Conference program

Explore the full schedule for the 2017 Wetland Science Conference below. For a printable program summary, see our conference program overview. For a printable booklet with information about the conference presentations, see our abstracts and presenter biographies book.

Tuesday February 28th

3:30–5:30 The Million Dollar Duck film screening (UW-Stevens Point campus) 

Attend a free screening of The Million Dollar Duck, a documentary about the Federal Duck Stamp Contest. Doors open 3:30, showing begins at 4:00. Location: Dreyfus University Center Theater, 1015 Reserve St, Stevens Point, WI 54481.

6:00–9:00 Conference Kickoff Social and WWA Annual Meeting (O’so Brewing Company, Plover) 

Catch up with your wetland colleagues and friends while enjoying light snacks and cash bar at O’so Brewing Company at this fun event that kicks of Wisconsin Wetlands Association’s 2017 Wetland Science Conference. Learn more about this event on our networking page.

Wednesday March 1st

9:00–10:10 Plenary Session (Expo 3-4)

Sponsored by We Energies

9:00 Welcome and Opening Comments

9:20 Conference KeynoteGroundwater, Wetlands, and Geology: The Invisible Links
Kenneth Bradbury, Director and State Geologist, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, University of Wisconsin Extension

10:10–10:40 Break (Expo 1-2)

Sponsored by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program

10:40–12:00 Concurrent Sessions

Symposium: Amphibians, Reptiles, and Wetlands: Current Status
Location: Spruce
Moderator: Dreux Watermolen 

Session Details

10:40 Bergeson: The Wisconsin Frog and Toad Survey: What’s up, down, old, and new with a 35-year-old citizen science program

11:00 Smith: An innovative citizen science project for amphibian and reptile observations

11:20 Peterson: Acoustic monitoring of state-endangered Blanchard’s cricket frogs at different wetland sites

11:40 Staffen: The status of eastern massasauga rattlesnake populations in Wisconsin

Wetland Connections
Location: Evergreen
Moderator: Randy Poelma

Session Details

10:40 Lulloff: Nature-based solutions to flood risk reduction

11:00 Kupsky: Bringing green back to the Bay: Identifying the restoration potential of a degraded aquatic ecosystem

11:20 Ziegler: Mukwonago River headwater restoration via removal of two small dams: Reflecting on 8 years of lessons learned

11:40 Danz: Connections between human stress, wetland setting, and vegetation in the St. Louis River estuary

Native Wetland Flora and Plant Communities
Location: Stonefield
Moderator: Patrice Eyers

Session Details

10:40 Noll: “Pterrified” of Pteridophytes? An introduction to wetland fern and fern ally identification

11:00 Kotar: An ecological site classification system for wetland forests of northern Wisconsin

11:20 Houghton: An assessment of aquatic vegetation in Duck Creek Delta before and after construction of the Cat Island Chain

11:40 Schultz: Does plant species composition and diversity affect below-ground carbon dynamics in experimental wetlands?

12:00–1:30 Lunch (provided – Expo 3-4)

Sponsored by The American Transmission Company

1:00 Legislative/Policy Update (Woodland Room)
Join WWA Policy Staff for a briefing on wetland issues and how you can help. Expected topics include the latest from the state Capitol, prospects for wetlands under a new EPA, an introduction to WWA’s new Policy Liaison, and WWA’s efforts to help Wisconsin adopt more proactive and comprehensive strategies to protect, restore, and manage wetlands and watersheds.

1:30–3:10 Concurrent Sessions

Symposium: Amphibians, Reptiles, and Wetlands: Emerging Threats
Location: Spruce
Moderator: Josh Kapfer

Session Details

1:30 Hay: A conservation program to address wood turtle recruitment on rivers in northern Wisconsin

1:50 Lannoo: Amphibians shift wetland occupancy with hydrologic cycle

2:10 Watermolen: Bsal: An emerging threat to North American salamanders

2:30 Adamovicz: Ranavirus in amphibians and reptiles

2:50 Schulte: Using water snakes to understand genetic patterns of reproductive and morphological development

Wetland Restoration and Management Case Studies
Location: Evergreen
Moderator: Pat Trochlell

Session Details

1:30 Henderson: Wetland restoration in organic peat/muck soil: DOT mitigation site year 5

1:50 Steber: Streambank stabilization, floodplain creation, and stream re-alignment of Pheasant Branch in Middleton, WI

2:10 Bernthal: Twenty years of restoration and community-building at Pheasant Branch Conservancy

2:30 Roth: Results of storm water modeling pre and post restoration at Deer Grove East Preserve in Palatine, IL

2:50 Feggestad: Wetland restoration at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Will County, IL

Special Sessions
Location: Stonefield

Session Details

1:30: Career Development and Continuing Education in Wetland Science
Moderated by Susan Schumacher

2:10: Tribal Wetland Programs Working Group
Moderated by Randy Poelma
(By invitation only)

3:10–3:40 Break (Expo 1-2)

Sponsored by Cardno

3:40–5:00 Concurrent Sessions

Symposium: Amphibians, Reptiles, and Wetlands: Management Approaches
Location: Spruce
Moderator: Dreux Watermolen

Session Details

3:40 Mossman: Reservoir waterdogs: Neotenic tiger salamanders of the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant

4:00 Badje: Turtle conservation: Road mortality prevention

4:20 Kapfer: Survival of headstarted and non-headstarted hatchling Blanding’s turtles in southern Wisconsin

Wetland Assessment
Location: Evergreen
Moderator: Tom Bernthal

Session Details

3:40 Cooper: Developing a decision support tool to guide restoration and protection of Great Lakes coastal wetlands

4:00 Rossi: Development of soil indicators for assessment of wetland condition and disturbance

4:20 Marti: Connections between soil physicochemistry and wetland condition in Wisconsin’s Southern Lake Michigan Basin

4:40 Eggers: Performance standards for target hydrology at wetland compensatory mitigation sites

Wetlands and People
Location: Stonefield
Moderator: Travis Olson

Session Details

3:40 Hagenow: Engaging municipalities and citizens in the battle against Phragmites

4:00 Putnam: Making connections for rapid response to new wetland invasive plants

4:20 Williamson: Working from the ground up: Engaging families and communities in wetland conservation

4:40 Highsmith: Wetland connections between science and poetry

5:00–6:30 Poster Session and Cash Bar (Expo 1-2) 

Sponsored by UWSP College of Natural Resources
Featured posters

Arnold, Christopher – Understanding the other side of wetland treatment: The legacy of phosphorus storage
Arnold, Kathi – Evaluating the seed bank of the Lower Bay of Green Bay to determine re-establishment potential
Barger, Michael – Implementing and analyzing replicated point counts as measures of abundance in Glacial Lake Grantsburg
Carpenter, Crystal – The effects of invasive macrophytes on turtle community structure in the Kinnickinnic watershed
Chung-Gibson, Melissa – A floristic quality calculator for Wisconsin wetland communities
Dugan, Hilary – Ice formation and the risk of chloride toxicity in shallow wetlands
Hamerla, Chris – Wisconsin trappers: Invasive species partners on land, in water, and at all points in-between
Helmueller, Greta – High chloride concentrations in and around a shallow wetland: Seasonality and sources
Ibach, Andrew – Spatial ecology and habitat use of headstarted blanding’s turtles in southern Wisconsin
Little, Amanda – Ephemeral pond plant communities: Unique and worthy of conservation
Marti, Aaron – Bridging connections among Phalaris arundinacea, plant communities, and soil physicochemsitry
Martinez-Soto, Kayla – The use of microsatellites to genetically identify a potential invader, Typha domingensis, in the Midwest
McClenon, Marci – Land-usage as a predictor for Ribeiroia ondatrae infection in amphibians through intermediate host prevalence
Murphy, Lynnette – Estimating hybridization rates of native Typha latifolia in Volo Bog, Illinois
Noll, Christopher – Mapping seventy-two years of change in the lower Wisconsin Rivery
Salas, Dan – Managing Horicon for the future: Defining the direction and priorities for future management of Horicon NWR
Sande, Bill – Target hydrology in wet meadow wetlands in the Lake Superior clay plain
Scherer, Jeanne – Play your part in slowing the spread of aquatic invasive species: Equipment
Schulte, Collin – Patterns in water tigers (Dytiscidae) and phantom midge (Chaoboridae) abundance in Wisconsin ephemeral ponds
Stein, Shelly – Developing a baseline assessment undergraduate study for effects of a fire regime on invasive wetland flora
Waechter, Zach – Wetland delineations in riparian environments: Using additional data sources for hydrologic analysis
Wiley, Chandra – Effects of macroinvertebrate biodiversity on the size of wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus)
Willman, Allison – Comparing floristic quality resulting from contrasting wetland restoration techniques
Zillen, Zak – Using diatom algae to infer environmental change in Sphagnum bogs

6:30–9:30 Banquet and Presentation (Ticketed event – Expo 4)

7:30 Banquet Presentation: The Surly Surveyor: Connecting Today’s Landscape with Wisconsin’s Past
Rob Nurre, Landscape Historian

This is a ticketed event – see our banquet page for more information and how to purchase tickets

Thursday March 2nd

8:30–9:20 Plenary Session (Expo 3-4)

Sponsored by Midwest Access Solutions

8:30 Welcome 

8:40 Plenary AddressConnecting history, wildlife, and wetlands: A story of the Mead Wildlife Area
Thomas Meier, Wetland and Wildlife Biologist, Land and Management Solutions, LLC

9:30–10:30 Concurrent Sessions

Wetlands and Groundwater
Location: Spruce
Moderator: Rachel Schultz

Session Details

9:30 Streiff: Using geophysics to better understand wetland hydrogeology

9:50 Hart: A multi-instrument stream survey through Mukwonago River Basin wetlands

10:10 Bart: Missing the water before the well runs dry: The impacts of high capacity wells on Wisconsin calcareous fens

Wetland Wildlife I
Location: Evergreen
Moderator: Paul Skawinski

Session Details

9:30 Kamke: Effects of drawdown history and vegetation type on aquatic invertebrate metrics in a managed wildlife area

9:50 Casper: No more guessing: Perfecting frog detections in wetlands through automated acoustic monitoring

10:10 Bougie: Wood turtle conservation methods in Wisconsin

Wetland Invasive Species
Location: Stonefield
Moderator: Kelly Kearns

Session Details

9:30 Trochlell: What you can do to slow the spread of invasive plants in wetlands

9:50 Geddes: Extinction by hybridization: A probable fate for a native cattail species

10:10 Miller-Adamany: Facilitating natural succession in heavily invaded ecosystems

10:30–11:00 Break (Expo 1-2)

Sponsored by GEI Consultants

11:00–12:00 Concurrent Sessions

Wetland Mitigation
Location: Spruce
Moderator: Nick Miller

Session Details

11:00 Brown: The Wisconsin Wetland Conservation Trust: Strategies, partnerships, and lessons learned

11:20 Kraszewski: Successful compensatory wetland mitigation: Upper French Creek wetland mitigation site

11:40 Stamer: “Set it and forget it”: Evaluating a forested wetland mitigation site 10 years after planting

Wetland Wildlife II
Location: Evergreen
Moderator: Jacob Straub

Session Details

11:00 Casper: Plans with benefits: Fish & wildlife habitat recovery in the Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern

11:20 Salas: Let’s start here: Spatial decision making to prioritize management units for habitat management at Horicon NWR

11:40 Orlofske: Food webs representing wetland connections: The role of parasite diversity and land use change

Special Session
Location: Stonefield

12:00–1:30 Lunch (provided – Expo 3-4)

1:30–4:30 Working Groups and Field Trips

Practitioners Working Group


Location: Spruce
Moderator: Dan Salas

This session offers an opportunity for wetland practitioners — including consultants, federal, state, and local regulators, land managers, and others — to discuss current issues relevant to their daily work. The agenda will be set with the input of those who participated in a similar working group at recent WWA conferences. Topics covered will likely include what’s new with state wetland policies, including how they have or will change the review and approval of wetland development permits and associated compensatory mitigation requirements.

Field trip: Mead Wildlife Area

Field trip leader: Patrice Eyers

All field trips will depart from the hotel main entrance. Field trip sign up will occur when you arrive and check in for the conference, and field trips will fill on a first-come, first served basis. Learn more about our field trips.

Aerial ID of Invasive Plants


Location: Evergreen
Moderator: Jason Granberg

Wetland invasive species are a common threat throughout Wisconsin. Early detection of these species by using aerial imagery is a cost effective approach to discovering new populations, allowing for efficient, targeted searches within vast wetlands. This workshop will provide an introduction to aerial imagery identification of common wetland invasive species using freely accessible imagery and software. Participants should bring a laptop, tablet, or mobile device with GoogleEarth already installed.

Field trip: UW-Stevens Point Herbarium and Museum

Field trip leaders: Robert Freckmann, Professor Emeritus at UW-Stevens Point
Ray Reser, Director of UW-Stevens Point Museum of Natural History

All field trips will depart from the hotel main entrance. Field trip sign up will occur when you arrive and check in for the conference, and field trips will fill on a first-come, first served basis. Learn more about our field trips.

Leopold Discussion

A Reflective Discussion of the Land Ethic in Wetland Conservation

Location: Stonefield
Moderators: Renee Wahlen, Director Marsh Haven Nature Center
Debbie Hinchcliffe and Jerry Sanders, International Wolf Center

Aldo Leopold was known for his ability to weave reflections on history, social trends, and ethics into discussions of ecological issues. This session will include an introduction of Leopold’s Land Ethic and a participatory reading of a Leopold essay, followed by a collective exploration and discussion of the ideas and perspectives gleaned from the reading.


Field trip: Schmeeckle Reserve, UW-Stevens Point

Field trip leaders: Jim Buchholz, Director of Schmeeckle Reserve
Paul Skawinski, UW-Extension Lakes Program

All field trips will depart from the hotel main entrance. Field trip sign up will occur when you arrive and check in for the conference, and field trips will fill on a first-come, first served basis. Learn more about our field trips.