2020 Call for Abstracts

December 1-3, 2020 (tentative)

About the MRGESCP

The Middle Rio Grande Endangered Species Collaborative Program (MRGESCP or Collaborative Program) is a collaborative partnership of 17 federal, state, tribal, and local signatory organizations that aims to protect and recover listed species in the Middle Rio Grande. The Collaborative Program seeks to improve the status of endangered and threatened species and their habitats, while also preserving the area’s existing and future water uses.

Call for Abstracts

The Collaborative Program invites the submission of abstracts for oral or poster presentations during the 2020 Science Symposium. This year, the event will include a series of half-day Zoom webinars, concluding with a virtual social on the final day. The event will feature a wide range of presentations, discussions, and networking opportunities with scientists and managers working in the Rio Grande Basin. The event is tentatively scheduled for December 1-3, 2020, but the length of the event will be determined by the number of abstract submissions.

This is an opportunity to share your research with colleagues who are actively working at the nexus of science, management, and policy. Participants from all disciplinary backgrounds are welcome to submit abstracts related to the Middle Rio Grande’s listed species (the Rio Grande silvery minnow, Southwestern willow flycatcher, yellow-billed cuckoo, New Mexico meadow jumping mouse, and Pecos sunflower) and the Middle Rio Grande ecosystem. Investigators at all career stages are encouraged to submit abstracts.

Abstracts will be reviewed and evaluated for their novelty and merit, their relevance to management actions or decision-making in the Middle Rio Grande, and their ability to address key critical uncertainties and knowledge gaps for listed species in the Middle Rio Grande. All accepted abstracts will be made available on the MRGESCP website.

Submission Guidelines

All abstracts must be received by 11:59 pm on Friday, October 16, 2020. Incomplete or late submissions will not be accepted. Abstracts must be submitted via https://forms.gle/mcV6FoZBWzA9Y4NbA.

Abstracts must be in PDF format.

All submissions must include:

  • A clear and concise abstract of no more than 300 words
  • A title (formatted in Sentence case, not Title Case or UPPERCASE)
  • A list of all authors using their full names
  • Institution affiliations for each author
  • At least one author who will give the presentation (see below)

The composition of the abstract and the scientific focus of the research must:

  • Clearly articulate a problem in the Middle Rio Grande that motivated the research question you are addressing.
  • Include relevant background information and references to existing literature.
  • Employ, and clearly identify, research and/or theoretical models appropriate for the problem and questions raised, including information about sample and analytic strategy.
  • Clearly present results (or, where not yet available, hypothesized or anticipated outcomes).
  • Describe the relevance of all conclusions drawn to the Middle Rio Grande, its ecosystem, or its listed species.

Submit Your Abstract

Registration and Important Instructions

If you plan to give a live presentation, at least one author must attend the symposium.

All presenters must confirm their participation and register via https://forms.gle/eNm3rXKBHfV8BfiJA by November 20, 2020 to be included in program materials.

To accommodate scheduling conflicts, oral presentations can be pre-recorded. Further details are provided on the Instructions for Oral Presenters page. All oral presenters will be given 15 minutes to present, followed by a 5-minute question and answer session. Recordings of all oral presentations will be posted to the Collaborative Program’s website.

All presenters MUST agree to have their oral and/or poster presentations made publicly available on the Collaborative Program’s website following the symposium.

Please review the Instructions for Poster Presenters and Instructions for Oral Presenters pages BEFORE preparing your presentations.


Abstracts: 11:59 p.m. MST on Friday, October 16, 2020

Registration: November 20, 2020

Oral presentation pdf deadline (for all oral presentations): November 20, 2020

Prerecorded oral presentation deadline: November 27, 2020

Poster pdf deadline: November 20, 2020

Example Abstract Format

Managed spring runoff to improve nursery floodplain habitat for endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow

Richard A. Valdez (presenter), SWCA Environmental Consultants, Logan, UT

Grace M. Haggerty, New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, Albuquerque, NM

Kenneth Richard, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Albuquerque, NM

Deanna Klobucar, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK


Water managers in New Mexico, USA, stored water in El Vado Reservoir and coordinated releases into the Chama River that augmented the runoff of the Rio Grande, resulting in a discharge >1,500 ft3/s (42.5 m3/s) for 35 days (May 17 to June 20, 2016) at Albuquerque. The managed runoff inundated over 400 ha of previously restored floodplains in the Middle Rio Grande, thereby providing spawning and nursery habitat for the endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow (Hybognathus amarus, RGSM). Spawning began April 9 at annual cumulative degree‐days of 717, during daily increases in discharge of 200–300 ft3/s (5.7–8.5 m3/s), and hatch dates were normally distributed over 53 days (April 11 to June 3). RGSM were 73% of larvae collected in six restored floodplain sites and found in shallow water (mean = 19.6 cm), low velocity (mean = 3.9 cm/s), near vegetative cover, and with 75% within 1 m of the water's edge. Declining proportions of early to late larval phases and a near absence of juveniles indicate a gradual departure from floodplains as postflexion mesolarvae and metalarvae 14–22 days post hatch (dph), with most leaving by the juvenile stage 40 dph. The annual RGSM October census showed an increase of 0.16 to 7.20 fish/100 m2 from 2015 to 2016, indicating that the managed runoff resulted in a positive population response. This study showed that constructing flood-plains and managing river and reservoir operations to inundate those floodplains during and after RGSM spawning can provide nursery habitat that improves reproductive success and recruitment.