Cait Williamson, director of conservation programs, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin
The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin is the bridge connecting people who want to help with meaningful opportunities to make a lasting impact on Wisconsin’s land, waters, wildlife, and future stewards.
Cait oversees the Foundation’s grant programs and initiatives for conservation and environmental education. Her work encompasses conservation science planning, partnership development, and capacity building. Cait has an MSC in environmental conservation from UW-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and a BA in biology and environmental studies from Lawrence University.
We also had some questions about getting people engaged in monarch conservation. Sophia reached out to her colleague, Megan Jones, PhD candidate at Colorado State University. Megan very graciously provided this information from her research:
Norms and efficacy: I have attached a recent social psych paper from my research on how these two types of beliefs might influence people’s native plant gardening – and their willingness to talk to others about it. In the discussion section you’ll see we talk about some implications for conservation outreach professionals like yourself. We’re just writing up findings from a mail-based messaging experiment, which I could also send you once that’s published.
Social-ecological systems and behavior: I have also attached my PhD dissertation – you can check out the third research chapter to get a sense of what I found influences people’s native plant gardening and their willingness to talk to others about it in an exploratory study. The peer-reviewed paper from this chapter is in review, so I could send that to you once it’s published.
Other practitioners: I’ve come across some amazing work being done by outreach programs, some of which might be helpful models for you – in particular, I’d recommend checking out Audubon Rockies’ Habitat Hero program, and reaching out to your local Wild Ones group if there is one. I also had a wonderful conversation with Niel Dibold of Prairie Nursery, based out of Wisconsin, about native plants, and they might be a good nursery partner for your program.
Are you interested in helping connect the conservation community in Wisconsin? Make a lasting impact on the Wisconsin Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology (WSCB) by joining our volunteer board of directors!
This flexible volunteer position is a great way to network with other conservation professionals, gain experience, and make a difference in the community. While we can’t hold in-person events now, we’re gearing up to bring people together for virtual talks and social hours on conservation topics.
Now accepting applications – apply here by August 28th! Learn more about board member and committee positions here.
WSCB seeks to build community among conservation-minded professionals and students in Wisconsin and advance the science and practice of conservation biology. We hold social hours and talks (currently virtual) and keep our members informed on conservation science and advocacy. Questions? Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 and social distancing don’t mean the learning and networking stop. We’re taking Conservation on Tap online! Look for details on a new topic this September. Don’t forget to bring your own drink and all your questions.
Kyle coordinates the county’s efforts in implementing the Yahara WIN’s Adaptive Management Project, assisting agricultural producers and landowners with conservation practice implementation, and implementation of the counties 2017 Legacy Sediment budget initiative. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point with Bachelor’s Degrees in both Biology and Water Resources Management in 2007. He also attended the University of Wisconsin Madison graduating with Masters degrees in both Water Resources Management and Soil Science in 2010.
Join uson Thursday, January 16th from 5:30pm – 7:00pm at Barriques Café – West Wash in Madison, WI
January’s Conservation On Tap is hosted at Barriques Café – West Wash in Madison! Our speaker is Nancy Sheehan, Citizen Science Coordinator for the Journey North project at the UW-Arboretum. Nancy will be sharing about the Journey North citizen science program. This program engages an international audience in tracking wildlife migrations and seasonal changes.
About Journey North:
Journey North is a citizen science program that engages an international audience in tracking wildlife migrations and seasonal changes. Launched at the dawn of the internet in 1993, Journey North has expanded to include over 20 interactive maps that depict migration happening in real time. For example, in the spring, you can watch these maps to experience the journey of monarchs as they migrate from their overwintering sites in Mexico to breeding territory in the U.S. and Canada. In the fall, watch monarchs and other species such as Ruby-throated hummingbirds migrate south. Today, Journey North has a roster of 33,000 members who contribute over 50,000 observations each year. Migration updates shared via blog posts, email notifications, and social media channels help to foster excitement and participation across the North American continent – from Canada and the United States to Mexico. Journey North also offers a wide selection of inquiry-based educational materials as well as projects designed for youth participation. This citizen-generated data enhances scientific understanding of migratory species – their migration routes and habitat needs. Ultimately, collaborative efforts like Journey North that involves both scientists and citizen scientists contribute to climate change research.
About Nancy Seehan:
Nancy joined the Arboretum in fall 2018 after managing the Rock River Coalition volunteer stream monitoring program for seven years. Nancy is passionate about citizen science. She earned a master’s degree in environmental management from Yale University. She also served in the Peace Corps in West Africa and, after working in the field of international development, moved to Madison to pursue further graduate studies at the UW–Madison Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies. Nancy lives in a Lake Wingra neighborhood. She has many cherished memories of visiting natural springs, listening to sandhill cranes, and cross-country skiing in the Arboretum.
Submit your nomination for the WSCB Board of Directors 2019-2020
Make a lasting impact on the Wisconsin Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology (WSCB) and support Wisconsin’s conservation community by joining our volunteer board of directors. Submit your nomination by August 23 here: https://forms.gle/CsaGHdJGRhtHxX2NA
Serving on the WSCB Board of Directors allows you to help further our strategic mission of fostering collaborative relationships among conservation professionals, NGO and agency leaders, higher education faculty, and students throughout the state of Wisconsin. In addition to supporting our larger strategic goals, you will make important decisions about our finances, communications, initiatives, and engagement in statewide and local conservation policy.
Please see here for more information on specific roles and responsibilities of board members. Roles and responsibilities typically change based on the unique strengths and interests of current board members.
Board members will be voted in by WSCB members and begin their new role in early fall for either one or two-year terms. The Chapter’s members include natural resource managers, educators, government and private conservation workers, students, and those interested in the principles of conservation.
Wisconsin’s businesses are collaborating with the public sector to pursue environmental conservation initiatives, and we want to know more about it! What does this kind of partnership look like? Are we (businesses, conservation professionals, non-profits and agencies) successfully leveraging these opportunities in our state?
Join us and Sustain Dane on Tuesday, December 19 at 7:00pm in Union South on the UW-Madison campus to hear from a panel of local business leaders whose companies are involved in conservation. Dr. Brent Haglund, Chief Scientific Officer at the Sand County Foundation, will lead a two-way conversation with the audience and business leaders to explore successful public-private partnerships in Wisconsin.
Join us for Conservation On Tap this Thursday, 5:00pm at Rockhound Brewing!
We’ll be chatting about the new conservation organization, Green Fire. If you’re potentially interested in joining, WSCB will supply and submit Green Fire Membership Forms at Conservation On Tap (membership ranges from $25 for students to $40 for professionals).