SCCS-NY 2012 Workshops main content.

SCCS-NY 2012 Workshops

The Student Conference on Conservation Science-New York offers several dynamic, interactive workshops for attendees.

Workshop Session I

Conflicts About Wildlife: Preparing The Next Generation Of Conservation Scientists

Organizer: Leo R. Douglas, Ph.D., Visiting Scientist, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, AMNH.

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 are frequently undesirable interactions between people and wild animals as well as, concurrently, social disputes between groups of people about wild animals. This workshop offers the opportunity to examine the causes and contributing factors involved in conflicts about biodiversity conservation and questions whether current graduate level studies offered in Life Sciences are preparing the next generation of applied research scientists and conservation managers to deal with these conflicts. Combining cases drawing on both the ecological and social sciences the session seeks to enhance the proficiency of participants to understand, design, and identify further training. The session also seeks to provide a networking opportunity where participants can learn about ongoing and future research and also facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration about conservation conflicts.

Harnessing Social Media For Conservation

Organizer: Colin Donihue, Ph.D. Student, Yale School of Forestry.

Over two billion tweets are sent every week and in 2012 a billion people will have Facebook accounts. This wealth of energy and attention is being used to great effect by politicians, celebrities and marketing firms, but the scientific community has only a very small social media presence. This workshop will be a brainstorming session to discuss various ways of using social media to educate, collaborate and affect conservation.

Environmental Peacebuilding - International Peace Parks & Transboundary Conservation

Organizer by: J. Todd Walters, Executive Director, International Peace Park Expeditions & Fellow, Institute for Environmental Diplomacy & Security.

This workshop will explore the intricacies of conservation in a transboundary context, using experiential learning from a multi-stakeholder framework to give participants a first hand experience of the interdisciplinary issues that confront conservation efforts in International Peace Parks, and the nuances of facilitating a diverse group of people to successfully think across sovereign political borders from an eco-system perspective.

Expanding Your Teaching Toolbox: An Introduction To Active And Scientific Teaching Approaches

Organizers: 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.

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.

Workshops Session II

Modeling Ecological Niches And Geographic Distributions: What, Why And How?

Organizer: Richard Pearson, Director, Biodiversity Informatics Research, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York.

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.

An Introduction To Adaptive Management: Practical Training For Tomorrow’s Leaders In Conservation

Organizers: Vinaya Swaminathan, Program Officer, Foundations of Success (FOS), and Kate Christen, PhD, Training Manager, Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, Front Royal, VA.

This workshop will introduce participants to the value and tools of adaptive management (AM), which we define as 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 under which leading conservation organizations manage their projects and programs. These Open Standards are also the basis for an academic course that is being taught in conservation-related graduate programs at an increasing number of academic institutions around the globe. During this workshop, SCCS participants will learn about AM and find out more information on how to get a full AM course started at their own universities. Participants will also practice using the "Conceptual Model" and "Results Chain" tools for understanding a project site and diagramming assumptions on how conservation actions will lead to improved biodiversity. Ultimately, this workshop aims to increase awareness of AM and foster those who wish to champion the incorporation of AM training in universities elsewhere.

Behind The Scenes Collection Tours at the AMNH

The AMNH Ornithological Collections

Organizer: Paul Sweet, Collections Manager, Division of Vertebrate Zoology.

The AMNH Herpetological Collections

Organizer: David Kizirian, Curatorial Associate, Division of Vertebrate Zoology- Herpetology.

The AMNH Mammalogy Collections

Organizer: Neil Duncan, Collections Manager, Division of Vertebrate Zoology- Mammalogy.