Track 4: HU Research | Room: 1302
Andrew Dehoff, P.E. Executive Director, Susquehanna River Basin Commission
James Shallenberger, Manager of Monitoring and Protection, Susquehanna River Basin Commission
Gene G. Veno, Director of Governmental Affairs and Public Advocacy, Susquehanna River Basin Commission
Emily M. Wefelmeyer, Research Fellow, Harrisburg University of Science & Technology
Pranita P. Patil, Research Fellow, Harrisburg University of Science & Technology
Kevin Purcell, Associate Professor, Harrisburg University of Science & Technology

Authors also include: Sridhar Ravula; Ziyuan Huang; and Igor Pilja, Research Fellows, Harrisburg University

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) sponsored the project conducted by our team at Harrisburg University of Science & Technology (HU). SRBC needs to manage multiple stakeholder requirements while sustaining a complex environment system. The requirement was to differentiate significant events or signal in water quality measurements from the complex system’s noisy behavior. The goal of our analysis was to determine which environmental indicators have positive and negative influences on the ecosystem in the watershed. Additionally, we were to determine the effects of environmental indicators on the biotic response. With the help of exploratory data analysis (EDA) and generalized additive model (GAM), deeper insights into the biotic response to potential events that affect the macroinvertebrates and fish that live within the watershed are generated. The GAM was able to determine a significant amount of signal from the noise that was occurring within the data.

Dehoff began his career with the Commission as an engineering intern in 1993. His first projects involved estimating consumptive water usage in the Basin and designing hydrologic computer models to evaluate the use of water storage to supplement streamflow during droughts. That work, along with serving as the Commission’s point person for the Susquehanna Flood Forecast and Warning System, paved the way for him to become the first manager of the Commission’s Planning and Operations program, a position he held from 2007 through 2010. As manager of that program, Dehoff oversaw the collection and analysis of water use data, provided technical and hydrologic support to other Commission programs, and managed staff engaged in flood and drought preparedness activities. In 2010, Dehoff became manager of the Commission’s permit review program, during a period that saw heavy activity from natural gas extraction and hydroelectric dam relicensing. Focused regulatory efforts during this time entailed the review of applications and formulation of recommendations and policies related to proposed surface and ground water withdrawals and the consumptive use of water by industries, power generation facilities and the natural gas industry. Dehoff was appointed Executive Director in September of 2013. His first action was to restructure the management team to increase efficiency and reduce operational expenses. Along with the Commissioners, the new team is dedicated to revisiting past practices, policies, and regulations to ensure the Commission is fulfilling its mission of responsible stewardship and excellent public service. Dehoff holds a B.S. and M.E. in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia, and has been a licensed professional engineer in Pennsylvania since 2001.
Mr. James Shallenberger is Manager of Monitoring and Protection for the Susquehanna River Basin Commission. The Commission’s Monitoring and Protection (M&P) Program has a staff of some 20 professionals organized according to two sections; Monitoring & Assessment (M&A) and Restoration & Protection (R&P). The M&A section is made up of aquatic biologists whose main focus is to: (i) monitor and assess biological communities; (ii) undertake applied research initiatives; and, (iii) expand scientific understanding of relationships between aquatic life and the vast array of water quality, water availability, and habitat conditions that exist throughout the Basin. The R&P section is comprised of environmental technicians and scientists who: (i) maintain the integrity of SRBC’s various water quality monitoring programs, equipment, and data; (ii) provide technical/logistical support to partner agencies for watershed management plans and actions; and, (iii) plan and implement restoration actions related to legacy coal mining impacts. Staff from both sections collaborate with many agencies and organizations in joint efforts to evaluate, develop insight, protect, restore, and otherwise steward the water resources of the Susquehanna River Basin. Mr. Shallenberger joined the Commission in 2014 and he holds a B.S in Geosciences from the Pennsylvania State University and an M.S. in Environmental and Forest Biology from the State University of New York – College of Environmental Science & Forestry.
In 1975, Gene was elected chairman of the Lackawanna County Home Rule Government Study Commission.[5][6][7] Gene ran for Mayor of Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1981, but lost to James Barrett McNulty by 575 votes.[8] In 1984, Gene served as executive secretary to the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board.[9][10] [11] In 1989, Gene founded Veno and Associates, a governmental policy and lobbying firm, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.[12] In June 2005, he was named President and CEO of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress.[13][14] Gene was the President/CEO for the American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters[15] and was a state-appointed chief recovery officer for Harrisburg School District.[16][17] He has also served on the school board for the Scranton School District[18] and was an adjunct graduate and undergraduate instructor of business at the at Lebanon Valley College[19] as well as Dean of Continuing Education at Lackawanna College.[20]Gene Veno was named chief recovery officer for Harrisburg City School District in December 13, 2012.[21] On May 18, 2013, the Harrisburg Board of School Directors voted in favor of Veno’s plan 9-0.[22] On May 31, 2013, Veno’s recovery plan was approved by the state of Pennsylvania.[23] The plan consists of a call to cut costs by 5% for both staff salary and benefits.[24] After the implementation of Gene’s financial plan, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services gave the Harrisburg School District an “A” rating.[25] In 2002, Gene was awarded the Nevelyn J. Knisley Award for College Educator of the Year for developing a strategic marketing plan for the Lebanon Catholic High School.[27][28] In 2005, he was named Person of the Year by Dynamic Chiropractic.[29] In 2008, Gene received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Law from the National University of Health Sciences.[30] , has a Master’s in Public Administration from Marywood University, Bachelor of Science from Elizabethtown College, Associate of Science from Lackawanna College.
Ms. Wefelmeyer earned her B.S. in Mathematics from University of Maryland Baltimore County in 2005. She spent twelve years teaching secondary mathematics in Maryland. In 2015, Ms. Wefelmeyer presented research on the lack of consistency with readability measures at the Harrisburg University Data Analytics Summit II. She earned her M.S. in Analytics from Harrisburg University of Science & Technology in 2017. Since September 2017, she has been a research fellow and PhD student in Data Science at Harrisburg University of Science & Technology. Ms. Wefelmeyer is currently leading the Susquehanna River Basin Commission’s signal-to-noise project and the HU Alzheimer’s Research group. Her dissertation research is looking at combining various analytical methods, including deep learning, to diagnosis Alzheimer’s disease using speech samples.
Pranita Patil is a Research Fellow and Ph.D. student at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (HU). She earned her M.S. in electrical & computer engineering at Oklahoma State University and M.S. in Analytics at HU. After 4 years of industrial experience in deep and machine learning, Pranita returned to pursue a doctoral degree in Data Science at HU. In the past decades, she has published work notably in the deep learning field. She is currently working on different research projects such as detection of Parkinson’s disease using deep learning, SRBC signal to noise, and SRBC environmental monitoring project. She wishes to help the community through her research and knowledge.
Bio Coming Soon