Northeast Chapter

Maryland, Washington, DC, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and New York up through the New England states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.

Our goal is to further the RMS mission by providing a network for members to expand their knowledge of river management through participation and involvement in RMS Northeast Chapter activities. We represent a variety of professionals in the private and public sectors, from federal, state and local agencies to educational non-profits and consultants.

The impressive range of expertise among our members includes geomorphologic design, economic modeling, hydropower relicensing, and whitewater course development. RMS-NE has partnered with the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, hosting webinars in support of their effort to educate water trail users about aquatic invasive species, and has offered annual chapter trips that have served as the basis for lasting professional partnerships.

Chapter Bylaws explain how the RMS-Northeast Chapter guides our operation. Chapter accomplishments are many and we think you'll be interested in attending chapter activities such as those we have hosted in the past.  

The most recent RMS Journal with a Northeast Chapter focus was Spring 2022. All Journal back issues are archived online, available with other RMS members-only publications.

Call for Officer Nominations for 2023-2026 Term

Thank you for taking the time to nominate officers for your chapter. Officers serve a three year term in one of four positions: President, Vice President, Secretary and Events Coordinator. They play a critical role in connecting regional members and driving our mission to support professionals who study, protect and manage North America's rivers.

We invite you to nominate yourself or a colleague. Once the nomination period for a chapter closes, we'll hold an election. Voting and holding office is restricted to Lifetime, Individual, and Student members, as well as the key contacts for Organizational memberships.

At RMS, we value diverse perspectives, backgrounds, orientations, abilities, and experience levels. These are essential for strong partnerships and bold thought in an era of a generational shift, institutional challenges and the demand to mitigate the effects of climate change.

With questions about the joys, challenges, and responsibilities of serving as a chapter officer, we encourage you to reach out to your current chapter officers, members of the national board, or our Executive Director at [email protected].

Submit a nomination

Northeast Chapter Officers (2021-2023)

Emma Lord, RMS Northeast Chapter President
President – Emma Lord
Emma’s love for water and rivers started in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York. Summertime trips to the best (and secret) swimming hole on the Catskill Creek were filled with swimming, fossil collecting, wildlife sightings, and the all-around enjoyment of the sights and sounds of being on a river.
Emma earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Green Mountain College (2013) and an M.S. in Geology from the University of North Dakota (2016), with a concentration in geomorphology. She is currently a Natural Resource Specialist with the National Park Service in New Hampshire. Working in the Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers Program, Emma works with local Wild and Scenic communities and partners to protect and enhance their outstanding rivers and river-related resources through a collaborative approach.

After a referral from a longstanding member, Emma joined RMS in 2017 while working as a Wild and Scenic Rivers Fellow with NPS. She served as the RMS Northeast Chapter President from 2018-2020 and helped with the marketing and outreach efforts for the 2018 Symposium. Emma is currently on the planning team for the 2021 Symposium as well. 

John Field, RMS NE Chapter Vice President

Vice President – John Field PhD, PG


Dr. John Field, President of Field Geology Services, LLC, received a Ph.D. in 1994 from the University of Arizona with concentrations in fluvial geomorphology and hydrology. During eight years as a university professor, Dr. Field received two excellence in teaching awards and was active in training teachers and government agency personnel on techniques for identifying flood and erosion hazards and assessing the stability and habitat conditions of rivers.  Dr. Field has over 20 years of professional experience related to river restoration and has designed and installed numerous projects throughout New England utilizing large wood to improve river function and aquatic habitat.  John has also been involved in international work, most recently in Nepal working to prevent irrigation canal intakes from being eroded away by the Karnali River, the largest in Nepal.


John Little, RMS NE Chapter Trip Coordinator

Trip Coordinator – John Little

During college summers, John worked for the Chewonki Foundation in Maine, working initially as a camp counselor then a certified Maine Canoe and Hiking Trip Leader. He was in love with the idea that he could get paid to travel and explore many of the best wild rivers in Maine.  Since then, John’s paddled the Moisie and George Rivers in Quebec, the Connecticut and Susquehanna Rivers as well as paddling from the Quebec border to NYC via Lake Champlain, the Champlain Canal and the Hudson River.
In 1982 John became employed at Richford Jr/Sr High School as their upper level science teacher.  He enriched the curriculum with many field trips over the years, as well as co-lead the school’s ski program.  In 1996 John earned a Masters in Science for Teachers, and expanded his teaching to include both Community College of Vermont and Vermont Technical College.  Always he stressed the importance of the hands on, experiential aspects of science and learning. 
During those early years of the 1990’s, John also joined forces with some other local citizens in an effort to protect their local river.  From this effort, sprang the Missisquoi River Basin Association (MRBA).  For more than 25 years, they’ve worked to protect and improve the quality of the waters in the Missisquoi watershed.  MRBA has planted more than 20 thousand trees on the banks of the rivers and tributaries and been testing water quality within the watershed.  In addition, MRBA won the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence, and since 2008 they’ve provided hands on educational programs to local schools.
In 2004, with the support of the MRBA, John started going to local town select boards and businesses to try to gain support for getting some of our local waters designated as National Wild and Scenic rivers.  A decade later, the Upper Missisquoi and Trout Rivers (UMATR) were added to the national register of Wild and Scenic Rivers.  Since, this new entity has been working to help disburse federal funds to help preserve, protect and increase access to the designated sections of the local watershed.   A couple years later, RMS presented John with the Frank Church Wild and Scenic Rivers Award in recognition of his efforts to make this all happen. 

John has spent a goodly part of his life teaching about the natural world and how to enjoy its beauty.  After 36 years in the public arena, he retired from teaching in 2018.  John intends to spend more time paddling and enjoying our natural aquatic environments, as well as enjoying his home in the hills of Vermont. 

Contact any Northeast Chapter officer to contribute to regional or national RMS activities!

Past Northeast Chapter Trips

2021 Northeast Chapter Trips/Events

Allagash Wilderness Waterway Trip - September 3-12, 2021

Please see the AWW Trip Information Packet for more information.

2019 Northeast Chapter Trips/Events

Adirondacks Paddle - September 6-8, 2019

The Northeast Chapter enjoyed an early fall paddle along a portion of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) from Long Lake to Tupper Lake in the Adirondacks. The trip included ~30 miles of paddling, a 1.3 mile portage, and volunteering for the 37th annual 90-miler Adirondack Canoe Classic race. Chapter members helped hand out water, gatorade, and snacks to ~600 paddlers in 235 boats in the race. The group also had great campfire discussions about river management topics with staff from the NFCT and NY State Department of Environmental Conservation.

2018 Northeast Chapter Trips/Events

Washington, DC Environmental Film Festival Evening Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Wild and Scenic - March 21, 2018

These films represent a unique partnership among the national river organizations American Rivers, American Whitewater, River Network and River Management Society and Wild and Scenic Rivers administering agencies – Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service and US Forest Service.

• Wild Olympics (9 min) - Dir. Colin Arisman
• The Wild President (7 min) - Dir. Will Stauffer-Norris
• Avanyu: Protecting the Rio Grande (8 min) - Dir. Dana Romanoff & Amy Marquis
• River Connections- Partnership Wild & Scenic Rivers (15 min) - Dir. Kate Geis
• Noatak- Wild & Scenic (8 min) - Dir. Jeremy Monroe
• Protected - A Wild & Scenic River Portrait (11min) - Dir. Jeremy Monroe

Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Wild and Scenic Rivers 50th Anniversary Paddle - October, 2018

2017 Northeast Chapter Trips

Potomac River Mather Gorge - September, 2017

2016 Northeast Chapter Trips

Anacostia River, MD/DC - October 23, 2016

Bronx River Trip - NY, Bronx River Alliance

2015 Northeast Chapter Trips

National Board Meeting Piscataqua River Trip - NH, October 11-12

Missisquoi River Trip - VT, June 27-28 (after Pedal / Paddle Race)  

“Celebrate the Mississquoi!” with the Northeast Chapter!  

The Missisquoi River in northern Vermont recently became Vermont’s first Wild and Scenic River. It is also one of the rivers that comprise the Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT). On Saturday, June 27 the NFCT collaborated with the Town of Richford’s Conservation Commission to put on a River Fest and a Paddle & Pedal Race. The Paddle Pedal Race involved a 6 mile paddle and a 5 mile bicycle ride on the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail.  The local library hosted a BBQ afterwards, and RMS Executive Director Risa Shimoda was the guest speaker at the River Fest event.

After the race the NE Chapter, led by member Walter Opuszynski  paddled downstream and stayed at an official Northern Forest Canoe Trail campsite, enjoying a campfire and cameraderie as we learned about the river improvements that have been completed, challenges that have been overcome along the way, and future river management efforts.  On Sunday we paddled approximately 8 miles to the town of Enosburg Falls.

2014 Northeast Chapter Trip - Connecticut River (NH, VT)

RMS-NE Chapter paddles the Connecticut River!  On Saturday, October 4, paddled 7 miles from Cornish, NH Boat Launch to Wilgus State Park, VT. Along the way and at a group dinner, heard from the RMS members and other regional experts about the river management topics that both define the river today and which will impact the watershed immensely in the years to come. Here are our special guest experts:

Thomas J. Christopher, RMS Member - Mr. Christopher is a founding director and current Secretary of New England FLOW, the first organized coalition of recreational boating groups in the northeast. In addition, he is a former board member of American Whitewater, serving for 14 years and was its Conservation Chair from 1997 until 2004.  He helped to organize the Hydropower Reform Coalition (HRC) in Washington, D. C. in 1991, and sits on the HRC Steering Committee, pursuing changes in hydropower policy and rulemaking through the FERC relicensing process. He is a signatory to multiple FERC relicensing settlement agreements throughout New England and is currently working on the relicensing of five dams on the Connecticut River in Vermont and Massachusetts.  

Andrew Fisk, Ph.D., Executive Director, Connecticut River Watershed Council - Prior to joining CRWC in 2011 Andy served as Director of the Land and Water Quality Bureau at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for seven years. As Maine’s land and water quality director, Andy worked with municipalities, industry, and citizens to develop, finance, and implement clean water requirements that eliminated algae blooms, sewer overflows and maintained stream and river flows. He was also actively involved in enacting and implementing scientifically-based protections for hundreds of thousands of acres of significant wildlife habitats for tidal and inland waterfowl as well as protections for vernal pools.

Norman Sims, Ph.D. - Norman recently retired as an honors professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He was a founding member of New England FLOW in 1988 when dams on the Deerfield River in Vermont and Massachusetts came up for relicensing. He later spent 12 years on the Board of Directors of the Appalachian Mountain Club, including several years as chair of the AMC Conservation Programs Committee.  Along with Tom Christopher of FLOW and Ken Kimball of the AMC, Norm has worked on several hydropower relicensings in New England. As a volunteer, Norm currently represents the AMC in relicensing five hydropower facilities on the Connecticut River. He is also writing a book on the history of the North American canoe.

Thank you Lelia Mellen, Paul Beaulieu for coordinating the trip, and others for attending!

2013 Northeast Chapter Trip 

The Great Egg Harbor River Council, hosted the North East Chapter of the River Management Society (RMS) and Friends to an overnight camping and paddle event on the Great Egg Harbor River in New Jersey September 28-29, 2013.. The trip  featured two separate short paddle tours of the Great Egg Harbor River, often touted as the longest canoeable river in New Jersey: its wide flood plains and winding morphology present both hidden beauty and unique challenges for paddlers new to outer coastal plain rivers. In addition: 129 miles, including 17 tributaries, are federally designated as Scenic and Recreational Rivers in 1992. The Great Egg Harbor River Council sponsored the event, and group camping facilities at Atlantic County's Camp Acagisca was provided for Saturday, Saturday night, and Sunday at no charge.  Great Egg Harbor River Administrator Fred Akers coordinated the event, Thank you, Fred!!


2009 Accomplishments

2010 Accomplishments

2011 Workplan