Virtual Workshops and Short Courses

The following workshops and short courses have been invited to the 2020 virtual NACCB Program. All listed times are in Mountain Daylight Time. 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
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

Monday, July 27, 10:00am – 12:00pm MDT, $0

Session Abstract:

This short course will introduce participants to the overarching philosophy, underlying principles, and specific steps of effective conservation planning based on the globally-used Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation (Conservation Standards). The training will incorporate applied exercises along with presentations.  We will explore identifying key and desired conservation and human well-being outcomes, developing socioeconomic and ecological models, constructing situation diagrams (models of the contributing factors from the human environment that influence conservation outcomes), incorporating empirical data and expert knowledge, integrating monitoring and adaptive management in conservation projects, and developing 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.

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, 11:00am – 2:00pm MDT, $0

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 interactive presentation 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: 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

Monday, July 27, 11:00am – 2:00pm MDT, $0

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.

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

Friday, July 31, 10:00am – 11:30am MDT, $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: Collecting and Reporting the Costs of Conservation Interventions – Organizer(s): Gwenllian Iacona, Resources for the Future

Monday, July 27, 12:oopm – 2:00pm MDT and Friday, July 31, 10:00am – 11:00am MDT, $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 on day 1 of the workshop, and then encourage participants to apply the materials to their own costing projects which we will be available to discuss on day 2.

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; Colin Leslie, City of Boulder

Monday, July 27, 10:00am – 2:00pm MDT, $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; Martha Groom, University of Washington; Rena Borkhataria, Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program

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

Session Abstract:

Art, Nature, Imagination, and Belonging creates space for diverse, hidden creativities to emerge and interact. This virtual 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. 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.” Through a series of practices grounded in art, relationship with nature, and celebration of diverse identities – we will explore and weave together the multi-layered (sometimes-obvious, sometimes-subtle, sometimes-hidden) threads that underlie our lives, creativities, and labors. Such approaches welcome, value, and revitalize many ways of being and knowing as practices of decolonizing imagination. These practices can disrupt limiting norms and exclusions of dominant white culture. Art and nature’s capacity to hold “an abundance of meaning” (JF Martel), and the directness of engagement with both, support us in sensing and seeing ourselves, our imaginations, and our collective in new ways. We aim for participants to leave with a deeper recognition of the rich terrain and nature of their own imaginations, inclusive of communities and ancestries; a unique personal art piece and/or experience of imaginal journey with nature; and an enriched and deepened sense of meaning, connection, and belonging in their work in conservation. This workshop is supportive of people at any life or career stage, especially those in big questions, transition, or deeper desires to create. We welcome any level of art-making skill or experience. The workshop has options to support participants across a broad spectrum of experience, abilities, learning styles, and time/virtual availability. The day involves 4 hours of collective group time (9-11:30am, 3:30-5pm MT), 1.5 hours of optional additional sessions (11:30am-12pm, 2-3pm MT), and 2.5 hours of independent art-making and nature-based explorations.

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, 11:00am – 2:00pm MDT, $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.