Get excited for these symposia at the Annual Conference

By Julia John

The Albuquerque Convention Center will serve as the venue for the many symposia planned for the 24th Annual TWS Conference this September. ©AllenS

Early bird pre-registration for this year’s conference is now open! Register by June 30 to save an additional $50. All registration prices will increase $50 on July 1. And don’t forget to book your room through one of our host hotels early. They will sell out well in advance of the conference!

Almost 30 informative educational symposia are scheduled for TWS’ 24th Annual Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from Sept. 23-27. Spanning a wide variety of subjects from conservation and culture to the wildlife profession, the symposia offer a chance to learn from top experts in the field. Here are some highligts.

Bird Conservation on Managed Forest Landscapes

Delve into how managers balance conservation and human needs by conserving birds in landscapes that yield forest products. This symposium will examine current and projected forest management practices and their effects on the conservation of forest-dwelling bird communities. Through case studies, participants will develop an understanding of how the demand for forest products influences bird populations across Canada and the continental United States. Some species discussed will be the American woodcock (Scolopax minor), cerulean warbler (Setophaga cerulea) and golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera), in relation to biological factors such as reproductive rates, habitat selection and diversity.

Communicating Conservation Across Cultures

This symposium works toward the goal of increasing diversity in the wildlife profession and involving a broader range of ethnic and cultural communities in conservation by better communicating its importance to them. Participants will look at what comprises effective communication and talk about how to engage Native Americans, Hispanics, evangelical Christians and millennials in the conversation on conservation by tying it into their values, beliefs, desires and needs.

“Wildlife belongs to the entire public,” said Bill Dunn, an ecologist at Sundance Consulting, Inc. and an organizer of the discussion. “We are an increasingly diverse society. If we can discover some way we can better reach communities that aren’t as involved, that’ll be a success for this symposium.”

Farm Bill Conservation Programs: Perspectives on Delivery and Wildlife Benefit

The Farm Bill represents a $58 billion investment in the incentivized conservation of private lands over the next decade, allowing for the maintenance of wildlife habitat and natural resources, groundwater filtration, carbon sequestration and the bolstering of the nation’s cultural heritage, agricultural sector and forest industry. This symposium will focus on how this initiative’s benefits to wildlife are being tracked, including how monitoring results can enhance its conservation impact and how new technology can help collect comprehensive data. Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and golden-winged warblers (Vermivora chrysoptera) are some animals this presentation will feature.

Navigating the Path to Professional Success

If you could use some guidance on your wildlife career, check out this symposium for students and new professionals for the inside scoop on the multiple paths aspiring wildlifers can take today. You’ll also get advice on resume writing, interviewing, networking and TWS certification and learn how involvement in TWS chapters and sections can further your career. A final panel will give attendees the opportunity to discuss the wildlife profession with successful biologists across a broad spectrum of the wildlife field, including academia, governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations.

“The sessions aren’t just about helping students think about getting a job, but to help them think about building a whole career,” said Lara Pacifici, a teaching assistant professor at North Carolina State University’s College of Natural Resources, who’s organizing the event. “All of us are still building our careers, and being part of The Wildlife Society is a huge part of that.”

Tribal Wildlife Management and Conservation in the Southwest

Explore tribal wildlife management policy and its cultural, economic and environmental implications in the Southwest, where the largest density of Native American nations in the U.S. persists. Going along with this year’s conference theme, “a crossroad of cultures,” participants can gain insight into how native communities integrate traditional knowledge and Western science to manage natural resources and preserve ecological integrity. This symposium will also emphasize instances of collaboration between indigenous and federal wildlife agencies. Communities participants will hear about include the Pueblo of Santa Ana in New Mexico, Southern Ute Indian Reservation in Colorado and Hopiland in Arizona.

Visit the conference website for the complete preliminary detailed schedule of all conference events.

Julia John is a science writer at The Wildlife Society. Contact her at jjohn@wildlife.org with any questions or comments about her article.

Read more of Julia's articles here.