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Session 1 [clear filter]
Saturday, February 23

10:15am CST

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.


Stephen Packard

Site Steward, Somme Preserves

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

10:15am CST

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.


Allison Sacerdote-Velat

Curator of Herpetology, Chicago Academy of Sciences

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

10:15am CST

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.

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 CST
rm. 47

10:15am CST

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.


Eduardo Camacho

Community Learning Facilitator, Lincoln Park Zoo

Luis Crespo

OPEN Center for the Arts

Alma Dominguez

OPEN Center for the Arts

Ali Schneiderman

Lincoln Park Zoo

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

10:15am CST

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.

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 CST
rm. 45

10:15am CST

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.

avatar for Forrest Cortes

Forrest Cortes

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


Dan Fulwiler

CEO, Esperanza Health Centers

Jennifer Idrovo

Neighborhood Network Director, Latinos Progresando

Gladiz Nava

Community Outreach Coordinator, Openlands

Adela Perez

Community Engagement Coordinator, Latinos Progresando

Julia Vega

Parent, Kanoon Elementary School

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

10:15am CST

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.


Nataly Hernandez

The Field Museum
avatar for Robb Telfer

Robb Telfer

Morton Arboretum

Si Yuan Ye

Chicago Green Ambassadors, Field Museum

Angelique Acevedo

Field Museum Intern

Hannah Huang

Field Museum Intern

Julian Lara

Field Museum Intern

Yoalix Melendez

Field Museum Intern

Justin Tran

Field Museum Intern

Karina Garcia

Field Museum Intern

Aasia Mohammad

Field Museum

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

10:15am CST

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.

avatar for David  Dolak

David Dolak

Columbia College
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 CST
rms. 23-32

10:15am CST

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.

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 CST
rm. 44

10:15am CST

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.


M. Ross Alexander

Midwest Dendro, LLC

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 CST
rm. 22

10:15am CST

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.

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 CST
rm. 46

10:15am CST

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.

avatar for Amy Calhoun

Amy Calhoun

Marketing & Communications, College of DuPage Marketing Department

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

10:15am CST

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.


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 →

Radhika Miraglia

Friends of the Forest Preserves

Hillary Peters

Crew Manager, Friends of the Forest Preserves

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

10:15am CST

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.


Lucia H Whalen

Climate Reality Leadership Corps

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

10:15am CST

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.

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 CST
rm. 51

10:15am CST

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.

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.

Luis Cabrales

Field Museum Affliate

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 →

Michelle Giles

Field Museum Affliate

Brittany Janney

Affiliate, Field Museum

Jackson Yow

Field Museum Affliate

Monica Zakariya

Field Museum Affliate

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

10:15am CST

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?


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