2016 Workshops

NACCB 2016 will offer most short courses and workshops to conference attendees on Saturday July 16th, Sunday July 17th, and Thursday July 21st. Schedule and costs will be available via registration. Stay tuned, and book your travel accordingly! *List subject to change

See the Online Scientific Program for Scheduling, Sign up for workshops via Conference Registration until May 31.


WS12. Communicating Complex Conservation Science to Policy & Decision-makers to Affect Change

Organizer(s)Jacob Malcom, Defenders of Wildlife

Our work as researchers in conservation biology is typically motivated by a mix of natural curiosity and a desire to see our research improve conservation outcomes. Unfortunately, too much of our work fulfills the natural curiosity part of the equation but fails to improve outcomes. Research and actions are often disconnected because the communication content and style of researchers differs from the expectations of managers and administrators who have the authority to make changes. This problem is difficult to overcome: even clearly communicated science and policy recommendations are often misunderstood or ignored by administrators. The facilitator works at the interface of science and policy, and coming most recently from an academic-heavy background has had to quickly learn how to effectively communicate science-based recommendations to a variety of decision-makers; participants with extensive experience are particularly invited to take part.

Workshop participants will examine and share a variety of examples of research with clear policy and management implications; the extent to which the recommendations are communicated at appropriate levels; and examples of how organizations from different domains (conservation biology and law) are most effective with their communications. A significant portion of the workshop will involve small-group practice exercises in which participants translate their own research into simple and direct one- to two-page briefings for target audiences. This exercise will not be the same as a “typical” writing clarity workshop; instead, it will focus on strategies that the facilitator and participants have found to be most effective at turning research into actions. The participants will present their translations to the entire group or sub-groups to receive feedback. Last, we will discuss whether there is a need for a “corpus” of conservation policy briefs for North America, akin to Australia’s Decision Point magazine.

Cost: $0


WS14. Diversifying our Science Communication Toolbox: How Do We Better Engage Underrepresented Groups in Conservation Science?

Organizer(s)Cynthia Malone, American Museum of Natural History; Rae Wynn-Grant, American Museum of Natural History

This session will challenge attendees to think about their involvement in conservation science and practice from multiple angles, with an overarching goal of developing strategies to foster an inclusive and encouraging space for groups underrepresented in conservation, both within SCB and in the conservation institutions where we work. Workshop leaders will describe challenges with diversity and inclusion currently faced in the conservation community and within conservation institutions. The group will discuss the effectiveness of certain strategies and identify opportunities for new directions and further exploration. We will touch on three main topics: 1) identifying members of the conservation community, including those who may be considered “invisible”; 2) discussing the nuances of sensitive and effective communication of conservation work; and 3) examining the concept of allyship, and how groups with different backgrounds can effectively support and mentor each other while working towards shared conservation goals.

Cost: $15


WS19. Effective Communication Approaches to Connecting Nature, Scientists, and Citizens: Theory and Practice

Organizer(s)Yuanchao Fan, University of Göttingen, Department of Bioclimatology

Translating scientific language to public friendly language is a pre-step for translating science into action. In this era facing increasing risk of climate change and natural degradation, there is growing demand for making science more open to non-experts, which would also contribute to interdisciplinary exchanges. The key to open the door for non-experts is in the hand of experts from the source of knowledge, instead of intermediary translators such as journalists. Although modern communication tools are connecting people closer than ever, the division between scientific community and the general public remains wide. An effective communication channel should be available to break through both linguistic and scientific language barriers and facilitate storytelling by scientists, even for most who are not trained in popular science, so as to inform the public and gain more feedbacks.

This workshop invites active scientists, students and professionals who are also interested in closing the gap between scientific community and the public. The 7-hour session will cover the following topics: 1) comparison of scientific publication and popular science dissemination, 2) internet communication and web strategy, 3) science outreach and science-public engagement, 4) networking and non-profit organization, and 5) fundraising for conservation actions. These topics will be presented by our three invited speakers (from Zurich, Beijing and Copenhagen) who are experienced in both theory and practice. Besides, participants could be selected to give short presentations or lead discussion of a chosen topic. At the end we introduce a Green-Science-People (GSP) initiative which aims to develop an open and interactive internet platform to facilitate direct communication between scientists and citizens. Participants are invited to discuss its pros and cons and explore alternative strategies. The workshop is set up as roundtables to allow face-to-face inquiry and advisory talks in small groups, and is open to all NACCB conference attendees.

Cost: $25


WS20. Integrating Science, Management, and Policy to Conserve North American Boreal Birds

Organizer(s)Darveau, Marcel, Ducks Unlimited Canada; Cumming, Steven G., Universite Laval; Barker, Nicole K.S., Boreal Avian Modelling Project

The North American Boreal region covers 8 Canadian ecozones and touches 3 oceans, including an immense variety of landscapes, forests, wetlands, and waters. It is estimated that 23 billion birds representing 325 species breed there. The human footprint varies among ecozones in relation to the demand for natural resources and ecosystem services. Overall, human activity is increasing across the Boreal. Bird conservation is principally the responsibility of the three federal governments who signed the Migratory Birds Treaty in 1916, but also of provincial, state, and territorial governments. Conservation NGOs, too, play a major role, often coordinated at high levels through international initiatives such as the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, and Partners in Flight. Scientists from academia, government, NGOs, and industry contribute to the development of boreal bird conservation tools. As in many emerging fields, this has produced a variety of approaches and actions.

In this one-day workshop, we will gather boreal bird managers and scientists for the following objectives: (i) summarize the current state of play of avian conservation goals and achievements by governments, NGOs, and mixed agencies; (ii) explore the role of state-of-the art conservation planning tools; and (iii) ensure that conservation research is engaged with current conservation policies. Following presentations reviewing nine preselected topics in the morning, the participants will reconvene into working groups exploring opportunities for improving bird conservation planning in the Boreal. The best avenues identified by each group will be shared with all workshop attendees in a concluding workshop plenary. The end goal is to improve the effectiveness of boreal conservation efforts by increasing awareness of parallel efforts, relevant policies, and available technologies, and by facilitating and encouraging communication among researchers, managers, and policymakers.

Cost: $35


WS24. Think Locally, Act Locally: Needs, Opportunities, and Challenges for Conservation Scientists to Engage in Local Policy

Organizer(s)Sarah E. Reed, Wildlife Conservation Society; Heidi E. Kretser, Wildlife Conservation Society

A major challenge facing biodiversity conservation is that habitat loss and fragmentation due to human land use result from many local-scale and often independent decisions by communities, organizations, and landowners. The cumulative products of these individual decisions rarely produce desirable outcomes for society or the environment. At the same time, study after study demonstrates a growing gap between conservation science research and implementation. These concerns are reflected in the recent survey of SCB members, which highlighted as future priorities for SCB to increase the application of science to policy and management and to influence policy at local and regional levels.

The goal of our workshop is to open a dialogue regarding the needs and strategies for SCB members to help address these priorities by expanding their involvement in local conservation policy. We will convene a panel of conservation scientists who are experienced in a variety of policy roles in local communities (e.g., as technical advisors, municipal board members, or non-profit leaders) and facilitate an interactive discussion regarding the opportunities, barriers, and resources needed for SCB members to become engaged in local conservation policy. The workshop will provide an opportunity for SCB members to network with one another on this topic and generate recommendations for how SCB could support its members in these efforts with training, networking, and other activities. We welcome participation in the workshop from a diversity of conference attendees, including SCB members with extensive local policy experience to share, as well as conservation scientists who would like to learn how to contribute to their own communities.

Cost: $0


WS26. Communicating Conservation Goals if Extinction is No Longer Forever

Organizer(s)Kohl, Patrice A., Department of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Proposals to use gene editing and cloning to revive lost species—techniques known as de-extinction—challenge notions of animal extinction as final and irreversible.  In this meeting NACCB attendees are invited to participate in an open discussion of how de-extinction and related biotechnologies might influence scientists, the public, and policy-makers’ views about conservation and species extinction.  The meeting is being hosted by contributing authors of an upcoming special publication on ethics and de-extinction technologies, jointly prepared by the Hastings Center and the Center for Humans and Nature.

Cost: $0


Social Science Working Group Sponsored Workshops

WS15. Best Practices for Collaborative Conservation: Practical Implementation

Organizer(s):  Thomas, Becky, Slippery Rock University; Hauptfeld, Rina, Colorado State University; Retta Bruegger, Colorado State University Western Region Extension Office; Center for Collaborative Conservation

Creative conservation solutions that consider multiple ways of knowing are needed to close the gap between science and action. Collaborative conservation brings together diverse stakeholders to define a conservation issue and create a path forward for solving it. This workshop builds a collaborative conservation foundation by focusing on bottom-up, community-based approaches, through an applied, in-depth focus on the cross-disciplinary competencies and tools necessary to successfully implement collaborative conservation on the ground. This interactive workshop will provide conservation practitioners with an understanding of principles, best practices, and practical tools that can lead to increased capacity for engaging with diverse stakeholders. Case studies highlighting lessons learned from projects in Mongolia, Philippines, Hawaii, Belize, Colorado, and Puerto Rico will be considered. As such, this workshop will provide participants with clear, actionable information that is relevant to the interests and challenges of the participants.

Cost: $30


Environmental Education Committee Sponsored Workshops

WS16. Infusing Principles of Sustainability and Climate Neutrality into Existing Curriculum to Enhance Conservation Education for All Students

Organizer(s)Pratt, Jessica D., University of California, Irvine

Global climate change is one of the most significant challenges currently facing humanity. Biodiversity conservation and sustainability in the broadest sense require an appreciation of the gravity of climate impacts on human society and ecological communities. The overwhelming scientific consensus is that climate change is being driven by the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This growing environmental catastrophe requires a broad movement towards carbon neutrality, which can only reasonably happen with the support of a well-informed and engaged public. As educators, we have a responsibility and capacity to ensure that the next generation of leaders – the students we graduate from our universities – have an understanding of the complexity and gravity of these problems and are empowered and motivated to action. This is true not just for the next generation of conservation professionals or STEM majors but for all individuals.

In this workshop, participants will discuss several teaching techniques that promote the integration of conservation and sustainability principles into existing coursework, including student journaling and blogging, current news highlights, service-learning, guest speakers, ‘campus as a living laboratory’ fieldtrips, and others. Enriching existing courses is cost-effective and enhances the educational experience of many students, especially those for whom sustainability and climate may not be a major focus. This workshop is open to anyone interested in teaching and sustainability including graduate students who may not have developed their own courses. Workshop content will be especially useful for educators who want to communicate principles of climate stability, conservation, and sustainability in courses where such topics are often not explicitly covered (e.g. introductory science, non-majors, and non-science courses). Participants will brainstorm, draft, peer review, and present course materials during the workshop that can be integrated into their current or future courses. These materials will optionally be shared among all participants.

Cost: $5

Photo Credit: cc Richard Hurd

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