|Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge California||Dave Menke/USFWS
While the primary purpose of the Conserving the Future conference is to discuss, hone and begin implementing the National Wildlife Refuge Systems vision for the next decade, an important component of the gathering in Madison is to share information with and among budding conservationists.
After all, the full name of the event and the processis Conserving the Future: Wildlife Refuges and the Next Generation.
To that end, in addition to general sessions, the conference will include three distinct educational elements designed to foster communication across generations and across areas of expertiselecture series, workshops and facilitated discussions.
Among the guest speakers in the lecture series are:
- Aldo Leopold biographer
- Author and historian
- California State University, Chico, professor
- The Promised Land radio show host
- Juan Martinez of the Children and Nature Network
- Idaho professor and research scientist
J. Michael Scott
- Adventurer, mountaineer and anthropologist
- Nature photographer
Each lecturer will speak and take questions for one hour. All lecture series speeches are scheduled to be streamed online in real time at www.AmericasWildlife.org and then archived there.
There are more than 20 workshops on the agenda. Each will last roughly 75 minutes and will be an interactive action studio in which 100 or more participants are given tips and tools they can use in the field. Many workshops will involve a short group exercise or handson project designed to emphasize future implementation on refuges.
The workshop topics range from Greening the Refuge System, Hiring the Next Generation and Marketing Your Refuge in the Digital Age to Refuges, Neighbors and SeaLevel Rise, Managing Marine Habitats and Coral Reefs and You Want to Burn What? Most of the workshops are scheduled to be taped and archived along with relevant PowerPoint presentationsonline at www. AmericasWildlife.org.
Dozens of facilitated discussions will be sprinkled throughout the conference. Typically, these discussions will last 45 minutes, involve 32 to 45 participants and conclude with a questionandanswer session. On the first day, they will focus on individual points in the Conserving the Future vision document; days two and three will focus on plans for the visions implementation.
Together, the lectures, workshops and discussions will offer Fish and Wildlife Service employees and partners of all ages and from all corners of the country a chance to pick up nuggets of wisdom from one another, said Rebekah Martin, the Conserving the Future process coordinator. Because much of the material will be streamed live online and later archived, these breakout sessions will be a tremendous opportunity for people nationwide to be informed on a practical, handson level and to be inspired on a more personal level to a call to action to benefit refuges, wildlife and conservation across America.
A complete schedule of conference lectures, workshops and discussions is available at www.AmericasWildlife.org.