Shortcut Navigation:

SCCS-NY 2011 Workshops Schedule

A total of nine workshops were offered during two sessions, on the afternoons of Tuesday, 11 October, and Friday, 14 October.

TUESDAY, 11 OCTOBER 2011

2:00-5:00 pm
Led by:
Ana Luz Porzecanski, Associate Director for Capacity Development and NCEP Project Director, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History; and
Martha Groom, Professor, University of Washington Bothell & Adjunct Professor, University of Washington
EXPANDING YOUR TEACHING TOOLBOX: AN INTRODUCTION TO ACTIVE AND SCIENTIFIC TEACHING APPROACHES
In graduate school, most of us get a heavy dose of content knowledge, which is certainly important to our future work as academics or practitioners. However, many of us do not receive the same sort of training on how to communicate this information, whether in the form of teaching, running workshops, or organizing meetings. This workshop will focus on how active, student-centered, and evidence-based approaches can be more effective than traditional lecture-based approaches in promoting student learning. During this workshop, we will review the principles of scientific teaching, and discuss a number of tools for active teaching and classroom assessment. Participants will be able to practice application of some of these tools, and will take home a “toolbox” of materials and resources. [180 minutes]

2:00-3:30 pm
Led by:
Leo R. Douglas, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History; and Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, Columbia University, New York, New York
CONFLICTS ABOUT WILDLIFE: IS THE NEXT GENERATION OF CONSERVATION SCIENTISTS PREPARED?
Conflicts involving wild animals have become an important concern within global conservation efforts. Where they exist, such conflicts potentially jeopardize both species and habitat conservation programs and are costly—in time, expertise, and resources—to manage. These conflicts can result in undesirable interactions between people and wild animals, as well as social disputes between groups of people about wild animals. This workshop will offer the opportunity to examine the causes and contributing factors involved in conflicts about biodiversity and to critically analyze the strengths and weaknesses of different academic approaches to the study and management of biodiversity-based conflicts. Drawing on cases from the ecological and social sciences, this session will seek to enhance the proficiency of participants to understand these complex relationships and design effective studies. The session will also seek to provide a networking opportunity in which participants learn about ongoing and upcoming research and explore potential collaborations. [90 minutes]

3:30-5:00 pm
Led by:
Jane Carter Ingram, Lead, Ecosystem Services/Payments for Ecosystem Services, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Adjunct Associate Research Scientist, Center for Environmental Research and Conservation, the Earth Institute, Columbia University
MANAGING ECOSYSTEM SERVICES FOR CONSERVATION AND POVERTY REDUCTION
The natural world provides “ecosystem services” such as food, fuels, fiber, and regulation of climate, floods, disease, wastes, and water quality. Many of the world’s poorest people live in rural areas and are directly dependent on ecosystem services for their livelihoods and, thus, are highly vulnerable to environmental changes and ecological degradation that influence the stocks and flows of these services. While the conservation of ecosystem services is important for long-term poverty reduction, external pressures combined with short-term needs and chronic stress on natural resources often undermine the ability of rural communities to sustainably manage important ecosystems. This workshop will: (1) address the importance of ecosystem services for rural communities within developing countries, (2) explore various tools for identifying trade-offs in ecosystem services that may result from natural resource management decisions, and (3) identify various policy approaches and financial tools, such as Payments for Ecosystem Services, that can be implemented to minimize ecosystem services tradeoffs and their impacts on the rural poor. The workshop will consist of a presentation, examples of different ecosystem service tools available for understanding tradeoffs, and group work focused on case studies. Participants will leave with an understanding of ecosystem services in the context of rural poverty, the tools available for understanding how ecosystem services may change as a result of management decisions or other environmental changes, and familiarity with approaches used to reduce the negative impacts of ecosystem service tradeoffs. [90 minutes]

FRIDAY, 14 OCTOBER 2011

2:15-5:15 pm
Led by:
Richard Pearson, Director, Biodiversity Informatics Research, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York
MODELING ECOLOGICAL NICHES AND GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTIONS: WHAT, WHY AND HOW?
Models that predict species' ecological niches and geographic distributions by combining observed occurrence records with digital data layers of environmental variables are increasingly used across a wide range of applications in conservation. Using a combination of presentation and discussion, this workshop will address two main questions: (1) From a theoretical standpoint, what do these models predict?; and (2) Why are the models useful? The presentation will include examples of applications in conservation, such as reserve planning, guiding fieldwork for species discovery, and invasive species management. [180 minutes]

2:15-5:15 pm
Led by:
Benjamin Zuckerberg, Assistant Professor, Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
James P. Gibbs, Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York
Wesley Hochachka, Senior Research Associate, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York
ADVANCES IN MONITORING AND QUANTITATIVE ECOLOGY IN CONSERVATION SCIENCE
Monitoring is a fundamental component of conservation science, and data from monitoring can form an important part of students’ research programs. This workshop will provide participants with: (1) an overview of the types of activities that constitute “monitoring,” (2) discussion of logistical issues surrounding gathering and using monitoring data, and (3) a brief review of analytical methods that can be applied to monitoring data in order to answer conservation-oriented questions. Analytical tools are now available to develop cost-effective sampling designs that generate more reliable information for management decision-making and thereby assess the effectiveness of conservation efforts. Once data are collected, they need to be appropriately analyzed in order to extract insights, and so our final goal for this workshop is to introduce participants to current quantitative topics in conservation monitoring, including issues related to: types of biological data, effective sample sizes, measuring and detecting population change, and the growing availability of analytical tools that are able to account for and remove biases in the data that result from the inevitable imperfect recording of natural phenomena by conservation scientists. Participants will be guided through hands-on exercises using freeware programs such as Monitor.exe and R. [180 minutes]

2:15-5:15 pm
Led by:
Vinaya Swaminathan, Program Officer, Foundations of Success
AN INTRODUCTION TO ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT – PRACTICAL TRAINING FOR TOMORROW’S LEADERS IN CONSERVATION
This workshop will introduce participants to the value and tools of adaptive management (AM)—the integration of design, management, and monitoring to systematically test assumptions in order to adapt and learn for conservation success. The Conservation Measures Partnership’s approach to AM—the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation—provides the guidelines around which an academic course has been developed and taught at an increasing number of academic institutes around the globe. To help meet the growing demand for information on teaching adaptive management, Foundations of Success (FOS) has established a network (Teaching AM Network) that provides an online, collaborative forum for sharing the tools, lessons, and contacts for incorporating adaptive management training into graduate programs. During this workshop, SCCS participants will learn about adaptive management and find out how to tap into the Teaching AM Network in order to get an AM course started at their own universities. Participants will also have the opportunity to use the “Results Chain” tool for diagramming assumptions on how specific conservation strategies or actions will mitigate a threat and ultimately improve the status of targeted species or habitats. Ultimately, this workshop aims to increase awareness of the utility of AM among participants, who will go on to champion the incorporation of AM training in universities elsewhere. [180 minutes]

2:15-3:45 pm
Led by:
Nicholas A. Friedenberg and Kevin Shoemaker, Applied Biomathematics, Setaukaet, New York
MODELING ECOLOGICAL RISK WITH RAMAS METAPOP SOFTWARE
The future is uncertain and our biological knowledge is often woefully incomplete. Therefore, any modeling effort that claims to quantitatively forecast the unique behavior of an ecological system is simply preposterous. Conservation and management decisions should instead be supported with quantitative assessments of risk. Risk is a range of possible outcomes and their associated probabilities, for instance the probability of extinction as a function of time. This workshop will cover the basic components of population modeling and Monte Carlo simulation with an overview of the language and metrics used in risk analysis. A demonstration study will be developed using the RAMAS Metapop software package. [90 minutes]

2:15-3:45 pm
Led by:
Leo R. Douglas, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History; and Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, Columbia University, New York, New York
CONFLICTS ABOUT WILDLIFE: IS THE NEXT GENERATION OF CONSERVATION SCIENTISTS PREPARED?
Conflicts involving wild animals have become an important concern within global conservation efforts. Where they exist, such conflicts potentially jeopardize both species and habitat conservation programs and are costly—in time, expertise, and resources—to manage. These conflicts can result in undesirable interactions between people and wild animals, as well as social disputes between groups of people about wild animals. This workshop will offer the opportunity to examine the causes and contributing factors involved in conflicts about biodiversity and to critically analyze the strengths and weaknesses of different academic approaches to the study and management of biodiversity-based conflicts. Drawing on cases from the ecological and social sciences, this session will seek to enhance the proficiency of participants to understand these complex relationships and design effective studies. The session will also seek to provide a networking opportunity in which participants learn about ongoing and upcoming research and explore potential collaborations. [90 minutes]

3:50-5:15 pm
Led by:
Erika Zavaleta, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, California, and
Helen Fox, Senior Marine Conservation Biologist, World Wildlife Fund, with invited panelists
THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU EVER DO: HARMONIZING FAMILY AND CAREER
When is the best time to start a family in the context of a conservation science career? How do field scientists manage to also maintain a healthy family life? What are the advantages and costs to families of careers in academia, agencies, the NGO world, philanthropy, and other sectors? Can you ever use grant funds to fly a childcare provider to your field site? Can you hire your spouse as your field assistant? What questions should you ask when deciding what "balance" looks like for you? The goal of this workshop is to invite conversation about these kinds of questions critical to our careers and lives yet considered off-limits most of the time. A panel of successful conservation scientists will discuss their experiences integrating parenthood, rich personal lives, and science, and engage with participants in an extended question-and-answer session. [90 minutes]

Note: Dr. Zavaleta was also be the plenary speaker on the morning of October 14.

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am - 5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
Maps and Directions