Seminars & Discussions

Academic Year 2021-2022

Conservation Funding in Nebraska, Show Me the Money

Main Speaker: Eric Zach

Agricultural Program Manager, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Date: 7/27/2021
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: Zoom Webinar (Check with Andy Little, alittle6@unl.edu for information)

Abstract

Coffee and Conservation

Video

Nebraska's Master Naturalist Program: Providing citizens an opportunity to contribute to natural resource conservation through meaningful, science-based volunteer experiences and a positive IMPACTs regarding local "At-Risk" species

Main Speaker: Dennis Ferraro

Conservation Biologist/Herpetologist, School of Natural Resources | UNL

Date: 8/31/2021
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: Zoom Webinar (Check with Andy Little, alittle6@unl.edu for information)

Dennis Ferraro
Dennis Ferraro

Abstract

Coffee and Conservation

Speaker's Contact Information

phone icon402-490-2155

mail icondferraro1@unl.edu

Video

Nebraska Invasive Species Program: Education Resources, Research, and Collaboration

Main Speaker: Allison Zach

Coordinator, Nebraska Invasive Species Program

Date: 9/15/2021
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: 107 South Hardin Hall (Auditorium)

Allison Zach
Allison Zach

Abstract

A 2021 study estimated that invasive species have cost North America $2 billion per year in the early 1960s to over $26 billion per year since 2010 (Crystal-Ornela, R. et al. 2021). The Nebraska Invasive Species Program and its partners have developed, disseminated and trained resources agency staff and the general public to increase early detection and prevention invasive species in Nebraska. I will present the resources that have been developed and information on the Invasive Species Council and its part of preventing the spread of invasive species in Nebraska. I will also present research that my program and other partners have conducted to protect Nebraska’s water resources from invasive species impacts. I will present important research and collaborations occurring to further invasive species prevention across North America. I will provide information on education and outreach materials that are available and resources I can provide to train resource professionals, students and the general public.

Speaker's Bio

Allison has served as the Nebraska Invasive Species Program Coordinator for the past 8 years and works with state and federal agencies and non-governmental organizations involved in invasive species research, management and policy across Nebraska. She coordinates activities of and represents the Nebraska Invasive Species Council as its liaison with the Governor and State Legislature. She collaborates with agencies and organizations to develop invasive species management plans to aid partners with invasive species management and prevention. Allison develops materials and provides outreach and education to Nebraska resource agencies, individual stakeholders, and the general public regarding the management and prevention of invasive species. She has served various regional and international invasive species panels and organizations. She was appointed to the Board of the North American Invasive Species Management Association in 2021. Previously she worked at the Nebraska Department of Transportation and the Nebraska Department of Energy and Environment. She received her bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife from UNL and her Master’s in Wildlife Biology from Minnesota State University.

Speaker's Contact Information

phone icon402-472-3133

mail iconazach3@unl.edu

Video

Using 'Big Data' to Propel New Insights in Freshwater Ecosystem Science

Main Speaker: David Manning

Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska-Omaha | Department of Biology

Date: 9/22/2021
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: Zoom

Live Online

David Manning
David Manning

Abstract

Freshwater ecosystems, including streams and rivers, are among the most imperiled across the globe. Understanding their responses to threats such as climate change, nutrient pollution, and others, is critical for mitigating harm and conserving ecological functions. Freshwater scientists are at the forefront of harnessing unprecedented volumes and varieties of data (‘big data’) to detect and predict how streams and rivers respond to a changing world. I will present three stories about how I have used big data in Nebraska and beyond to uncover novel insights about how streams and rivers work, and to illustrate remaining challenges and opportunities for freshwater ecosystem science and conservation.

Speaker's Bio

David is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Prior to joining the UNO faculty in 2018, he completed his doctoral training in freshwater ecosystem ecology at the University of Georgia, and was a postdoctoral researcher in the Stream and River Ecology Lab at The Ohio State University where he studied connections between aquatic and terrestrial food webs. At UNO, his research focuses on the ecosystem ecology of streams and rivers in the Great Plains, including strategies to manage the multiple stressors that threaten freshwater ecosystems in the region, such as nutrient pollution and urbanization.

Speaker's Contact Information

mail icondavidmanning@unomaha.edu

Video

Potential Changes Coming Down the River: Least Tern and Piping Plover Conservation on the Lower Platte River

Main Speaker: Mark Vrtiska

Wildlife Management Specialist, Tern and Plover Conservation Partnership | School of Natural Resources - UNL

Date: 9/28/2021
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: Zoom Webinar

Live Online

Mark Vrtiska

Abstract

Coffee and Conservation

Speaker's Contact Information

phone icon402-472-8146

mail iconmvrtiska3@unl.edu

Understanding the Mating System of Wild Turkeys Relative to Spring Harvest: The Tale of Aardvarks and Arcadia

Main Speaker: Michael Chamberlain

Terrell Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Management, University of Georgia | Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Date: 9/29/2021
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: 107 South Hardin Hall (Auditorium)

Live Online

Michael Chamberlain
Michael Chamberlain

Abstract

This presentation provides an overview of the mating system of wild turkeys and discusses how spring harvest can be important to the species given how their mating system works. Numerous examples of data collected as part of ongoing research will be shown to demonstrate growing evidence suggests spring harvest (timing and rate) may be more impactful to the bird than previously believed. The talk will conclude by discussing the Aardvark and Arcadia principles and how we’ve potentially lulled ourselves to sleep in regards to managing wild turkey harvest.

Speaker's Bio

Mike Chamberlain is the Terrell Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Management in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia. Mike has been with the faculty at UGA for 10 years, after spending 11 years in a similar position at Louisiana State University. He obtained a B.S. from Virginia Tech, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Mississippi State University. Mike has conducted research on various wildlife species throughout his career, with much of his work focused on applied questions directed at management of those species and the landscapes they inhabit. Since his days as a graduate student, Mike has consistently conducted research on wild turkeys, with that research now spanning 23 years. In recognition of his work on wild turkeys, the National Wild Turkey Federation has presented him with the Henry S. Mosby Award for excellence in research, and the Tom Kelly Communicator Award for his social media and outreach efforts focused on wild turkey research and management.

Speaker's Contact Information

phone icon470-236-8499

mail iconmchamberlain@warnell.uga.edu

Science Education Research Regarding How Students Understand Ecological Concepts

Main Speaker: Laurel Hartley

Associate Professor, University of Colorado (Denver) | Department of Intregrative Biology

Date: 10/6/2021
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: Zoom

Live Online

Laurel Hartley

Speaker's Bio

My training, experience, and interests are in the fields of science education and ecology. I hold a Ph.D. in Ecology from Colorado State University. My dissertation focused on the indirect effects of bubonic plague in prairie dogs on plant communities and ecosystem function in Colorado. I received additional experience and training in science education through a post-doctoral position at Michigan State University and a position in exhibit development at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. I was hired at UC Denver in 2008 primarily as a biology education researcher, and the majority of my current work is in that field. However, I also conduct research in ecology because it informs my teaching and my science education research, much of which focuses on student understanding of content related to ecology. I am pleased to be part of a growing national cadre of "science faculty with education specialties" and plan to continue to pursue both lines of research throughout my career.

Speaker's Contact Information

mail icon laurel.hartley@ucdenver.edu

Wildlife Ecology and Conservation in Santa Monica Mountains and Greater Los Angeles

Main Speaker: Seth Riley

Adjunct Associate Professor; Wildlife Branch Chief, UCLA | Institute of Environment and Sustainability; U.S. National Parks Service; Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Date: 10/13/2021
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: 107 South Hardin Hall (Auditorium)

Live Online

Seth Riley

Speaker's Contact Information

mail iconSeth_Riley@nps.gov

Stakeholder Decision Making for Harvest of Fish and Non-fish Wildlife

Main Speaker: Kelly Robinson

Assistant Professor, Michigan State University | Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (Quantitative Fisheries Center)

Date: 10/27/2021
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: 107 South Hardin Hall (Auditorium)

Live Online

Kelly Robinson

Speaker's Bio

I’m a fisheries ecologist and decision analyst with a background in marine fisheries. I grew up in coastal Virginia and attended the University of Virginia, where I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Spanish (2001). I attended the College of Charleston for my M.S. work (2006), where I was a research assistant at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and studied the age, growth, and reproduction of the barrelfish (Hyperoglyphe perciformis). In addition to studying barrelfish, I spent my summers sampling the snapper-grouper complex of fishes off the southeastern coast of the US, and I had the opportunity to be a researcher on a NOAA Ocean Exploration Cruise and explore the ocean floor in a submersible. I received my Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, where, I studied the fish assemblages of estuarine waterfowl impoundments in coastal South Carolina. During my time at Georgia, I learned about structured decision making (SDM) and how it can be useful for making decisions about natural resources management. My postdoctoral position at Cornell University provided me the opportunity to continue learning about SDM, though it also led to a slightly landward turn in my research. At Cornell, I worked with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to make decisions for harvest management of white-tailed deer and turkeys. During my postdoc, I also was able to work with various other groups to aid in decision making processes, such as whether or not to exclude predators from endangered piping plover nests, and how best to make decisions for the various ecosystems that make up the San Francisco Bay estuary in the face of extreme uncertainty about climate change. My dual interests in SDM and fisheries ecology have found a home at the QFC here at Michigan State, where I plan to work with the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, as well as other entities around the Great Lakes region, to perform research and apply the tools of decision analysis to make informed fishery management decisions.

Speaker's Contact Information

phone icon517-884-8872

mail iconkfrobins@msu.edu

Coast Habitat Loss, Connectivity, Duck Populations

Main Speaker: Brian Davis

Assistant Professor, Wildlife Ecology and Management, Mississippi State University | College of Forestry Resources

Date: 11/3/2021
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: 107 South Hardin Hall (Auditorium)

Live Online

Brian Davis
Brian Davis

Speaker's Contact Information

phone icon662-325-4790

mail iconjbd4@msstate.edu

Teasing apart among and within city variation in urban biodiversity through a large-scale, multi-city collaboration

Main Speaker: Mason Fidino

Quantitative Ecologist, Lincoln (NE) Park Zoo | Urban Wildlife Institute

Date: 11/10/2021
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: TBD

Live Online

Mason Fidino

Abstract

We live on an urban planet, and in no place is this more apparent than in the world’s cities. As urban environments are one of the fastest growing ecosystems on earth, they represent a unique opportunity for science, especially for ecology and conservation. Yet, one central limitation of most urban ecological studies is that they are conducted within single cities. Afterall, cities vary in age, topography, geographic location, zoning, population density, and many other factors. Because biodiversity likely responds to this among-city variation, it is difficult to extrapolate findings from one city to another. For example, does the spatial distribution of a species in one city reflect that species distribution in another city? To address questions like this, multi-city research that uses a shared methodology is necessary. As such, my colleagues and I at the Lincoln Park Zoo started the Urban Wildlife Information Network (UWIN), a systematic, collaborative multi-city biodiversity monitoring survey that spans over 35 cities and 3 continents. While UWIN protocols have expanded to sample multiple taxa, in this talk I will discuss our first and most widespread sampling efforts, which revolve around using motion-triggered trail cameras to monitor medium to large terrestrial mammals along gradients of urban intensity in each city. Over the course of this talk about how UWIN came to be, share some of the published research from our network, and discuss some difficulties—or opportunities, depending on how you look at it—associated to modeling multi-city data.

Speaker's Bio

Dr Mason Fidino is an ecologist who works at the Urban Wildlife Institute at the Lincoln Park Zoo. His research lies on the intersection of urban ecology and biodiversity informatics. He combines large and complex (i.e., messy) data sources, creates new quantitative techniques, and fiddles around on computers an awful lot to determine how biodiversity responds to environmental change across multiple spatiotemporal scales. He also says to be interested in understanding ecological principles in urban environments and believes that cities are an important and overlooked part of the landscape that can conserve biodiversity if we try to do so.

On top of his own research, he is also the analytics advisor for the Urban Wildlife Information Network (UWIN), which is an international network of researchers who systematically collect (mostly camera trap) data on wildlife distributions along urbanization gradients in different cities. In this role he ensures that the integrity of the data that is collected across UWIN and provide statistical support to UWIN members. In 2017 he obtained a PhD degree in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Illinois at Chicago working with Joel Brown, Seth Magle, and Chris Whelan.

Interpreting Climate Change for Nebraska

Main Speaker: Stonie Cooper

Mesonet Manager, Nebraska State Climate Office

Date: 11/17/2021
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: 107 South Hardin Hall (Auditorium)

Live Online

Stonie Cooper
Stonie Cooper

Speaker's Contact Information

phone icon402-472-9180

mail iconscooper6@unl.edu

 

Seminar & Discussions Archives

The School of Natural Resources, its faculty and affiliated programs sponsor various seminar and discussion series. Unless otherwise indicated, all are open to the public.

Seminar & Discussion Archive
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