Invited Workshops and Short Courses

The following proposals have been invited to the 2020 NACCB Program.  This list is subject to change pending decisions of organizers. Visit the Workshops and Short Courses Page to learn more about this session type.

Workshops and Short Courses
Workshop: Addressing the Human Dimensions of Conservation: Planning for Community-Based Conservation Engagement – Organizer(s): James Danoff-Burg, The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens; Terry O’Connor, Terry O’Connor Consulting LLC; Luis Ramirez, Denver Zoological Foundation

Monday, July 27, 8:30am – 4:30pm, Tower Court A, $30

Session Abstract:

Successful conservation programs with long-term impact address the needs expressed by local communities and engage people in action that supports their livelihood while protecting wildlife and habitat. Historically, most people engaged in conservation have been focused on the biology of the species or ecosystems in which they work. This workshop is for those staff who are currently working with—or who plan to work with— stakeholder communities. The work developed during this workshop will ideally become an integral part of their NGO’s conservation project, zoo-based AZA SAFE, SSP, TAG, institutional or other collaborative conservation programs. Human dimensions of conservation include education, outreach, engagement, community analyses, sustainable use, and alternative livelihood, which are collectively addressed by the concept of Community-Based Conservation Engagement (CBCE).

This hands-on workshop will enable participants to start planning for or strengthen their current CBCE programs; consider different approaches, practical tips and overcoming obstacles through case studies with leaders and guest speakers; discuss how to involve your staff and volunteers; and explore collaboration opportunities. Small work groups and full-group discussion will encourage exchange of ideas and experiences. By the end of the day, participants will have developed a diverse and well-reasoned draft strategic plan for their community-based conservation engagement program.

Workshop: Essential Leadership Skills for Conservation Biologists: Conflict Management at Work – Organizer(s): Courtney Quinn, Furman University

Wednesday, July 29, 12:00 – 1:15pm, Room TBD, $0

Session Abstract:

Crossing boundaries to connect effectively with communities, governments, and stakeholders will require conservation biologists to bridge knowledge levels, values, cultures, and partisan differences. And yet, to be effective changemakers in the community, conservation biologists must first learn to deal with conflict in their workplaces. All places of work have conflict that can be a hindrance or a force for creativity and compassion. Conservation biologists must develop communication skills essential to relationship building and know how to effectively deal with conflict; whether their own or of others in their organization.

This workshop utilizes methods and lessons from the leadership development field to share essentials of conflict management for conservation professionals including; understanding the culture of conflict, listening with empathy, and how to learn from difficult behaviors.  These skills are essential to fostering cross-boundary solutions both within and between workplaces. This topic is appropriate for a workshop to allow participants to practice new skills in a safe environment. It is important for participants to try new ways of listening, thinking, and speaking.

This active-participation workshop will utilize interactive learning including; discussions, time for practice, and personal reflection. Case studies and examples specific to the work of conservation biology will be applied and examined. Participants will be encouraged to share experiences and discuss in small groups examples of successes and struggle with conflict management.

This workshop is valuable for people in management or leadership positions as well as anyone in the field who wants to create and maintain better working relationships with colleagues and stakeholders.

Short Course: Introductory Training in the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation – Organizer(s): Andrew Bridges, Institute for Wildlife Studies; Quinn Shurtliff, Veolia; James Goetz, Cornell University Department of Natural Resources

Sunday, July 26, 8:30am – 4:30pm, and Monday, July 27, 8:30am – 4:30pm, Tower Court B, $30

Session Abstract:

The objective of this short course is to teach participants the overarching philosophy, underlying principles, and specific steps of effective conservation planning based on the globally-used Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation. The training will emphasize hands-on group exercises (experiential team learning) with minimal lecture.  We will teach students how to identify key and desired conservation and human well-being outcomes, develop socioeconomic and ecological models, construct a situation diagram (a model of the contributing factors from the human environment that influence conservation outcomes), incorporate empirical data and expert knowledge, integrate monitoring and adaptive management in conservation projects, and develop plans for changing and novel conditions. In addition to improving attendees’ effectiveness in the planning and practicing of conservation, the short course will provide valuable tools for preparing grant applications, evaluating project plans, and communicating with funding agencies, the scientific community, and laypersons.

Each section involves introducing and teaching key Open Standards concepts, followed by hands-on team-based application of these concepts to real-world projects (provided by class participants), followed by group sharing, class feedback, and discussion. Sessions will include brief demonstrations illustrating the corresponding use of Miradi Software.

Workshop: Using HexSim to Develop Spatial-Explicit Individual-Based Simulation Models – Organizer(s): Nathan Schumaker, US Environmental Protection Agency; Julie Heinrichs, Colorado State University

Monday, July 27, 8:30am – 4:30pm, Tower Court C, $20

Session Abstract:

This full-day workshop will focus primarily on HexSim fundamentals in the morning, and hands-on construction of participant-defined models in the afternoon. Participants will be introduced to the HexSim simulation model (, and the organizers will illustrate its application within conservation biology and landscape ecology, focusing on demography, genetics, species-landscape interactions, and dynamics feedbacks. HexSim allows users to construct mechanistic, spatial, and predictive models without having to write computer code. Models developed in HexSim can range from simple or hypothetical to complex and ecologically realistic. HexSim is spatially-explicit, individual-based, multi-population, multi-stressor, and is ideal for exploring the impacts of interacting disturbance regimes on wildlife and plants. HexSim is useful for a wide range of conservation and management challenges, and for research into stressor interactions, disease ecology, landscape genetics, source-sink interactions and landscape connectivity, and many other topics. HexSim runs on Windows, is distributed free of charge, has a complete graphical user interface, and comes with documentation and worked examples. This workshop is being led by the model developers. All training materials will be provided. Participants need only bring a portable computer running Windows, but they should download HexSim in advance and ensure that it is running correctly.

Workshop: Behavior Change for Climate Change: Fostering Solutions that Match the Scale of the Problem – Organizer(s): Lauren Watkins, Impact by Design and the Conservation Marketing and Engagement Working Group of SCB

Friday, July 31, 9:00am – 4:00pm, Gold Room, $25

Session Abstract:

Climate change will not be solved solely through traditional awareness-raising efforts that aim to increased peoples’ knowledge of climate change with the hope they will take action. To work towards a more sustainable future, we must integrate behavior change science into our efforts to engage our audiences on a deeper level that fosters meaningful change. It is crucial that the behaviors we promote ‘match the scale of the climate problem’ – meaning that calls to action must build upon individual actions, promoting civic, community-level, systemic change that can tackle the magnitude of the issues we face in a changing environment. To design behavior change initiatives or campaigns that foster people’s motivation to engage in civic solutions – in addition to personal actions – we must integrate the latest science in human behavior change into our efforts to move the needle on the most significant environmental challenge we face today.

This workshop will focus first on introducing participants to the basic principles of behavior change science, environmental psychology, and social marketing. Then, they will build skills that take their efforts beyond information-sharing and awareness-raising. Participants will learn research-based techniques for telling a more impactful, productive climate change story with their audiences. They will build skills in framing conversations about climate change in a manner that helps people understand why they should care, learn the mechanisms behind climate change through widely tested metaphors, and draft solutions that involve collective action. This workshop is for anyone that has ever wondered if or why people aren’t changing their behavior to address climate change, those who wish to tell a better climate change story with public audiences, or people that are interested in building skills in environmental communication efforts that have goals of changing human behavior.

Workshop: Specimen Preparation and Museums: Utilizing Trap Mortalities for Conservation Efforts – Organizer(s): Andrea Carrillo, Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Friday, July 31, 10:00am – 4:00pm, Offsite at Denver Museum of Nature & Science, $0

Session Abstract:

This workshop is an introduction to small vertebrate preparation, focused on utilizing trap mortalities or injuries conservation biologists may come across during their time in the field and turning them into valuable research specimens. The skills taught for preparing specimens has a long history but is not as common a practice as it once was. Luckily, vertebrate preparation is still found within the realm of natural history museums. The rarity of a program that teaches specimen prep makes this workshop a unique experience for many conservation biologists.

This workshop is held 3.2 miles from the Sheraton Hotel at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Transportation to and from the workshop is not provided. An onsite lunch voucher is included for attendees. Please wear close-toed shoes and long pants. The workshop is in two parts, a lecture and hands-on portion. The lecture focuses on the value of museum specimens, how museums assist conservation biologists, and how museums are changing the way they share data. The hands-on section goes over specimen preparation techniques that are simple to execute in the field or in a lab. They will not require intensive training to perfect. Participants gain practical experience preparing museum quality wings, alcohol specimens, skeletons, and tissues. In addition to skills in small vertebrate preparation, supplemental training provides a guide to data organization and preparation for the field. This includes starting a prep catalog, learning how to collect parasites, creating a field prep kit, and explaining the different methods of tissue preservation in the field. In addition, attendees will receive a tour of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s Zoology collections to see the specimens that are integral to the Museum’s conservation efforts.

Short Course: Primer on Behavior Change for Conservation – Organizer(s): Kenneth Wallen, University of Idaho; Xoco Shinbrot, Cornell University; Hilary Byerly, University of Colorado; Alia Dietsch, The Ohio State University; Brooke Tully, Independent

Sunday, July 26, 9:00am – 5:00pm, Tower Court A, $20

Session Abstract:

Our most pressing conservation challenges have one thing in common: to solve them, people must behave differently. Understanding this reality requires that conservation professionals adopt a behavior-focused conservation perspective. This one-day course will introduce participants to some of the primary fields and disciplines that inform behavior change program development and evaluation. The course is designed as a primer on the theories, principles, and methods used to design, implement, and evaluate behavior change. After taking this course, participants will (1) better understand the multifaceted and nuanced dimensions of behavior, (2) have been exposed to core concepts and strategies, (3) have the ability to challenge behavior change assumptions, and (4) have the opportunity to apply techniques to conservation-specific contexts. The course will utilize each instructor’s expertise and experience to expose participants to an array of approaches that have been used to achieve and assess behavior change. The course will also use case studies to walk participants through some of the major steps needed to initiate actionable behavior change strategies, including, problem framing, context setting, conceptualization and design, monitoring and evaluation, and project scaling. The course is endorsed by the Social Science Working Group and the Conservation Marketing and Engagement Working Group.

Workshop: Species Distribution Modeling for Conservation with Wallace – Organizer(s): Peter Galante, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History; Mary Blair, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History; Manette Sandor, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History

Friday, July 31, 9:00am – 12:00pm, Spruce Room, $9

Session Abstract:

Species distribution modeling (SDM) is an important tool for conservation scientists, as it enables us to estimate present species range limits and make predictions about potential ranges for other areas and time periods, with myriad applications to inform conservation activities. Advances in model-building and evaluation theory are frequent in the fields of ecology and evolution. However, most cutting-edge methods are only accessible to those scientists who can read and write computer code. This results in a ‘barrier to use’ for many potential users. The Wallace ecological modeling application, implemented in the R programming language as the CRAN package wallace, provides a graphical user interface allowing any user to implement advanced SDM methods. Additionally, Wallace provides extensive guidance text to help both new and experienced users learn best practices, as well as references key papers from the literature for further investigation. Each model-building session can be exported as a fully documented R Markdown script file, to ensure reproducibility, ease of reporting, and for more advanced users, an easily modifiable code. In this workshop, we will go through the basics of SDM using Wallace. We will demonstrate the key features of the software and show applications to conservation science through a case study in North America. Participants will use their own laptops for a hands-on learning experience to actively build and evaluate species distribution models. Advanced participants are encouraged to bring their own datasets for analysis during the workshop.

Short Course: Giving Voice to Nature: Threshold setting for ecological monitoring – Organizer(s): Stephen McCanny, Parks Canada; Joe DeVivo, National Park Service

Friday, July 31, 9:00am – 5:00pm, Century Room, $0

Session Abstract:

The National Parks Service and Parks Canada are teaming up to offer this short course on ecological monitoring. Well-considered thresholds and quality data are critical to success in having scientific observations make an impact on the management of protected areas. The course is designed for ecologists and technicians who need to summarize their conservation data for managers and non-experts. No specific training in data analysis is needed. Participants should bring a laptop or contact the organizers if unable.  You will be working through sample data sets and multiple indicator scenarios. If you would like to bring your own monitoring data to get advice from experts and colleagues, please contact the organizers. Best practices in data management and analysis will be discussed along with processes for rolling up the condition of different indicators to the management unit scale. Participants in this full day session will get a leg up on solid monitoring designs, enhanced transparency and focused management interventions. Effectively, these tips and strategies will help you provide a voice to nature in the management of your protected area.

Workshop: Leveraging untapped audiences for conservation – Organizer(s): Stefan Ekernas, Denver Zoological Foundation; Erica Garroutte, Denver Zoological Foundation; Shantini Ramakrishnan, Denver Zoological Foundation

Monday, July 27, 8:30am – 12:30pm, Offsite at Denver Zoo, $0

Session Abstract:

To grow biodiversity conservation, conservationists need to access and leverage new audiences. Cultural institutions – zoos, gardens, and museums – have large audiences that are often conservation-receptive but not necessarily conservation-motivated. Tapping into these audiences offers excellent opportunities for both recruiting new conservation allies and moving projects in strategic directions. In this workshop, we will explore why, what, and how partnerships with cultural institutions can advance conservation, using Denver Zoo as a case study. Denver Zoo has ~2 million annual visitors and deep financial, political, and emotional ties to the Denver community. Partnerships maximize DZ’s conservation impact by pairing outside expertise with our in-house multifaceted resources.

The workshop begins with DZ Field Conservation Department discussing our biodiversity targets, approaches, and how we leverage the DZ audience. Participants then walk Zoo grounds through several inter-departmental-run work stations learning about resources, opportunities, and challenges for engaging the DZ audience in conservation. Next we discuss partnerships, with individual presentations from a suite of DZ partners who represent diverse conservation perspectives from non-profits, regional and federal agencies, teaching and research universities, and community organizations interested in tapping into large audiences. Afterwards we will have an open Q&A panel discussion about pros and cons of partnerships with cultural institutions. We end with a behind-the-scenes tour to demonstrate links between on-grounds ex situ work and in situ conservation.

The organized workshop is 4 hours, with afternoon left open for self-guided tours as participants receive admission to DZ. Transportation to and from DZ is on-your-own (3.0 miles from Sheraton).

Workshop: Interactive Science Communication Workshop – Organizer(s): Nate Bickford, Colorado State University Pueblo; Elizabeth Peterson, Colorado State University-Pueblo; Sonja Bickford, University of Nebraska Kearney

Sunday, July 26, 9:00am – 12:00pm, Tower Court C, $0

Session Abstract:

Effective communication skills are especially critical for interdisciplinary sciences, like conservation biology, that require scientists from different backgrounds to collaborate with each other and others, to solve complex problems, like climate change. In addition, the ability to communicate with a wide variety of stakeholders is an important skill for today’s conservation scientists. Audiences can range from funding agencies and peer reviewers, to colleagues, policy makers, media and the public at large. With this in mind, we will offer a communication workshop designed for scientists interested in public outreach. This training provides practical tips and inspiring examples. We will share some best practices on how to tailor your message to a specific audience and how to turn your often-complex scientific results into a story that will impress the public.

We will focus on:

  • Short elevator style talks
  • Poster styles and communication
  • Digital communication

These trainings have the potential to strengthen networks, inspire students in their research, and increase communication within both specific and interdisciplinary research communities.

Workshop: Building a Better Fieldwork Future: Preventing & Managing Sexual Harassment and Assault in the Field – Organizer(s): Melissa Cronin , UC Santa Cruz

Tuesday, July 28, 12:00pm – 1:15pm, Room TBD, $0

Session Abstract:

Fieldwork is an important and often necessary component of many scientific disciplines, yet research suggests that it presents a high-risk setting for incidents of sexual harassment and assault. This 90-minute workshop, led by Ph.D. Candidate Melissa Cronin, has been developed by a team of field researchers at UC Santa Cruz. It identifies the unique risks posed by fieldwork, and offers a suite of evidence-based tools for field researchers, instructors and students to prevent, intervene in, and respond to sexual harassment and assault. Through a series of practical intervention scenarios, this workshop guides participants in how to be an active and engaged bystander, how to report incidents, and how to plan field settings to minimize risk. Armed with these tools, participants can play a role in ensuring that field settings are safer, more equitable, and more welcoming for the next generation of field scientists.

Workshop: Camera Trap Technology Workshop, 2020 – Organizer(s): Ariel Hammond, Rutgers University

Sunday, July 26, 8:30 – 4:30pm and Monday, July 27, 8:30 – 4:30pm, Windows Room, $0

Session Abstract:

Camera traps are essential tools within conservation science. However, the widespread use of camera traps has revealed a number of issues, including big data management, automatic species identification, ease of use for end users, dissemination of knowledge, and more. As such, advances in camera trap technology are paramount in helping us understand and conserve our environment.

This 2-day workshop is geared toward wildlife biologists and conservationists, to learn about the latest innovations in camera trap technology, and provide support for managing camera trap data. It will feature hands-on sessions from Zooniverse, the cutting-edge crowd-sourcing system, and Wildlife Insights, a new AI-enabled data management and sharing platform, as well as opportunities join working groups, test the latest hardware, and learn more about the diverse applications of camera trap technologies.

The topic of camera traps is very interdisciplinary, and as such the workshop will feature conservation biologists and camera trap practitioners, software and hardware developers, AI computer scientists, wireless communication engineers, and more. In crossing the boundaries of all of these fields, we hope to create a stronger, more vibrant, conservation community overall.

Workshop: Collecting and Reporting the Costs of Conservation Interventions – Organizer(s): Gwenllian Iacona, Resources for the Future

Thursday, July 30, 12:oopm – 1:15pm, Room TBD, $0

Session Abstract:

Understanding the economic costs of conservation is necessary for conservation decision support and to achieve the greatest conservation outcomes in a funding limited world. However, considering how to collect data to estimate these costs is often an afterthought. There has been a recent push to develop tools to improve how conservation scientists and practitioners collect and use conservation cost data to enable best-practice conservation decision support methods such as prioritization or return on investment analyses. Yet, there is much work that remains to be done in implementing these ideas in practice. This workshop aims to summarize cutting-edge tools and theory related to collection and reporting on the costs of conservation interventions and to work through a series of exercises to enable participants to practice costing interventions. We will use examples from costing exercises in industry Endangered Species compliance, plastic pollution prevention, and marine protected area management to illustrate the tools and theory, and then walk participants through methods to plan for, collect, and report costs using data from a hypothetical project or their own projects. The goal of this workshop is to provide participants with the ability and materials to a) identify/design good cost data management systems for new projects, b) identify and collect appropriate existing cost data so that it can be used for decision support, and c) report on cost data that they have used in analyses or reports so that it can be interpreted appropriately. This workshop is targeted towards conservation scientists and practitioners who want to be able to collect data to evaluate the effectiveness of conservation initiatives. We will work through costing exercises during the workshop, and encourage participants to come with costing projects in mind so we can discuss how to apply the tools to their own projects.

Workshop: Quantitative Social Science Research Methods: Surveys, Direct Observation and Automated Counting Systems – Organizer(s): Deonne VanderWoude, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks; Anna Reed, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks; Heidi Seidel, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks

Sunday, July 26, 9:00am – 5:00pm, Tower Court D, $0

Session Abstract:

Successful conservation management requires the intentional integration of human dimensions research and understanding the perspectives and behaviors of affected publics. Visitation growth within public lands, conflicting agency priorities and competing stakeholder value systems contribute to complicated decision-making processes that are best grounded and informed by quantified data.

This workshop’s primary foci will be designing and implementing defensible social science studies, supporting data-informed decision making and adaptive management, and applications to public lands research. Three data collection methodologies will be included: surveys, direct observation, and automated counting systems. These methods aid practitioners in quantifying when, where and how people are distributed across a land system, the types of activities, experiences and benefits they are seeking to fulfill, and understanding visitor and pet behaviors.

Specific topics to be covered include: study design, matching study parameters to available funding and capacity, probability and non-probability sampling, various sampling schemas and associated levels of confidence and margins of error, methods selection, reducing bias and sources of error, implementation and operationalization, data coding and transformation, analysis, and reporting. Additionally, our workshop will cover the data management cycle, and the need to intentionally design sampling, data collection, database development and analysis to support desired reported metrics. Lastly, instructors will discuss management applications such as visitor management strategies, policy creation, and adaptively modifying on-going operations.

We envision participants will: better understand and appreciate the importance of quantitative social science research in conservation management, understand how grounding public process and internal and external stakeholder discussions in quantified data supports trust and relationship building, be more familiar with quantitative social science research study design, understand how to choose appropriate and tailored methodologies, and understand how this research can inform conservation actions, adaptive management and creating a shared understanding of complicated issues with diverse audiences. Participants should bring their own laptops.

Workshop: Learning to collaborate in and out of the classroom: A toolkit for more inclusive conservation – Organizer(s): Suzanne Macey , American Museum of Natural History; Ana Porzecanski, CBC, American Museum of Natural History

Friday, July 31, 12:30pm – 4:30pm, Silver Room, $0

Session Abstract:

In this half-day workshop, we will share case studies and exchange strategies for developing skills to promote collaboration across differences. Educators play an important role in facilitating students’ intellectual development and fostering the skills they will need to effective as future professionals. How can we as educators make sure that our students—future scientists, practitioners, and decision-makers—are advancing their skills as well as their knowledge? How can we ensure we are crossing boundaries within our own classrooms and reaching all students? Inclusive teaching practices address the needs of increasingly diverse classrooms to create an environment everyone can benefit from, and equip future professionals to collaborate across boundaries.

In this workshop, we will focus on how we as educators teach conservation and what our students are actually learning, encouraging educators to build an inclusive, collaborative culture in their classrooms and approach teaching as they would approach research activities—in a rigorous, reflective, and evaluative manner. Case presenters will include the Network of Conservation Educators and Practitioners (NCEP) of the American Museum of Natural History, the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program (DDCSP) Collaborative and DDCSP at University of Washington. We will highlight examples from our practices on using evidence-based pedagogical approaches to build collaborative skill sets and to foster inclusive spaces for collaboration. We will also take time to bring participants together as both learners and knowledge-holders, and provide an opportunity for them to workshop their own courses to increase inclusion and collaboration.

Workshop participants will: 1) learn about a variety of collaborative and inclusive teaching approaches; 2) explore new resources relevant to their own teaching practice; and 3) connect to a community of practice to exchange experiences and lessons learned.

Workshop: Art, Nature, Imagination, and Belonging – Organizer(s): Maureen Ryan , Dark Creature LLC; Meredith McClure, Conservation Science Partners; Priya Nanjappa, Conservation Science Partners

Friday, July 31, 9:00am – 5:00pm, Tower Court A, $0

Session Abstract:

Art, Nature, Imagination, and Belonging creates space for diverse, hidden creativities to emerge and interact. This workshop engages the “wild and thriving nature” of our unique human imaginations; our diverse identities, histories, and ways of being; and our deep connections with the more-than-human world. Through a series of interwoven exercises grounded in art, nature-based imagination, and social justice practices, we will explore and welcome the multi-layered (sometimes-obvious, sometimes-subtle, sometimes-hidden) threads that underlie our lives, creativities, and labors. Weaving these threads together, in relationship with the art materials themselves, we will create individual or collective pieces of art (emphasis on visual but with options for written, movement, or other forms as desired by participants). Art’s capacity to hold “an abundance of meaning” (JF Martel) and the direct experience of creation (including the joy, questions, surprises, and openings this invites) – in combination with the power of our other approaches – will enable us to see ourselves and our collective in new ways. We welcome any level of skill or experience in art-making. The workshop has options to support participants across a broad spectrum of experience, abilities, and learning styles. We aim for participants to leave with a deeper recognition of the rich terrain and nature of their own imaginations; a unique personal art piece; and an enriched and deepened sense of meaning, connection, and belonging in their work in conservation. Our philosophy aligns with Audre Lorde’s words: “We must recognize and nurture the creative parts of each other without always understanding what will be created.” Our commitment is to design and support a process with wide-ranging, wonderfully unpredictable, and potentially deep effects on how each participant envisions their path, focuses their efforts, and makes meaning. This workshop is supportive of people at any life/career stage, especially those in big questions or transition.

Workshop: Conservation and Art: Exploring the importance of the intersection of art and science – Organizer(s): Frances Ngo , National Park Service / Student Conservation Association; Keren Alfred, University of Iowa Center for the Book; Martha Groom, University of Washington

Sunday, July 26, 1:00pm – 5:00pm, Tower Court C, $0

Session Abstract:

This workshop explores visual art as a tool to enhance conservation research and practice. Art is important to individual research — sharpening our attention to detail and improving observational skills. Engaging in art can also help scientists make connections and tackle problems in a different way. Art provides new avenues for outreach and engaging the public with conservation research.

Participants will explore and expand their own art skills through sketching, print-making and creating small conservation zines. Throughout, we will discuss the importance and use of art as a tool in conservation. The workshop will begin with a roundtable discussion, where the organizers will share their experiences using art to communicate key conservation concepts.  The organizers will then lead a nature walk where participants will sketch and observe organisms around them, and collect objects to make into botanical prints. On returning to the workshop space, participants will be coached in sketching in pencil, pen, and watercolor to depict the specimen or landscape images they have chosen on loose-leaf paper. There will also be the option to create botanical prints from gelatin plates.  Participants then will have the option to learn simple bookbinding skills to make a single-section pamphlet book (16 – 20 pages) that could be used as a sketchbook for the remainder of the Congress. We will continue with zine-making if participants want to compile their observational sketches and collected specimens into a finished project or create simple one-page zine structures. We will end the workshop by having participants discuss what they learned throughout and brainstorm ways they can incorporate art into their research and practice.

Workshop: Collaborative Conservation Among Diverse Stakeholders: Building understanding and skills for practical application – Organizer(s): John Sanderson, Colorado State University; Kim Skyelander, Center for Collaborative Conservation, Colorado State University

Monday, July 27, 8:30am – 4:30pm, Tower Court D, $15

Session Abstract:

Solving conservation challenges through collaboration has become a desirable approach for many NGOs, government agencies, and local communities. Relatively few individuals, however, are formally trained in collaboration. An understanding of the research in collaboration can help individuals recognize: 1) when collaboration can be expected to result in “better” outcomes than other approaches; 2) what the traits of a successful collaboration are; 3) what skills and tools are needed by individuals in collaborative conservation leadership positions?

This full-day workshop will begin with a conceptual overview of collaboration, including why do it and what makes it work. With concepts in place, we will provide conservation practitioners with an understanding of principles, best practices, and practical tools that can lead to increased capacity for engaging with diverse stakeholders. We will also discuss evaluating and learning from collaboratives to inform future practices. The training will focus on community-based approaches, through an applied focus on the cross-disciplinary competencies, while also addressing the top-down forces that can support or hinder collaborative processes. This interactive workshop will include opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and presentation and analysis of numerous case studies. Participants will leave this workshop with a framework for understanding successful collaborations, along with skills and tools to work more effectively in collaborations, and to evaluate clear, actionable information that is relevant to their interests and challenges.

Leaders of this workshop are staff and Fellows of the Center for Collaborative Conservation at Colorado State University, and all have training and experience practicing various aspects of collaborative conservation. All the workshop leaders have pursued both academic research and applied conservation, and are able to share examples from academia, practice, and the bridge between the two. Throughout the day, workshop leaders will share their collective experience in Colorado and across the globe with case studies from complex social-ecological systems.

Short Course: Conservation Policy Crash-Course for Scientists – Organizer(s): Michael Evans, Defenders of Wildlife; Jacob Malcom, Defenders of Wildlife, Center for Conservation Innovation; Andrew Carter, Defenders of Wildlife

Friday, July 31, 8:30am – 11:00am, Silver Room, $0

Session Abstract:

There is a mismatch between the rate of advancement in scientific understanding of the state of biodiversity (rapid) and improving conservation outcomes (slow). This difference is due, in part, to a disconnect between scientific research and the laws and policies that provide strong mechanisms for changing outcomes. This course is designed to familiarize conservation scientists whose primary focus/background is biological research with the functioning of the major conservation laws and policies of the U.S. The goal is to provide an understanding of the mechanisms by which these policies protect biodiversity, and the processes through which scientists and researchers can participate to improve outcomes.

We will first discuss the broad framework of laws, regulations, and policies that implement conservation laws at the federal and state levels. Next, we will dive into major laws such as the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and other relevant laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act, National Forest Management Act, Federal Land Planning and Management Act, and Freedom of Information Act. We will also briefly discuss analogous state laws, and explore how federal and state governance interacts in conservation issues. Breakout groups will brainstorm how participant’s research can “plug in” to these laws and policies and what new research might tie in their existing work. Groups will then present a research proposal for feedback and discussion. At the end of the workshop participants should be able to identify regulatory mechanisms and processes at which scientific data and analyses can impact policy outcomes.