The following workshops will be offered during the 111th Annual Meeting. Advance registration is required; some workshops have capacities and are noted below.
Advances in CWD Surveillance and Data Management – The Need for Enhanced Collaboration Monday, September 13, 1:00pm - 4:00pm ET Coordinator: Russ Mason, Michigan DNR Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) presents existential challenges to cervid researchers, managers, hunters, and the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. For these reasons, many fish and wildlife agencies and research scientists across North America and Europe are engaged in efforts to understand and manage this disease. While there have been significant advances in CWD surveillance and data management, there is a pressing need for better communication, coordination, and collaboration among wildlife managers and researchers across the United States and Canada. Accordingly, the AFWA Science and Research Committee and AFWA Fish and Wildlife Health Committee propose a ½-day special session for the 2021 AFWA Annual Meeting in Providence, Rhode Island entitled Advances in CWD Surveillance and Data Management – The Need for Enhanced Collaboration. Proponents for emerging surveillance and data management tools will be invited to make brief focused presentations on the practical implications of their work. These presentations will be followed by an in-depth discussion among participants to explore opportunities for coordination, collaboration, and the development of business plans to assure that new surveillance and data management tools remain up-to-date and readily available to state fish and wildlife agency managers. Capacity: none
Becoming More Effective: Practical Tools for Individuals and Agencies Monday, September 13, 1:00pm - 3:00pm ET Presenters: Kelly Reynolds, Management Assistance Team, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies; Bettina Fiery, Management Assistance Team, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies Have you ever noticed that some wildlife professionals are more effective than others? Why is that? This workshop will focus on the habits and practices of high-performing fish and wildlife professionals. Using tools developed through a recent multi-state conservation grant, participants will be invited to assess their habits and identify areas of strength and weakness. After completing a couple of assessment tools, participants will begin developing an individual professional development plan. This workshop will also provide an overview of Accelerating Development of Reasoning and Judgment: A User’s Guide for Fish and Wildlife Conservation Professionals and touch on other resources available through the Association’s Management Assistance Team. Released in 2020, the User’s Guide and related tools were developed by a team of collaborators from Cornell University, Michigan State University, Wildlife Management Institute, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and New York Department of Environmental Conservation. These collaborators set out to answer two fundamental questions as part of a 2019 Multi-State Conservation Grant: What is the basis of sound reasoning and good judgment for wildlife professionals? How can development of these skills be accelerated? The group began this effort by identifying a broad-based sample of professionals who are recognized by their peers as “high-performing” and identifying their habits and practices related to sound reasoning and good judgment. The team then created and tested several diagnostic tools that can be used to identify habits and practices needing improvement, as well as a tool for creating an individual professional development plan. Join us to get started! Session Objectives:
Participants will be able to identify habits and practices of high-performing fish and wildlife professionals and reflect on how their habits and practices align
Participants will begin drafting a professional development plan that is responsive to their current strengths and weaknesses.
Participants will describe at least three resources available to them and their teams for strengthening their effectiveness as fish and wildlife professionals.
Capacity: 30; AT CAPACITY Audience: professionals at all levels
Creating a Culture that Truly Engages Employees and Support Learning Monday, September 13, 1:00pm - 5:00pm ET Presenter: Tom Kalous, Ph.D., TDK Consulting, LLC Employee engagement is at the heart of being an effective and productive organization. Still, recent research suggests that 70% of American employees are disengaged at work. Unfortunately, the reasons behind this lack of engagement can be complex and difficult to address. This workshop will present a simple, research-based, and integrative model that provides a three-tiered framework for assessing and building engagement into your culture. The model also sets the foundation for the learning organization - one that focuses on constant improvement and open and honest communication, while also holding people accountable for their actions and the health of the organization. The model integrates work from several thought-leaders and researchers in organizational and personal effectiveness and provides concrete examples of how to improve employee engagement from the "inside out" of your organization. Session Objectives:
Explore the factors that affect employee engagement
Understand the integrative model for evaluating your organization's culture of engagement
Utilize the model to determine interventions needed to increase employee engagement
Review real-world and research-based examples of how to improve employee engagement from this inside out
Share ideas that have worked in your organization with others
Capacity: 50; AT CAPACITY Audience: Anyone interested in improving employee engagement - mid to upper level management
The importance of being a learning organization in a VUCA world Tuesday, September 14, 10:00am - 1:00pm ET Presenter: Paul Kazyak, AFWA Management Assistance Team National Faculty The importance of being a learning organization in a VUCA world Social, economic, and environmental conditions today have become increasingly VUCA—volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. In this turbulent, constant flux atmosphere, there is a critical need for organizations to focus on learning to not only survive, but thrive and take advantages of opportunities that present themselves. This workshop will review some of the VUCA conditions that currently exist in natural resources management, make a case for the need for our agencies to become oriented toward collaborative learning, and then review opportunities to transform agencies into resilient and curious organizations that see challenges as learning opportunities. Session Objectives: When you complete this workshop, you should be able to:
Identify the potential and ongoing impacts of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity on natural resources management.
Better recognize the interconnectedness of issues and importance of employing a team-based, systems approach to learning about and ultimately solving problems.
Understand that the uncertainty behind changing circumstances requires a shift in management thinking that is more inclusive and curious rather than top-down and directed.
Evaluate your operating environment and help institute collaborative learning and creativity as tools to support effective decision-making in a VUCA environment.
Guide and encourage your team to maintain a vibrant culture that embraces challenge as a learning opportunity.
Effectively communicate with and empower others regarding the need for continuous learning.
Capacity: 20; AT CAPACITY Audience: Professionals and future professionals in the field of natural resources management, especially those with significant management responsibilities.
Regenerative Leadership Primer Tuesday, September 14, 10:00am - 12:00pm ET Presenters: Michelle Doerr and Bre Hiivala Cahoy, EdD, Anavah Consulting LLC Join us for a primer on leadership that is life-affirming and ready to embrace change. We will use principles of Adlerian psychology (a holistic approach to wellbeing) to assess and inform. In addition, we will touch on theories in adaptive leadership, systems thinking, regenerative leadership, and trauma. Together, we will start building an ecosystem of leadership that promotes wellbeing, emotional intelligence, creativity, inclusivity, community, and a growth mindset. The end goal is to have the basic information needed to set a path for leadership development based on the needs of individuals, teams and for the benefit of the planet. Leadership development starts with the ability to lead oneself and this process continues throughout life. We share our learning with others to encourage their learning. Regenerative organizations encourage leadership learning throughout every employee’s tenure. Eventually, co-creation occurs in all areas of the organization. Leadership starts where you are, right now. It is not a linear process. Each person’s pathway is different, and each team develops their skills through prioritizing, practice, and regular and immediate feedback. Takeaways:
A map to help you assess and develop a plan for growth in your own leadership pathway.
Pathways to move teams from mechanistic and life-crushing to life-giving and regenerative beliefs and behaviors.
A basic understanding of trauma that affects our relationships with ourselves, others and Earth and informs our leadership activities.
Guidance for creating a more life-giving organization where learning is a part of every day
Finding pathways for learning leadership skills at every level of the organization
Understanding how trauma fits into work behaviors and actions
Capacity: 30; AT CAPACITY Audience: Anyone who is interested in creating community-spirit within their organization - mid to upper level management.