hydrologist for the Lower Colorado River Authority

Keith Ging is a Senior Hydrologist for the Lower Colorado River Authority, in Austin, TX, where he has worked for the last 25 years. His work primarily involves the Hydromet System which is a network of remote stream and rain gages used to manage the lakes and streams within the lower Colorado River Basin. Keith received his Bachelors of Science Degree in Geophysics/Hydrogeology from the University of Texas at Austin. He previously worked for the U.S. Geological Survey and has worked on his family’s farm for most of his life (even while working at LCRA and the USGS).

PRESENTATION TITLE: Monitoring extremes in the Lower Colorado River Basin, Texas

The lower Colorado River basin in Central Texas is subject to significant floods and extreme droughts.  These conditions are monitored by the Hydromet system built by the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA).  The Hydromet system is composed of over 270 weather, streamflow, irrigation, and lake level gauges used to monitor conditions across 18,000 square miles of the Colorado River watershed.  This data is used to support operational decisions at six LCRA dams and to communicate conditions to the public.  The Hydromet is maintained and operated by the Hydromet Operations team.  Part of their tasks are to measure flow at most of the streamflow and irrigation gauges in order to maintain ratings.  These flow measurements require significant efforts, well-trained hydrologists, and reliable equipment and software.

Marsha Gipson

Marsha Gipson

USGS Northern Nevada Field Office Chief

Marsha Gipson began her career with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 1994 as a staff hydrologic technician at Arkansas Water Science Center in Little Rock. Since 2011, Gipson has served as Northern Nevada Field Office Chief at USGS Nevada Water Science Center in Carson City. Duties include supervising a staff of 14 hydrologic technicians in the collection of hydrologic data for an extensive network of surface water, groundwater, and water-quality sites located throughout 66,236 sq mi in Northern Nevada.

PRESENTATION TITLE: 2017 Floods in Northern Nevada

Nevada is the driest state in the United States, is mostly desert, and is 86% open space managed by the government. The average annual precipitation is about 7 inches. Even though most of the state is desert, when weather and snow pack conditions are right, significant flooding events occur.

Nevada is the driest state in the United States, is mostly desert, and is 86% public land managed by the government. The average annual precipitation is about 7 inches. Even though most of the state is desert, when weather and snow pack conditions are right, significant flooding occurs. During the winter of 2016-2017 northern Nevada experienced above average snowfall in the mountain ranges. In early January 2017 an atmospheric river system brought warm rainfall on the snowpack in the Sierra causing significant run-off along the Truckee and Carson Rivers and tributaries. In February 2017 another atmospheric river system brought warm rainfall over even a larger portion of northern Nevada causing significant run-off along the Truckee, Carson, and Humboldt Rivers. In June 2017 the Walker River basin saw its share of Sierra snowpack run-off when spring weather temperatures began to heat up. USGS obtained hundreds of streamflow measurements, most of which were obtained using acoustic doppler current profilers (ADCPs). Compared to older methods of measuring streamflow, use of ADCPs during the 2017 record breaking season of flood, allowed the USGS to measure at more gage locations, more efficiently, while obtaining high-quality measurements.

Paul Hannah

Paul Hannah

Senior Environmental Officer of Otago Regional Council

Paul gained a Certificate in Design Engineering at the Otago Polytechnic, a Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography, and a Bachelor of Arts in Design Studies at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. In 2006 Paul was employed by the Otago Regional Council (ORC), doing bio-security, environmental monitoring, pollution response and compliance work. For the last 10 years Paul has been working within the ORC Hydrology Team, five years as a Senior Environmental Officer. Paul is also part of the National Maritime Oil Spill Response team and the Regional Flood Management Team.

PRESENTATION TITLE: ADCP Hull Dynamics during Flood Gaugings

Since the advent of acoustic doppler current profilers (ADCP’s) the search has been on for the perfect platform in which to carry the ADCP in challenging flood conditions. There are a number of different ADCP platforms on the market, each with its own performance characteristics. Otago Regional Council staff have been guilty of pushing the boundaries when it came to deploying expensive ADCP equipment in very challenging flood conditions. To improve data collection and safety for personnel and equipment, ORC trialed a number of hull shapes to find out what performed best in swift, turbulent water and large standing waves. This presentation will cover hull characteristics that have proved beneficial for use in challenging New Zealand flood conditions and the resulting platforms ORC now uses.

PRESENTATION TITLE: Helicopter gauging with an ADCP

ORC currently has three Sontek M9 ADCPs which have proved to be the go-to tool for accurately measuring floods. These ADCPs were traditionally deployed from jet boats, manned and unmanned cableways or simply by towing by hand off the side of bridges during floods. New methodologies are always being sought to improve safely and efficiency when collecting robust hydrological data during floods. This section of the presentation will cover a deployment method for capturing large flood events using a Sontek M9 ADCP being towed beneath a helicopter; a technique developed by ORC in 2012. The presentation will cover findings from the last 6 years of data collection and how this heli-gauging technique has improved high flow data capture for ORC.

Dr. Michael Hughes

Associate Professor of Environmental and Engineering Geoscience at the Oregon Institute of Technology

Dr. Michael L. Hughes is an Associate Professor of Environmental and Engineering Geoscience and former Director of Environmental Sciences at the Oregon Institute of Technology. He is a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (CERP), and the first to receive this certification in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. He coordinates the Gerda Hyde Watershed Science & Technology Lab, focusing on sustainable water-resource science, engineering, and technology. Dr. Hughes’ most recent work emphasizes ADV/ADCP applications in river restoration and water-resource surveying, integrating student experiential learning programs such as WADRS (Water Assessment for Drought Resilience and Sustainability), funded by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

PRESENTATION TITLE: Process-form interactions of a restored fluviodeltaic channel system revealed by the RiverSurveyor-S5

In this paper we summarize results of a project to evaluate post-restoration process-form interactions the Wood River, a fluviodeltaic channel system in the Upper Klamath Basin of Oregon, USA. Restoration by the Bureau of Land Management began in the 1990’s and continued through 2010. It included reconstruction of a floodplain and channel meanders, narrowing and deepening (re-sectioning) of channel, and excavation and reoccupation of old channels connecting the river to the Upper Klamath-Agency Lake system. We used the RiverSurveyor S5 for channel-bathymetry mapping and discharge measurement at points throughout the project reach under differing stage conditions, in combination with bedload flux measurements. Synthesis of results indicate two distinct responses to restoration: (1) an upstream domain marked by aggradation in the early and incision in the late post-restoration periods, and (2) a downstream domain marked by the inverse responses of degradation in the early and aggradation in the late post-restoration periods. These domains are separated by the confluence of an artificial channel excavated to construct a road bed and maintained for boating access. Flow and sediment-transport continuity appear to be interrupted at this confluence. At high stage (winter/spring) impoundment from the lake stalls flow, inducing sediment deposition. Stage falls as lake level recedes in the summer and stream power is restored, thereby releasing the sediment trapped at high stage. Aggradation in the downstream domain coupled with restorative excavation of a (birdfoot) distributary in 2010 combined to initiate an avulsion from one distributary to another during the 2015 flow recession. Overall, monitoring data show that the restoration has resulted in improved functionality and suggest that the channel system is approaching a dynamic equilibrium, consistent with the rate law in geomorphology. This study provides the first known synthesis of long-term geomorphic monitoring of a freshwater fluviodeltaic channel restoration in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

Katie Landry Guyton

Katie Landry-Guyton

Senior Service Hydrologist, Houston/Galveston National Weather Service

Katie Landry-Guyton currently serves as the Senior Service Hydrologist for the Houston/Galveston National Weather Service office. Katie is the liaison between the West Gulf River Forecast Center, the local Weather Forecast Office, and hydrologic partners in the Houston/Galveston area. Prior to joining the Houston office in January 2017, Katie worked as a Hydrometeorologist for the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center in Slidell, LA, for over five years. Before beginning her career with the National Weather Service, Katie earned her B.S. in Geosciences with an emphasis in meteorology from Mississippi State University. Katie is an active member in both the meteorological and hydrologic community as she serves as a member of the American Meteorological Society, the Texas Flash Flood Coalition, and the Texas Floodplain Managers Association.

PRESENTATION TITLE: NWS Hydrologic Support during Hurricane Harvey

In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey dumped over 30 inches of rain, causing catastrophic flooding affecting nearly 6.5 million people. Prior to landfall, the NWS was predicting up to 40 inches of rainfall across southeast Texas. As a result, the NWS began messaging the extreme flash flood threat. During briefings, core partners called upon the NWS to help answer fundamental questions, such as when and where will the heaviest/worst rainfall/flooding occur? As the event unfolded, forecasters used standard tools such as river gauges, deterministic forecasts, impact statements, and historical high water marks to answer critical public safety and economic questions with regards to flood impacts. Ultimately, our office was able to answer many of these questions, but not without challenges. This presentation will explore how the NWS uses various tools to provide core partners with decision support services during flood events, as well as how the NWS had to seek other resources to answer lifesaving, economically driven questions during Hurricane Harvey.

Ron Marotto

Ron Marotto

Supervising Hydrographer with the County of Ventura

Ron started his hydrology career in 1997 with Santa Barbara County Flood Control. He completed his BS degree in Hydrological Sciences from the University of California Santa Barbara in 1998. He was hired by the County of Ventura in July of 1998 where he continues his career to this day as the Supervising Hydrographer. He has been a board member of the ALERT Users Group since 2008 becoming its president in 2014. Ron received his Professional Hydrologist Certificate from the American Institute of Hydrology in February 2011. And he joined the ALERT2 Technical Working Group Board in May 2015.

PRESENTATION TITLE: RiverSurveyor-M9 HydroSurveyor Bathymetry Project on Matilija Lake in Ventura California

This presentation will cover the bathymetry work done on Matilija Lake in order to calculate the amount of sediment behind the dam which is slated for removal. What worked well and what could be improved the next time for this project will be discussed along with working with the data and how it was converted from HydroSurveyor files into Hypack files.

Mark Moore

Mark Moore

Harris County Flood Control Lead Hydrologic Technician

Mark Moore is the Lead Hydrologic Technician for the Harris County Flood Control District’s Flood Warning System (FWS), and has worked for the district for the last 3.5 years. During that time the District’s FWS was converted from an ALERT to an ALERT2 network, and has been tested by several significant rain events including Hurricane Harvey. Mark is a member of the ALERT2 Technical Work Group, and has led multiple training sessions for nearby ALERT users.  He has degrees in Environmental Science and Astronomy from the University of Texas.

PRESENTATION TITLE: Hurricane Harvey's Impact on the Harris County Flood Control District's Flood Warning System: A Test of the ALERT2 Technology

During August of 2017, Hurricane Harvey produced an average of 34” of rainfall across Harris County’s 1,777 square miles equaling over 1 trillion gallons of water, with single gage readings nearing 50” of rainfall. Harvey was the most severe test of the system since a Flood Warning System (FWS) evaluation in 2008 identified several key flaws in the management, maintenance, and architecture of the system while it was under the ownership of the Harris County Office of Emergency Management. Identified issues included lack of sensor standardization, inadequate technician training and time allocation, radio network strain, aging infrastructure, and unchecked system expansion. By December 2015, HCFCD had addressed all of these concerns and completed their transition to ALERT2 technology.

Data success rate increased from only 40% success of incoming data during Hurricane Ike to over 99% during Hurricane Harvey. Rising water flooded the enclosure of 7 out of the 154 sites, and approximately 10 other sites had issues due to the storm. To prevent future damage, several sites were raised and reinforced. New conduit and sensors were installed at potential failure points, and sites were further water proofed. While the system received over 10,000 reports an hour, the gages still successfully reported over 99% of the time. HCFCD provides the FWS data on a publically accessible website, which crashed several times during the event as over 1 million visitors and 6.5 million page views crippled the web capabilities. HCFCD IT staff has since modified and upgraded the server infrastructure to help reduce future website shutdowns. While the flood warning system performed exceptionally, important lessons were discovered.

David Mueller

David Mueller

Hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey

David Mueller is a Hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey with over 25 years experience in hydroacoustics and over 35 years of experience in modeling and river mechanics. Previously conducted research on bridge scour and associated field data collection and served as the USGS national bridge scour coordinator. Currently provides technical support and methods development for hydroacoustic applications. Responsible for the development of the LC, SMBA, extrap, EDI, and QRev Matlab codes to assist in processing ADCP data. Lead author on USGS techniques and methods report, Measuring Discharge with Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers from a Moving Boat.

PRESENTATION TITLE: Importance of Boat Speed and Heading Accuracy When Using GPS with ADCPs

Boat-mounted acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCP’s) are commonly used to make both water velocity and discharge measurements. Most ADCP’s measure the direction of travel of the water and boat using an internal compass. The effect of the compass on measurements made with an ADCP depends on the type of measurement and the boat velocity reference. When bottom track is used for the boat velocity reference the compass will cause a rotational error in the measured water velocity, but the magnitude of the velocity is unaffected. The compass has no effect on discharge measured using bottom track as the boat velocity reference. When an external boat velocity reference such as differentially corrected global positioning system is used, the effect of the compass is substantial. Potential errors include errors in the compass reading caused by distortion in the earth magnetic field due to local objects on the boat, displacement of the compass out of the horizontal position, and errors in determining the magnetic variation for a specific location. When using an external boat velocity reference these errors will affect both measured water velocity and discharge. Analytical assessment of the compass errors shows the effect of these errors on velocity and discharge is directly proportional to the speed of the boat. Therefore, maintaining a slow boat speed is imperative to accurately measuring water velocity and discharge when using an external boat velocity reference.

PRESENTATION TITLE: QRev—Software for Computation and Quality Assurance of Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler Moving-Boat Streamflow

The software program, QRev computes the discharge from moving-boat acoustic Doppler current profiler measurements using data collected with any of the Teledyne RD Instrument or SonTek bottom tracking acoustic Doppler current profilers. The computation of discharge is independent of the manufacturer of the acoustic Doppler current profiler because QRev applies consistent algorithms independent of the data source. In addition, QRev automates filtering and quality checking of the collected data and provides feedback to the user of potential quality issues with the measurement. Various statistics and characteristics of the measurement, in addition to a simple uncertainty assessment are provided to the user to assist them in properly rating the measurement. QRev saves an extensible markup language file that can be imported into databases or electronic field notes software. The user interacts with QRev through a tablet-friendly graphical user interface.

Marian Muste

Dr. Marian Muste

Research Engineer with IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering

Dr. Muste is Research Engineer with IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering and Adjunct Professor in the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department at The University of Iowa. Dr. Muste’s main areas of research is environmental river hydraulics, experimental methods, and instrumentation. He has conducted extensive investigations on the capabilities of acoustic instrumentation and their use for discrete and continuous streamflow monitoring. He is lead editor for a recent book on Experimental Hydraulics and author or co-author of more than 200 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers and 75 technical reports. Dr Muste is expert for UNESCO’s International Hydrologic Program and World Meteorological Organization Commission for Hydrology projects.

PRESENTATION TITLE: Hysteresis in streamflow ratings happens! Here it is how.

Continuous monitoring of stream discharge, a critical variable for managing water resources, benefits from a long history of development and successive performance improvements. To date, there are well-established measurement protocols to continuously and accurately measure steady flows. However, during unsteady flows, these methods are challenged irrespective of their approaches (i.e., stage-discharge or index-velocity). The deviation of the actual flows from the ratings conventionally used for continuous monitoring in steady flows is labeled “hysteresis”. Hysteresis is the difference in the indication of a measurement instrument when the same value of the measured quantity is reached by increasing or decreasing that quantity. Hysteresis occurs in streamflow measurements as a loop around conventional ratings whenever the flow in streams becomes unsteady. The hysteresis is well documented theoretically, but more difficult to be proven in field conditions as the measurements have to be acquired with high sampling frequency.

This presentation compares discharge estimates provided by conventional monitoring methods with direct measurements acquired in-situ with instruments and methods operated continuously during fast-progressing flow events. The conventional measurements were acquired in a medium- and small-size streams using the stage-discharge and index-velocity ratings (widely used in the hydrometric community) during fast flow changes at a hydropower plant and on the rising and falling limbs of hydrographs produced by rain events propagating through streams. The direct measurements were acquired with Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers and a simplified version of the slope-area method continuously used during the propagation of the unsteady flow. The acquisition of such experimental evidence can support the sound evaluation of the performance of the conventional methods in steady flows and unsteady flows. While the datasets are limited and site specific, the inferences from the study substantiate the impact of overlooking the hysteresis in the conventional ratings.

Harold Orlinsky

Harold Orlinsky

General Manager, HYPACK

Harold has been in the industry for 20 years, starting his career as a NOAA Corps officer.  His time was spent serving aboard two vessels and assignments at the Hydrographic R&D lab in Maryland and Pacific Tides group in Seattle, WA.  Afterwards, he became Project Manager for hydrographic systems, and in 2005 he started his career at HYPACK. He is currently General Manager at HYPACK, and working with a team of 30.

PRESENTATION TITLE: A Case Study of Using HYPACK for a Hydrosurveyor-M9 Project

The paper will present the application and use of HYPACK MAX, a software package that can be used for planning, collecting and processing M9 HydroSurveyor data.  The paper will present three case studies with the M9 system; A reservoir in Guam, in which the collected YDFF files were processed for volume computations, A reservoir in Penrith, using 6 independent platforms, afterwards combined to create a final product. Lastly, a survey using the HYCAT autonomous vehicle with the M9 HydroSurveyor on board.  Each survey use the sonar to complete its mission and took advantage of the software capabilities for the final product. 

The paper will show the evolution of the HYPACK software during the past two years, as new  features have been added to the program to capture the full capabilities of the HydroSurveyor – a tool for both depth and velocity measurement and to use the sonar as a DVL positioning system.

Lincoln Pitcher

Lincoln Pitcher

University of Los Angeles

Lincoln Pitcher is completing his PhD at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where he investigates glaciologic and hydrologic dynamics in the Arctic. His current research relies on coupling geospatial technologies with field-based measurements to enhance understanding of Greenland ice sheet hydrologic processes; as well surface-groundwater interactions along permafrost gradients in Boreal and Arctic regions of Canada and Alaska.

PRESENTATION TITLE: Measuring surface meltwater runoff through supraglacial rivers on the Greenland Ice Sheet using hydro-acoustics, remote sensing, and surface energy balance models

Authors: Lincoln H Pitcher, Laurence C. Smith, Brandon T. Overstreet

Supraglacial meltwater rivers on the Greenland Ice Sheet connect surface climatology with ice dynamics processes and thus are integral to simulations of the response of the Greenland Ice Sheet to climate variability and eustatic modifications to global sea levels. However, in comparison to their terrestrial counterparts little is known about the hydrology, morphology, and hydraulics of supraglacial rivers. To that end, this work interrogates multi-day, around the clock acoustic current profiler surveys of streamflow in a large moulin terminating supraglacial river in western Greenland. First, we discuss the technical hurdles encountered in collecting hydroacoustic measurements on ice sheets, namely: temperature impacts on instrument performance, flow variability, and instrument mounting configurations. Second, we summarize basic hydraulic parameters, including channel width, velocity, depth, flow conditions and the multi-day hydrograph. Third, we fuse bathymetric surveys with coincident terrestrial lidar scans to assess channel morphology and evolution during our multi-day study period. Lastly, we compare direct streamflow measurements with climatology-based runoff models and then upscale our analysis to the larger west-Greenland Ice Sheet ablation zone using remote sensing and unity hydrograph simulations.

Jim Reilly

Jim Reilly

Founder of the Belize Coastal Science Alliance

Jim Reilly is working in Belize for Restorative Islands as Director of Environmental Protection and Restoration. Jim, along with a team of local Belizean engineers & scientists founded the Belize Coastal Science Alliance (BCSA) to expand coastal survey & water quality research and data collection in support of government and NGO coastal resilience priorities across Belize. Prior to working in Belize, Jim worked as a Marine Superintendent contractor for the US Army Corps of Engineers (New Orleans, Galveston, and New York Districts) overseeing construction of coastal revetments and jetties for shoreline protection, coastal restoration and enhanced resilience as a result of Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, and Sandy.

PRESENTATION TITLE: Sustainable Development Technology as a Catalyst for Biodiversity Conservation and Coastal Resilience

The Restorative Island Project in Belize uses the SonTek HydroSurveyor-M9 as a primary research tool for sustainable development planning. The objective of the investigations is to enhance the availability and accessibility of scientific information about the physical characteristics of the Chetumal / Corozal Bay. Although a paucity of this information exists for this region, it is considered crucial for making informed decisions about coastal planning and biodiversity management.  The Belize Coastal Science Alliance team of local researchers were trained with the aim of building in-country capacity for HydroSurvey and water quality equipment operations, calibration and maintenance.  Data collection has been carried out on a monthly basis (and post severe storm events), over a two and a half year period. The first study site was Blackadore Caye and it provided baseline information that was used to develop a biomimicry-based coastal resilience and restoration plan using red mangroves. The second study site was Ambergris Caye, the largest tourism destination, and consisted of coral reefs, coastal lagoons and mangrove areas. The information will be used for updating navigation zones and to perform storm modeling for disaster risk management. The third study area was St. George’s Caye as part of a wider research effort for graduate studies in biodiversity conservation, specifically manatee habitat and protected areas management. The three study sites demonstrate the usability of the SonTek HydroSurveyor-M9 in providing near coastal and shallow water bathymetry information that influences management interventions for enhancing coastal protection and climate resilience of coastal communities and their ecosystems.

Rasmus Ringgaard

Dr. Rasmus Ringgaard

Surface Water Hydrologist, Orbicon A/S

Dr. Ringgaard is a surface water hydrologist specializing in design and operation of river gauging stations and weather/climate stations. He received a PhD in physical geography from University of Copenhagen in 2012. Rasmus has designed and operated a catchment scale hydrological observatory and he has published several peer-reviewed articles on surface specific dynamics of the water and energy balances. As a private consultant, Rasmus has installed and operated more than 30 Doppler based river gauging stations, and he is currently working on optimizing the conversion of doppler velocity to discharge for conditions in small Danish rivers.

PRESENTATION TITLE: SonTek Dopplers in Small Danish Rivers: A story on Water Weeds and the Challenges of Measuring Discharge Under Complex Flow Conditions 

Rise in the frequency of high flow and flooding events due to climate change and increased urbanization, has led to innovation in the monitoring techniques used within the Danish environment and water sector. The traditional rating curve stations are slowly being supplemented or sometimes replaced by accoustic dopplers. Dopplers offer a few key advantages: Immediate access to valid discharge data, better estimation of peak discharge, and the ability to measure at complex sites where there is no clear relation between water level and discharge.

During the presentation, we will share our experience installing and operating some 30 SonTek dopplers (both side-looking and bottom mounted) in small Danish streams. The major challenge in Danish rivers are seasonal changes in the velocity field due to the growth and decay of water weeds. This has important implications for not only the physical placement of the Doppler sensor within the steam profile, but also for the methods used for converting measured velocity to discharge. The widely used index velocity method fails at several locations, and we will show our progress and share lessons learned in trying to develop alternative discharge calculation methods.

Dr. Art Schmidt

Dr. Art Schmidt

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Art Schmidt is a Teaching Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on surface-water hydraulics and hydrology, focusing on methods to provide improved quantitative description of flows. Art brings a unique coupling of many years of field data-collection experience with extensive training and experience in numerical methods to simulate complicated hydrologic and hydraulics processes. He started his engineering career with several years performing aerial photo-control, topographic, and bathymetric surveys. He has worked as a hydrologist for the U.S.G.S for 12 years and started using hydroacoustics in 1993.

PRESENTATION TITLE: Application of ADCP Measurements to Fish Habitat Assessment Throughout a River Reach

This paper examines an application of densely spaced ADCP measurements to examine habitat for an endangered species (Pallid Sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus) in a 5-mile reach of the middle Mississippi River.  The Pallid Sturgeon was listed as endangered in 1990, with loss of habitat due to anthropogenic channel modification considered among the primary factors leading to this designation.  Studies on the middle Mississippi River suggest that critical microhabitats are important for conservation of this species.  These microhabitats have been described as ‘functional process zones’ characterized by the interaction of the velocity field and the channel bathymetry and bed material.  These microhabitats have been difficult to quantify because of limitations in measurement technology. 

In this study, four M9 systems were used to measure the bed elevation and water velocity field at millions of locations throughout the study reach.  These measurements were combined with fish-sampling data to provide both 3-D visualizations of the bathymetry, velocity field, and fish abundance and geo-referenced data for statistical analysis. A generalized adaptive model (GAM) was used to examine correlations between the abundance of Pallid Sturgeon and six hydraulic parameters (mean velocity and depth, longitudinal and lateral velocity gradient (du/dx and du/dy), longitudinal and lateral bed elevation gradient (dzb/dx and dzb/dy)).  The combined GAM model explained (34%) of the variance in the distribution of Pallid Sturgeon and showed that the bed elevation gradients were more significant than the other four variables examined.

John Sloat

Director of Business Development for Marine and Water-Resources

John Sloat is the Director of Business Development for Marine and Water-Resources at L3 Oceanserver.  He is also Co-founder of WaterCube, LLC, and served as principal hydrologist at SonTek/YSI, Inc. providing expertise in the use of ADCPs for discharge and water-current mapping in both roles.  He has applied ADCP technology in 24 countries and currently holds 3 US patents associated with the RiverSurveyor S5/M9 ADCP.  He started as a surface-water hydrologist for the USGS in Florida working with other researchers to develop new methods and techniques using hydro-acoustic technology for tidal stream flow measurements.  He holds a bachelors and masters degree in civil engineering from the University of Central Florida.

Ole Smith

Ole Smith

Chief Hydrologist, Orbicon A/S

Mr. Ole Smith is Chief Hydrologist at Orbicon, with professional focus on Monitoring and Assessment of Hydrological, Climatological and Water Quality issues. Mr. Smith has been within business for more than 30 year and is Head of Marketing and Development of hydrometric monitoring and technology. He has the last two decades played a key role in implementing the acoustic velocity technology in Orbicon. Mr. Smith has acquired most of his experience in Denmark. However, he has intensively been involved in projects in Lithuania, Ghana, Botswana, Morocco and Greenland.

PRESENTATION TITLE: SonTek Dopplers in Small Danish Rivers: A story on Water Weeds and the Challenges of Measuring Discharge Under Complex Flow Conditions

Rise in the frequency of high flow and flooding events due to climate change and increased urbanization, has led to innovation in the monitoring techniques used within the Danish environment and water sector. The traditional rating curve stations are slowly being supplemented or sometimes replaced by accoustic dopplers. Dopplers offer a few key advantages: Immediate access to valid discharge data, better estimation of peak discharge, and the ability to measure at complex sites where there is no clear relation between water level and discharge.

During the presentation, we will share our experience installing and operating some 30 SonTek dopplers (both side-looking and bottom mounted) in small Danish streams. The major challenge in Danish rivers are seasonal changes in the velocity field due to the growth and decay of water weeds. This has important implications for not only the physical placement of the Doppler sensor within the steam profile, but also for the methods used for converting measured velocity to discharge. The widely used index velocity method fails at several locations, and we will show our progress and share lessons learned in trying to develop alternative discharge calculation methods.

Pete Vidmar

Pete Vidmar

Engineering Leader at Idaho Power Company

Pete graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1992. He received a masters degree from the University of Idaho in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1996. Pete has worked at Idaho Power for over 25 years, specializing in streamflow gaging and takes great pride in finding creative solutions to difficult problems.

PRESENTATION TITLE: Objectively determining uncertainty of Stream Gages along the Snake River in Southern Idaho

Today there are increasing demands on the accuracy of daily average discharge estimates on the Snake River and many of its tributaries.  These daily average discharge values are ingested into several streamflow forecasting models and are published into numerous reports in efforts to efficiently manage the water resources of the Snake River Basin in Southern Idaho.  With this in mind, Idaho Power Company (IPC) is continuing their commitment to improving the overall accuracy of the streamflow data that they are responsible for collecting and reporting.  In 2012, IPC along with the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR) and the Unites States Geological Survey (USGS) collaborated in an effort to quantify gage uncertainty associated with four gages on the Snake River (Wood and others, 2014).  Also, included in the 2012 analysis were recommendations to reduce the uncertainty associated with these gages.  After several years of implementing these improved best practices, it is time to assess the success of these efforts.  IPC was fortunate to be able to utilize an engineering intern (Justin Nesbitt, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID) during the summer of 2018 to develop a tool that streamlined much of this process.  This report objectively measures the improvements that have been made to IPC’s measuring and monitoring techniques on the Snake River.

Dan Wagenar

Dan Wagner

Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center, Fayetteville, AR

Dan is a hydrologist in the Fayetteville, Arkansas office of the Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center. He received his B.S. in Geology from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville in 2005 and M.S. in Geology from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville in 2008. He’s worked for USGS since 2006, and has focused on topics related to surface-water hydrology, including: Streamflow measurements using ADCPs, bathymetric surveys using multi-beam and single-beam sonar (including the SonTek Hydrosurveyor M9), terrestrial LiDAR surveys, 2D flow modeling, surface-water dye tracing/dilution, and statistical projects related to trends in streamflow data, regional regression modeling of annual peak flows, and Bayesian modeling of regional skew of annual peak flow data.

PRESENTATION TITLE: Bathymetric surveys of reservoirs in Arkansas conducted using multi-beam sonar and acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) technologies

From 2015-2018, the U.S. Geological Survey, Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center has conducted bathymetric surveys of six reservoirs in Arkansas that range in size from 2,000 to 25,000 acres and are operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District. Bathymetric data were merged with available aerial LiDAR data to create high-resolution maps of the reservoir flood pool extents, which allowed for the computation of storage capacity at 1-ft intervals.  All of one reservoir, Blue Mountain Lake, and parts of three reservoirs—Nimrod, Gillham, and Dierks Lakes—were surveyed using an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP).  Survey methods, approaches, and final products will be presented, along with lessons learned.  

Eloy Abascal

Eloy Abascal

Xylem Analytics Surface,Ocean & Coastal Water Sales Manager - Europe

Eloy has more than 20 years working in sales and marketing as part of various European companies involved in manufacturing and sale of environmental instrumentation within the EU. He joined YSI in 2007 as European Sales Manager for water quality instrumentation. His responsibilities have since increased and has been promoted to Xylem Analytics European Sales Manager for the Surface , Ocean and Coastal markets, covering SonTek, YSI and Aanderaa brands. Eloy is an avid runner and enjoys exploring trails in whatever country he happens to be in at the time.

Dr. Xue Fan

Dr. Xue Fan

SonTek 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.

PRESENTATION TITLE: Elements of a successful citizen science program to quantify hydrological parameters in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

In most developing countries, fundamental information about the amount, location, and quality of water is lacking.  Moreover, this makes it impossible to know how all these are changing over time and space due to natural or human activities.  The lack of information about water resources has several undesirable outcomes including physical ones such as stream health, as well as societal and political ones such as reluctance to implement management practices.  SmartPhones4Water (S4W) is a non-profit that leverages the power of citizen science, mobile technology, and young researchers to improve lives by strengthening our understanding and management of water. This overview on behalf of the S4W team will present the unique combination of high and low-technology tactics that have allowed S4W to implement a successful and ongoing citizen science program in Nepal.  Fundamental technologies include smartphones, plastic bottle rain gauges, and the FlowTracker Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter.

Randy Hadland

Randy Hadland

Xylem Analytics North America Senior Manager

Randy is currently the Americas Senior Manager for Xylem where he is involved in all facets of the water quality and quantity world.  His background includes training and sales related to the use of multiparameter water quality instruments and Acoustic Doppler instruments for hydrologic studies.  He graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas with a BS in ecological and environmental biology and a minor in chemistry.  Prior to Xylem/ YSI, Randy worked as the Aquatic Biologist for the City of Las Vegas where he led the Lake Mead water quality monitoring program.

Chris Iarossi

Christina Iarossi

SonTek 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.

Brittany Jenner

Brittany Jenner

SonTek Technical Support/Applications Engineer

Brittany joined SonTek in 2012 after working in the Marine Sciences department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  During her time at UNC, she gained experience collecting data with ADVs and ADCPs in a salt water marsh ecosystem along the Florida Gulf Coast.  When she was not collecting or analyzing data, you could find her in a nearby tributary, teaching stream hydrology field techniques.  Brittany began her career at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she earned her B.S. and M.S. in Geology.  Her undergraduate thesis looked at the flow resistance created by submerged aquatic vegetation in freshwater tidal marshes.

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.

Kevin Labbe

Kevin Labbe

SonTek 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.

Lisa Landry

Xylem Analytics Gulf Coast Sales and Support

Lisa joined the SonTek/YSI team in 2015, and for the past 3 years has been taking care of her customers in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama as our Gulf Coast Sales and Support Representative. After obtaining her Master of Science degree in Biological Sciences from Southeastern Louisiana University, Lisa worked for government agencies in Louisiana for 7 years as both a Marine Biologist and a Watershed Specialist. She channels her years of field experience along with her 4 years of teaching experience to educate end users on all the little tips and tricks that make data collection a little easier.

Janice Landsfeld

Janice Landsfeld

SonTek 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.

Nick Martin

Nick Martin

SonTek Product Support, Xylem Analytics - UK

With the company since 2006, Nick provides customer support, sales and testing for UK and European customers.  He holds a BSc in Marine Environmental Science. Prior joining the SonTek team, Nick worked for the UK Environment agency in the field of hydrometry, specialising in ADCP’s. Previous to that, he worked in the Oil and Gas market sector as an Offshore Navigation Processor, so has never been that far away from water. When Nick is not working he enjoys a multitude of water based sports including kitesurfing, windsurfing, sailing and paddle boarding, he is also a keen cyclist.

Lee Pimble

SonTek 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

Muthiah Radhakrishnan

Muthiah Radhakrishnan

SonTek Software Engineer

Muthiah is currently a software engineer for SonTek a Xylem brand, and has worked on the development of the RiverSurveyor, IQ and SL products.  In addition to software development  and instrument field testing for SonTek, Muthiah has many years of experience in field work, including instrument installation, integration, data logger programming, and field support. Prior to SonTek, Muthiah worked with irrigation districts such as South San Joaquin Irrigation District, Imperial Irrigation District and completed integration and automation projects with SonTek products and other data logger /PLCs. Muthiah has a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Arizona Station University.

Mark Tepper

Mark Tepper

Sales Director, Xylem Analytics Asia-Pacific

Mark started with SonTek in 2002. He holds a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering and has over 20 years measuring water on Asia's major rivers to include the Yangtze, Yellow, Pearl, Mekong, Han and Red Rivers. His enjoys working with water resource agencies and introducing them to technologies that makes their jobs easier and helps solve challenging local water issues.

Daniel Wagenaar, Senior Hydrologist

Daniel Wagenaar

SonTek 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.

PRESENTATION TITLE: Application of Acoustic Doppler Technology in Estimating Suspended Sediments

The application of acoustic Doppler instruments have expanded into various facets of catchment hydrology and water engineering and this paper will demonstrate the successful integration of the technology within existing practices in determining Suspended-sediment concentration.

The traditional methodology that was applied over the past century in defining these key parameters had number of limitations due to the available technology and resources required to perform field measurements and often resulted in insufficient and unreliable data sets for model development and yield calculations. 

Research was done by the USGS and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to identify the most effective surrogate for suspended-sediment concentration (SSC).  The methodologies that were identified for the study consisted of turbidity, laser diffraction and acoustic backscatter principles.  During the initial investigation it was found that the most promising technique is the measurement of acoustic backscatter strength with an acoustic doppler velocity meter (ADVM).  A surrogate model was developed based on the SSC samples taken over a two year period in both the Clearwater and Snake Rivers from 2008 -2010.  ADVM measurements were performed during the same period and the acoustic backscatter surrogate displayed the best relation with the measured SSC during the development of the model.  The acoustic surrogate model provides improved estimation of SSC and load than the traditional sediment-transport curves based on discharge during different time scales when sediment concentration is variable (Wood and Teasdale 2013).

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 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