Leading with Empathy Monday, September 14 ~ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Presenter: Tom Kalous, Ph.D. Audience: Professionals and Students (Limit of 50)
Abstract: This workshop will examine the role of empathy while exercising leadership and it will explore how we can develop and utilize empathy more effectively when engaging in leadership (and in other human endeavors, as well). Given that leadership is an activity focused on moving people and organizations to action and creating real and purposeful change, the practice of leadership requires the ability to read and predict how others will respond to our interventions and the ability to adapt our interventions based on how others actually do respond. Empathy is critical to our ability to “read the room” and to create effective interventions. Despite the fact that we are hardwired to empathize with others, new research has uncovered the factors that seem to turn empathy on and off at a biological level (and this mechanism appears to be related to unconscious bias). This workshop will explore how we can overcome those factors so that we can use empathy in healthy ways to connect with and influence others more effectively.
Phenology Tools to Inform Climate Adaptation Planning Monday, September 14 ~ 10:00 am - 11:30 am Presenter: Erin Posthumus, Outreach Coordinator and USFWS Liaison; Kathy Gerst, Data Product Coordinator, USA National Phenology Network; Alyssa Rosemartin, Partner & Application Specialist, USA National Phenology Network Audience: Professionals Abstract: Phenological information has been identified as an important need in climate adaptation planning. Phenology can uncover mismatches in mutualistic relationships, identify impacts of land-use change, improve management of invasive species, and shed light on which species are vulnerable or resilient to climate change impacts. The drivers of phenological transitions in some species have been established, which allows for the development of interactive short-term forecasts and longer-term projections of when and where species will hatch, leaf out or flower. The USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN) -- a national-scale monitoring and research initiative -- collects, organizes, and delivers phenological data, information, and forecasts to support management and decision-making, to advance the science of phenology, and to promote understanding and appreciation for phenology by a wide range of audiences. In this workshop, you will learn how to leverage the USA-NPN's plant and animal data collection program and forecasting tools to improve the efficiency of management activities. We will also take time to hear from you about your needs for phenology data and information. Your input will shape the future data products of the USA National Phenology Network, including tools for adaptation planning.
Team Wellness: Encouraging Your Team Through Uncertainty Monday, September 14th ~ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm Presenter: Michelle Doerr, President, Anavah Consulting LLC Audience: Midlevel managers and above (Limit of 35) Abstract: Are you encouraging your team through these uncertain times or are you leading them to burnout? Managers must take the right actions to address wellbeing for themselves and the team as we adapt to the future of the workplace. The first step in team wellness is to be aware of factors contributing to overwhelm and burnout. Discussing these factors openly is key to overcoming them. From awareness, teams then learn and begin to encourage new ways of working together for the good of the organization.
Padlets to ‘Pods- Exploring Digital Teaching Tools Monday, September 14 ~ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Presenter: Kerry Wixted, Maryland Department of Natural Resources Audience: Educators, professionals, etc Abstract: With COVID-19, many education programs have shifted to an online format. However, it can be challenging to create engaging and interactive presentations online. This session will cover best practices for digital teaching, including designing for accessibility, as well how to use digital tools to teach particular content. Throughout the session, participants will get a chance to engage in activities on Google Slides, Mentimeter, Padlet, and Nearpod. This session will dive into ways to create social interaction and community building integrated with learning experiences. To provide the best experience, it is recommended that participants have a second device with internet connectivity such as a smartphone or tablet.
Adaptive Challenge: Satisfying Stakeholders and Managing Wildlife During the "War on Science" Era Monday, September 14 ~ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm Presenter: Dr. Steve L. McMullin, Associate Professor Emeritus, Department of Fisheries & Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech and McMullin Training and Consulting, LLC Audience: Natural resource professionals and advanced students Abstract: For many years, stakeholders deferred to the expertise of fisheries and wildlife managers on questions of the science underlying management decisions. More recently, stakeholders have been less willing to defer to experts. Public faith in science began to decline with chemical companies challenging Rachel Carson's assertions about effects of pesticides in the environment and continued through deliberate campaigns by tobacco companies to create uncertainty regarding tobacco's effects on human health. More recently, energy companies employed similar techniques to create doubt regarding human-caused climate change and politicians sympathetic to energy companies have helped to create an anti-science climate that pervades all areas of science, including natural resource management. To manage resources effectively in this climate, managers must learn to structure planning and decision-making processes to increase the faith of stakeholders that science-based management works while also ensuring that stakeholders have meaningful involvement in those processes. In this workshop, I present an approach for balancing stakeholder concerns and sound science and offer several examples to show how the approach succeeded in producing scientifically sound and publicly-supported management plans.
Natural Resources Agency and Organization Relevancy: Tools to Create a More Welcoming Culture. (Flyer) Monday, September 14 ~ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Co-Organizers: Elsa Haubold (USFWS), Sarah Reif (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife), John Davis (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department), David Buggs (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department), Melanie Steinkamp (USGS), Cynthia Jacobson (Innovative Outcomes ); EJ Williams (ABC) Submitter: Deborah Hahn Presenter: Fran Sepler of Sepler & Associates Audience: Professionals at any level from organizations and agencies attending the AFWA meeting (Limit of 50) Abstract: To ensure continued support for conservation and conservation agencies and organizations in contemporary society, we need tools to reach and engage broader audiences. To remain relevant given the values of the changing demographics of our nation’s public, natural resource agencies and organizations must seek diversity in their workforces by becoming more inclusive in their recruitment, staffing and management practices and policies. In response to this need, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies developed and adopted the Fish and Wildlife Relevancy Roadmap in September 2019. One of the challenges identified by the Relevancy Roadmap is creating internal and external agency cultures that are welcoming to people of diverse backgrounds. The National Conservation Leadership Institute Cohort 13’s Welcoming Culture Group and the Women in Wildlife Conservation Network are two groups that have initiated conversations about all aspects of creating inclusive and welcoming cultures.
The moment is now to discuss the challenges and realities to diversifying our workforce and creating cultures where everyone feels safe and respected so that our agencies and organizations continue to be relevant and successful in our wildlife conservation missions. Studies have demonstrated that employers need to provide psychological safety, fairness, and respect in their work cultures to have fully engaged employees. We need to develop and share new tools and be open to new ideas. Through an interactive format, workshop participants will learn about and practice methods, models, and protocols from Fran Sepler, an internationally recognized and respected diversity and inclusion expert. Participants will develop a shared understanding of (1) the importance of psychological safety and how to foster that in our work environments; (2) how to ensure fairness; (3) tools to share with staff about words and respectful behavior; (4) the relationship between perceived respect and organizational behavior; (5) derailers to respect, and (6) much more.
Beyond #responsiblerecreation to Human-Nature Relationship Monday, September 14th ~ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Presenter: Michelle Doerr, Anavah Consulting LLC Audience: Anyone hoping to get a better understanding how people relate to nature and the outdoors. There are aspects of inclusion here, although race isn't explicitly covered. This is applicable to all levels of agency work. (Limit of 35) Abstract: Note: A 1-hour assignment is required and will be sent after registration. As part of the #ResponsibleRecreation campaign, one of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ goals is to “promote Responsible Recreation as a critical way to mitigate the stress and anxiety of the current COVID 19 crisis, supporting the health of America.” This project will use COVID 19 as an opportunity to deeply connect people to the environment/nature and attempt to go further to create advocates for public outdoor spaces. To be responsible is to have an obligation to do something and that something is to develop a relationship with the land, water, and air nearby. Everyone’s relationship with nature is unique. This workshop will allow you to more deeply understand your own relationship and learn ways to view and communicate to others about their human-nature relationship. The outcome of the workshop will be to develop a basic understanding of environmental identity so you can assist others in walking on a pathway to greater nature connection and advocacy. The first half of the workshop will focus on homework reflection, self-awareness, and self-care with regard to nature. We will also begin to understand how our environmental identities are developed. The second half of the workshop will dive deeper into environmental identity, human-nature relationships, and how concepts can be used to help agencies move outdoor participants and recreationists from users to advocates. A pre-webinar homework assignment (to be done outdoors) and completion of a survey of your homework reflections WILL BE REQUIRED to participate in this workshop. You will receive the homework assignment at least two weeks prior to the workshop. Participants should expect to be called on to speak about their experiences over the course of the workshop in addition to using chat to exchange thoughts and ideas.
The Relevancy Roadmap…One Year Down the Road Monday, September 14 ~ 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm Presenters: Matt Dunfee, Wildlife Management Institute Ann Forstchen, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Elsa Haubold, US Fish & Wildlife Service Lindsay Martinez, Wildlife Management Institute Jen Newmark, Nevada Department of Wildlife Jason Sumners, Missouri Department of Conservation Audience: Professionals at all levels Abstract: At the 2019 AFWA Annual meeting, directors adopted the Fish and Wildlife Relevancy Roadmap and supported multi-state grants to help with implementation. This workshop will provide updates and lessons learned from fish and wildlife agencies working to implement the Relevancy Roadmap. There will be an opportunity for learning about early successes as well as challenges organizations are facing. Workshop organizers will also be seeking input into the type of training and additional resources that would help other agencies as they contemplate their efforts to implement the Roadmap.
Collecting and Reporting on the Costs of Compliance with the Endangered Species Act (in HCPs and in general) Tuesday, September 15 ~ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Presenters: Katie Surrey - (PhD student researcher) Arizona State University Gwen Iacona - Resources for the Future Becca Madsen - Electric Power Research Initiative (EPRI) Christian Newman - Electric Power Research Initiative (EPRI) Audience: Students and Professionals, all levels - no software Abstract: As fish and wildlife agencies and regulators face increasing environmental management responsibilities and competition for dwindling financial resources to address them, there is growing imperative to make data-informed decisions that target available resources and commit them towards initiatives that are most effective in combating environmental threats. This is particularly important for endangered species recovery actions in the United States, where funding limitations particularly constrain conservation effectiveness. Thus there has been a recent push to identify cost data to facilitate best-practice conservation decision support methods such as prioritization or return on investment analyses. Data on intervention costs occasionally exists but is not always able to be effectively used to assess conservation efficiency level as it can be hard to locate, and is inconsistently reported. Therefore 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 the collection and reporting on the costs of conservation interventions. Our objective is to give conservation scientists and practitioners the tools to begin to fill the chronic cost data gap that is hindering progress in translating cost-effective conservation theory to practice. We will also present the results from our work analyzing Habitat Conservation Plans, providing our assessment on both the potential and limitations of this specific source of cost data, as well as recommendations for how the accessibility of this information might be improved. The overall goal 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.
Enhancing Conservation Relevancy: Finding Opportunity in Crisis Tuesday, September 15th ~ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Presenter: Cynthia Jacobson - Innovative Outcomes; Tara Teel - Colorado State University; Elsa Haubold - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Audience: Agency and organization professionals and students if interested (Limit of 50) Abstract: “We’re able to recognize that even in worst-case scenarios, we have options marked by great beauty and recovery” (Furr 2020). Societal values and behaviors have changed significantly since the emergence of the Wildlife Conservation Institution (Institution) in the late 1800s. For nearly two decades, change agents within and outside of the Institution have called for transformation to ensure the Institution remains relevant so it can continue to provide benefits to society now and in the future. As with all institutions, major change is slow and met with resistance. The current momentum behind an institutional initiative to increase relevancy of conservation with a broader constituency indicates an unprecedented sense of urgency within the Institution that has potential to lead to considerable and lasting change. The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies recently released a Fish and Wildlife Relevancy Roadmap (Roadmap), for example, that provides advice to stimulate important discussions and actions within the Institution that collectively could help us connect conservation with what is most important to society. Although at different stages, many agencies and organizations are taking steps to implement recommended actions found in the Road Map as appropriate for their context. Enter COVID-19, a pandemic that has reminded us of our vulnerability and interconnectedness with the health of the “natural world.” At the same time, the urgency to acknowledge and address social and environmental injustice, brought to light yet again with recent a series of tragic events. This session explores potential opportunities for conservation relevancy in the midst of recent crises and how each of us individually and collectively can use this period of uncertainty and unrest to make a positive impact to advance the conservation relevancy movement for the benefit of humans and conservation of the environment on which we all depend.
Keep Public Spaces Open! Responsible Recreation Tools and Tips for Keeping Outdoor Spaces Safe and Accessible Tuesday, September 15th ~ 9:00 am - 10:30 am Presenters: Michelle Doerr, Management Assistance Team; Jason Burckhalter, National Wild Turkey Federation; Marc LeFebre, Association of Fish & Wildlife Aggencies; Taldi Harrison, REI; Joel Sisolak, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Audience: State agency personnel that deal with communications, education, and outreach; non-profit or outdoor industry staff. Abstract: Keep our public lands open! Join this panel of speakers representing industry and state agencies to talk about the #ResponsibleRecreation campaign and how agencies can work with their constituents. Hear from representatives from National Wild Turkey Federation, REI, the Management Assistance Team, the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, and state agencies about how they are encouraging the public to practice #ResponsibleRecreation and therefore, keeping public lands open and safe. Participants will learn about resources they can access and use on social media, in education and outreach programming, and in other public messaging media.
Create Your Own State Park Tuesday, September 15th ~ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm Presenter: Melissa Boyle Acuti- Chief of Interpretation, Maryland Park Service, Maryland Department of Natural Resources Audience: Environmental Educators, Formal and Non-formal Educators, Outreach Staff, Marketing Staff Abstract: Inspired by Dr. Doug Tallamy’s research and books, “Bringing Nature Home” and “Nature’s Best Hope”, the Maryland Park Service launched the “Create Your Own State Park” Program in May of 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic. Realizing that more people were spending additional and unplanned time at home- both indoors and out- the Maryland Park Service developed a way to connect the public to place-based nature. This program was an ideal way to connect families to nearby-nature experiences, encourage conservation at home, and help expand native habitats for wildlife. Creating your own state park at home provides a place to enjoy the outdoors, see more birds and butterflies, try new activities and have plenty of fun! Nature is not only found in parks, but is also all around and should be enjoyed from home, too. The program encourages families to turn their home or yard (no matter what size!) into their own state park through a variety of different activities- from identifying plants or trees already on site, to creating a new campsite or picnic area! Families must complete ten different activities in order to be entered to win prizes as part of the Maryland Park Service’s “Summer Challenge”. To qualify- entries much include a drawing of their park and provide their park’s name and general location, with three to five photos of some of the key features of their park. Maryland Park Service staff have already received several entries and are encouraged by all of the new “homegrown” state parks that have already been created this summer!
Thank you to the following organizations for their generous support of the 2022 Annual Meeting. Sponsor registration for the 2023 Meeting will open in Spring 2023.