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How to Read a River: Stream Geomorphology Field Course

Jun 4, 2024 at 8:30 AM to Jun 5, 2024

Menla Retreat & Dewa Spa
375 Pantherkill Road
Phoenicia, NY 12464

Registration Information

Please register each participant individually, as in separate "orders" for each attendee. 

Participants should bring their own waterproof footwear, such as knee high boots (closed-toe shoes only), waterbottle, sunscreen, insect repellent, and weather appropriate clothing.

This event is held both indoors and outdoors. Since Day 2 of the program is primarily streamside, a rain date of June 18 has been set for the field component should conditions be suboptimal for observing and learning important stream features. 

If inclement weather poses hazards to the health and safety of our participants, we will notify via email as soon as it becomes clear that we need to reschedule. Please provide your direct contact number on your registration form should there be changes at the last minute. 

Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Programs are designed for residents and landowners of the Ashokan Watershed

AWSMP is a is a join effort between Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County, the Ulster County Soil and Water Conservation District, and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. 

Cornell Cooperative Extension is an equal opportunitiy, affirmative action educator and employer.



General Registration


Participation required both days of training program. Light breakfast and lunch included.

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Registration & Billing Information

Terms & Conditions

General Terms

This Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program offering is designed for municipal officials and staff, DEC permit staff, DOT, new SMP staff, WCC interns who work primarily in the Ashokan Watershed. If you are interested in participating despite meeting this criteria, please contact our event administrators. 

Please leave pets at home. 

Cancellation Policy

We know that things come up unexpectedly, and cancelations happen. Please be respectful of others who would like to participate, and notify our team as soon as you determine you can no longer attend. Often our events have a waitlist and we work diligently to fill all spots to the best of our ability. 

Event Summary

A technical training course offered free by Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program.

Event Details

This will be a 2-day training course designed to improve participants ability to “read a river.” There will be one half-day of classroom-based learning, with the remaining time being devoted to model and field-based education. The first day is titled “Fundaments of Stream Form & Function.” In addition to classroom education, field instructors from Ulster County Soil & Water Conservation District will utilize streamside excursions and novel stream process models that mimic the processes of channel evolution and sediment transport. The second day will be spent almost entirely on the stream. Instructors will help participants “calibrate” their eyes to make observations on river form and process that can help inform management decisions. This includes observing erosional and depositional stream features, distinguishing perceived and actual risk of in-stream wood, predicting stream bank erosion rates, and assessing the functional role riparian vegetation in stream management.

The training will be held at Menla Mountain Resort in Phoenicia and include extended time in the field along the Pantherkill, a tributary of Woodland Creek, which in turn flows into the Esopus Creek upstream of Phoenicia.


Day 1 - 8:30am-4:00pm

·       Classroom based education.

·       Stream Features Walk on the Pantherkill.

·       Stream Table (for modeling channel process and evolution)

·       Bedloader (for modeling bedload sediment transport dynamics)


Day 2 - 8:30am-4:00pm

·       Observing Geomorphic Indicators and Their Management Implications

·       In-Stream Wood: Should It Stay or Should It Go?

·       Assessing Bank Erosion: Basics of the BANCS Model

·       Vegetation: The Root of Streamside Protection


Light breakfast and lunch will be provided to all attendees on both days of the training. Attendance on both days required for completion of the course.

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