Loading…
Wild Things 2019 has ended

Log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.

Saturday, February 23
 

9:00am

Plenary: Restoring Nature, Food and Justice
Gary Nabhan, a first-generation Lebanese American, grew up in Gary, Indiana, where he fell in love with dunes and prairies. He became an ecologist who has focused on rescuing and restoring rare plants and the native cultures that lived symbiotically with them. Nabhan has written more than 30 books, many of them influential. His works include Enduring Seeds (1989), Geography of Childhood (1994), The Forgotten Pollinators (1996), and Stitching the West Back Together (2015). More recently in Food from the Radical Center (2018), he has written about people getting their hands dirty to bring back such native food resources as bison, sturgeon, camas lilies, ancient grains, and wild turkeys. He works to heal the rift between people and nature.

Mr. Nabhan will be preceded by a musical performance by the Waters Elementary School Choir with the Bullfrogs

Waters Elementary, a Chicago public school, mobilized their community when officials announced plans to demolish the school’s garden. This beloved teaching garden was started more than 25 years ago and is a cornerstone of the school’s ecology program. In a stunning example of grass-roots advocacy, students, school staff, parents, and the neighboring community rallied successfully against the plans. The officials backed off, seeking another location on school property to build an annex. The student choir - joined by a neighborhood group, the Bullfrogs - sing to celebrate the victory and the garden.

Presenters
avatar for Gary Nabhan

Gary Nabhan

Nature Writer and Ethnobiologist
Gary Paul Nabhan is an internationally-celebrated nature writer, agrarian activist and ethnobiologist who tangibly works on conserving the links between biodiversity and cultural diversity.Photo by Dennis-Moroney


Saturday February 23, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am
rms. 23-32

10:15am

Adventures with Endangered and Formerly Endangered Plant Species
Reports on four decades of strategies and experiments to restore ten species of rare plants—from Gerardias and orchids to speedwells and grasses. For rich natural ecosystems, these are desperate times. Sub-populations at many sites are dying out rapidly. Robust populations (with fully diverse gene pools) have much better chances to adapt to the world today. Initiative and creativity are needed.

Presenters
SP

Stephen Packard

Site Steward, Somme Preserves


Saturday February 23, 2019 10:15am - 11:00am
rms. 33, 34

10:15am

Amphibian Community Dynamics, Health, and Stress Response to Oak Woodland Restoration
From 2016-2018, we examined ephemeral pond-breeding amphibian response to canopy and understory management intended to promote oak recruitment. Using noninvasive techniques, we examined demography of focal species, community dynamics, disease prevalence, and stress response on temporal and spatial scales.

Presenters
AS

Allison Sacerdote-Velat

Curator of Herpetology, Chicago Academy of Sciences


Saturday February 23, 2019 10:15am - 11:00am
rm. 21

10:15am

An Exploration of Wildlife-Inspired Awe
Research is increasingly recognizing the benefits of wildlife-inspired awe, including diminished stress and enhanced well-being, resilience, and empathy. In short, feeling awe in the presence of wildlife makes us happy. Using social science principles, this session will use research and conversation to demystify wildlife-inspired awe and offer strategies for incorporating it into daily life.

Presenters
avatar for Dr. Jonathan Hicks

Dr. Jonathan Hicks

Assistant Professor, Minnesota State University
Prior to moving to Minnesota in 2016, I spent my entire life in Illinois. A former environmental educator in my hometown of Rockford, wildlife has always been at the center of both my work and play. My research broadly considers human-wildlife interactions and how people come to make... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 10:15am - 11:00am
rm. 47

10:15am

Artecito: Art Creation that Deepens Environmental Understanding
OPEN Center for the Arts and the Lincoln Park Zoo collaborated to create a family program in the Little Village community. This program, Artecito, provides events for nature learning and art activities in different locations in the neighborhood. We will share our experiences as well as show ways nature content can be more deeply understood through the arts.

Presenters
EC

Eduardo Camacho

Community Learning Facilitator, Lincoln Park Zoo
LC

Luis Crespo

OPEN Center for the Arts
AD

Alma Dominguez

OPEN Center for the Arts
AS

Ali Schneiderman

Lincoln Park Zoo


Saturday February 23, 2019 10:15am - 11:00am
rms. 54, 56, 58

10:15am

Birds in the Garden: Tips for Creating and Enjoying a Bird Oasis
Creating a bird oasis connects us to nature and supports birds. This photo-rich presentation featuring a Chicago bird garden illustrates how it’s possible to attract 100+ bird species. Tips include landscape enhancements, practices and plant selection—with emphasis on natives/nativars. Also covered: Chicago’s bird diversity, migration, habitat, diet, nesting, supplemental support, and citizen science.

Presenters
avatar for Pam Karlson

Pam Karlson

Artist • Gardener, Waxwing Studio, inc.
Pam is a career artist, gardener, birder and wildlife rehabilitation volunteer who has been rescuing migratory birds for nearly 15 years. Her passion for nature and gardening led her to the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden for gardening/design certifications... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 10:15am - 11:00am
rm. 45

10:15am

Creating a Forum to Discuss Urban Green Space Through the Lens of Community Health and Safety
This panel will highlight the work of the Marshall Square Resource Network, a coalition of over 40 community groups led by Latinos Progresando, working together toward goals that increase community wellness in Little Village. Panelists will share the successes and challenges of engaging community members and partner organizations in conversations about green space through the lens of community health.

Moderators
avatar for Forrest Cortes

Forrest Cortes

Community Stewardship Program Manager, The Nature Conservancy and Chicago Park District, The Nature Conservancy and Chicago Park District

Presenters
DF

Dan Fulwiler

CEO, Esperanza Health Centers
JI

Jennifer Idrovo

Neighborhood Network Director, Latinos Progresando
GN

Gladiz Nava

Community Outreach Coordinator, Openlands
AP

Adela Perez

Community Engagement Coordinator, Latinos Progresando
JV

Julia Vega

Parent, Kanoon Elementary School


Saturday February 23, 2019 10:15am - 11:00am
rms. 40, 41

10:15am

Empowering Youth, the Culturally Relevant Way!
Youth from the Field Museum's Chicago Green Ambassadors internship will present projects developed within a framework of deconstructing the dominant environmental narrative and celebrating the diverse ways we connect with nature. Community partners: Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization, Coalition for a Better Chinese-American Community, Chinese American Service League and Bronzeville historian Tim Goosby.

Presenters
NH

Nataly Hernandez

The Field Museum
avatar for Robb Telfer

Robb Telfer

Morton Arboretum
SY

Si Yuan Ye

Chicago Green Ambassadors, Field Museum
AA

Angelique Acevedo

Field Museum Intern
HH

Hannah Huang

Field Museum Intern
JL

Julian Lara

Field Museum Intern
YM

Yoalix Melendez

Field Museum Intern
JT

Justin Tran

Field Museum Intern
KG

Karina Garcia

Field Museum Intern
AM

Aasia Mohammad

Field Museum


Saturday February 23, 2019 10:15am - 11:00am
rms. 52, 53

10:15am

Geology of the Chicago Region
From the dolomite bedrock of our ancient ocean floor to the top of the highest glacial moraine, our current landscape, what grows on it, and how it gets used is a result of the processes of rock formation, deposition, and erosion. This discussion will outline the geologic story of NE Illinois and how these processes have contributed to the natural ecosystems and the anthropogenic modifications of our area.

Presenters
avatar for David Dolak

David Dolak

Columbia College Chicago
avatar for Lorrie Ward

Lorrie Ward

Naturalist, Forest Preserves of Cook County
Lorrie Ward is a naturalist with the Forest Preserves of Cook County, stationed at the Sagawau Environmental Learning Center. She got her degree in biology from St. Xavier University with a focus on ecology. She was born with a love of nature, but got hooked on geology after taking... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 10:15am - 11:00am
rms. 23-32

10:15am

Identification of Shorebirds and Their Distribution in the Chicago Area
Many individuals shy away from shorebird identification because “shorebirds all look the same.” This presentation aims to dispel that notion. We stress the importance of shape, structure, and proportions in identification, with plumage features coming into play only to decide between two or three species. We also discuss where and when to find shorebirds in the Chicago area.

Presenters
avatar for Geoff Williamson

Geoff Williamson

Third Coast Birding
Geoff Williamson has been interested in birds since the age of eight. He is co-editor of the Illinois-Indiana regional reports in North American Birds, the journal of ornithological record published by the American Birding Association. He serves as secretary of the Illinois Ornithological... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 10:15am - 11:00am
rm. 44

10:15am

Oak Ecosystem Restoration: Using Historical Forest Dynamics to Inform Management for a Resilient Future
In today’s era of global change, historical forests may not be appropriate targets for restoration. Scientists are using tree rings to compare how oaks respond to their environments today with how they responded to pre-settlement conditions. In our session, we will showcase modern and pre-settlement trees and discuss their responses to climate and fire and discuss conservation implications.

Presenters
MR

M. Ross Alexander

Midwest Dendro, LLC
CR

Christine Rollinson

Forest Ecologist, The Morton Arboretum
avatar for Bethany Zumwalde

Bethany Zumwalde

Research Assistant II, The Morton Arboretum
My primary research experience and training has been in the fields of plant conservation genetics, ecology, and systematics. I currently serve as the research assistant to both the Tree Conservation Biologist and the Forest Ecologist. In the tree conservation biology lab, I assist... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 10:15am - 11:00am
rm. 22

10:15am

Shinrin-yoku: Connect with the Wild Things in Nature and You
Shinrin-yoku, or “Forest Bathing” as translated from Japanese, is the practice of mindfully connecting with nature. During this interactive presentation you will be immersed in the process of using nature to awaken your senses. You will take away some new skills to deepen your connections to the wild places around us, and you will learn about some of the health benefits we can receive.

Presenters
avatar for Jodi Trendler

Jodi Trendler

Executive Director, The Resiliency Institute
Jodi Trendler is a Certified Forest Therapy Guide through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy. Since 2015 she has enjoyed watching people positively transform their lives through deepening their connection with nature. Nature therapy, forest therapy, forest bathing, and... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 10:15am - 11:00am
rm. 46

10:15am

Social Media: The Modern Digital Ecosystem
Social media channels are diverse ecosystems of the digital age. It can be difficult to determine how to grow your social network. The COD social media team, with more than 25,000 followers between platforms, shares best practices, ideas, and answers to your social media questions. They will demonstrate how to expand your social reach beyond your industry and position yourself as a thought leader.

Presenters
avatar for Amy Calhoun

Amy Calhoun

Marketing & Communications, College of DuPage Marketing Department


Saturday February 23, 2019 10:15am - 11:00am
rm. 50

10:15am

SPLIT SESSION: Inspiring Help and Community Engagement / The Friends of Cook County Forest Preserves
Inspiring Help and Community Engagement
Patricia Hayes, Volunteer Site Steward, Orland Grassland (FPCC)
Things change, they stay the same, never so true when it comes to engaging the human spirit.  Outreach tools are many, varied, and changing.  Reaching people with a compelling message confounds the best of communicators.  What stays the same is knowing your subject and your audiences and conforming to them.  The presenters will talk about these basics and lead an interactive discussion to get you started or try new methods.

The Friends of Cook County Forest Preserves
Hillary Peters, Radhika Miraglia, Friends of the Forest Preserves and Eriko Kojima, Volunteer Steward (FPCC) 
This presentation will discuss how Friends of the Forest Preserves (FOTFP) works with volunteers and stewards in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. It will highlight how FOTFP supports ecological restoration through its partnership with volunteers. The three speakers will talk about their first hand experience with the many volunteers they work with.

Presenters
PH

Patrcia Hayes

Volunteer Site Steward, Orland Grassland (FPCC)
avatar for Eriko Kojima

Eriko Kojima

Volunteer steward
Life is beautiful and each day is a precious gift I accept with gratitude. I strive to live it with humility, a sense of humor and detachment. Towards all who cross my path I offer love, kindness and positivity. I dedicate each day to serve the earth and its creatures. Let's do it... Read More →
RM

Radhika Miraglia

Friends of the Forest Preserves
HP

Hillary Peters

Crew Manager, Friends of the Forest Preserves


Saturday February 23, 2019 10:15am - 11:00am
rms. 55,57

10:15am

The Climate Reality Project: Climate Advocacy in the Midwest
The Climate Reality Project is a non-profit organization involved in education and advocacy related to climate change. Lucia Whalen was trained in 2015 as a Climate Reality Leader and gives climate change awareness presentations to college classrooms, community organizations, and youth programs. The Climate Reality presentation provides a holistic explanation of the causes and effects of climate change.

Presenters
LH

Lucia H Whalen

Climate Reality Leadership Corps


Saturday February 23, 2019 10:15am - 11:00am
rms. 42, 43

10:15am

The Fruits of Our Labor
Seed collecting is a key part of restoration, and can be easy and a lot of fun. What is not so easy is figuring out how to identify the seeds when they look similar. Learn about different categories of native seeds – fluffy seeds, coneheads, velcros, ballistics, shakers, and more – and how to tell when they are ripe and how to collect them.

Presenters
avatar for Kelly Schultz

Kelly Schultz

Lake County Forest Preserves
Come learn about seed collecting and seed ID (Fruits of our Labor, 1J) and propagating rare plants (2F)


Saturday February 23, 2019 10:15am - 11:00am
rm. 51

10:15am

Urban Ecology on Chicago's South Lakefront
How are communities in Chicago impacted by the city's natural areas program? Do flowering plants revive pollinator populations in urbanized landscapes? Can restorations curb stormwater? Join the discussion with the Urban Ecology Field Lab, an international collaboration of researchers examining the social and ecological implications of restoration efforts on Chicago’s south Lakefront.

Presenters
avatar for Alyssa Ayen

Alyssa Ayen

Field Museum Affliate
An undergraduate environmental science major interested in grassroots organizing, public policy, and social justice issues in today's society.
LC

Luis Cabrales

Field Museum Affliate
JC

Jacob Campbell

Field Museum
avatar for Nataly Diaz

Nataly Diaz

Field Museum Affliate
Researcher in cultural landscape and environmental heritage. Leader of the Landscape and Territory line at the ESTEPA research group (Universidad Nacional de Colombia). Lecturer of the teaching in Social Sciences program, Universidad La Gran Colombia (Bogota) .Experience as a museum... Read More →
MG

Michelle Giles

Field Museum Affliate
BJ

Brittany Janney

Affiliate, Field Museum
JY

Jackson Yow

Field Museum Affliate
MZ

Monica Zakariya

Field Museum Affliate


Saturday February 23, 2019 10:15am - 11:00am
rm. 48

10:15am

You Don't Know What You've Got 'Til Its Gone—Protecting the Natural Land of Illinois
As most everyone knows, there is so little prairie left in the Prairie State. So, how in the world did Illinois became a national leader in protecting its natural heritage? It’s a rich, inspiring history; a history we need to know if we are to answer a critical question: what’s next? What’s the next cutting-edge thing we need to do to ensure the long-term health of the natural lands we love?

Presenters

Saturday February 23, 2019 10:15am - 11:00am
rm. 49

11:15am

Advocating for Bird-Friendly Buildings in the Chicago Area
Learn about successful efforts to promote bird-friendly buildings in Chicago and Evanston from activists, collision monitors, architects, and a university facilities manager. Includes initiatives to establish bird-friendly building ordinances as well as retrofit existing buildings, design guidelines and tips for bird-proofing existing windows. Bird Friendly Chicago, Bird Friendly Evanston, Northwestern University and Studio Gang will be featured.

Presenters
CG

CARL GIOMETTI

Chicago Ornithological Society
CH

Claire Halpin

Studio Gang
AP

Annette Prince

Director, Chicago Bird Collision Monitors
Promoting the protection and rescue of migratory birds harmed by window collisions. Educational programs and consultations about bird friendly design.
AS

Allison Sloan

Bird Friendly Evanston, Natural Habitat Evanston


Saturday February 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:00pm
rms. 54, 56, 58

11:15am

Bumble Bee Biology, Identification, Decline, and Conservation
Bumblebees are facing many threats and people want to know how they can help. Speakers and topics include Alan Molumby: ecology; Tomasz Przybylowicz: behavior; Stephanie Frischie: challenges and threats; Brittany Buckles: identification and rusty-patched data reporting; and Terry Miesle: hands-on photo identification quiz.

Presenters
avatar for Brittany Buckles

Brittany Buckles

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
SF

Stephanie Frischie

Xerces Society
avatar for Terry Miesle

Terry Miesle

Native Bee Awareness Initiative
Field Monitor and advocate for native bees, wasps, insects. Formally monitoring at Fermilab Natural Areas and occasionally other sites.
avatar for Alan J. Molumby

Alan J. Molumby

University of Illinois at Chicago and James Woodworth Prairie
TP

Tomasz Przybylowicz

University of Illinois at Chicago


Saturday February 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:00pm
rms. 23-32

11:15am

Chicago Nature: Spreading the Good Word
The Chicago region is home to more natural area than 35 of the 59 national parks and more native plant species than ANY national park. Yet, most Chicagoans are unaware. So, photographer Mike MacDonald created ChicagoNatureNow.com to help Chicagoans fall in love with local nature. Come and be inspired by beauty, and learn how to use the website to spread the good word and to spark volunteerism at your site. Visit ChicagoNatureNOW! for more information


Presenters
avatar for Mike MacDonald

Mike MacDonald

President, ChicagoNatureNOW!
I'm a conservation photographer, writer, and public speaker. (See www.ChicagoNature.com) But most of all, I'm a Nature Matchmaker. My mission is help Chicagoans fall in love with Chicago nature and to, ultimately, increase the number of volunteers who work to restore our precious... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:00pm
rm. 48

11:15am

Dismantling Climate Deniers' Arguments
Trying to have a conversation with someone who denies that climate change is real can be frustrating. This interactive presentation will use role-play to help you deconstruct the denier's argument, point by point. You might not make a believer out of them in one encounter, but you will be able to deliver your message about the reality of climate change, calmly and decisively.

Presenters
JS

Julie Sacco

Climate Reality Project, Chicago Chapter


Saturday February 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:00pm
rm. 45

11:15am

Effective Use of Social Media for Stewards and Conservation Organizations
Whether you’re a steward building a volunteer network, a conservation organization promoting its programs, or a foundation communicating with donors, social media can play an important role. 3 presenters will share their insights into effectively and affordably using social media in recruiting, marketing, educating, entertaining, and motivating your audiences. Audience questions and comments follow.

Presenters
BB

Brian Basilico

B2b Interactive Marketing
avatar for Jim  Cudney

Jim Cudney

President, 12 Moons Group
Earth-rider, communications specialist, photographer. My company, The 12 Moons Group does online marketing and development for companies and organizations. I also work at Red Buffalo Nursery doing natural areas restoration and am a volunteer steward at Salamander Springs, a Dundee... Read More →
CM

Caitlynn Martinez-McWhorter

Social Media Specialist, McHenry County Conservation District
avatar for April M. Williams

April M. Williams

Volunteer Steward, Steward Dundee Township Open Space and Cyberlife Tutors
Dixie Briggs Fromm Nature Preserve, a 66 acre Illinois State Nature Preserve in Algonquin, IL. is my happy place. The best volunteers ever join me there the first Saturday of each month. Come out and see how much fun we have while restoring this remnant prairie. | | I am active... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:00pm
rm. 44

11:15am

Implementing Regional Standardization of Ecological Restoration Practices: Working together to train volunteers in invasive species management and leadership
Are you involved in training natural areas volunteers? Are you interested in helping build ecological restoration standards for our volunteer steward community? If so, please join us! Building on the in-demand Chicago Wilderness Burn Crew Training model, hear from regional volunteer managers and lend your voice to our discussion on barriers to standardization and solutions through collaboration.

Presenters
KD

Kurt Dreisilker

The Morton Arboretum
avatar for Trinity Pierce

Trinity Pierce

Natural Areas Conservation Training Program Coordinator, The Morton Arboretum
Hi! I am jazzed to attend another Wild Things Conference! This collaborative setting is ripe for making genuine connections and sharing information about the program I coordinate. The N-ACT Program provides participants the skills they need to manage the natural areas that are such... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:00pm
rms. 40, 41

11:15am

Lessons on Propagating Rare Plants
There are native plant species that seem to be very difficult to start from seed, and this can hinder people from reintroducing them into the wild. Learn from our experience on the production of several native species that have been difficult to start from seed. General knowledge of plant propagation is not required, but will help in this talk.

Presenters
LD

Luke Dahlberg

Citizens for Conservation
avatar for Kelly Schultz

Kelly Schultz

Lake County Forest Preserves
Come learn about seed collecting and seed ID (Fruits of our Labor, 1J) and propagating rare plants (2F)


Saturday February 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:00pm
rm. 21

11:15am

Models of Early Childhood Education on Public Lands
Research shows that positive early experiences in nature greatly facilitate the development of a lifelong concern for the environment. Learn how different programs utilize public lands to nurture whole-child development and an appreciation of the natural world, and bring your questions to panelists from Chicago Public Schools and NeighborSpace, Forest Playschool Chicago, and Chicago Botanic Garden.

Presenters
avatar for Robin Cline

Robin Cline

Assistant Director, NeighborSpace
Currently, as Assistant Director of NeighborSpace, an urban land trust in Chicago, Robin’s leadership is multifaceted, involving neighborhood agency, creative stewardship, and program design. She supports community leaders throughout Chicago in developing, managing, and sustaining... Read More →
JF

Jessica Fong

Chicago Public Schools
avatar for Emilian Geczi

Emilian Geczi

Director, Natural Start Alliance, North American Association for Environmental Education
Emilian directs the North American Association for Environmental Education's early childhood initiative, Natural Start. In that capacity, he supports the work of educators, administrators, researchers, and other professionals who help young children connect to nature and care for... Read More →
EP

Eileen Prendergast

Chicago Botanic Garden
TW

Teresa Weed

Forest Playschool Chicago


Saturday February 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:00pm
rm. 49

11:15am

PHNRC - How We Created a Successful Stewardship Organization
Starting with a dream, the Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission has become a successful volunteer organization.  Armed with knowledge, imagination, curiosity, relentless ambition and the good will of volunteers and city counterparts, the PHNRC has achieved beyond what should have been possible. Commissioners will explain what they did, how they did it and their challenges and successes.

Presenters
JK

John Kamysz

Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission
avatar for Edward Madden

Edward Madden

Commissioner, Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission
We are working to restore several natural areas in our community.
SM

Seth Marcus

Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission
JM

Jill Moskal

Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission
DS

Dana Sievertson

Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission
AW

agnes wojnarski

Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission


Saturday February 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:00pm
rms. 55,57

11:15am

Programa ProTEJA: A Partnership for the Conservation of Nature and Empowerment of Communities
We will present on the collaboration of Enlace Chicago and Lincoln Park Zoo to create Programa ProTEJA – a nature program in the Little Village community. Using the train the trainer model, the zoo teaches the curriculum to neighborhood leaders, who teach a group of educators, who facilitate the lessons. Both organizations will discuss their experience and the program’s impact on the community.

Presenters
AB

Amanda Benitez

Enlace Chicago
GM

Gregoria Marquez

Enlace Chicago
SM

Silvia Montoya

Enlace Chicago
MH

Maria Herrera

Enlace Chicago
AR

Ana Ruiz Perez

Lincoln Park Zoo
AS

Ali Schneiderman

Lincoln Park Zoo


Saturday February 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:00pm
rm. 51

11:15am

SPLIT SESSION: Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Outreach / Lake Michigan Meteorite Hunt (The Aquarius Project!)
Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Outreach
Greg Hitzroth, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and Illinois Natural History Survey 
Dumping aquariums, planting invasive species, transporting aquatic weeds on boats, and releasing live bait are ways people have introduced and spread aquatic invasive species (AIS). Outreach emphasizing changes in hobbyist behaviors is an effective way to mitigate AIS impacts. This presentation will focus on AIS prevention education efforts with an emphasis on the importance of partnerships.

Lake Michigan Meteorite Hunt (The Aquarius Project!)
Philip Willink, The Aquarius Project; Chris Bresky, Adler Planetarium; Marc Fries, NASA; Mark Hammergren, Adler Planetarium; Shane Larson, Northwestern; Philipp Heck, Field Museum; Jennika Greer, Field Museum
On February 6, 2017, a meteor streaked over Chicago, exploding into thousands of bits that rained down into Lake Michigan. In the first collaborative scientific effort among Adler Planetarium, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and NASA, we are using weather radar, ROVs, and a specially designed magnetic sled to attempt to retrieve meteorites from hundreds of feet below the surface of Lake Michigan.

Presenters
JG

Jennika Greer

Field Museum
MH

Mark Hammergren

Adler Planetarium
PH

Philipp Heck

Field Museum
GH

Greg Hitzroth

AIS Outreach Specialist, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and Illinois Natural History Survey
Aquatic Invasive Species
SL

Shane Larson

Northwestern
avatar for Philip Willink

Philip Willink

The Aquarius Project


Saturday February 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:00pm
rm. 46

11:15am

SPLIT SESSION: Assessing The Chicago Area’s Contribution to Broader-scale Grassland Bird Conservation Efforts / The Effects of Bison Reintroduction on Grassland Bird Nest Success in Tallgrass Prairie
Assessing The Chicago Area’s Contribution to Broader-scale Grassland Bird Conservation Efforts
Jim Herkert, Illinois Audubon Society and Daniel Saurez, Audubon Great Lakes
The Chicago Area supports large populations of grassland birds due in large part to the lands owned and managed by conservation organizations and county, state, and federal governments.  In this presentation we will discuss recent analyses that have been focused on assessing the role of the Chicago area in broader-scale conservation efforts for Bobolinks and Grasshopper and Henslow’s sparrows.

The Effects of Bison Reintroduction on Grassland Bird Nest Success in Tallgrass Prairie
Heather Herakovich , Northern Illinois University
Restoration projects have sought to increase the quality and size of tallgrass prairie fragments in Illinois, hypothetically increasing breeding habitat for grassland birds. American bison are now being reintroduced to some of these restorations as a management tool. This presentation will go over how this reintroduction impacted the nest success of grassland nesting birds at Nachusa Grasslands.

Presenters
avatar for Heather Herakovich

Heather Herakovich

PhD, Northern Illinois University
Newly minted PhD. Would love to talk jobs with your institution!
JH

Jim Herkert

Illinois Audubon Society


Saturday February 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:00pm
rm. 22

11:15am

SPLIT SESSION: Keeping Crown Vetch, Teasel and Purple Loosestrife at Bay at a High-Quality Preserve / Callery Pear: The Invasive Trojan Horse
Keeping Crown Vetch, Teasel and Purple Loosestrife at Bay at a High-Quality Preserve
Eriko Kojima, Volunteer Steward, Somme Preserve, North Branch Restoration Project (FPCC)
Presenter will share the methodology aimed at eradicating troublesome herbaceous invasives at a high-quality preserve, with a focus on crown vetch, teasel, reed canary grass, and purple loosestrife. We will discuss application techniques, chemicals, and timing.

Callery Pear: The Invasive Trojan Horse

Patricia Hayes, Volunteer Site Steward, Orland Grassland (FPCC)
Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana), a China & Vietnam native, was hybridized to be the perfect ornamental tree.  Its commonly known cultivar, Bradford Pear, continues to be the darling of gardened landscapes but is a vicious invasive.  Find out what it looks like, how it escapes, and removal strategies at Orland Grassland, a 960-acre site of rolling grassland with about 800 acres of open, contiguous prairie.

Presenters
PH

Patrcia Hayes

Volunteer Site Steward, Orland Grassland (FPCC)
avatar for Eriko Kojima

Eriko Kojima

Volunteer steward
Life is beautiful and each day is a precious gift I accept with gratitude. I strive to live it with humility, a sense of humor and detachment. Towards all who cross my path I offer love, kindness and positivity. I dedicate each day to serve the earth and its creatures. Let's do it... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:00pm
rm. 47

11:15am

SPLIT SESSION: Secretive Marsh Birds in the Big City / Cook County's Swamp Chicken… AKA the King Rail
Secretive Marsh Birds in the Big City
Stephanie Beilke, Audubon Great Lakes and Anastasia Rahlin,  Illinois Natural History Survey
A regional marsh bird study explores how secretive marsh birds are impacted by urbanization in the Chicago area.

Cook County's Swamp Chicken… AKA the King Rail 
Chuck Rizzo, Forest Preserves of Cook County 
The King Rail, once a common bird, has experienced a drop in its population. Our understanding of its biology and habitat needs is poor, prompting us to initiate a field study. Because the King Rail spends its life in marshes, this species is difficult to study. In 2013 we located one adult bird. In 2014 we banded 3 chicks. The information from these birds helped us improve habitat for this species.

Presenters
AR

Anastasia Rahlin

Associate Ornithologist, Illinois Natural History Survey
Migratory bird diversity, rail and cryptic wetland bird conservation, red-headed woodpecker declines
avatar for Charles Rizzo

Charles Rizzo

Forest Preserves of Cook County


Saturday February 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:00pm
rms. 52, 53

11:15am

SPLIT SESSION: The Past, Present, and Future of TreeKeepers / Project Quercus: Conserving Oaks on Private Land in McHenry County
The Past, Present, and Future of TreeKeepers
Al De Reu , Openlands
Openlands TreeKeepers Program has trained nearly 2,000 volunteers over 27 years. As Openlands looks to expand this program, various challenges exist, from cultural and linguistic barriers to municipal workers’ hesitation to working with volunteers. Efforts must be made to reach new audiences, sustain current volunteers, and engage new municipal partners in order to expand the TreeKeepers model.

Project Quercus: Conserving Oaks on Private Land in McHenry County
Lisa Haderlein , The Land Conservancy of McHenry County
The Oak Recovery Plan for the Chicago Region identifies work with private landowners as a key to successful oak conservation. Lessons learned from twelve years of implementing The Land Conservancy of McHenry County's Project Quercus will be shared to help inspire and inform others in the region working to tackle conservation of the 70% of the region's oaks that are located on private property.

Presenters
avatar for Lisa Haderlein

Lisa Haderlein

Executive Director, The Land Conservancy of McHenry County
I have been Executive Director at The Land Conservancy of McHenry County since 2002. Currently, I serve as a Network Architect for the Vital Lands Illinois project, and was previously a board member for the Prairie State Conservation Coalition. I am passionate about oak conservation... Read More →
AD

Al De Reu

TreeKeepers Program Manager, Openlands


Saturday February 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:00pm
rm. 50

11:15am

SPLIT SESSION: Wetland Birds and Hybrid Cattail Invasion / Nature Boardwalk: A Naturalized Ecosystem for Native Chicago Wildlife / Is Urbanization Impacting the Sex Ratio of Painted Turtles in Lake County, IL?
Wetland Birds and Hybrid Cattail Invasion
Kurtis Himmler, Loyola University Chicago
The spread of invasive plants has transformed wetland habitat throughout the Great Lakes region, reducing habitat suitability for some wetland bird species.  Hear discussion of the impact of the invasive hybrid cattail, Typha x glauca, on Great Lakes ecosystems and the implications for wetland birds, as well as  connections between local hybrid cattail research and wetland bird conservation.  

Nature Boardwalk: A Naturalized Ecosystem for Native Chicago Wildlife
Maria Jazmin Rios, Urban Wildlife Institute, Lincoln Park Zoo
From the state endangered Black-Crowned Night Heron to the occasional coyote and fox, the Lincoln Park Zoo’s recently naturalized 14-acre Nature Boardwalk supports over 160 different species of migrant and resident birds and many other wildlife. Come learn about the wildlife species that call the Nature Boardwalk their home.

Is Urbanization Impacting the Sex Ratio of Painted Turtles in Lake County, IL?
John P. Vanek, Northern Illinois University; Richard B. King , Northern Illinois University; Gary G. Glowacki, Lake County Forest Preserve District
Urbanization isolates turtle populations via the proliferation of roads, which also causes direct mortality. We tested the impacts of urbanization on the sex ratios of Painted Turtles in Lake County. Preliminary results suggest the average sex ratio was male biased (up to 5.5:1). We will discuss how urbanization correlates with this result and discuss management interventions.

Presenters
KH

Kurtis Himmler

Loyola University Chicago
avatar for Jazmin Rios

Jazmin Rios

Wildlife Management Coordinator and Master's Student, Urban Wildlife Institute at Lincoln Park Zoo and DePaul University
avatar for John Vanek

John Vanek

PhD Candidate, Northern Illinois University


Saturday February 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:00pm
rms. 42, 43

11:15am

The Tallgrass Prairie: Grocery Store, Apothecary, and Love Shop
Native Americans and early settlers saw the prairie as their home—a place that supplied everything from groceries to art supplies; medicine to love charms. Join prairie steward, natural history instructor, and writer Cindy Crosby for interactive stories of prairie ethnobotany—how people used prairie plants throughout history—and the potential resources our prairie plants may hold for the future.

Presenters
avatar for Cindy Crosby

Cindy Crosby

writer, prairie steward, dragonfly coordinator, Nachusa Grasslands, The Morton Arboretum
I have a passion for sharing the natural world through words, images, and experiences. I'm the author, compiler, or contributor to more than 20 books, none self-published; most recently "The Tallgrass Prairie: An Introduction" (Northwestern University Press, 2017) and the forthcoming... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:00pm
rms. 33, 34

12:30pm

Environmental Protection Through Stand-up Comedy
How can we make composting interesting to those that go to a supermarket more than a farmer’s market? Pesticide reduction to those that want a weed-free, green lawn? Two environmental professionals tried stand-up comedy to share their technical work with the public during Science Riot, a workshop that teaches the art of comedy to scientists. Both will perform their routines for this session.

NOTE: Lunch Session times and durations may change. Please check back before conference day to confirm.

Presenters
RA

Ryan Anderson

Midwest Pesticide Action Center
NL

Nick Lucas

Advocates for Urban Agriculture


Saturday February 23, 2019 12:30pm - 1:15pm
rms. 33, 34

12:30pm

Evidence-based hope for the future: The human population bottleneck & conservation reserves as re-wilding centers
We live in an era of rapid human population growth. However, demographics suggest that population growth will not only slow in the coming century but will actually reverse! For uplifting reasons (like empowerment of women) the human population will likely be smaller than it is today in only a few hundred years. The conservation reserves of today will serve as the re-wilding centers of the future.

NOTE: Lunch Session times and durations may change. Please check back before conference day to confirm.

Presenters
avatar for Ray Dybzinski

Ray Dybzinski

Loyola University Chicago, Institute of Environmental Sustainability


Saturday February 23, 2019 12:30pm - 1:15pm
rm. 22

12:30pm

From a Cup to the Community: How Monarch Butterflies Have Migrated Into the Hearts of Chicago Families
In this storytelling session, we’ll share what families are doing to take care of monarchs in their own neighborhoods, after leaving the nature center with a caterpillar in a cup. Creating a ripple effect of monarch mania in the community, these families are metamorphosing hearts and homes. Easy and low-cost/free how-to ideas of raising monarchs will also be shared.

NOTE: Lunch Session times and durations may change. Please check back before conference day to confirm.

Presenters
LF

Liza Fischel

Chicago Park District, North Park Village Nature Center
SS

Sean Shaffer

Naturalist, Chicago Park District


Saturday February 23, 2019 12:30pm - 1:15pm
rm. 49

12:30pm

Hackmatack NWR - Case Study
Hackmatack NWR, has core habitats large enough to provide secure nesting habitat for area-dependent birds and wildlife corridors. Large natural areas will be critical support of viable populations of wildlife and vegetation. It can also assist in the moderation of extreme weather events and mitigation planning, while providing critical green infrastructure and nature-based adaptation support.

Presenters
SB

Steven Byers

Friends of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge
avatar for Vince Mosca

Vince Mosca

Senior Ecologist, Friends of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge


Saturday February 23, 2019 12:30pm - 1:15pm
rm. 48

12:30pm

Interpreting Nature through Song
Music is a powerful and engaging teacher. Wrapping an environmental message in an engaging melody helps get the point across without sounding “preachy”. Hear a variety of songs from "Buckthorn Betsy" to "Oaks and Prairies" about loving and protecting our natural world, and maybe join the chorus of a few.

NOTE: Lunch Session times and durations may change. Please check back before conference day to confirm.

Presenters
avatar for Diane Greening

Diane Greening

Master Naturalist
I'm a volunteer with a number of local organizations including the Chicago Botanic Garden, Lake Co. Forest Preserves, the Univ. of Illinois Extension Master Naturalists, Citizens for Conservation, and the Friends of the Green Bay Trail. I'm also a singer-songwriter with a new album... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 12:30pm - 1:15pm
rm. 51

12:30pm

Lessons of Past and Future
Speakers will share their cutting-edge research (prairie cemeteries as repositories of native flora, GIS and historical distribution of species, and prairie restoration in challenging areas) and the implications to urban ecosystems with an emphasis on issues of Chicago-area concern.  

Presenters
ED

Elwood Dumke

M.S. student in NRES, UIUC
RG

Renee Gracon

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences
avatar for Stacey Libra

Stacey Libra

Landscape Architect/Ecological Designer, Applied Ecological Services


Saturday February 23, 2019 12:30pm - 1:15pm
rm. 44

12:30pm

Many Hands Make Light Work: A Zone Concept for Habitat Restoration Projects
Volunteers at Somme Woods developed an innovative plan to involve more people in planning and stewardship of the site. The 255 acres of Somme Woods have been divided into 14 zones, averaging about 20 acres each. Each zone is primarily managed by a zone steward in coordination with the site steward.  

Somme Woods has been operating under the Zone Stewardship concept for three years. A practice of shared ideas and information provides each Zone Steward a better understanding of the site's ecological and restoration goals.  Other sites might benefit from this approach.

A group presentation including an overview, group exercise, discussion, and summary.

NOTE: Lunch Session times and durations may change. Please check back before conference day to confirm.



Presenters
MB

Matthew Bucher

Zone Steward, Somme Preserves
ME

Matthew Evans

Zone Steward, Somme Woods
volunteer and conservation graduate student
avatar for James Hensel

James Hensel

Zone Steward, Somme Woods
Micro steward concept and building a community of volunteers.
PK

Peter Kim

Sawyer, Somme Woods
avatar for Eriko Kojima

Eriko Kojima

Volunteer steward
Life is beautiful and each day is a precious gift I accept with gratitude. I strive to live it with humility, a sense of humor and detachment. Towards all who cross my path I offer love, kindness and positivity. I dedicate each day to serve the earth and its creatures. Let's do it... Read More →
LM

Linda Masters

Site Steward, Somme Woods
avatar for John McMartin

John McMartin

Sawyer, Somme Woods
SP

Stephen Packard

Site Steward, Somme Preserves
SP

Stephanie Place

Zone Steward, Somme Woods
SR

Sai Ramakrishna

Zone Steward, Somme Woods
RS

Russell Sala

trails and bridges, Somme Woods
PS

Paul Swanson

Zone Steward, Somme Woods


Saturday February 23, 2019 12:30pm - 1:15pm
rm. 21

12:30pm

Music and Nature: Facilitating a Nature Jam
This session aims to provide ideas to the audience about ways they can utilize the music as an anchoring practice to root young people in the sights, sounds, and wonder of nature. We will explore the use of invasive plant species to create instruments and music with children. The talk will culminate in a nature jam where participants can use their instruments in a jam or create music inspired by nature.

NOTE: Lunch Session times and durations may change. Please check back before conference day to confirm.

Presenters
avatar for Adam Kessel

Adam Kessel

Naturalist and Musician, Forest Preserves of Cook County
Adam Kessel works as a Naturalist with the Cook County Forest Preserves at Trailside Museum in River Forest. At Trailside, his music education programs integrate music performance into nature based programming ranging from nature jams to instrument building from invasive species... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 12:30pm - 1:15pm
rms. 40, 41

12:30pm

One Earth Film Mini-Fest: Media for Conservation and Social Change
Enjoy a preview of the One Earth Film Festival, the Midwest’s premiere environmental film festival, slated for March 1-10. Watch an 8-minute film inspired by a Springfield, Illinois, youngster’s first visit to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Joseph Goldstein recalls being awestruck by “the waters, the fishing, the stars, the silence.” At 13, a leukemia diagnosis put all adventuring on hold, but he “made a wish” to save the Boundary Waters from the threat of a sulfide ore copper mine on its border. That wish became his mission to teach America's youth how to cherish and advocate for nature. After the film, Ana Garcia Doyle, One Earth Film Festival director, will lead you through a lively discussion of the film and its lessons for our own natural areas here in Illinois.

Presenters
avatar for Ana Garcia Doyle

Ana Garcia Doyle

Director, One Earth Film Festival
Using art (especially film) for environmental and social change. Our work at One Earth Film Fest (oneearthfilmfest.org) is focused on this.


Saturday February 23, 2019 12:30pm - 1:15pm
rms. 54, 56, 58

12:30pm

Plant Love Stories LIVE@Wild Things
Plant Love Stories are stories about plants that have a special place in our lives - we believe that everyone has a plant love story. This session will begin with an introduction to the Plant Love Stories website. The main event will be a series of speakers telling 3-5 minute plant love stories. At the end there will be an opportunity for audience members to tell their stories.

NOTE: Lunch Session times and durations may change. Please check back before conference day to confirm.

Presenters
RB

Rebecca Barak

Chicago Botanic Garden


Saturday February 23, 2019 12:30pm - 1:15pm
rms. 52, 53

12:30pm

Prairie Reverie: What Does the Word Prairie Mean in Post-prairie Illinois?
The word prairie is often used generically for farmland or other open space, or evocatively, as in the names of subdivisions, businesses, schools, etc. This thoughtful, but humorous, presentation is a meditation on the loss of Illinois prairie land and lessons for people involved in prairie conservation.

NOTE: Lunch Session times and durations may change. Please check back before conference day to confirm.

Presenters

Saturday February 23, 2019 12:30pm - 1:15pm
rm. 45

12:30pm

Telling The Conservation Story - Best Practices In Traditional and Social Media
Telling the Conservation Story - A panel of public affairs and outreach specialists will host an interactive discussion about best practices in traditional and social media and new approaches to public engagement. What has worked well? How and why? Audience participation is encouraged.

NOTE: Lunch Session times and durations may change. Please check back before conference day to confirm.

Presenters
SS

Stacina Stagner

Communications Manager, The Forest Preserves of Cook County
GC

Gelasia Croom

Associate Director Of Communications, The Nature Conservancy in Illinois
avatar for Brandon Hayes

Brandon Hayes

Director of Communications, Openlands
Brandon Hayes has spent his entire career in nonprofit communications. Before Openlands, he was at the youth arts education organization, Marwen, and was a publicist for Goodman Theatre. Additionally, he is a photographer and essayist, chronicling all fifty-nine US National Parks... Read More →
VL

Vera Leopold

Grants Manager & Development Associate, The Wetlands Initiative


Saturday February 23, 2019 12:30pm - 1:15pm
rm. 46

12:30pm

The Epic of the Chicago Bioregion
Enter into the 13.7 billion year story of this bioregion, with all its creativity, drama, beauty and survival. Led by the voices of science and wisdom, this performance will include audience participation.

NOTE: Lunch Session times and durations may change. Please check back before conference day to confirm.

Presenters
JS

Jacob Speer

Small Waters Education


Saturday February 23, 2019 12:30pm - 1:15pm
rm. 47

12:30pm

Vibrant Communities—People & Nature; A Listening and Engagement Session
Chicago Wilderness, a diverse alliance of close to 200 members, envisions a vibrant region where people and nature thrive together. This ‘listening session’ and guided discussion will help shape the future direction of CW. Share your voice and ideas for what CW can do and be.

NOTE: Lunch Session times and durations may change. Please check back before conference day to confirm.

Presenters
MB

Mark Bouman

Field Museum
LL

lorena lopez

Field Museum
LM

Laura Milkert

Field Museum
avatar for Laura Reilly

Laura Reilly

Chicago Wilderness


Saturday February 23, 2019 12:30pm - 1:15pm
rms. 42, 43

1:30pm

Bird Migration Around Chicago: Spatial and Temporal Variability
Nearly all bird species in the Chicago region are migratory. But migration is not monolithic: different species and guilds migrate at different times and in different parts of the region. This talk focuses on landbird migration, documenting its variability and considering how it affects our management of the landscape.

Presenters
DF

Douglas F. Stotz

Field Museum


Saturday February 23, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm
rms. 33, 34

1:30pm

Bison and People on the Northeast Illinois Prairie
We often have a preconceived notion of the pristine, bison-covered prairie, awaiting the arrival of Native Americans who centered their life around the herds until Euro-Americans arrived and extirpated both bison and Indians, while destroying the prairie. But is this accurate? What do the data and archaeology say about this narrative of the prairie, people and bison in Northeast Illinois?

Presenters
JW

Joe Wheeler

Archaeologist, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie


Saturday February 23, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm
rm. 22

1:30pm

Building Green Connections in Your Community
Get creative with your connections. We often overlook many "outside the box" opportunities to collaborate with the local entities in our towns. When missions overlap, why not partner instead of compete? The Glen Ellyn Park District has worked with schools, service groups, churches, libraries, businesses, village commissions, and non-profits to offer environmental stewardship and educational opportunities.

Presenters
RF

Renae Frigo

Naturalist, Glen Ellyn Park District


Saturday February 23, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm
rm. 47

1:30pm

Busse Muskie
In 2007, Muskellunge were introduced to the Main Pool of Busse Reservoir in order to provide the common angler with the opportunity to fish for a top predatory game fish in a local Forest Preserve fishing lake. Come learn with us as we dive into this unique urban setting of Muskie management, exploring the challenges and triumphs of population surveys, stocking, telemetry, and salvage operations.

Presenters
avatar for Michael Feldmann

Michael Feldmann

Fisheries Technician, Forest Preserves of Cook County
Hello! My Name is Mike Feldmann. I’m the Fisheries Technician for the Forest Preserves of Cook County. I have been with the Preserves for almost 5 years. I received my bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from Northeastern Illinois University.  Before working with the Forest... Read More →
avatar for Steve Silic

Steve Silic

Chief Fisheries Biologist, Forest Preserves of Cook County
Steve Silic graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology in 2002, and a Master’s Degree in Molecular Biology in 2006. He has been with the Forest Preserves of Cook County since 2000, working at various FPCC Nature Centers, and... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm
rm. 50

1:30pm

Community Outreach and Chicago Park District Nature Centers
Do you find it challenging to differentiate “outreach” and “marketing” while developing Community Outreach? Are you interested in finding new ways to engage volunteers or be of service to the community? Hear from Chicago Park District Nature Centers on new, practical approaches to community engagement. Learn about outreach strategies for field trips and timebanking as a method to foster exchange.

Presenters
TD

Teishetta Daniel

Chicago Park District
avatar for Amaris Alanis Ribeiro

Amaris Alanis Ribeiro

Center Director, North Park Village Nature Center, Chicago Park District
The North Park Village Nature Center is a public facility with 46 acres of nature preserve, open 7 days a week, and provides year-round programs that serve more than 50,000 yearly visitors. Amaris is experienced in environmental science education, coordinating community engagement... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm
rm. 51

1:30pm

Conservation Areas Mapping in the ON TO 2050 Regional Plan
For the ON TO 2050 Plan, CMAP developed a conservation areas map to help stakeholders pursue policies that advance regional goals for conserving natural resources and their ecosystem services. The session will present the map, which provides spatial data on natural resources that is easy to understand and use, reflective of local priorities, and based on data that is regionwide and regularly updated.

Presenters
avatar for Brian Daly

Brian Daly

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning


Saturday February 23, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm
rms. 55,57

1:30pm

Converting to Prairie with Everyone Watching
When very public areas are converted from lawn to prairie, a process has begun which takes patience, public education, a different kind of maintenance, and sometimes has setbacks. Hear about common mistakes, avoidable pitfalls, strategies, and celebrated success. Sites discussed include wetlands, city parks, a golf course, brownfield conversions, and the presenter’s 7’ by 10’ curbside butterfly garden.

In this session Mike Nowak will interview Eric S. Anderson and live stream the interview on Facebook.

Presenters
ES

Eric S. Anderson

Ecologist, Cardno, Inc

Sponsors

Saturday February 23, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm
rm. 21

1:30pm

Evaluating Youth Environmental Awareness and Stewardship Programs: the Why and the How
Youth environmental programs are widespread but rarely evaluated systematically. How do we know how well they worked? What is their ability to change knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors? Participants will explore these questions using participatory tools, and learn how findings can be used to both improve implementation and advocate for funding. We will use examples from a pilot program in Markham, IL.

Presenters
avatar for Debra Williams

Debra Williams

Community Outreach Coordinator, The Nature Conservancy/IBP
avatar for Vidya Venkataramanan

Vidya Venkataramanan

Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University
Come talk to me about program evaluation, public health, community engagement and community-based research, and how all of this connects to the environment!


Saturday February 23, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm
rm. 46

1:30pm

Everything Soil I: Forest Soils
Soil is an amazing paradox: both alive and not alive, taking centuries to form while being very dynamic. In this presentation, I will describe the processes that created Illinois soils and highlight the organisms that shape them, with a particular focus on trees. Finally, I will demonstrate how oak ecosystem soils are altered by two common restoration techniques – prescribed fire and overstory thinning.

Presenters
avatar for Meghan Midgley

Meghan Midgley

Soil Ecologist, Center for Tree Science, The Morton Arboretum
As the Soil Ecologist at The Morton Arboretum, Meghan Midgley studies plant-soil interactions in a changing world. Specifically, she aims to understand how interactions among plants, microbes, and soil mediate ecosystem-specific responses to environmental changes. Her research encompasses... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm
rms. 23-32

1:30pm

Lake Michigan Bluff and Ravine Restoration
Conservation Land Stewardship, LLC has restored habitat along the Lake Michigan shoreline on bluffs and ravines utilizing fire, herbicides, and revegetation techniques. This presentation will highlight some of these interesting projects.

Presenters
avatar for Joe Krischon

Joe Krischon

Project Manager & Consultant, Conservation Land Stewardship, LLC
I have worked in ecological restoration for over 10 years and I am passionate about biodiversity conservation and finding more harmonious ways for humans to create & adapt their systems within nature.
avatar for Dave Neu

Dave Neu

Project Developer, Conservation Land Stewardship, LLC
I am a natural resources program and organization leader serving for over 30 years in both government and non-profit roles. My work has included native prairie and wetland restorations, wildlife management, public outreach and education, strategic partnerships, and planning.As Project... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm
rm. 49

1:30pm

Linking Ecosystems, Crossing Boundaries: The Barrington Greenway Initiative
The Barrington area is at the heart of 4 counties, 6 villages, and 2 townships all with disconnected conservation plans. By forming a strategic partnership between county forest preserve districts and multiple conservation non-profits, the Barrington Greenway Initiative is making headway towards connecting and restoring thousands of acres of natural area. Learn who we are and what we are doing!

Presenters
KS

Kevin Scheiwiller

Restoration Manager, Citizens for Conservation


Saturday February 23, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm
rms. 52, 53

1:30pm

Native Seed Mix Design
Learn more about native seed mix design for ecological restoration from industry experts at Prairie Moon Nursery. We will go over species selection, site considerations, seeding rates, grass-to-forb ratios, seed sources, establishment trends, and more.

Presenters
KO

Kaitlyn O'Connor

Prairie Moon Nursery
Ask us about native plants for gardening or restoration!


Saturday February 23, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm
rm. 44

1:30pm

Protecting Piping Plovers in the Great Lakes
The shores of the Great Lakes were once home to nearly 800 pairs of Piping Plovers, a small shorebird. Today, about 75 pairs remain. Learn about research on these birds, current recovery efforts, and recent nesting attempts in the Chicago area. Color-banding has given us the opportunity to get to know individuals - hear a few stories about plovers that the researchers have come to know well!

Presenters
SS

Sarah Saunders

National Audubon Society


Saturday February 23, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm
rms. 42, 43

1:30pm

Restoring Landscapes at Scale
The Forest Preserves of Cook County has set a goal of restoring 30,000 acres of natural lands to ecological health. How we turned that goal into an action plan and began restoration on the ground at scale is explored. Some early results are in and lessons learned are presented.

Presenters
avatar for Chip O'Leary

Chip O'Leary

Deputy Director of Resource Management, Forest Preserves of Cook County
Chip O’Leary is the Deputy Director for Resource Management at the Forest Preserves of Cook County. He has been a restoration ecologist in the Chicago Wilderness Region for 20 years. He has worked on large-scale prairie and wetland restorations and revitalization of oak savannas... Read More →
avatar for Troy Showerman

Troy Showerman

Resource Project Manager, Forest Preserves of Cook County
Troy has more than 8 years of professional experience in ecological and habitat restoration, project management, and environmental consulting. As an ecological contractor, he has worked with private landowners, corporations and businesses, park districts, and forest preserve districts... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm
rm. 45

1:30pm

SPLIT SESSION: Spring Peepers: A Voice for Habitat Restoration / Biodiversity Research and Monitoring at LUREC (Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus), Woodstock, IL
Spring Peepers: A Voice for Habitat Restoration
Susan Lawrence, Northern Illinois University
Spring Peepers are small treefrogs; their populations are highly fragmented in NE Illinois. To evaluate ponds, abiotic and biotic parameters were measured at sites with and without Peepers throughout NE Illinois. Canopy openness and emergent vegetation were all significantly higher at sites with Peepers in summer. Management efforts that open canopies above ponds are beneficial for Peeper populations.

Biodiversity Research and Monitoring at LUREC (Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus), Woodstock, IL
Stephen Mitten and Dr. Roberta Lammers Campbell, Loyola University Chicago
We present the results of biological research and monitoring projects at LUREC the past 6 years.

Presenters
DR

Dr. Roberta Lammers Campbell

Curator Emerita, Loyola University Chicago
avatar for Susan Lawrence

Susan Lawrence

Northern Illinois University
SM

Stephen Mitten

Loyola University Chicago


Saturday February 23, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm
rms. 40, 41

1:30pm

What's So Funny About Chicago Wilderness?
Everyone knows that restoration is serious work, right? But all work and no play doesn’t just make a restorationist dull, it kills the potential for discovery and flexibility. Learn how to lighten up with a professional improv group who will help you improve your workday effectiveness through fun and effective warm-up exercises that actors use to stay alert and in-the-moment. Have fun out there!

Presenters

Saturday February 23, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm
rm. 48

1:30pm

Wild Zones: Redesigning Chicago’s Landscape Ordinance
This presentation will summarize a fall 2018 graduate landscape architecture design studio at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that imagines new opportunities for urban wildlife in Chicago’s municipal landscape ordinance.

Presenters
CO

Conor O'Shea

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Saturday February 23, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm
rms. 54, 56, 58

2:10pm

Birds as a Connection to Nearby Nature
Acquainting young people with nature prepares them to be stewards throughout their lives. Birds in my Neighborhood, a volunteer-driven education program, capitalizes on the prevalence of birds, using them as an entrée to nature for young people. By sparking an interest in birds, this program invites its participants to see that nature is around all of us and it is our responsibility to steward and protect it.

Presenters
JC

John Cawood

Openlands


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:10pm - 2:40pm
rm. 49

2:10pm

Building a Vibrant Stewardship Community: Our Adventures at Somme
A personal case study of new leadership over three years. Discussion of guiding principles for a vibrant volunteer site stewardship community. Exploring positive ideas that enhance collaboration and joining with others on our respective journeys. Apprenticeship. Mentors. What we do different with seeds, rare plants, and invasives - through the seasons. How to empower volunteer leaders to arise.

Presenters
avatar for Eriko Kojima

Eriko Kojima

Volunteer steward
Life is beautiful and each day is a precious gift I accept with gratitude. I strive to live it with humility, a sense of humor and detachment. Towards all who cross my path I offer love, kindness and positivity. I dedicate each day to serve the earth and its creatures. Let's do it... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:10pm - 2:40pm
rms. 54, 56, 58

2:10pm

Climate Change: A Tale for Our Time
The story of anthropocentric climate change needs to be told. But in this era of indifference and denial, how can we make the tale comprehensible and compelling? Can it have a happy ending? Bring your ideas for communication and story-telling to this interactive session, and we’ll offer suggestions for participants to feel confident while speaking truth to power.

Presenters
avatar for Cynthia Linton

Cynthia Linton

Cynthia Linton is a former journalist who lives in Chicago. After 20 years with community newspapers, she taught for two decades at Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern. She’s been active with the Sierra Club for 12 years and in 2017 was trained by Al Gore and his Climate Reality... Read More →
avatar for Gregory Rajsky

Gregory Rajsky

Principal / Consulting Naturalist, True Nature Consulting
Helping property owners to discover the true nature of their holdings through ecological assessment, habitat enhancement, education, and restoration.


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:10pm - 2:40pm
rm. 46

2:10pm

Conservation@Home – Going Beyond Our Borders
The Conservation@Home program recognizes & certifies properties demonstrating environmental friendly landscape practices. Become the designer as we use a technique to incorporate native plants into the homeowner's landscape. Learn more about this innovative program’s effort to bring the Forest Preserves beyond its ‘borders’ to create forest-preserve-friendly places.

Presenters
avatar for Nina Baki

Nina Baki

Community Outreach Coordinator, Forest Preserves of Cook County
Nina Baki is the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Over the past 15 years, Nina has worked in the field of conservation connecting people to the outdoors through interpretive programs and activities.  Currently, Nina works on outreach and engagement... Read More →
avatar for Val Kehoe

Val Kehoe

University of Illinois Extension
Val is a Horticulture Coordinator with the University of Illinois Extension serving Cook County. Programs have included School and Community Gardens but is now assisting with the initiatives that U of I Extension and the Forest Preserves of Cook County collaborate on, namely the Conservation... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:10pm - 2:40pm
rms. 52, 53

2:10pm

Foundation of the Prairie: Soil Biology and Function
Soil beneath our feet is home to diverse living organisms that are foundational to prairie ecosystems, decomposing dead plant and animal material, cycling nutrients and carbon, and filtering water. This session is a follow-up to Dr. Meghan Midgley’s session on soils in forests (3H) and will feature opportunities to examine soil biodiversity in prairie and forest soils.

Presenters
EB

Elizabeth Bach

The Nature Conservancy, Nachusa Grasslands


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:10pm - 2:40pm
rm. 22

2:10pm

Frogs and Toads of the Chicago Region
This presentation is about the 13 species of frogs and toads that exist in the Chicago Region. It talks about their mating calls, habitat and behaviors. It delves a little into the history of some species as well as the Calling Frog Survey protocols.

Presenters
MH

Matt Hokanson

Woods to Wetlands and Spring Creek Stewards


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:10pm - 2:40pm
rms. 33, 34

2:10pm

From Prairies to Rain Gardens: Climate Change Adaptation for Chicago Wilderness Grasslands
Insights gathered from climate change adaptation planning for Chicago Wilderness prairies, conducted by the Field Museum and partners. Three workshops in 2018 resulted in specified strategies for a gradient of habitats - large prairies to created urban spaces. The project also examined how challenges are translated into approaches that conform to unique local perspectives while meeting regional goals.

Presenters
avatar for Katherine Moore Powell

Katherine Moore Powell

Climate Change Ecologist, The Field Museum
As an ecohydrologist, I'm interested in how water moves through the ecosystem, and specifically how fluxes of carbon, water, and energy respond to precipitation that is becoming characterized by seasonal shifts, larger events, and longer dry periods. I have conducted research in grasslands... Read More →
DF

Douglas F. Stotz

Field Museum


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:10pm - 2:40pm
rm. 47

2:10pm

Grant Funding Options for Illinois Natural Areas from Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation
We will give an overview of the Foundation’s 6 Natural Areas Grant Programs including examples of past projects under the Community Stewardship Challenge Grant program (awards of up to $32,000 for community-based stewardship efforts) and the K-12 Pollinator Program (awards of up to $10,000 to build pollinator habitat to be used for education purposes). The presentation will include handouts.

Presenters
BB

Brekke Bounds

Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation
JK

Jolie Krasinski

Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:10pm - 2:40pm
rms. 55,57

2:10pm

Measuring the Sustainability Benefits of Urban Agriculture: A Case Study
It is widely believed that urban food gardens offer a wealth of environmental, economic and social benefits. Although true, few studies have actually measured these benefits. This talk will present the results of a long-term study that measured and quantified numerous benefits produced by an urban food garden and demonstrate how urban agriculture's benefits can be documented.

Presenters
avatar for John Zahina-Ramos

John Zahina-Ramos

President, Consultant, 21st Century Sustainability Consulting, LLC
Dr. Z is the author of the award-winning book Just One Backyard: One Man's Search for Food Sustainability and has been featured on the PBS series Victory Garden's EdibleFEAST. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in the Biological Sciences and a Ph.D. in Geosciences. His dissertation research... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:10pm - 2:40pm
rms. 40, 41

2:10pm

Of Oak Trees and Little Animals
Nine years of experiments indicate that acorn predators, animals that cache acorns, canopy openings, and the height of surface vegetation are the most important influences on the establishment of oak seedlings. I review many alternative hypotheses concerning problems with oak regeneration and then propose several site treatments to foster the establishment of seedlings.

Presenters
TS

Thomas Simpson

McHenry County Conservation District


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:10pm - 2:40pm
rm. 21

2:10pm

Restoring Multi-Layered Habitat in a Migrant Bird Hotspot
LaBagh Woods is the last stop and first respite for migrant birds traveling the Chicago River, flying over the Big City. Forest Preserve volunteers partnered with Chicago Ornithological Society and other organizations to restore native shrubs as invasives were removed. Four years and 2500 shrubs later, many lessons have been learned about native shrub species, habitats, partnerships and plantings.

Presenters
JP

Judith Pollock

Living Habitats, Chicago Audubon Society, Chicago Ornithological Society
avatar for Jeff Skrentny

Jeff Skrentny

Restoration / Workday Leader, FPCC Volunteer
I began birding on January 1, 2006, after reading the "The Big Year" by Mark Obmascik. My first species seen as a birder was a Bald Eagle. I have been a birder and lister ever since. This mild birding proficiency turned into invites to join my kids' 3rd - 5th grade Mighty Acorn program... Read More →
avatar for Derek Ziomber

Derek Ziomber

North Branch Field Organizer, Friends of the Forest Preserves
I seek to be as well-rounded of a naturalist as I possibly can, but my main areas of interest are botany and mycology. I believe that volunteers are the heart of the conservation movement and in my current job as a field organizer for volunteer stewardship in the Cook Count Forest... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:10pm - 2:40pm
rm. 44

2:10pm

The Battle for Our Wetlands: How to use Warrior Sedges to Fight Against Wetland Invasives
Reed Canary Grass, Cattails, and Phragmites have had a stronghold on our wetlands for too long. Now is the time to fight back! Who better to help win this battle, but the ten warrior sedges. These brave souls will help you reclaim wetlands in your preserve and build a matrix that can be used to create vital habitat for our native flora and fauna.

Presenters
KS

Kevin Scheiwiller

Restoration Manager, Citizens for Conservation


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:10pm - 2:40pm
rms. 23-32

2:10pm

The Nuts and Bolts of Community Engagement
Engaging the public in creating a cleaner river is imperative as it will be through people's personal and political actions that we see positive changes. What does engagement really mean? Friends is happy to share how we’ve been successful in creating a community of river stewards.

Presenters
avatar for Annette Anderson

Annette Anderson

Volunteer and Event Specialist, Friends of the Chicago River
I enjoy organizing communities to value and take care of their water resources. My experience is in values based communications, volunteer management, and event planning. You can also talk to me about dogs, yoga, music, Chicago, traveling... if I don't know about it, I'd love to learn... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:10pm - 2:40pm
rm. 51

2:10pm

The Prairie Sings to Me: City Poets Write of the Country
In the 1910s three poets found fame in Chicago: one who captured the dynamism of the city (Carl Sandburg), one who traveled the country’s roadways performing his verses (Vachel Lindsday), and one who exposed the hard truths of small towns (Edgar Lee Masters). Connecting them all was the Illinois landscape, the prairie that sang to the poet.

Presenters
PD

Paul Durica

Illinois Humanities


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:10pm - 2:40pm
rm. 50

2:10pm

The State of Chicago Wilderness Grasslands and their Management
The CW Grassland Bird Task Force has recently completed an assessment of grassland management activities in Chicago Wilderness. We will discuss the implications of current management regimes on imperiled grassland bird species as well as how we might make more informed landscape-level management decisions. We will also provide an update on regional grassland bird trends from the last few years.

Presenters
JH

Jim Herkert

Illinois Audubon Society
DS

Daniel Suarez

Audubon Great Lakes


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:10pm - 2:40pm
rms. 42, 43

2:10pm

Where Do Blue-spotted Salamanders Spend the Summer?
After breeding season, amphibians disperse into the woods or prairies to eat, grow, and live. We set up cover boards throughout a local woodland to learn where blue-spotted salamanders spend their time outside of breeding season. We looked at areas of higher and lower floristic quality, including areas degraded by buckthorn or excessive shade. Does terrestrial habitat quality matter for amphibians?

Presenters
avatar for Karen Glennemeier

Karen Glennemeier

Research Biologist, John G. Shedd Aquarium
My goal as a research biologist is to learn things that can help inform stewardship and be of practical use to stewards and land managers. I'm currently studying the response to restoration of amphibians and other inhabitants of ephemeral pond communities and would love to connect... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:10pm - 2:40pm
rm. 48

2:10pm

Wild Indigo Nature Explorations: A Model Framework for Building Culturally-Resonant Programs in Collaboration with Communities of Color
By building programs in collaboration with community, Wild Indigo helps to address the barriers that make natural spaces inaccessible to communities of color, and begins to dismantle perceptions that nature is not for them. Three Wild Indigo educators present on their experiences using the Wild Indigo framework for engaging diverse communities in Chicago, IL; Lake County, IL; and Detroit, MI

Presenters
SG

Sanaa Green

Audubon Great Lakes
CJ

Charmeise Jackson

Audubon Great Lakes
CR

Carina Ruiz

Audubon Great Lakes


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:10pm - 2:40pm
rm. 45

2:50pm

Beetles, Spiders and Mites Oh-My: An Introduction to Entomology and its Use in Restoration and Educational Efforts in Chicago Wilderness
Insects and their kin represent some of the most diverse and abundant animal life in the world. This presentation will introduce the audience to how insects are monitored and what they can tell us about their habitat. The author also discusses how insects are used in restoration efforts as well as their application to educational outreach in Chicago.

Presenters
avatar for J. Cristian Martinez

J. Cristian Martinez

Faculty Fellow, Harper College
Hi, I'm Cristian Martínez, I'm an entomologist in Chicago where I work as a Biology instructor and ecologist. My research focuses on forest land management history, leaf litter qualities and what effect both have on the arthropod community. I'm particularly interested in how invasive... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:50pm - 3:20pm
rm. 22

2:50pm

Bobcat—Illinois' Native Cat
The Illinois Bobcat Foundation will lead you through the history of bobcats and legislation in Illinois and Chris Jacques will discuss ongoing bobcat research at Western Illinois University. This includes evaluating the efficacy of camera traps for estimating abundance and continued research to develop a camera study protocol for density estimation and to evaluate survival and cause-specific mortality factors.

Presenters
CJ

Christopher Jacques

Department of Biological Sciences, Western Illinois University
avatar for Jennifer Kuroda

Jennifer Kuroda

Illinois Bobcat Foundation


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:50pm - 3:20pm
rms. 23-32

2:50pm

Broadening the Base: Community Outreach and Engagement
A panel of local experts will share their knowledge on community outreach and engagement in the field of conservation. Discussions on how to network in a specific community, reach people using video and social media, and attract diverse audiences will take place followed by a question/answer session.

Presenters
avatar for Nina Baki

Nina Baki

Community Outreach Coordinator, Forest Preserves of Cook County
Nina Baki is the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Over the past 15 years, Nina has worked in the field of conservation connecting people to the outdoors through interpretive programs and activities.  Currently, Nina works on outreach and engagement... Read More →
avatar for Brandon Hayes

Brandon Hayes

Director of Communications, Openlands
Brandon Hayes has spent his entire career in nonprofit communications. Before Openlands, he was at the youth arts education organization, Marwen, and was a publicist for Goodman Theatre. Additionally, he is a photographer and essayist, chronicling all fifty-nine US National Parks... Read More →
MM

Mila Marshall

University of Illinois at Chicago


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:50pm - 3:20pm
rms. 42, 43

2:50pm

Climate Change in the Chicago Area
Human-induced climate change is already occurring in the Chicago area with significant impacts for the rest of the 21st century and beyond. Besides temperature and precipitation trends, we are experiencing shifts in extremes and more variability. These will be discussed as well as an overview of the National Climate Assessment released in December 2018.

Presenters
avatar for Jim Angel

Jim Angel

Climate Scientist
Climate scientist with Ph.D. and 34 years experience of the climate of the Midwest, specializing in ag and water resources.


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:50pm - 3:20pm
rm. 47

2:50pm

Good News and Bad News
Learn about new discoveries that reveal both good news and bad news. There is good news about supporting urban pollinators (research on creating successful urban bat habitat and best practices for transforming weedy urban areas into pollinator-supporting vegetation). While the bad news involves jumping worms: a critical challenge, since they are making their way into Illinois.

Presenters
avatar for Tricia Bethke

Tricia Bethke

USDA APHIS, The Morton Arboretum and M.S. student in NRES at UIUC
avatar for Claudia Boothe

Claudia Boothe

bat conservation scientist, Urban Rivers and M.S. student in Environmental Sciences at UIUC
Bat conservationist at Urban Rivers Islands on the Chicago River, grad student at UIUC, teacher, photographer. Volunteer with the Will County Forest Preserve Bat Survey program. I love bat blitzes, field work, outreach education and helping others find their passion in the scie... Read More →
PH

Piper Hodson

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences
ES

Eleanor Schumacher

Illinois Department of Agriculture and 2018 graduate of NRES M.S. program at UIUC


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:50pm - 3:20pm
rm. 49

2:50pm

Is the Glass Half Full? The Science and Art of Science Communication
An engaged and empowered public is necessary to tackle conservation issues. This interactive presentation focuses on science communication. There is pervasive negative messaging in the field of environmental science. Science communication can break down apathy and inspire conservation action. This presentation will investigate how conservation issues are framed and effective science communication.

Presenters
avatar for Maggie Warren

Maggie Warren

Advance Inquiry Program, Brookfield Zoo


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:50pm - 3:20pm
rm. 44

2:50pm

Living on the Edge: Rare Plants in Ravine, Bluff, and Dune Communities
Many factors contribute to plant rarity including limited distribution, habitat specificity, habitat loss, and fragmentation. Rare species in ravine, bluff, and dune habitats are especially vulnerable to erosion of habitat due to extreme weather events and lake level fluctuations. We will discuss what Plants of Concern data tell us about species in these dynamic communities.

Presenters
DD

Daniella DeRose

Plants of Concern, Chicago Botanic Garden
GK

Gretel Kiefer

Manager, Plants of Concern, Chicago Botanic Garden


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:50pm - 3:20pm
rm. 46

2:50pm

Love Warblers? Give Lots of Love to LaBagh!
LaBagh Woods has recorded as many warblers at a site in Cook County as any other site, even including Montrose. Why is LaBagh such a great place to see warblers? What warblers can you expect to see? How are we restoring it to make it even more warbler friendly? Learn this and more, AND take the warbler ID quiz to see if you are ready for 2019's spring migration.

Presenters
avatar for Jeff Skrentny

Jeff Skrentny

Restoration / Workday Leader, FPCC Volunteer
I began birding on January 1, 2006, after reading the "The Big Year" by Mark Obmascik. My first species seen as a birder was a Bald Eagle. I have been a birder and lister ever since. This mild birding proficiency turned into invites to join my kids' 3rd - 5th grade Mighty Acorn program... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:50pm - 3:20pm
rm. 48

2:50pm

People, Places, and Prehistory: The Environment(s) of Metro Chicago
The archaeological record of the Chicago area reflects people’s interaction with, and use of, the landscapes over the past 12,000 years. Over this period, the landscape has changed—from tundra, to woodland, to prairie. This presentation will describe how archaeologists reconstruct the past environment to understand the complex interaction of humans and their surroundings though time.

Presenters
avatar for Clare Tolmie

Clare Tolmie

Senior Research Archaeologist, Illinois State Archaeological Survey


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:50pm - 3:20pm
rm. 45

2:50pm

SPLIT SESSION: Innovative Partnership for Habitat Restoration on a Regional Scale / Transforming a 2-Acre Sedge Meadow Surrounded by Buckthorn into 90 Acres of Excellence with No Budget: It’s Called Yonder Prairie
Innovative Partnership for Habitat Restoration on a Regional Scale
Kim Kreiling, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Karl Gnaedinger, The Nature Conservancy; Dr. Lauren Umek, Chicago Park District
The Calumet Conservation Compact was signed by Chicago Park District, Forest Preserves of Cook County, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, and The Nature Conservancy to partner on regional habitat goals. Three members from this partnership will discuss how they were able to bring in over $2.3m in grants for habitat restoration and the ongoing results.

Ecological Restoration and Land Management
Melissa Grycan, The Land Conservancy of McHenry County
I think that the people doing my line of work, well, they’re sometimes not great presenters. Perhaps it’s because we take solace in nature, or don’t like being around people. All of those aforementioned things apply to me, but I want to be the person who tells people about what it’s like to actually be me. And what it feels like to preserve these lands.

Presenters
KG

Karl Gnaedinger

The Nature Conservancy
MG

Melissa Grycan

The Land Conservancy of McHenry County
avatar for Kim Kreiling

Kim Kreiling

Illinois Department of Natural Resources
avatar for Lauren Umek

Lauren Umek

Chicago Park District


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:50pm - 3:20pm
rms. 54, 56, 58

2:50pm

The Impact of Public/Private Partnerships
The Forest Preserve Foundation, a public/private partnership with the Forest Preserves of Cook County, will present reflections on our strategic plans. We'll discuss how lessons learned through our first plan implementation have shaped and will guide our second plan vision, identify our opportunities, and position us to meet new challenges.

In this session Mike Nowak will interview Shelley Davis and live stream the interview on Facebook.

Presenters
SD

Shelley Davis

Forest Preserve Foundation

Sponsors

Saturday February 23, 2019 2:50pm - 3:20pm
rms. 55,57

2:50pm

The Impact of the Approach
There is general agreement and an understanding that it's important to get the word out, to involve and include people in all things nature and environment. The "how" to get that done is not intrinsic to the desire and need to connect and take action. This experience will inform and incite those in attendance about what should be considered when connecting with people for the sake of the environment/nature.

Presenters
avatar for Debra Williams

Debra Williams

Community Outreach Coordinator, The Nature Conservancy/IBP


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:50pm - 3:20pm
rm. 50

2:50pm

The Power of Art to Engage, Inspire & Inform
We need new tools to cut through the digital clutter and engage audiences in critical environmental issues. Art does just that. It spurs curiosity, cultivates wonder. It can be interactive, surprising, evocative—memorable. New partnerships seize on this powerful way to promote learning and action. An artist and an environmental communicator offer case studies and insight into what’s possible.

Presenters
avatar for Barbara Cooper

Barbara Cooper

Artist
Barbara Cooper works in sculpture, drawing, and public art. Additional projects include gardens and structures for dance and theater. Depending upon the objective of the project, she utilizes diverse media such as wood, metal, paper, glass, and found objects. Manipulating solid material... Read More →
avatar for Christine Esposito

Christine Esposito

Founder & Chief Connection Officer, The Ex.Change Project / Terracom
Christine Esposito has been an environmental communicator for more than 30 years. She launched Terracom in 1990 to help green organizations grow in impact through strategic communications. Most recently, through Terracom’s Ex.Change Project, she has used the power of science-inspired... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:50pm - 3:20pm
rms. 52, 53

2:50pm

The Vanishing Native Shrub Layer
Native shrubs are a relatively well known group of plants to authors and to those that walk and work in our native landscapes.The value of this group of plants seems to be a bit of a mystery. Many of our shrublands have disappeared and their reintroduction is looking like a bumpy ride. I would like to share what I know about these plants and where they fit in our native landscapes from years of tracking them.

Presenters
avatar for Kelsay Shaw

Kelsay Shaw

Owner/Botanist, Possibility Place Nursery
Got his start early working with native plants, growing prairie perennials with his brother at the age of 6. He even got his six grade teacher to let him design and install a native garden for her while still in her class. After years of working with plants he pursued a degree in... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:50pm - 3:20pm
rms. 33, 34

2:50pm

Urban Dune Restoration (Re-creation)
This panel will explore the restoration work behind Chicago's hidden dune gems. In addition to discussing the restoration (really, more of a re-creation) of these constructed systems, the panel will share examples of how this lakefront habitat type provides critical refugia for plant and animal species, as well as a platform for community conversations about urban conservation and habitat restoration.

Presenters
avatar for Alison Anastasio

Alison Anastasio

University of Chicago and Rainbow Beach Dunes Community Steward, Chicago Park District
urban ecology and evolution; plants; teaching environmental and urban studies at University of Chicago; grad programs in biological and environmental fields; Rainbow Beach Dunes stewardship; plant and human communities in the Calumet region
JH

John Henry Drake

The Nature Conservancy in Indiana
avatar for Edward Warden

Edward Warden

John G. Shedd Aquarium
Moss, birds, social media... | ALL THE THINGS
AW

Ann Whelan

Loyola Beach Dunes Community Steward, Chicago Park District


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:50pm - 3:20pm
rms. 40, 41

2:50pm

Wilding the Pavement for Nature Play
The Children's School of Oak Park, a progressive K-8 school, turned their parking lot into a nature play space on a nonprofit budget. Children's School educators will use inspiring images of the transformation for a guided discussion about place-based community building, mixed-ages environmental education, navigating risky play, and strategies for letting children lead in both nature play and planning.

Presenters
avatar for Will Hudson

Will Hudson

6th Grade Teacher / Middle Level Coordinator, The Children's School
People could talk to me about the importance of open-ended play for adolescents in natural settings; curriculum development based on student input and interests; creating and the challenge of maintaining sit spot routines and sensory awareness activities.
avatar for Christina Martin

Christina Martin

Director of Curriculum & Instruction, The Children\'s School
Progressive education, social justice, play-based and project-based curriculum
avatar for Lea Schweitz

Lea Schweitz

Outdoor Education Consultant, The Children's School of Oak Park
I am a writer, outdoor education consultant, director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science, and naturemama of two kiddos. I'd love to talk more about nature writing, outdoor education, nature play and parenting, gardening, beekeeping, and favorite urban/suburban hikes.


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:50pm - 3:20pm
rm. 51

2:50pm

Winter Tree and Shrub Identification
Winter is the best time invasive tree and brush removal but most people learn plants during the growing season. This presentation will focus on the identification of native and non-native trees and shrubs by taking a closer look at bark, seeds, and buds; an essential skill set for those responsible for removing invasive woodies and protecting the native ones. Come prepared for hands-on learning and a quiz.

Presenters
RC

Rebecca Collings

Forest Preserves of Cook County


Saturday February 23, 2019 2:50pm - 3:20pm
rm. 21

3:30pm

A Photographic Journey of the Calumet Region
Explore nature preserves in the Calumet Region, an area connected by the Calumet River. Ranging from the Lake Michigan shoreline to dunes, wetlands, and woodlands, the Calumet is home to a dizzying array of plants and animals. This region includes part of Southern Cook County, IL, and portions of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties, IN, including Pullman Nat'l Monument and Indiana Dunes Nat'l Lakeshore.

Presenters
SK

Susan Kirt

Susan Kirt Photography


Saturday February 23, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm
rm. 44

3:30pm

Acoustic Ecology: A Socially-Engaged Sonic Arts Approach in Urban and Natural Environments
Acoustic ecology, also known as soundscape studies or ecoacoustics, is a multi-disciplinary field studying the relationship between an individual and its environment mediated by sound. Active, socially embedded approaches at the intersections of art and science investigate environmental patterns and change in sound. From the artist’s own practice, key works will be introduced, using readily available audio recording technologies.


Presenters
avatar for Eric Leonardson

Eric Leonardson

Co-chair/Founder, Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology
Eric is a Chicago-based audio artist, teaching in the Department of Sound at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), and a founder and co-chair of the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE). Established in 2009, MSAE is a membership organization dedicated to exploring... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm
rms. 42, 43

3:30pm

Bird Conservation in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Bird monitors, researchers and stewards discuss what it takes to maintain or restore key bird habitat types. They will share a new publication that uses monitoring data to identify the most important preserves for birds in the Cook County Forest Preserves and shares best practices for habitat restoration. Two smaller preserves with many challenges and attempted solutions—Somme Prairie Grove and Somme Prairie Nature Preserve—serve as examples. Bring your questions!

Presenters
JH

Jim Herkert

Illinois Audubon Society
SP

Stephen Packard

Site Steward, Somme Preserves
JP

Judith Pollock

Living Habitats, Chicago Audubon Society, Chicago Ornithological Society
LR

Laurel Ross

Chicago Audubon Society


Saturday February 23, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm
rms. 33, 34

3:30pm

Bridging the Gap Between Knowledge and Restoration Using Technology for Adaptive Management in the Fight Against Invasive Phragmites.
A cross-disciplinary team from AES is developing new technology, field management techniques, and ecological responses for adaptive management on Phragmites infestations within ecological restoration sites. Aerial imaging and remote sensing approaches are contributing to efficiencies of Phragmites monitoring in the Lake Michigan basin and elsewhere, with significant agency, academic, and NGO collaboration.

Presenters
avatar for Will Overbeck

Will Overbeck

Applied Ecological Services, Inc.
A plant ecologist active in ecological restoration, I graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003, where I studied scientific illustration at the Field Museum of Natural History. I have worked on restoration of prairies, savannas, and woodlands in the Chicago... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm
rm. 49

3:30pm

Building A Weather-Ready Nation
This presentation will provide an overview of National Weather Service operations and information. We will also discuss safety and preparedness information pertinent to those spending time outside.

Presenters
MB

Mike Bardou

Field Museum Affliate


Saturday February 23, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm
rm. 50

3:30pm

Cavity-nesting Birds in Chicago's Cemeteries
Cemeteries comprise only a small part of Chicago's urban forest, but to wildlife they offer resources that are difficult to find in the surrounding hardscape. One resource is dead and dying trees (“snags”), on which cavity-nesting birds depend for nesting and foraging. In Chicago’s cemeteries we assessed snag availability as well as other aspects of habitat quality as relevant to cavity-nesting birds.

Presenters
AS

Alexis Smith

University of Illinois at Chicago


Saturday February 23, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm
rms. 52, 53

3:30pm

Chicago Urban Greenprint: Combining Social and Environmental Data to Determine Target Locations for Conservation in Cook County
The Nature Conservancy collaborated with local partners at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and Morton Arboretum to look at areas in Cook County that have poor air quality, high risk of flooding, and high heat. We layered this with data on income level and high percentages of youth and elderly to identify neighborhoods where conservation interventions will make the biggest difference.

Presenters
SH

Sarah Hagen

The Nature Conservancy
JL

John Legge

The Nature Conservancy


Saturday February 23, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm
rm. 47

3:30pm

Discussing the New Illinois Fires Accomplished Map: What Gets Measured Gets Done
This Map is unique in that we use a base map of all protected areas in the state, and then layer all polygons of accomplished fires submitted by various agencies. The short presentation of the map will be followed by this opening discussion question: What would a successful fire program look like on this map? What effective habits can we use to improve our fire programs?

Presenters
avatar for Bill Kleiman

Bill Kleiman

Project Director, IL Fire Manager, The Nature Conservancy, Nachusa Grasslands


Saturday February 23, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm
rms. 54, 56, 58

3:30pm

Friends of the Chicago River: A Q&A on How to Build an Environmental Organization
Sparked by a magazine article headlined “Our Friendless River” 40 years ago, Friends of the Chicago River today has a dozen employees, 6,000 supporters, and oversees projects ranging from school programming to wildlife habitat restoration to influencing policy. In a Q&A, executive director Margaret Frisbie talks about the challenges and successes of running a non-profit environmental organization.

Presenters
avatar for Margaret Frisbie

Margaret Frisbie

Executive Director, Friends of the Chicago River
avatar for Andrew Herrmann

Andrew Herrmann

Communications Director, Friends of the Chicago River
Communications director for Friends of the Chicago River, an environmental non-profit whose mission is to improve and protect the Chicago River system for people, plants and animals.


Saturday February 23, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm
rms. 55,57

3:30pm

Healing People and the Planet
The Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods is dedicated to connecting people to art and nature, and has been developing programming aimed at increasing access to nature and the arts for disadvantaged populations. This presentation will explore the health benefits of art and nature, and the ways that environmental organizations can increase equitable access to these benefits through programs and partnerships.

Presenters
avatar for Dani Abboud

Dani Abboud

Program Coordinator, Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods
Dani Abboud is the Program Coordinator of Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods. Dani plans and facilitates all art and nature based programming at Brushwood, and manages volunteers and social media. She is a recent graduate of Loyola University Chicago’s Institute of Environmental... Read More →
avatar for Catherine Game

Catherine Game

Executive Director, Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods
Catherine Game is the Executive Director of Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods. Catherine ensures that the legacy of Brushwood Center thrives through strong partnerships and inspiring programs that connect art, nature, and wellness. Prior to joining Brushwood Center, Catherine served... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm
rm. 46

3:30pm

I Don't See as Many Butterflies as I Used To. Is This Statement Really True?
The Illinois Butterfly Monitoring Network tracks long-term trends in butterfly populations. A significant decline in abundance was observed from 1997 to 2017. Declines were observed both regionally and in individual counties, and involve aggregate observations without regard to species. Declines include common species that have previously been regarded as well-adapted to human-altered habitats.

Presenters
AL

Allen Lawrance

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
DT

Doug Taron

Chicago Academy of Sciences, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum


Saturday February 23, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm
rm. 22

3:30pm

iNaturalist Workshop
Get an intro to iNaturalist, a community science platform and global network of people making observations of nature. Learn how to create observations of flora & fauna, get help with identification, create projects, and use iNat data for restoration planning, nature education, monitoring, and research. This talk is for anyone new to iNat such as educators, stewards, professionals, or the general public.

Presenters
avatar for cassi saari

cassi saari

ecologist, ecology + vision, llc
I am an ecological consultant in the Chicago region with expertise in ecological restoration design and monitoring, from small backyards to huge forest preserves. Talk nerdy to me about plants, habitat restoration, and community science. At 3:30 PM, I'm presenting on iNaturalist... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm
rm. 45

3:30pm

Mosses of the Chicago Region: What Little We Know, and Where We Go
The moss flora of the Chicago region is understudied and research across the region is difficult to trace. This presentation will deliver a comprehensive overview of our current knowledge of moss diversity and distribution in the region, utilizing a century of literature and herbarium records. A discussion will follow to consider what steps can be taken next to begin filling in the knowledge gaps.

Presenters
avatar for Edward Warden

Edward Warden

John G. Shedd Aquarium
Moss, birds, social media... | ALL THE THINGS


Saturday February 23, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm
rms. 23-32

3:30pm

Oak Roots: Their Life From Acorn to Oak Tree
For the past forty years I have tried to improve the root systems of the oak trees that we have produced and found that the more I find out the less I really seem to know about them. We have used several growing methods over the years and found that the closer—and further!—we kept things to/from nature the better the oaks did. Those two points are hard to reconcile and I'd like to share how.

Presenters
CS

Connor Shaw

Possibility Place Nursery


Saturday February 23, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm
rm. 21

3:30pm

On the Banks of the (Pre-Contact) Little Calumet
Between 1300 and 1400 AD, a sizable Native American village was located on the banks of the Little Calumet River. This presentation describes excavations of this site by the Illinois State Archaeological Survey, which revealed an abundance of resources hunted, grown, and harvested by the inhabitants, and highlights the relationship between the villagers and the 14th century environment of the area.

Presenters
MB

Melissa Baltus

University of Toledo


Saturday February 23, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm
rm. 48

3:30pm

The Driftless Reader: Exploring a Literature of Place
In 2017 the University of Wisconsin Press published The Driftless Reader, a collection of readings from and about the Midwest’s Driftless Area. Curt Meine, who co-edited the volume with Keefe Keeley, will share the story of their effort to capture through literature and images the bioregional identity of the Driftless—and what this project can tell us about efforts to explore other literatures of place.

Presenters
CM

Curt Meine

Senior Fellow, Aldo Leopold Foundation, Center for Humans and Nature


Saturday February 23, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm
rm. 51

3:30pm

Women in Conservation
Join a round table discussion on women in conservation. As women take a greater role in the field navigating a career path can be challenging. An open discussion group will allow for shared experiences and ideas for future opportunities. The speaker will share her career path and experiences and will be joined by other women in local conservation organizations.

Presenters
avatar for Melina Frezados

Melina Frezados

Forest Preserves of Cook County


Saturday February 23, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm
rms. 40, 41

4:10pm

A Day in the Life of a Field Biologist
Some people say they would love to work outside every day while others admit they wouldn't be able to handle it. So what is it really like to be a field biologist? Botanist Chris Benda will take the audience on a tour of the typical day for a field biologist including informative and engaging stories from his 15 years of fieldwork.

Presenters
avatar for Chris Benda

Chris Benda

Botanist, Illinois Botanizer
I am a botanist, contractor, teacher, author, and photographer. My specialty is natural areas, native plants, and herps. I volunteer with many organizations like the Illinois Native Plant Society.


Saturday February 23, 2019 4:10pm - 4:55pm
rms. 33, 34

4:10pm

Community Science - Stories from All-Star Bird Monitors
We'll hear from local volunteers about their adventures in the field and learn more about bird monitoring projects that they have been contributing to. Each citizen scientist will provide a brief introduction about their project, a story from the field and an opportunity for audience members to learn more about how they can participate.  Presenters include: Mike McNamee (Orland Grasslands), Rich and Marion Miller (Chimney Swifts), Libby Keyes (Secretive March Bird Surveys), and Suzanne Erin (Climate Watch Surveys and Hyde Park Cemetery).

Presenters
avatar for Stephanie Beilke

Stephanie Beilke

Audubon Great Lakes
DH

Diane Hicks

Bird Conservation Network


Saturday February 23, 2019 4:10pm - 4:55pm
rms. 40, 41

4:10pm

I love the Trash Forest: Invading Invaded Woodlands
In a love letter to urban nature in the anthropocene, we rethink pedagogies of ecological restoration, reclaiming marginal and invaded ecosystems as natural habitat for children. Playworkers from Fraternal Forest will share lessons learned from a spontaneous experiment in outdoor adventure play. The Welles Park NaturePlace group will share stories about a successful nature play space built through a community organization process.

Presenters
AE

Alex Enarson-Hering

Fraternal Forest
SH

Sol Hinami-Mayorga

Fraternal Forest
avatar for Kathleen Soler

Kathleen Soler

Fraternal Forest


Saturday February 23, 2019 4:10pm - 4:55pm
rms. 55,57

4:10pm

People and Places: the Foundation for the Evolution of Ecological Restoration in the Midwest
Our session will highlight the evolution of ecological restoration in the Midwest since its origins. The first presenter will discuss the legacy of restoration in the Midwest with a focus on the contributions of Chicagoland individuals. The second presenter will review regional case studies and how the field continues to develop in response to changing land-use, climate, and invasive species.

Presenters
CL

Christian Lenhart

University of Minnesota, Ecological Engineering Program, BBE Department and The Nature Conservancy’s MN, ND, and SD Chapter
RS

Rocky Smiley

USDA Agricultural Research Service


Saturday February 23, 2019 4:10pm - 4:55pm
rm. 49

4:10pm

SPLIT SESSION: Baltimore Checkerspots Are Remarkable: Mark and Recapture Study and Habitat Restoration for One of the Iconic Butterflies in the Chicago Region / Using Radio Telemetry to Monitor Movements of Common Mudpuppies (Necturus maculosus) in Wolf L
Baltimore Checkerspots Are Remarkable: Mark and Recapture Study and Habitat Restoration for One of the Iconic Butterflies in the Chicago Region
Tom Velat, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
Since 2010, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been conducting mark and recapture studies and restoration work for the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas phaeton). Hear a brief background of the species status in our area and observations of its response to management and rainfall at the District’s only known breeding population in DuPage County.

Using Radio Telemetry to Monitor Movements of Common Mudpuppies (Necturus maculosus) in Wolf Lake, Chicago
Jared Bilak, SIU/Shedd Aquarium; Matt Whiles; Robin Warne; Phil Willink, The Aquarius Project
The common mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus) is listed as an Illinois threatened species, yet its seasonal behavior is not well understood. Working with the Shedd Aquarium, we implanted 27 radio telemetry transmitters over two study periods to track mudpuppy habitat use throughout the year in Wolf Lake, Chicago. Significant movements during one study period were initiated by temperature changes.

A collaborative approach to understanding the bats of Northeastern Illinois
Liza Lehrer, Urban Wildlife Institute, Lincoln Park Zoo; Juanita Armstrong-Ullberg and Jessica Prince, Forest Preserve District of Will County; Greg Rajsky, Severson Dells Nature Center
Bats play a vital role in our ecosystem yet are currently facing several major threats. Several agencies are collaborating in a coordinated study to monitor bats in Northeastern Illinois. Bat calls are recorded by volunteers who walk transects through local natural areas. These data will be used to determine how bats use the region’s urban landscape and how the bat community is changing over time.

Presenters
JB

Jared Bilak

Student, Southern Illinois University, Shedd Aquarium
LL

Liza Lehrer

Urban Wildlife Institute, Lincoln Park Zoo
avatar for Jessica Prince

Jessica Prince

Forest Preserve District of Will County
Interpretation Skills | ADA Programing | Mentoring the Next Generation
avatar for Gregory Rajsky

Gregory Rajsky

Principal / Consulting Naturalist, True Nature Consulting
Helping property owners to discover the true nature of their holdings through ecological assessment, habitat enhancement, education, and restoration.
avatar for Tom Velat

Tom Velat

Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
avatar for Philip Willink

Philip Willink

The Aquarius Project


Saturday February 23, 2019 4:10pm - 4:55pm
rm. 47

4:10pm

SPLIT SESSION: Distribution of Flying Squirrels in DuPage County / White-tailed Deer in the Chicago Area
Distribution of Flying Squirrels in DuPage County
Brian Kraskiewicz, DuPage County Forest Preserves
The Southern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys volans) is an arboreal, nocturnal rodent that has been rarely studied in urban and suburban landscapes.  Thought to be common throughout Illinois, southern flying squirrels are rarely observed due to their activity patterns, elusiveness, and small size.  Using trail cameras we investigated the distribution within DuPage County.

White-tailed Deer in the Chicago Area
Mike Neri, Forest Preserves of Cook County 
Deer are found all over the region.  We will look at the history of the herd and what research can tell us about management going forward.

Presenters
BK

Brian Kraskiewicz

DuPage County Forest Preserves
avatar for Michael Neri

Michael Neri

Forest Preserves of Cook County


Saturday February 23, 2019 4:10pm - 4:55pm
rm. 21

4:10pm

SPLIT SESSION: Habitat Potential of Post-industrial Landscapes / Novel Ecosystems : What's All the Fuss About?
Habitat Potential of Post-industrial Landscapes
Dr. Lauren Umek, Chicago Park District and Alison Anastasio, University of Chicago
Slag is a byproduct from the steel industry with properties similar to dolomite. Restoration ecology methods suggest to cover slag fields with at least 12" of topsoil, but existing plant communities suggest that these sites could host unique species more typical to a dolomite prairie. We present this concept and preliminary results of a study exploring the ecological potential of these sites.

Novel Ecosystems : What's All the Fuss About?
Thomas Simpson, McHenry County Conservation District
Is "Novel Ecosystem" simply another name for a buckthorn thicket? Or, is it the leading edge of a new way of looking at the practice of conservation, which rejects the past (think historical prairie or oak savanna) as relevant to our management of land for the future?  A serious consideration of Novel Ecosystems and related ideas challenges us to better understand why we do Ecological Restoration.

Presenters
avatar for Alison Anastasio

Alison Anastasio

University of Chicago and Rainbow Beach Dunes Community Steward, Chicago Park District
urban ecology and evolution; plants; teaching environmental and urban studies at University of Chicago; grad programs in biological and environmental fields; Rainbow Beach Dunes stewardship; plant and human communities in the Calumet region
TS

Thomas Simpson

McHenry County Conservation District
avatar for Lauren Umek

Lauren Umek

Chicago Park District


Saturday February 23, 2019 4:10pm - 4:55pm
rm. 22

4:10pm

SPLIT SESSION: Headwater Streams - An Aquatic Menagerie in your Neighborhood or Backyard / Plum Creek Stream Restoration: Lessons Learned from Six Years of Planning, Engineering, and Permitting that Led to Thirty Days of Construction
Headwater Streams - An Aquatic Menagerie in your Neighborhood or Backyard
Ders Anderson and Laura Barghusen, Openlands
Headwater streams, those 2500+ small 1st and 2nd order creeks spread throughout the Chicago Wilderness region, are potentially full of hidden aquatic biodiversity just waiting for you to be the first to explore, discover, and report on. If you are restoring or stewarding terrestrial habitats, learn how to include the amazing aquatic biodiversity in those little creeks on your site.

Plum Creek Stream Restoration:  Lessons Learned from Six Years of Planning, Engineering, and Permitting that Led to Thirty Days of Construction  
Zach Taylor, Friends of the Forest Preserves; Josh Arrigoni and Aaron Feggestad, Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.; Chip O’Leary, Forest Preserves of Cook County
The idea was to restore 1,150 bank feet of Plum Creek by pulling back a heavily channelized and eroding slope, protecting banks, and creating in-stream pools.  Turns out it wasn’t that simple.  “I guess you can’t do stream projects in Cook County” was a phrase uttered by all.  Extensive and costly permitting coupled with ballooning cost had us considering options for returning grant money.

Presenters
DA

Ders Anderson

Openlands
JA

Josh Arrigoni

Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.
LB

Laura Barghusen

Aquatic Ecologist, Openlands
Laura Barghusen is an Aquatic Ecologist at Openlands, a non-profit located in Chicago that protects the natural and open spaces of northeastern Illinois and the surrounding region. Laura works to improve access to northeastern Illinois Water Trails and to encourage education and stewardship... Read More →
AF

Aaron Feggestad

Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.
avatar for Chip O'Leary

Chip O'Leary

Deputy Director of Resource Management, Forest Preserves of Cook County
Chip O’Leary is the Deputy Director for Resource Management at the Forest Preserves of Cook County. He has been a restoration ecologist in the Chicago Wilderness Region for 20 years. He has worked on large-scale prairie and wetland restorations and revitalization of oak savannas... Read More →
ZT

Zach Taylor

Friends of the Forest Preserves


Saturday February 23, 2019 4:10pm - 4:55pm
rm. 46

4:10pm

SPLIT SESSION: How to Monitor 2500 Shrubs Planted by Volunteers in an Urban Forest Preserve—A Learning Experience / Rapid Floristic Quality Assessment as a Stewardship Tool
How to Monitor 2500 Shrubs Planted by Volunteers in an Urban Forest Preserve—A Learning Experience
Linda Marton, Chicago Ornithological Society and Jamie Doherty, Centennial Volunteers
Over the last three years, volunteers have planted more than 2,000 shrubs in LaBagh Woods, a forest preserve located on Chicago’s north side. A monitoring program has been established to collect data on the plantings using an app. This discussion will focus on the planning and development of this volunteer program, the challenges faced along the way, and some useful examples for building a similar program.

Rapid Floristic Quality Assessment as a Stewardship Tool
Mark Hauser, Friends of the Chicago River
The Centennial Volunteers project has been using a Rapid Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA) to measure the ecological condition or quality of areas under restoration. Evaluating these sites using this metric and the % native plant coverage, has allowed stewards to make meaningful management decisions. During this case study we will demonstrate this easy method of calculating ecosystem health.

Presenters
avatar for Jamie Doherty

Jamie Doherty

FPDCC Volunteer
While looking for activities for Earth Day, I stumbled upon the Centennial Volunteer program at LaBagh woods in Chicago. I fell in love with the work that they were doing there and now almost three years later, I have become a member of the leadership team. Along with Linda Marton... Read More →
avatar for Mark Hauser

Mark Hauser

Ecology Outreach Manager, Friends of the Chicago River
Mark has been with Friends of the Chicago River since September 2007. He has managed the Chicago River Schools Network since that time, and has recently begun training volunteers to repair gullies, monitor wildlife habitat and conduct plant surveys along the river in support of restoration... Read More →
avatar for Linda Marton

Linda Marton

Chicago Ornithological Society


Saturday February 23, 2019 4:10pm - 4:55pm
rms. 52, 53

4:10pm

SPLIT SESSION: Pilot Study on the Importance of Patch Size to Urban Monarch Butterfly Larval Survivorship / Can Suburbs and Small Towns Save the Monarch Butterfly? / Monarch Moms: Cultures of Ecological Care in the Suburbs
Pilot Study on the Importance of Patch Size to Urban Monarch Butterfly Larval Survivorship
Erika Hasle, The Field Museum and Jessica Ross, University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum 
Many people are planting milkweed to provide host plants for monarch caterpillars. We conducted a small pilot study to understand the role of patch size in successfully rearing monarch larvae from egg to chrysalis. Our presentation will highlight the results from this summer along with our lessons learned and plans to expand this project in the summer of 2019.

Can Suburbs and Small Towns Save the Monarch Butterfly?
Mark Johnston, Field Museum
It’s all over the news: monarch butterflies have plummeted over the last 20 years. Last summer “clouds of monarchs” were in suburbs and smaller cities. Are neighborhoods, suburbs, and towns getting effective habitat on the ground?  That’s what we think, so we’ve expanded our urban monarch research to focus on these areas. Join us to learn how more places can participate, and the huge implications.

Monarch Moms: Cultures of Ecological Care in the Suburbs

Alexis Winter, Keller Science Action Center, The Field Museum 
Suburbs are often maligned as places where consumerism trumps environmentalism, but our work on monarch butterfly conservation has led us to many dedicated people raising monarchs and creating habitat for them in Chicago’s suburbs. Why has raising monarchs become such a popular activity, and how might we build on this enthusiasm? And how might we revise our understanding of suburban ecology?

Presenters
avatar for Mark Johnston

Mark Johnston

Field Museum
AW

Alexis Winter

Environmental Social Scientist, Keller Science Action Center, Field Museum


Saturday February 23, 2019 4:10pm - 4:55pm
rm. 45

4:10pm

SPLIT SESSION: Singing Insect Range Boundaries / Diversity and Ecology of Pollinator Flies in Chicago Area
Singing Insect Range Boundaries
Carl A. Strang, Volunteer, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County 
Survey work over the past decade has begun to define the range boundaries of singing insect species in the Chicago region, down to the site. Most are north range boundaries, but there also are east edges, west edges, and strange distributional holes, some of which are difficult to explain. There also are a few species whose range boundaries are dynamic, extending year by year.

Diversity and Ecology of Pollinator Flies in Chicago Area
Alan J. Molumby, James Woodworth Prairie 
A brief introduction to the diversity and ecology of pollinator flies, and discussion of some of their ecological relationships.

Presenters
avatar for Alan J. Molumby

Alan J. Molumby

University of Illinois at Chicago and James Woodworth Prairie
CS

Carl Strang

Volunteer, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
singing insects, forest restoration


Saturday February 23, 2019 4:10pm - 4:55pm
rm. 50

4:10pm

SPLIT SESSION: Understanding Ecological Corridors Along the Chicago River System / Lessons Learned in Grassland and Wetland Restoration with a Bird Habitat Focus
Understanding Ecological Corridors Along the Chicago River System
Andrew Donakowski, Friends of the Chicago River
Protecting habitat is critically important, especially in our region with fragmented habitat areas. Friends of the Chicago River has created an interactive land assessment tool that provides a lens for understanding the river system as a connected ecological corridor. This tool will advance a vision of the riverfront that protects wildlife and connects people with the river’s natural wonder.

Lessons Learned in Grassland and Wetland Restoration with a Bird Habitat Focus
Heidi Natura, Living Habitats; Judy Pollock, Living Habitats; Linda Masters, Openlands
The site now known as Bobolink Meadow Land and Water Reserve in the Forest Preserves of Cook County is a large partnership project which has realized in excess of 200 acres of wetland mitigation and well over 600 acres of contiguous grassland rich in native plant species and nesting birds such as bobolinks, northern harriers and king rails. This presentation will cover methods and lessons learned.

Presenters
RC

Rebecca Collings

Forest Preserves of Cook County
AD

Andrew Donakowski

Friends of the Chicago River
LM

Linda Masters

Site Steward, Somme Woods
avatar for Heidi Natura

Heidi Natura

Founder & Partner, Living Habitats
Since 1990, I have been actively involved in promoting the wise use of our natural resources through my planning and design work. It is my responsibility as a registered landscape architect, and mission as the leader of Living Habitats to understand and creatively express the needs... Read More →
JP

Judith Pollock

Living Habitats, Chicago Audubon Society, Chicago Ornithological Society


Saturday February 23, 2019 4:10pm - 4:55pm
rm. 44

4:10pm

SPLIT SESSION: Writing Urban Nature: Engaging the City Landscape in the Field and Online / Beasts of the Page and Pavement: Natural History, Both Imagined and Real
Writing Urban Nature: Engaging the City Landscape in the Field and Online
Mike Bryson, Roosevelt University
The environmental arts & humanities are powerful tools for exploring & engaging the urban landscape. This talk describes the Writing Urban Nature project at Roosevelt University: a field-based course which explores diverse natural ecosystems & human communities in our region, as well as an environmental humanities website featuring students' creative nonfiction & photography.

Beasts of the Page and Pavement: Natural History, Both Imagined and Real
Gavin Van Horn, Center for Humans and Nature and Liam Heneghan, DePaul University
Wild animals are all around us—populating our cities, roaming our imaginations. Join ecologist Liam Heneghan, author of Beasts at Bedtime: Revealing the Environmental Wisdom in Children’s Literature, and naturalist Gavin Van Horn, author of The Way of Coyote: Shared Journeys in the Urban Wilds, for a presentation and discussion about how animals can help us rethink and re-story our urban areas.

Presenters
avatar for Michael Bryson

Michael Bryson

Professor of Sustainability Studies, Roosevelt University
My teaching, research, and writing focus on sustainability within urban and suburban environments, city-based nature writing, the evolving notion of “urban wilderness,” the environmental and literary history of the Chicago region, and the applications of sustainability in higher... Read More →
LH

Liam Heneghan

DePaul University
GV

Gavin Van Horn

Center for Humans and Nature


Saturday February 23, 2019 4:10pm - 4:55pm
rms. 54, 56, 58

4:10pm

The Bees of the Southern Lake Michigan Region and Their Ecological Significance
More than 460 bee species have been vouchered from the Southern Lake Michigan Region, an area consisting of 47 counties in four states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The fauna and their ecologies will be presented.

Presenters
avatar for Laura Rericha-Anchor

Laura Rericha-Anchor

Wildlife Biologist, Researcher and Author, Forest Preserves of Cook County and the Conservation Research Institute
Laura Rericha, a wildlife biologist with the Forest Preserves of Cook County and research associate with the Conservation Research Institute, is the quintessential naturalist. Mentored by Floyd Swink, she has become devoted utterly to the fact that plants and animals do not live in... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 4:10pm - 4:55pm
rms. 23-32

4:10pm

The Food System Chain Game
The Chicago Botanic Garden's Windy City Harvest department focuses on sustainability and conservation through a lens of Food, Health, and Jobs. In this interactive presentation, participants will get an introduction to Windy City Harvest's work through a visual overview, and then participate in an interactive workshop that can spark discussion about the sustainability of the conventional food system.

Presenters
avatar for Rachel Kimpton

Rachel Kimpton

Coordinator, Washington Park Youth Farm, Chicago Botanic Garden, Windy City Harvest
Rachel Kimpton is a farmer and educator. She currently oversees all youth development, programming, and vegetable production at the Washington Park Youth Farm, located in historic Washington Park on Chicago's South Side. She holds a Masters Degree in Art Education from the School... Read More →


Saturday February 23, 2019 4:10pm - 4:55pm
rm. 51

4:10pm

Turning Buckthorn Into Toys and Kids Into Stewards
Buckthorn is a wonderfully unfortunate bane/boon. It is a beautiful, tough, and hearty scourge. So why not make the bully do some good for once? Learn simple tools and safe techniques to turn buckthorn into something better. Engage the youngest stewards and keep them coming back. Empower children with the trust of real tools to fuel their imagination, empathy, and ability to help the natural world.

Presenters
SS

Sean Shaffer

Naturalist, Chicago Park District
SS

Sarah Sheldon

Nature Preschool Teacher, Chicago Botanic Garden


Saturday February 23, 2019 4:10pm - 4:55pm
rms. 42, 43

4:10pm

Urban Symbiosis: A Discussion on the Impact of Natural Areas’ Stewardship on Human Communities
A panel discussion on the ways that urban natural areas stewardship benefits human communities, beyond the obvious ecological merit to this work. This panel will explore the central question of “how does our work provide benefits to the communities to which our natural areas belong?” and discuss how communication of these benefits can drive community engagement efforts.

Moderators
avatar for Forrest Cortes

Forrest Cortes

Community Stewardship Program Manager, The Nature Conservancy and Chicago Park District, The Nature Conservancy and Chicago Park District

Presenters
avatar for Katie Flores

Katie Flores

McKinley Park Natural Area Community Steward, Chicago Park District
CL

Carla Lents

Palmisano Park Natural Area Community Steward, Chicago Park District
AW

Ann Whelan

Loyola Beach Dunes Community Steward, Chicago Park District


Saturday February 23, 2019 4:10pm - 4:55pm
rm. 48

5:00pm

Poster Session and Happy Hour
Posters will be presented in an informal setting designed for networking and a free exchange of ideas. The posters' authors will discuss their work with anyone interested. Topics will include Advocacy, Ecology, Community Engagement, Youth Stewardship and more. Beer and wine will be served, you can purchase a Happy Hour Drink Ticket on Eventbrite or use the cash bar.

Artecito
OPEN Center for the Arts and Lincoln Park Zoo

Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) Cortisol Levels vs. Population and Nest Density Analysis
Nicolas Cuevas, Lincoln Park Zoo 
 
Buckthorn Control for the Budget Conscious Home Owner
James McGee

Buffalo Grove Prairie Guardians a Record of Management Activities 1989 – 2017
Ross Sweeny, Emily Oaks Nature Center

Bumble Bee Diversity and Foraging Activity at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie 
Anne Hughes-Wagner and Derek Rosenberger, Olivet-Nazarene University


Clean Energy Outreach
Brekke Bounds and Jolie Krasinski, Illinois Clean Energy

Courthouse Prairie: Rescue and Restoration of a Lake Plain Prairie in Bridgeview (Cook County)
Louis Mulé, Tallgrass Associations

Diversity and Trap Success of Turtles at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Nature Boardwalk
Shawn Arreguin, Lincoln Park Zoo

Ecology of The Region
Jodi Trendler, The Resiliency Institute

Ellipse Mussel Research
Laura Barghusen, Openlands

Endangered Species & Pollinators
Paula Sontag, Chicago Public Schools

Engaging Chicago Youth and Teachers in Field Experiences with Aquatic Ecosystems
David Bild, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Habitat Preference of Migrating Bobolink
Dawn Sasek, Oak Forest High School

Homes4Monarchs 
Peter Gordon

Illinois Botanists Big Year
Cassi Saari, Ecology + Vision llc

Illinois Milkweeds
Peter Gordon

Indirect Effects of Birds on Crop Yields in Different Agricultural Landscapes
Jennifer Paddack, University of Illinois at Chicago

Institute of Environmental Sustainability: Loyola University
Ray Dybzinski, Loyola University

King Conservation Science Scholars
Sandra Ortiz-Ortega, Chicago Zoological Society

Linking Ecosystems, Crossing Boundaries: The Barrington Greenway Initiative
Kevin Scheiwiller, The Barrington Greenway Initiative

Looking Nature in the Eye with Chcago's Traveling Aquarium
Marie Kowalski and George Parsons, The Shedd Aquarium

Making an Impact at the Local Level
Trish Beckjord, The Conservation Foundation

Mighty Acorns
Ylanda Wilhite, Field Museum

Natural Areas at College of DuPage 
Remic Ensweiler, College Of DuPage

Openlands Headwater Stream Initiatives
Laura Barghusen, Openlands

Pathway to Adventure Council - A national program leading to the Hornaday Conservation Award of the Boy Scouts of America in Chicago Wilderness
Wayne Schimpff and Robert Richmond, Boy Scouts of America Council

Programa ProTEJA
Enlace Chicago and Lincoln Park Zoo

Prospect Heights Natural Resources
Dana Sievertson, Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission

Raising Monarch Butterflies
Jamie Veibach, The Conservation Foundation

Reconstructing a South Side Prairie
Susan Kirt, Chicago State University

Somos Poderosos - We Are Powerful
Peter Gordon

Take the City Nature Challenge
Katie Miller, City Nature Challenge

Telling the Conservation Story
Veronica Henke, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

The Dixon Waterfowl Refuge BioBlitz: 24 hours, 136 humans, 900 species
Anna Bruam, Vera Leopold and Phoebe Thatcher, Wetland-Initiative

The Impact of Climate Change on Dragonflies
Jonathan Lopez, Lincoln Park Zoo

The Importance of Black Oak Savanna to Red-Headed Woodpecker Populations and Foraging Behavior
Michael King, Kimberly Zralka and Derek Rosenberger, Olivet-Nazarene University

Urban Ecology (Conservation at home, interstitial lands, food gardens)
Elizabeth Herrera, University of Illinois at Chicago

Year Three of the Illinois Bat Conservation Program
Tara C. Hohoff, Illinois Natural History Survey

Zoo Enclosure Preference of Juvenile Black-crowned Night-Herons
Shianglin Menez, Lincoln Park Zoo

Saturday February 23, 2019 5:00pm - 6:00pm
rms. 23-32

6:00pm

After Hours Meet-up at Hofbrauhaus Restaurant
Hofbrauhaus Restaurant
5500 Park Pl, Rosemont, IL 60018

A five minute walk from the Convention Center is the Hofbrauhaus Restaurant. Attendees can find authentic Bavarian food and drink here, along with additional opportunities to network with the WildThings Community. NOTE: The Hofbrauhaus and other local restaurants validate parking at the Convention Center Parking Facility, reducing or eliminating the parking cost.

Saturday February 23, 2019 6:00pm - 11:00pm
Hofbrauhaus Restaurant 5500 Park Pl, Rosemont, IL 60018