Upcoming Event: Tuesday, October 18th – Monarch Butterflies: Dwindling numbers for an iconic insect

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Tuesday, October 18th – 7 p.m. @ UW Arboretum
Madison Audubon and WSCB Present: Monarch Butterflies: Dwindling numbers for an iconic insect

An Evenings with Audubon presentation by nationally-renown monarch expert Karen Oberhauser

Monarch butterflies populations have been declining over the last 20 years. Because insect numbers are notoriously difficult to assess, and because they often show large year to year fluctuations, simply documenting this decline has been a challenge. It is now important to move beyond simple documentation, and toward responding to the challenge posed by monarch conservation, and insect conservation in general. Monarchs are negatively impacted by many human activities, and various scientists and monarch advocates have implicated habitat degradation and loss, pesticide use, climate change, vehicular collisions, invasive species, and pathogen spread in their dwindling numbers.

In this presentation, Karen Oberhauser, one of the nation’s top monarch conservation biologists, will describe the amazing biology of migratory monarch populations, and the work of citizens and scientists in documenting monarch numbers at all stages of their migratory cycle. She will discuss threats to monarchs, and potential responses to these threats. Because conservation biology must be, at its essence, a science of hope, Karen’s focus is on positive changes as well as on the challenges posed by declining monarch numbers.

Karen Oberhauser is a Professor in the Dept. of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota, where she and her students conduct research on several aspects of monarch butterfly ecology. Her research depends on traditional lab and field techniques, as well as the contributions of a variety of audiences through citizen science; this research has resulted in over 100 scientific publications. Her strong interest in promoting a citizenry with a high degree of scientific and environmental literacy led to the development of a science education program that involves courses for teachers, and opportunities for youth to engage in research and share their findings with broad audiences. In 1996, she and graduate student Michelle Prysby started a nationwide Citizen Science project called the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, which continues to engage hundreds of volunteers throughout North America. Karen is passionate about the conservation of the world’s biodiversity, and believes that the connections her projects promote between monarchs, humans, and the natural world promote meaningful conservation action. She is the chair of the Monarch Joint Joint Venture, and a founding officer of the Monarch Butterfly Fund. In 2013, Karen received a White House Champion of Change award for her work with Citizen Science.

More information can be found at monarchjointventure.org

Photo: Joshua Mayer

WSCB Member Social on July 18th!

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Join us for a WSCB Member Social, on Monday, July 18th, 6:30 p.m. at the Old Fashioned (23 N. Pinckney St.). Take a break from the NACCB Conference to meet other conservation scientists, practitioners, undergrad and graduate students working in the field of conservation right here in Wisconsin. Hors d’oeuvres included (drinks on your own). We’ll be near the bar on the main floor. See you there!

Join us in the field for our first annual WSCB Birdathon!

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We’re excited to announce that WSCB is doing its first Birdathon this year, as the WSCB Bino Bird Hunters! Our Birdathon date is Sunday, May 15th, from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. near Mt. Vernon and Mt. Horeb, WI. you can join us for all or part of this fun day in the field!

What is a Birdathon? 
“See a Bird, Save a Bird!” – Birdathon is a fundraising tool to help support bird conservation. Friends and organizations make birding teams, raise money by asking for donations or a pledge per species, and then have a 24-hour period to count as many bird species as possible.

What is the Great Wisconsin Birdathon?
The Great Wisconsin Birdathon is an annual statewide event to raise money for the Bird Protection Fund, and is a joint effort between the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative. The Bird Protection Fund was established in response to declining bird populations and supports bird conservation projects throughout Wisconsin. The statewide goal for 2016 is to raise $70,000! The Great Wisconsin Birdathon is also a great way to support WSCB, since 50 percent of the funds that we raise goes back to our organization. We see this as a great opportunity to bring our WSCB members together for a day of birding, learning, and fun, while raising money for Wisconsin’s 284 native bird species and, as a bonus, to fundraise for our organization.

Want to join us in the field for our Birdathon on Sunday, May 15th?
To join our team, simply go to: http://wibirdathon.org/participantpage.asp?fundid=2097&uid=4048&role=3 and select “Join a team” under the “Participate” heading. Select the “WSCB Bino Bird Hunters”, set a personal fundraising goal, and that’s it! You’re ready to helping the birds! And remember to mark your calendars for Sunday, May 15th! Birdathon details follow:

We will meet at 8:30 am at Donald County Park just outside Mt. Vernon, at the north parking area off of Hwy 92. We plan to bird until roughly 11:00 am. At that time we will make our way back to the parking area and head to The Grumpy Troll Brew Pub in Mt. Horeb for lunch! Following food, more conversation, and a bit of relaxation, we plan to head to Stewart County Park on the north end of town for a couple more hours of birding. We’ll meet at the parking area just southwest of the lake.

Can’t join us in the field, but still want to support our Birdathon team? To make a donation, visit our team Birdathon page. We thank you for your contributions to bird conservation in Wisconsin, and also for helping support the Wisconsin Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology!

Recording of “Sifting the Future” Now Available Online

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In case you missed our recent event, “Sifting the Future: The Ecological and Agricultural Impacts of Frac Sand Mining in Wisconsin”, the entire presentation is now available online, thanks to WisconsinEye.

The event featured speakers from FracTracker Alliance and Midwest Environmental Advocates, and focused on the landscape-level impacts occurring due to frac sand mining. For more information on this issue, visit: fractracker.org, and midwestadvocates.org.

Upcoming event: Decoding the Conservation Congress

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What: Decoding the Conservation Congress
When: Wednesday, March 30th, 5 p.m.
Where: UW-Madison, Union South – 1308 W. Dayton Street, Madison, WI 53715

Join the Wisconsin Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology for a discussion about the upcoming 2016 Conservation Congress spring hearings, the annual opportunity for Wisconsin citizens to advise the Department of Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Board on how to manage Wisconsin’s natural resources.

We’ll learn more about the Conservation Congress, including an overview of its history, and how it works today. We’ll also hear from DNR’s Scott Loomans, who will break down the April 11th spring hearing agenda items, and how they could impact conservation in Wisconsin.

For more information on the spring hearings and the full agenda, visit http://dnr.wi.gov/About/WCC/springhearing.html

Upcoming event: Frac sand mining in Wisconsin

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The hills of western Wisconsin supply 75 percent of the country’s frac sand market. Join us for a conversation on how frac sand mining is impact our ecological and agricultural landscapes here in Wisconsin.

7 p.m. – Opening Remarks
Caitlin Williamson – President, Wisconsin Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology

7:05 p.m. – The State of Frac Sand Mining in Wisconsin
Kimberlee Wright – Executive Director, Midwest Environmental Advocates

7:20 p.m. – Impacts of Oil and Gas Development in America
Brook Lenker – Executive Director, FracTracker Alliance

7:30 p.m. – Watershed resilience, changes in agricultural productivity, and wildlife habitat alteration associated with silica sand mining in West Central Wisconsin
Ted Auch, PhD – Great Lakes Program Coordinator, FracTracker Alliance

8:15 p.m. – Q&A

8:30 p.m. – Refreshments

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Upcoming WSCB Event – Conservation Science Communications Panel

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What: Conservation Science Communications Panel
When: Thursday, January 28th, 5 p.m.
Where: Union South, the Wisconsin Ideas Room

Join us on January 28th for WSCB’s Conservation Science Communications Panel! Featuring experts from across the field, we’ll learn how to communicate and share our research with the public, the media, legislators, and other scientists. Speakers include:

Stan Temple
Stanley A. Temple is the Beers-Bascom Professor Emeritus in Conservation in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology where for 32 years he held the academic position once occupied by Aldo Leopold. He is currently a Senior Fellow with the Aldo Leopold Foundation.

Emily Meier
Emily is the director of Communications and Outreach for Madison Audubon Society, a small but fast-growing non-profit and chapter of the National Audubon Society. Emily has worked for environmental non- profits in Wyoming and Wisconsin in a variety of capacities since her graduation from UW-Madison in 2012.

Bret Shaw
Bret Shaw is the Environmental Communication Specialist for UW- Extension. He focuses on outreach activities related to facilitating campaign development for organizations dealing with natural resource management issues such as water quality, land use and environmental conservation and assessing the impact of these social marketing campaigns.

Sharon Dunwoody
Sharon Dunwoody is professor emerita at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UW-Madison. In addition to being an internationally recognized scholar of science communication, she has also spent more than 30 years training both journalists and scientists in how to build effective science messages for general audiences.

Nathan Schulfer
Nathan Schulfer is a conservation practitioner who co-manages the Professional MS Program in Environmental Conservation at the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Nathan’s work at Nelson focuses on recruitment and mentorship of emerging conservation leaders through the Professional MS, while leading the Institute’s efforts to strengthen networks with NGO’s and government units on a global scale.

WSCB First Annual BBQ

Join us at James Madison Park on Thursday, September 3rd from 5pm-dusk to engage with Wisconsin’s conservation community at our First Annual BBQ! Enjoy tasty local BBQ food (incluScreen Shot 2015-07-27 at 3.07.55 PMding vegetarian options), meet other conservation practitioners, students, and researchers, and enjoy fun and games in the park!  Non-alcoholic drinks provided, and those 21+ can BYOB. To help cover the cost of the event, we would appreciate a $5 donation. In an effort to limit food waste, please help us plan by completing the survey here by August 3rd. And please share with your colleagues!

Chapter Meeting-December

IMG_2122WSCB will hold our first Chapter Meeting: December 3rd at 5 pm, in Science Hall room 15. A social hour will follow.

The agenda includes:

  • news of our events and activities
  • an update on our newly formed student chapter
  • information on our upcoming elections, and a call for candidates
  • news about WSCB hosting the NAACB conference here in Madison, WI and how you can be involved
  • gauging interest on a citizen science project involving WSCB

As always, we also want to hear from you on how you’d like to be involved. Whether it’s taking a leadership role, leading a project or event, or brainstorming new avenues for our chapter–there are plenty of ways you can be an involved member. The first step is attending our bi-monthly meetings! We hope to see you there.

For more information, please see our calendar:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wscb-chapter-meeting-tickets-14490432273