2023 Low-Tech Riverscape Restoration Workshop, Manhattan, KS

Manhattan, KS Low-Tech Process Based Restoration Field Workshop

October 24-26, 2023

This workshop is hosted by Ducks Unlimited, Kansas Alliance for Wetland & Streams, Juniper Environmental. The workshop was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Natural Resource Conservation Service. The workshop content grew out of over 20 LTPBR workshops taught by Utah State University and the online modules were developed in 2020 for an NRCS Working Lands for Wildlife workshop series.

Workshop Description

This workshop will introduce participants to ‘low-tech’ process-based approaches for restoring streams and their associated riparian areas (riverscapes) to benefit fish, wildlife, and working lands. Participants will learn principles guiding low-tech process-based restoration and become familiar with simple, hand-built tools, including Beaver Dam Analogues (BDAs) and Post-Assisted Log Structures (PALS), intended to mimic and promote specific ecosystem processes. Participants will gain basic skills in the planning, design, and implementation phases of project development. Course content is supported by a published Design Manual. Instruction will be a mix of lectures, discussions, hands-on exercises at the desktop and in the field. Learning will culminate on Day 3 in construction of LTPBR structures just outside of Manhattan, KS.


Classroom Instruction - Days 1 & 2

  • Day 1 - Introduction to Low-Tech Process-Based Restoration and Underlying Science & Case Studies for Low-Tech - (local field trip; mostly class-room in Manhattan, KS) - 9 AM to 5 PM with evening dinner starting at 6:30
  • Day 2 - Planning Low-Tech Process-Based Restoration and Designing Low-Tech Process-Based Restoration (all class-room in Manhattan, KS) - 9 AM to 5 PM

Days 1 & 2 will be held at the Kansas State University Alumni Center

Day 1 Evening Dinner Social - Flint Hills Discovery Center

We will enjoy an evening dinner at the Blue Earth Plaza. Please arrive any time between 6:00 and 6:30 PM. Dinner will begin being served around 6:30ish PM, and we will hear rancher Jay Wilde’s story of bringing back beaver to his ranch beginning at 7:00. We will wrap sometime between 8:30 and 9:00.

Learn More about
Jay Wilde's Birch Creek Story

Construction - Day 3

  • Day 3 - Implementing Low-Tech Process-Based Restoration (field all-day) - 8:30 AM to 3 PM

We will meet at 8:30 at the construction site near Alta Vista, KS: 38.827883 N, -96.489273 W. The site is a ~50 minute drive from Manhattan, KS.

Course Materials

Slides, Videos & Handouts

Module 1 - Intro
Slides , Recorded Lectures and Exercises
Module 2 - Science
Slides , Recorded Lectures and Exercises
Module 3 - Planning
Slides , Recorded Lectures and Exercises
Module 4 - Design
Slides , Recorded Lectures and Exercises
Module 5 - Implementation
Slides , Recorded Lectures and Exercises

Workshop Textbooks

Mandatory Texts - Free digital versions are available below and hard copies of the Design Manual and the Pocket Guide will be provided to course participants.

Instruction Team


Joseph Wheaton1,2

Professor of Riverscapes

Jeremy Maestas3


Dominique Shore1

Fluvial Geomorphologist

Instructor Affiliations






Registration is free, but is by invitation only. Contact Dominique Shore for more information.


BOOK BEFORE October 1, 2023 to secure discount rate!

For those travelling to Manhattan, KS from out of town, we have secured a group rate at the Holiday Inn on KSU Campus for a discounted room rate of $107 for a King or Double Queen Deluxe. There are a variety of other lodging options in Manhattan as well.

RESERVATIONS: Reservations should be made using the Group Rate Link or using the Group Code NRC. Reservations must be made prior to October 1, 2023 to secure the group rate.

CANCELLATION: “No Show” and cancellation less than 48 hours prior to arrival will forfeit the individuals deposit. All guest rooms are non-smoking.

Field Gear

This is a hands-on workshop. For the field portions, we will be hiking and working on real construction projects. Your safety is our top priority, but you are the most important person in ensuring your safety and comfort. So bring common sense. Our workshop is in the Fall in the mountains. You should be prepared for anything from sunny skies and sunburn, to snow and hypothermia (yes we’ve already had our first snow-storms, and yes we will work in the snow). We will be hiking through and doing work in small, wadeable streams. We strongly recommend a pair of chest waders and wading boots. It is also possible we will be building structures in a hot, dry creek with isolated pools, so come prepared for a variety of weather. You also should bring whatever outdoor clothing and gear to keep yourself comfortable. Layers, coats, gloves, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a dry change of clothes for afterwards are all a must. For Day 3, no open-toed shoes will be allowed. Where work clothing suitable for a construction site.

We will provide you with basic personal protective equipment (PPEs like work gloves, eye protection, hard hats, ear protection). However, if you have any other

If you have any allergies or medical conditions that we should be aware of, please notify your instructor.

Meals, Snacks

Meals are provided with your registration to help us run the workshop more efficiently, as follows:

  • Day 1 (Classroom)
    • Morning coffee and snacks provided
    • Lunch provided
    • Dinner provided
  • Day 2 (Classroom)
    • Morning coffee and snacks provided
    • Lunch provided
    • On your own for dinner
  • Day 3 (Field Construction Day)
    • No breakfast or coffee provided (come fueled up and caffinated)
    • Bag lunches, snacks and beverages provided in field. Please bring your own water bottle.
    • On your own for dinner.

We will make sure that for snacks and meals there are some gluten-free options, but those with other dietary restrictions should make other arrangements.

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