Questions and Answers about NACCB2016

NACCB2016 Chair Jamie Hogberg answers questions about the upcoming conference:

What’s in store for next year’s NACCB in Madison, Wisconsin (especially for those who have never been to one)?

We have a great lineup of events and speakers for NACCB 2016, and are excited to receive proposals for symposia, workshops, and short courses. We’re focused on content related to conservation science, management, policy, and education, and this year we will especially highlight the importance of communicating science to achieve conservation goals.  We want this conference to be an open platform to grow and foster collaborative relationships among conservation professionals, journalists, researchers, and students.

Why was Wisconsin picked for the conference?

Wisconsin has deep roots in conservation, once home to pioneers like Aldo Leopold, John Muir, and Gaylord Nelson. Today, we expand on this foundation with high impact research coming from the University of Wisconsin, collaboration with communities, non-profit, and governmental partnerships to support conservation initiatives in our state, and promote the Wisconsin Idea inside and beyond state & national borders.  We have some noteworthy SCB benchmarks to celebrate in 2016 too, being 25 years since the international meeting was hosted here in Madison, and 30 years since the incorporation of SCB as a Society!

Who should come to these meetings? What is the conference’s main themes and what are you hoping to accomplish with the NACCB?

Anyone and everyone interested in learning and building networks in conservation in North America and beyond!  Many conference attendees will present on research and work from all over the globe, and we look forward to hearing from a diversity of scientists, practitioners, students, and teachers working in conservation biology.  Our theme this year is “Communicating Science for Conservation Action.” For us, that means many things, and includes identifying and advancing skills in scientific communication. How do we develop and engage with a broader and more inclusive audience? How do we promote behavior change that protects and sustains natural resources within the context of a community? How do we reach policy-makers and put positive change into action? Our theme also celebrates the longstanding SCB tradition of communicating ideas and building partnerships within the congress, around a variety of conservation-related issues. We hope to see attendees walk away feeling empowered, inspired, and ready to put new skill sets into action in their own work.

Can you give us a sneak peek into speakers, field trips and any other surprises?

I certainly can. Thanks to all for your patience as we release this info on our website and social media. It takes more than a village to plan and run a conference! A few of many highlights to look forward to include our keynote and plenary sessions that will span multiple topics and conservation disciplines, while converging on our theme of science communications, to name a few of the speakers: Dietram Scheufele, Drew Lanham, and Francis Beineke.

In addition to scientific content at the congress, we encourage folks to get here early on Saturday before the conference to enjoy the nation’s largest farmers’ market around the capitol square, one block from the conference venue, Monona Terrace.  In addition to all of the fun things to do in Madison, we’ll have field trips to the famous Aldo Leopold Shack and International Crane Foundation in the Driftless region of southwest Wisconsin, opportunities to kayak, paddle board, and canoe in Madison’s Lakes and Rivers, (not to mention sunset boat cruises just outside the conference venue), a yoga, mindfulness, and sustainability-inspired field trip, visits to the UW Arboretum (home to the world’s first restored prairie), and lots more to come!
 

SCBNA and Smith Fellows statement on danger of microbeads helps in passage of law banning their use

A recent policy statement written by SCB’s Smith Fellows, and endorsed by SCB North America, on the risks that microbeads (plastic particles commonly found in cosmetics) pose to biota and the environment, has helped achieve passage of a bill (AB888) restricting use of microbeads in California.  More on the story here.