Rachel Boling Artwork

Artwork by Rachel Boling of Green Hope High School, winner of 2017 art contest.


WRRI Annual Conference
March 14-15, 2018

Jane S. McKimmon Center
1101 Gorman Street
Raleigh, NC 27606

  • Join us for our 20th year!
  • Accepting presentation and session abstracts beginning September 5, 2017.
  • Support the conference with a sponsorship!
  • Help others learn more about you and your organization by exhibiting with us.
  • Opportunities for student engagement.


We would love to have your participation as a speaker or session organizer! Please consider submitting an abstract to showcase the great work you’re doing in water resources. We’re open to new ideas that engage, excite and inform others about water!

Presentation/Session Options Include:

  • Standard Oral Presentation (20 minutes)
  • Full Concurrent Session
  • Poster Presentation
  • Panel Discussions
  • Lightning Talks
  • Participatory Sessions
  • Be Free (If you have an alternative session style that you would like to pitch to us along with a water related topic or theme that you would like to explore/present while using that style, please share it with us.)

See abstract submission form for details on how to submit ideas for the session/presentation types above.

Please consider adding your name to the list of 2018 supporters.

Go to the sponsorship section to find out how!

Thank you to our 2017 Sponsors! Your support helped make 2017 one of our most memorable conferences yet!

Our 2017 Sponsors Included:

River Level:

  • Duke Energy
  • Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments (CISA)
  • Albermarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership (APNEP)
  • RTI International

Tributary Level:

  • RK&K

Every Drop Counts Level:

  • Carolina Wetlands Association
  • Integra Engineering & Science Services
  • Cavanaugh & Associates
  • River Guardian Foundation
  • Environmental Consulting & Technology


For 20 years, the WRRI Annual Conference has been the premier conference highlighting diverse topics in water research, management and policy in North Carolina. The conference features oral and poster presentations, themed panel discussions, ample networking opportunities, and hands-on interactive sessions for more in-depth discussions and problem solving related to water resources.

Who Should Attend? We pride ourselves on the cross-disciplinary and cross-sector nature of our conference and encourage attendance from the following: undergraduate and graduate students interested in water-related issues; university and corporate researchers; environmental professionals; non-profit organizations; representatives from local, state and federal government agencies; businesses and industries with a stake in water.


We’re still in the planning stages of the conference. Much of the agenda centers around the abstracts we receive, so if you have a great idea for a presentation, a session, poster, panel, etc, please share it with us. As usual, we will have a diverse array of session types and opportunities to listen, share and network. A detailed agenda will be available in January 2018.


Registration for the 2018 conference will open in early January. Be sure to save-the-date for March 14-15, 2018. Credit card and check payment options available after completion of online form.

  • Registration currently closed.

Registration Policies

  • Cancellations received by March 5, 2018 will receive a refund less a $15 processing fee.
  • *Early rates apply to registrations received by Friday, March 9, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. After 12:00 p.m. on March 9, 2018, walk up rates apply to all registrants.
  • **Not an NCWRA Member? Join when you register.
  • ***Student group exhibitor rates include attendance for 2 student representatives.

Registration Rates

Regular Registrant$225$175$275$225
NCWRA Member**$195$150$275$225
Full Time Student$50$35$275$225
Additional Evening Reception Ticket$20---
Commercial Exhibitor$350---
Non-profit/ Government Exhibitor $250---
Student Group Exhibitor***$100---



Donate Now!

WRRI Requests Your Financial Support

We all value water. Whether for drinking, recreation, or business, our prosperity and quality of life depends on it. North Carolina’s Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) works to protect our state’s water resources. We educate decision makers and train the next generation of water consumers, water scientists, and water managers. With a modest budget and a small staff, we leverage a lot to provide a robust research and training program.

We are requesting your financial support to support the costs of the annual research conference, including:

  • awards to the university student poster competition winners
  • awards to the high school art contest winners
  • low registration rates for student attendance at the conference
  • coffee breaks and receptions to fuel participants’ brains and facilitate networking
  • and much more!

Sponsorship Levels

  • Watershed Level – $2500
  • River Level – $1000
  • Tributary Level – $500
  • Every Drop Counts – Minimum Donation of $50

Sponsorships Include:

  • Logo placement and recognition in printed conference materials and on conference website
  • Space on sponsor/literature rack in poster/exhibit room to display sponsor materials


WRRI invites businesses, organizations, student groups, agencies and others to set up an exhibition alongside poster presentations at the annual conference. This is a great opportunity for exhibitors to network with a diverse audience, including university and corporate researchers, undergraduate and graduate students, environmental professionals, representatives from local, state and federal government agencies, businesses, industries, and other organizations. The experience of conference participants is also enhanced by exhibitor displays and interactions. If you have a product, mission, or effort you would like to share, please consider exhibiting with us.

Exhibitor Registration includes:

  • Registration for 1 exhibit representative for commercial and non-profit/government exhibitors. Student group exhibitor rates include attendance for two group representatives.
  • A 10-foot space with a 6-foot skirted table and a chair.
  • Electrical outlets by request.
  • Recognition (with logo placement) in conference materials.
  • All conference materials, meals, breaks and receptions.


Student Engagement

WRRI values students and seeks to create special opportunities for student engagement during the conference. This year, we offer the following opportunities for students:

  • MENTOR-MENTEE PROGRAM During registration, students and professionals can volunteer to be placed with each other for one-on-one or small-group mentorships that will facilitate students’ networking with other water professionals, address questions related to water resources research and careers, and provide a more enriching experience at the WRRI conference.
  • UNIVERSITY STUDENT POSTER COMPETITION All university (undergraduate and graduate) students who present a poster presentation at the conference are automatically entered into the poster competition. Cash awards go to 1st place ($200), 2nd place ($150), 3rd place ($100) and honorable mention ($50) winners. To be considered, please submit an abstract by the deadline.
  • STUDENT-ORIENTED SESSIONS We’re designing special sessions to meet common needs of students for information about water resources and hands-on opportunities to build skills that will benefit a career in water resources or other science-related field. This year, we’re focusing on how to communicate your research through storytelling and visual representation, with a focus on poster presentations. Stay tuned for details as the agenda is further developed.
  • STUDENT OUTREACH Many students may not be aware of the variety of opportunities for careers and education in water resources. WRRI is actively reaching out to smaller universities to encourage students with an interest in water to attend our conference and expand their professional networks, build concrete skills, and learn about the diverse water work in our state.


In an effort to be good stewards of the environment, WRRI and NCWRA want to ensure the most sustainable practices are in place for our conference. We are requesting that all of our attendees do their part to help promote this standard as well. Over the 2 days, there will be many opportunities to pitch in including:

  • Consider using alternative transportation for travel to the conference (i.e. NCSU Wolfline System, bike, carpool, use a ride sharing service like Uber or Lyft)
  • Monitor personal water usage during the event and bring your own reusable beverage cup with you to the conference
  • Utilize special event bins for the event (i.e. recycling and composting at lunch and throughout the McKimmon Center)
  • Turn off any unnecessary lighting or personal equipment during the conference
  • Recycle your conference booklet and name tag with a WRRI staff member once the conference is over.

WRRI has implemented other sustainable practices throughout the event such as providing seasonal, local food, using compostable products for large meals, and printing the conference booklets on FSC certified paper. We are proud to say we’ve earned the following recognition from NC State Office of Sustainability:

Lodging & Directions

Here is a list of hotels in the vicinity of the McKimmon Center. Be sure to ask for the McKimmon Center rate or for the government rate if you are a state employee.


To get to the Jane S. McKimmon Center at 1101 Gorman Street, Raleigh NC 27606:

From I-40 traveling east from airport. Take Gorman St. Exit #295. Turn left onto Gorman St. Go approximately 1 mile. McKimmon Center is on the right past Avent Ferry Rd., before Western Blvd.

From I-40 traveling west. Take Gorman St. Exit #295.Turn right onto Gorman St. Go approximately 1 mile. McKimmon Center is on the right past Avent Ferry Rd., before Western Blvd.

If you need additional details on the McKimmon Center or directions the day of the conference, call 919-515-2277