Customer Focus: New York State Canal Corporation

Riverside Technology, inc. is implementing a comprehensive flood warning and
operations management tool for the New York State Canal Corporation (NYSCC),
which manages a large system of reservoirs, canals, and locks. Leading a team of six
highly qualified water resources, engineering, and surveying companies, Riverside is
deploying a state-of-the-art, real-time data acquisition and modeling system to address
the NYSCC’s numerous operational and emergency management-related needs.
The final system includes a data acquisition component with customized tools to import
real-time data from a variety of local, state, and federal agencies as well as private
entities. To support this development, Riverside guided the NYSCC in monitoring
network design as well as the installation of more than 60 real-time sites. Riverside also
instituted a rigorous system to test the sites for proper functioning and coordinated the
various entities in their data-sharing activities.

A DHI MIKE Customised-based forecast framework is deployed over several high
performance servers to perform the various data import, processing, archiving, and
data dissemination activities required to provide the NYSCC, local stakeholders, and
cooperators with the data necessary to make sound and data-driven operations and
emergency management decisions. This requires the deployment of tools to process
a wide variety of real-time data sets as well as the development of hydrologic and
complex one and two-dimensional hydraulic models to simulate flows and
operations within the client’s system. Functionality to generate and test operations
scenarios is implemented to allow the client to find the best water operations
strategy at all times, including during low flows and flood events.

House submerged in water from Hurricane Irene
Canal lock and dam submerged in storm surge flood waters from Hurricane Irene in 2011

Riverside is developing a comprehensive situation awareness interface, allowing the
NYSCC to quickly assess the state of its reservoirs, dams, canals, and adjoining rivers, while providing an opportunity to request more detailed information where necessary. We developed a public-facing website to provide important information, such as current flows and bridge clearances, to a non-technical public.


About NYSCC: The New York State Canal Corporation is a subsidiary of the New York State Thruway Authority. It manages the New York State Canal System, a navigable 524-mile inland waterway that spans upstate New York. The Canal Corporation has transformed the Canal System into a world class recreation-way and emerging commercial waterway, with clustered development to foster recreation, tourism, and economic development, while preserving the natural and historical environment of the System and its adjacent communities.


Employee Focus: Laura Nielsen

Laura Nielsen is Riverside’s Contracts Manager, but she can pretty much do any job asked of her, since at one time or another in her 14 years at Riverside, she’s done them all. She began as Riverside’s front desk receptionist, moved into conference planniLaura_BESTng and project coordination, and now manages all contracts and task orders. Besides working directly with clients, Laura manages the Riverside Contract Management System, helps develop Riverside’s budget and operating plan, assists with proposals and company reports, and provides administrative support and technical writing on projects.

  1. What three traits describe you?

Detail-oriented, honest, sarcastic

  1. What motivates you to do what you do?

I like being good at what I do, so I strive to do good work. It’s a great feeling to know that people can and do depend on you and know you can be counted on to come through.

  1. What are your favorite things to do when you’re not at work?

Yoga, read, hang with “The Pack,” binge watch Netflix, be outside (when it’s nice), garden, and play cribbage when I can find a partner

  1. Tell us your guilty pleasure.

Super hero shows on the CW network

  1. What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

I worked at Honey Baked Ham over the holidays in college. That was crazy busy (and very tasty).

  1. What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

I think I would be fabulous at being independently wealthy. Outside of that, I wanted to be an actress when I was a kid.

  1. Who lives in your house (people, pets, etc.)?

Husband Jeff, dogs Cheese (Aussie) and Zip (English Setter), cat Chyna (Fat). These are “The Pack.”

  1. Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I have three tattoos and used to go see Blues Traveler at Red Rocks every 4th of July in the 90s. Ahh, college.

  1. What was your favorite subject in school and why?

Math – there’s always an answer. I have no idea how I ended up majoring in psychology.

  1. What kind of music do you listen to?

Pretty much everything but hip-hop and rap. I’m really into a cappella right now. #HomeFree #Face

  1. You can only eat the same three foods for the rest of your life. What are they?

The Fuji apple chicken salad from Panera, homemade red beans and rice, and anything with frosting

  1. If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

I’d rather go into the future and see what is going to happen after I’m gone!

  1. If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?

Definitely fly. Cape is optional.

  1. Tell us about your most unique travel experience.

In high school, I went on a 16-day tour of Europe with a Colorado statewide choir. We went through seven countries doing concerts along the way. It was fantastic!

  1. Name a food item you wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole.

Anything that has to ferment.

  1. What are you most proud of?

Knowing that I take good care of the people I love.

  1. What’s an ability you wish you had?

I’ve always wanted to play the drums.

  1. Tell us about your best live performance experience.

The above mentioned Blues Traveler shows were great. Red Rocks on the 4th of July is beautiful!

Take a virtual dive with Riverside

Riverside employees are currently providing on-board support of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) ship Okeanos Explorer, assigned to systematically explore our largely unknown ocean for the purpose of discovery and the advancement of knowledge. Now you can dive virtually with the Okeanos Explorer!

From April 20 to July 10, 2016, the Okeanos will conduct the Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas expedition, and the live video feed is available online, giving the public a front row seat to exploration activities and discoveries as they are made in real time.