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North East Graduate Student Water Symposium (NEGSWS)

  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst (map)

The purpose of NEGSWS is to provide an affordable conference opportunity in the greater Northeast region for graduate students in water-related disciplines. The symposium is centered around the theme of research advances in water engineering, resources, science, and policy. Organized and hosted primarily by graduate students, it is an opportunity for graduate student researchers to present current research, exchange ideas, network, and interact with industry and government professionals in the water sector.

The inaugural NEGSWS was held September 12-14, 2014 and proved to be a huge success with 120 student attendees from 28 colleges and universities in the Northeast. The symposium has progressively grown ever since with 160 attendees from 40 colleges and universities at the September 11-13, 2015 symposium, and 180 attendees from 53 colleges and universities at the September 9-12, 2016 symposium. The conference initially attracted students from local universities within a day’s drive (e.g., New England, NY, NJ, PA, Ontario, Quebec & The Maritimes).  More recently, we have hosted students and faculty from the western US and Asia. Previous keynote speakers include Bob Hirsch and Dennis LeBlanc, both hydrologists at USGS. The symposium has also hosted various mini workshops from industry and academic partners around the country.

NEGSWS is organized by a volunteer committee comprised of four (two environmental engineering, and two water resources engineering) EWRE graduate students (the 2017 committee is Joann Rodriguez, Ho-Zhen Chen, Chinedum Eluwa, and Xuyen Mai), one staff member of the Water Resources Research Center at UMass (Travis Drury), and one EWRE professor (Dave Reckhow, Ph.D.). The roles of the committee are to manage the symposium website, lodging, registration, abstracts, marketing, meals, and events. These tasks are mainly divided among the four graduate students, and marketing and other logistics are shared with the staff member and professor. Recruitment, information dissemination and assistance with travel logistics are provided by a larger committee of student liaisons from participating universities.