Climate Impacts

Science to help effectively manage and build resilience despite trends in snowpack, sea level, drought, storm intensity, and other climate impacts. Management issues include water supply, habitat availability, human safety, and at-risk communities.

Fish Biology, Ecology, and Protection

Science that addresses basic life history, behavior, and population structure of Bay-Delta fishes and the factors that affect their distribution and abundance. Suggested topics include population dynamics, emerging methods and technologies, fishery management, migration and spawning behavior, trophic ecology, physiological responses to key environmental stressors, responses to extreme events, and science-based management strategies to protect fish populations. Presentations on engineering to support fish protection goals are also invited.

Flood Management

Science that helps to improve flood management and its relationship to water supply. Example topics include ecosystem restoration potential of levee project, invasive vegetation management on and around levees, and novel approaches to achieve multiple benefits including protecting habitats, water quality, water supplies, agricultural lands, and infrastructure.

Food Webs

Science that provides new insights into ecological processes governing and connecting food webs in the Bay-Delta. Examples of topics include effects of contaminants, sediments, nutrients, species invasions, and climate.

Global and Watershed Perspectives

Science that compares Bay-Delta systems and processes to those in other areas of the globe. Of particular interest is research that highlights connections or discrepancies between regional and larger-scale processes and the Bay-Delta ecosystem, or examines effects of larger-scale processes on the ecosystem or its management. New perspectives to evaluate, plan, restore, and organize land management and other resource uses within a watershed to restore ecological health and improve water management.   

Integrative Applied Science

Science that translates understanding of ecological functions and processes into effective science-based management strategies for the Bay-Delta system. Specific strategies include science-based decision-support tools, collaborative approaches, effective communication strategies, use of conceptual models, and adaptive management. 


Science that employs quantitative models to address complex resource management questions. Specific examples include studies that couple hydrodynamic, sediment, particle tracking, and water quality models with ecosystem models such as those for native species and Bay-Delta and riverine food web dynamics.

Physical Processes

Science that improves the understanding of how physical processes such as hydrodynamics, sediment transport, and geomorphology may affect the Bay-Delta system.

Social Sciences and Human Dimensions

Science that explores the nexus of social and natural sciences in addressing environmental issues. New perspectives that assess the potential social, economic, and public health effects of actions and strategies implemented in the Bay-Delta system. Specific topics include human responses to environmental management actions, value-based tradeoffs among alternatives, water resource economics, local partnerships, watershed groups, environmental law, research into the mechanisms that change social norms, public perception of environmental issues, and environmental justice.

Species and Communities

Science that advances the understanding and management of key species and their ecological functions and requirements in the Bay-Delta and its watershed. Of particular interest are studies that could improve the utility of monitoring programs (project and landscape levels), or that focus on species of special concern, numerically dominant species, and non-native invasive species.

Sustainable Habitats and Ecosystems

Science that provides new insights into the ecological and physical processes governing and connecting habitats in the Bay-Delta and its watershed. Lessons learned that can increase effectiveness of ecosystem restoration, protection, management and sustainability of riparian habitat, river channels, floodplains, flooded and in-channel islands, levees, wetlands, and terrestrial habitats may be highlighted. Topics could describe aquatic, terrestrial, or human ecosystem sustainability and the kinds of landscape characteristics that can be restored to re-introduce appropriate processes at the scales needed to sustain habitats.

Water and Sediment Quality

Science that advances understanding and management of key environmental and drinking water quality constituents, associated biogeochemical processes, and their ecological and public health effects within the Bay-Delta and its upstream watersheds. Key water and sediment quality constituents include inorganic and organic contaminants, organic matter, salinity, sediment, nutrients, and dissolved oxygen.

Water Supplies and Instream Flows

Science that advances water supply management strategies to improve water supply and streamflow reliability (timing, frequency, duration, magnitude, etc.). Management strategies may include operation/reoperation of water conveyance facilities, groundwater management (including implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act), water use efficiency, water demand predictions, water transfers, and water storage. Of particular interest are strategies that incorporate adaptive management approaches.