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Session 5 [clear filter]
Saturday, February 23

2:50pm CST

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.

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 CST
rm. 22

2:50pm CST

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.


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 CST
rms. 23-32

2:50pm CST

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.

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 →

Mila Marshall

University of Illinois at Chicago

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

2:50pm CST

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.

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 CST
rm. 47

2:50pm CST

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.

avatar for Tricia Bethke

Tricia Bethke

USDA APHIS, The Morton Arboretum and M.S. student in NRES at UIUC


bat conservation scientist

Piper Hodson

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

Eleanor Schumacher

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

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

2:50pm CST

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.

avatar for Maggie Warren

Maggie Warren

Advance Inquiry Program, Brookfield Zoo

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

2:50pm CST

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.


Daniella DeRose

Plants of Concern, Chicago Botanic Garden

Gretel Kiefer

Manager, Plants of Concern, Chicago Botanic Garden

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

2:50pm CST

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.

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 CST
rm. 48

2:50pm CST

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.

avatar for Clare Tolmie

Clare Tolmie

Senior Research Archaeologist, Illinois State Archaeological Survey

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

2:50pm CST

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.


Karl Gnaedinger

The Nature Conservancy

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 CST
rms. 54, 56, 58

2:50pm CST

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.


Shelley Davis

Forest Preserve Foundation


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

2:50pm CST

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.

avatar for Debra Williams

Debra Williams

Community Outreach Coordinator, The Nature Conservancy/IBP

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

2:50pm CST

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.

avatar for Barbara Cooper

Barbara Cooper

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 CST
rms. 52, 53

2:50pm CST

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.

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 CST
rms. 33, 34

2:50pm CST

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.

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

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

Ann Whelan

Loyola Beach Dunes Community Steward, Chicago Park District

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

2:50pm CST

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.

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 CST
rm. 51

2:50pm CST

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.


Rebecca Collings

Forest Preserves of Cook County

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