Workshops are your chance to learn and apply new skills and methodologies.

Pre-registration for workshops is required and will include a nominal fee to cover workshop expenses. Sign up for workshops when you register for the conference. Please note that these sessions may be held concurrent with other conference content (working groups, roundtable conversations, field trips, and concurrent sessions), so check the conference schedule before you sign up. Space in each workshop is limited, and sign up is first-come-first-serve, so register early to make sure you get into your desired workshop.  Note that workshop fees are non-refundable.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Demystifying R: Developing user-friendly workflows and outputs for ANOVAs and linear models

Dr. Brian Ohsowski in the field with binoculars around neck and clipboard in  hand.

Dr. Brian Ohsowski (Photo by Lukas Keapproth)

Date and Time: Tuesday, February 20, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Registration fee: $20
Instructors: Dr. Brian Ohsowski, Madeline Palmquist, and Alex Risdal (School of Environmental Sustainability at Loyola University Chicago)

This workshop will begin with a 20-minute chat to contextualize the utility of the R language in ecological and biological research. The remainder of the workshop will use a provided data set to highlight practical workflow processes that can be used to input data, test assumptions, run statistical tests, and produce publication-quality graphical outputs for two-way ANOVAs and linear models. Instructors will intersperse short vignettes to highlight R code organization and programming tips and tricks. Basic knowledge of two-way ANOVAs and simple linear models is expected. Prior experience with R is helpful but is not required. We anticipate attendees will include upper-level undergraduates, M.Sc. / PhD students, early career professionals, and anyone who desires basic tutorial exposure to R. Please bring a personal computer! 

Dr. Brian Ohsowski is an Assistant Professor at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Environmental Sustainability. At LUC since 2014, he teaches courses on environmental statistics, ecological restoration, and conservation biology to address the management and preservation of biodiversity and functioning ecosystems. He has 19 years of classroom education and research experience in biostatistics using R. Since 2015, Brian’s research focuses on applied land management related to the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem restoration in the Great Lakes watershed. Collaborating with LUC’s Team Typha, their research focuses on closing the loop of ecological restoration when harvesting wetlands disturbed by clonal invaders (hybrid cattail [Typha × glauca], common reed [Phragmites australis]. To close this loop, we have been investigating the conversion of harvested invasive plants to biochar to unpack the responses of abiotic soil properties and biotic community to biochar wetland reapplication after invasive plant harvesting in wetlands.

Madeline Palmquist is a senior undergraduate student at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Environmental Sustainability. She has been working with LUC’s Team Typha as an undergraduate researcher for two years. Madi’s research questions investigate restoration practices relating to invasive species management, biochar application, and bird population density in Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Currently, her undergraduate research fellowship focuses on assessing the impact of invasive hybrid cattail on waterbird diversity using autonomous recording units at the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge near Saginaw, MI.

Alex Risdal is a current undergraduate sophomore at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Environmental Sustainability. She has worked with Loyola’s Team Typha research team as an undergraduate researcher. Her work focuses on understanding the impacts of invasive plant invasions on native ecosystems, particularly native plant community development. Alex’s current fellowship is determining the impacts of invasive European frogbit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae) and invasive cattail (Typha) on the growth and development of wild rice (Zizania palustris).

Harnessing the power of AI programs for wetland science and conservation

Date and Time: Tuesday, February 20, 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Registration fee: $10
Instructors: Jason Granberg (WDNR)

Jason Granberg in the field wearing a Wisconsin T shirt, backback, hat and sunglasses.In today’s dynamic tech landscape, harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) is vital for scientific and conservation communities. This workshop equips wetland scientists and conservationists with Large Language Models (LLM) knowledge and tools (e.g., ChatGPT, Perplexity, scite_). Whether you are a seasoned researcher or new to AI, you will gain insights, tools, and strategies to advance conservation and research. Bring laptops or devices for an interactive experience.

Jason Granberg is an invasive species specialist and project manager at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation. His work includes education, outreach, monitoring, and coordination of invasive species and ecological restoration projects. He also conducts spatial mapping and modelling of invasive species distributions.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Identification of Wisconsin’s aquatic plants

Date and Time: Wednesday, February 21, 1:30 – 4:00 pm
Registration fee: $55
Instructor: Paul Skawinski, UW-Stevens Point Extension Lakes

Paul SkawinskiWisconsin is blessed with over 160 species of submersed and floating aquatic plants. This workshop will focus on learning how to identify these interesting plants. Several dozen common species and a few rare ones will be featured, with particular emphasis on species that commonly occur in wetland areas and shallow lakes. Paul will use an abundance of photographs, laminated specimens, and simple tips to demonstrate the important identifying features of these plants and thereby help you to 1) distinguish common aquatic plants and 2) prepare you to dive deeper into identifying rare and difficult species. Included in the workshop fee is a copy of Aquatic Plants of the Upper Midwest – 4th Edition ($40 value) that each participant will use during the workshop (and keep for subsequent use).

Paul Skawinski is the author of Aquatic Plants of the Upper Midwest and the Statewide Educator for the Wisconsin Citizen Lake Monitoring Network. Paul has taught Aquatic Plant Taxonomy at UW-Stevens Point for 10 years and has taught aquatic plant ID workshops at conferences around the Midwest for over 15 years.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Introduction to common Wisconsin sedges

Date and Time: Thursday, February 22, 1:30 – 4:30 pm
Registration fee: $30
Instructors: Pat Trochlell, The Prairie Enthusiasts and Steve Eggers, US Army Corps of Engineers, retired

This workshop will provide an introduction to Wisconsin sedges, introducing participants to plants in the sedge family and teaching participants how to tell them apart from sedge look-alikes. We will briefly cover common genera in the sedge family; however, we will concentrate on plants in the genus Carex, particularly species most frequently encountered in and adjacent to Wisconsin wetlands. Participants can expect to learn how to identify common species of sedges as well as techniques and tips for keying plants. We will also cover habitat and ecology as clues to identification and will provide dried sedge samples for observation and keying practice. We will also have recommended books and resources available for perusal.

Pat Trochlell along the Lake Michigan ridge and swale wetlands in Kohler-Andrae State Park

Photo by Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Pat Trochlell is a wetland ecologist who worked for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for over 35 years.  Her areas of expertise include wetland botany, soils, natural area restoration, site assessment, and education. She is a state-licensed hydrologist and soil scientist. She currently surveys, assesses, and manages wetland and upland plant communities for The Prairie Enthusiasts, other land trusts, and individuals and is a Wisconsin Master Naturalist Program instructor.





Steve EggersSteve Eggers is a wetland ecologist and Professional Wetland Scientist who worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers for over 40 years.  He is a recognized regional and national expert in wetlands having served as a member of the National Advisory Team for Wetland Delineation and the National Technical Committee for Wetland Vegetation as well as co-authoring the book, Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin. He continues to provide training on wetland delineation, restoration, and plant identification for agency staff and the public.