Our Living Rivers mentor, Dr. Boyd Kynard

Biocitizen is honored to be collaborating with internationally respected migratory fish biologist Dr. Boyd Kynard in the establishment of the Living Rivers School


This summer at his sturgeon research lab in Erving, Boyd told our students,
If I can get anything over to you that is of value, it’s to have a conservation ethic. We must live with a conservation ethic. If we don’t, we have no chance at all for survival. None. Not for (the fish) and not for us.”  If you (click the hypertext and) look at the pictures, you see students listening closely, rapt with attention, absorbing his science and sharing his ethos. They left his fishways lab wanting to save the fish.

We can’t co-exist harmoniously with migratory fish unless we know how they see the world. Boyd knows how they see it, and puts his knowledge to good use. He founded BK Riverfish with his son, Brian to engineer fishways that actually work, because most don’t. Their Indiana fishway passed 7,000 fish in its first season—in a place no fish had passed upstream for a century. It’s a tourist destination now; people want to be near the fish. They like being close to a living river.

Biocitizen LA: LA River heron from afar

We must repeat that success on the Connecticut and its tributaries. If we can’t save its migratory fish, it’s probable that migratory fish won’t be saved on any river because the Connecticut with its famous Holyoke Dam fishlift, is considered a model of fisheries conservation by the EPA and USFWS.

Boyd’s unique background as a scientist, a conservation activist, teacher and engineer enables him to diagnose problems and provide solutions. He’s played principal roles in developing conservation plans for migratory fish in Europe, South America, and Asia. Here on the Connecticut he is the primary researcher and advocate for the endangered shortnose sturgeon. Because of his activism, the operators of the Holyoke Dam engineered return passage for the sturgeon so now they return to the sea; this glaring problem was ignored until he did the research and educated the regulatory authorities. As he said: “This is the first fish protective device of its kind in North America, and it is perfectly appropriate that it is in Holyoke and that Holyoke is taking the lead on this”.

Biocitizen is teaming with Boyd and BK Riverfish to do research that will lead to enlightened public awareness and treatment of the Connecticut River, our living river, alive with precious species including us!

About the author

Subscribe to Biocitizen Banter

Biocitizen Blogs

RSS Westhampton, MA

  • The River and the Machine: A Biocultural History of Holyoke Dam February 11, 2021
    WHAT IS BIOCITIZEN? The word “biocitizen” is a contraction of “biotic citizen,” a term and idea conceived by Aldo Leopold (1887–1948) who is widely celebrated for conceiving the “land ethic.” A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. A […]
  • Biocitizen MA Welcomes Charlie Schine, FEP teacher! December 31, 2020
    Charlie is a recent graduate from Wesleyan University who is just beginning to get his footing in the big wide world and figure out where he’s going. Although he majored in music, his studies always seemed to circle around environmentalism and the more-than-human world, a cross pollination which began the summer after his freshman year […]

RSS Los Angeles, CA

  • CLAWS BLOG: Wind Wolves Preserve – Camping | Hiking | Stewardship December 1, 2021
    Wind Wolves Preserve Camping | Hiking | Native Plant Stewardship FRIDAY Our second CLAWS trip of the fall kicked off at our normal meeting point Bette Davis Park. Folks were excited to get things going, so after an opening circle, with introductions, a gear check, and the plan for the evening we officially started our […]
  • Fear, Growth, and Success! A story of overcoming challenges with Biocitizen LA October 24, 2021
    Lead Teacher Azucena shares her journey reclaiming her narrative through her  field notes recap emails By: Azucena Quinones When I first began working at Biocitizen I was super excited for all of the amazing experiences I would have, from camping, exploring new trails, to working with amazing kids. I knew there would be challenges that […]

RSS New York, NY

  • Biocitizen welcomes Samantha Sanson, Field Environmental Philosophy Teacher May 10, 2022
    Biocitizen NY is pleased to welcome Samantha as a Field Environmental Philosophy teacher! She’ll be co-leading Our Place Summerschool with Yubitza Bermudez! Sam grew up hiking, snowboarding, and biking through the mountains in her home state of Colorado. Along the way, she grew to appreciate natural spaces and developed a desire to protect them. Sam […]
  • Biocitizen NY Summer 2022 Internship – Apply Now! January 12, 2022
    Biocitizen NY Summer 2022 Internship Program What is Biocitizen? Biocitizen is the only educational institution in the world devoted to teaching Field Environmental Philosophy (FEP). Our Brooklyn-based Our Place Summer School is designed to bring children into direct contact with the creatures, geologies, hydrologies, and infrastructures of the Canarsee Biome and the Hudson River Estuary. […]

RSS Concon, Chile

  • ¿POR QUÉ AMO EL CAJON DEL MAIPO? March 22, 2022
    Lugar son historias en las que vivimos. Y algunos lugares nos gustan más que otros. ¿Por qué? Ricardo Rozzi  nos cuenta una historia sobre un lugar que ama. —secundo de […]
  • Me encanta Palmar Ocoa del Parque nacional La Campana March 12, 2022
    Lugar son historias en las que vivimos. Y algunos lugares nos gustan más que otros. ¿Por qué? Yubitza Bermúdez nos cuenta una historia sobre un lugar que ama. —primero de […]