Three people standing and speaking in group

Networking

While the information learned from presentations is an important part of the conference, past attendees tell us that the networking opportunities provided by a gathering like this are the most rewarding benefit of attending. As a result, we work to make sure we include plenty of time for networking.

This year’s virtual format presents new and different opportunities to connect with fellow attendees, whether through topical discussion group, live video chats, a social messaging wall on our virtual event platform, opportunities to connect with exhibitors, and more. It wasn’t the same as an in-person conference, but it was  great, and think about all the time you saved traveling!

 

 

WWA Annual Membership Meeting & Wetland Trivia Social

Don’t miss this opportunity for face-to-face interaction with your wetland colleagues and friends!  Test your knowledge of all things wetland as we play Wetland Trivia. We’ll put attendees into randomized teams. Each team collaborated in Zoom breakout rooms to competed with other teams for fabulous prizes.

Between trivia rounds, we heard highlights from WWA’s work in 2020 and elected WWA board members. We enjoyed fun, laughter, and trivia questions that tested our knowledge of wetlands to the limits.

This event was open to conference attendees and WWA members.

Poster session

Authors were available at their virtual poster display at set times during the conference so you could talk with them about their research.

 

Topical discussion boards

Want to connect with other young professionals at the conference? Talk with other women wetland scientists? Exchange ideas with other people studying wetland soils? This is just the tip of the iceberg at this year’s conference, at which every attendee has the opportunity to start up topical discussion groups. These discussions can happen via chat room or live face-to-face virtual meeting rooms. 

 

Man speaking to laughing woman and man
Man pointing on paper to two men
Man speaking to another man standing in front of booth

Roundtable conversations

Roundtable conversations are informal sessions where people with a shared interest can come together to talk about that topic as part of the Wetland Science Conference. They are a great place to bring your questions or challenges to ask others for suggestions or to come up with solutions to shared challenges. Most importantly, they are great places to talk with people who share your interests and build relationships you can draw on after the conference. Roundtable conversations are one way we can try to recreate some of the hallway conversations that happen during an in-person conference and are an important part of networking and relationship-building.

Tuesday, February 16

Roundtable conversation with Aja DeCoteau & Mike Kline

Date and Time: Tuesday, February 16, 1:30 – 2:30 pm
Facilitator: WWA Staff

At an in-person conference, you often get the opportunity to talk with a keynote speaker during a break or lunch following their presentation. This roundtable conversation is our virtual way of facilitating those conversations. Ask questions of our keynote presenters Aja DeCoteau and Mike Kline about their work and their ideas for how Wisconsin can effectively incorporate hydrologic restoration into our programs, policies, and projects.

Roundtable conversation with Colin Thorne & Dorothy Merritts

Date and Time: Tuesday, February 16, 2:30 – 3:30 pm
Facilitator: WWA Staff

At an in-person conference, you often get the opportunity to talk with a keynote speaker during a break or lunch following their presentation. This roundtable conversation is our virtual way of facilitating those conversations. Ask questions of our keynote presenters Dorothy Merritts and Colin Thorne about their work and their ideas for how Wisconsin can effectively incorporate hydrologic restoration into our programs, policies, and projects.

Roundtable conversation with Joe Wheaton & Katie Jagt

Date and Time: Tuesday, February 16, 3:30 – 4:30 pm
Facilitator: WWA Staff

At an in-person conference, you often get the opportunity to talk with a keynote speaker during a break or lunch following their presentation. This roundtable conversation is our virtual way of facilitating those conversations. Ask questions of our keynote presenters Katie Jagt and Joe Wheaton about their work and their ideas for how Wisconsin can effectively incorporate hydrologic restoration into our programs, policies, and projects.

Wednesday, February 17

Wetland mitigation listening session: Recap and continuation

Date and Time: Wednesday, February 17, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Facilitators: Tom Nedland, Leslie Day, Kerryann Weaver

In mid-November 2019, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) hosted listening sessions to solicit feedback about improvements that could be made to encourage consistency and efficiency in the state and federal mitigation programs in Wisconsin. Additionally, the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) recently released a report outlining a number of challenges in the implementation of review and approval—from both the agencies’ and providers’ points of view—as well as best practices that may inform future implementation of mitigation programs. The Wisconsin Programmatic Interagency Review Team (PIRT), comprised of the Corps, EPA, and WDNR, would like to discuss the findings of both the Wisconsin and ELI efforts, explain the actions the PIRT has taken to implement program improvements and solicit feedback on items that have not yet been addressed.

 

Starting or growing an ecological restoration business

Date and Time: Wednesday, February 17, 1:30 – 2:30 pm
Facilitator: Dan Collins

Have you thought about starting or growing a business in Ecological Restoration? It is not as hard as you might think. Join a virtual round table conversation about how to start or grow a small business engaged in ecological restoration. Learn from the experience of others: what you should think about, what to avoid, how to determine if this is right for you, and more. It’s fun and satisfying, and it can be very rewarding. Join us for a conversation, whether you are just thinking of starting or you already have a running business.

Panel members:

  • Nancy Aten, Landscapes of Place
  • Jamie Sue Beaupre, Native Niche LLC
  • Danielle Bell, Native Roots, LLC
  • Karina Gonzales, Cream City Conservation & Consulting LLC
 
 
 
Natural flood management

Solutions for mitigating flood risk in the Lake Superior basin and beyond

Date and Time: Wednesday, February 17, 2:30 – 4:00 pm
Facilitators: Kyle Magyera, Tom Hollenhorst, Faith Fitzpatrick, and Chris Collier

Are you curious about opportunities to mitigate flood risks to communities and infrastructure through natural flood management solutions? Do you want to help make stream and wetland restoration widespread techniques used to increase the landscape’s ability to store and manage water? Hear about hydrologic assessments underway in the Lake Superior watershed to identify natural flood management solutions like increasing wetland storage, reconnecting floodplains to streams, and other actions to reduce runoff’s erosive energy. Share your ideas about the key research questions we need to ask to convince others that stream and wetland restoration are attractive, cost-effective solutions to changing climate and hydrologic conditions across the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes basin.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion in conservation

Date and Time: Wednesday, February 17, 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Facilitator: Cait Williamson

Are you interested in engaging in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work but unsure of where to get started? Is your organization working on DEI efforts? Join us for this interactive conversation where you will have the opportunity to share what you are working on regarding DEI, including what barriers you’ve faced, what challenges and opportunities you see, and how we can work together to advance efforts to make Wisconsin’s conservation community more equitable, inclusive, and diverse. Anyone with an interest in DEI is welcome to join, whether you’re brand new to it or you’ve been engaging in this work for years. This roundtable will bring people together to share our DEI efforts, learn from one another, and inspire future action on this important effort to center equity in our conservation work.

Thursday, February 18

Wetland invasive species: Identification, prevention, & control

Date and Time: Thursday, February 18, 1:30 – 2:30 pm
Facilitators:  Jason Granberg and Kelly Kearns

Description coming soon.

Conservation mapping tools: Wetland restoration potential and groundwater assessment

Date and Time: Thursday, February 18, 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Facilitators: Nick Miller, Joanne Kline, Tom Bernthal, Chris Smith, Sarah Gatzke, Dave Hart

Looking for a wetland to restore or protect? Trying to figure out which sites are most feasible, based on land ownership, land uses, and vulnerability to invasives? Wondering where wells can be sited that minimize impacts to groundwater-dependent habitats? This roundtable will highlight freely available online tools that aim to answer these questions and more. Recent updates to Wetlands by Design will be featured, in particular the addition of feasibility factors. We’ll also introduce a new tool that helps site wells in places that minimize impacts to wetlands and waters. Time allowing, we’ll also explore a tool that helps select sites resilient to climate change. Hear from the folks who created these data and tools at DNR, TNC, and WGNHS. But we also need to hear from you! Do you have suggestions for how these tools can be improved? We want to hear them! Who is “you”? Anybody interested in restoring and protecting Wisconsin’s wetlands and waters.

Climate change & wetlands

Date and Time: Thursday, February 18, 3:30 – 4:30 pm
Facilitator: Alice Thompson

Increasingly, solutions to blunting our current climate change trajectory include conservation practices that sequester carbon. Regenerative agriculture, forestry protection, and replanting in tropical and temperate forests, afforestation, coastal wetland protection, and peatland preservation and restoration are solutions that “Project Drawdown” has researched (https://drawdown.org/). How could Wisconsin conservation practices be expanded to include carbon sequestration as a goal? Should carbon sequestration be evaluated as a wetland function? Could our goals in wetland restoration include the sequestration of carbon? How could practices be quantitatively monitored? Anyone interested in this discussion is encouraged to read background materials that are provided as documents below in preparation for this session.

Friday, February 19

Wisconsin's women and wetlands

Date and Time: Friday, February 19, 1:30 – 3:00 pm
Facilitators: Sally Jarosz and Nicole Staskowski

Join this open discussion about being a woman in the wetland sciences field. We will be providing some guided topics about the joys and struggles of being a woman in this profession. Topics may include advice from women who are more seasoned, mentoring themes for women new in the field, ways to foster diversity in our work environments, and discussions about striking a work/life balance (particularly through a global pandemic). The discussion will range from serious to more light-hearted. We hope for participants to include those who have been in the field for decades as well as those who are considering this field for their profession. (Any conference attendee who has identified or currently identifies as a woman is welcome to join this discussion.)

 

The Mary Linton Wetland Poetry Session

Date and Time: Friday, February 19, 3:00 – 3:45 pm
Facilitators: Alice Thompson, Tod Highsmith, and Mike Mossman

Mary Linton, wetland ecologist and aquatic biologist, poet and former WWA Board Chair initiated a poetry session at the WWA Scientific Conference that has become an annual poetry break in the midst of scientific talks. This year we are asking your participation as well! Our poetry session will begin with wetland poems selected by Alice, Tod and Mike, but then we will open it up to the audience to read a favorite wetland poem. We ask that you submit the poem to us in advance so that there are no duplicates. Please send your proposed poem to Mike Mossman at mikemossman9@gmail.com. We will let you know in advance that you will have a slot to read a poem to the group.

…and more!

Networking opportunities can be as creative as you are! If you have an idea for ways we can help conference attendees connect with one another, please contact conference@wisconsinwetlands.org to discuss ways we can help you bring your idea to life at the conference.