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Monday, January 29 • 8:00am - 12:00pm
Plenary Session, Awards Presentation & Ignite Session

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8:00 AM | Welcome & Opening Remarks
Justine Hasz, Wisconsin Department of Natural REsources and Dan Meyer, Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
8:15 AM | Equity & Inclusion in the Environmental Field (Four Reasons Your Environmental Organization is Still Predominantly White)
August M. Ball, Founder, Cream City Conservation
With a country as racially diverse as the United States, the green industry remains racially homogenous as organizations and agencies fail to break through the decades old 12-16% “green ceiling”. This plenary session will highlight why having a diverse workforce and culturally relevant programming matters and examine four reasons organizations remain predominantly white (despite best intentions to be inclusive) and what can be done about it.
8:50 AM | The Psychological Importance of Exposing "Digital Natives" to the Natural World
Casey A. Holtz, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, Wisconsin Lutheran College
9:25 AM | Smartphone Jiu Jitsu – Connecting People to Nature in the Digital Age
Evan Hirsche, Co-Founder, Discover Nature Apps
10:00 AM | Refreshment Break with Exhibitors
10:20 AM | Awards Presentation
The Wildlife Society Awards
  • Outstanding Wildlife Student Awards
  • Student Chapter of the Year Award
  • Professional Award of Merit
North Central Division - American Fisheries Society Awards:
  • Best Chapter Communications
  • Most Active Student Subunit 
  • Most Active Chapter (Small & Large) 
  • Fisheries Excellence 
Janice Lee Fenske Memorial Award 
11:00 AM | Ignite Session
Back by popular demand! The Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference is proud to present the 3rd annual Ignite Session as part of the Plenary Session on Monday, January 29th. Using 5-minute presentations with no more than 20 timed slides, our speakers will engage the audience on issues regarding the future of fisheries and wildlife conservation in the Midwest. We have selected speakers who can speak to personal, political, economic, policy, agency, and private landowner perspectives. Come join the conversation! Experience the passion of our speakers! Consider the future!

Emily Latch, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
"Badgers Are Worth Digging Into"
Emily is an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  Research in her lab focuses on using molecular methods to inform conservation and management of North American wildlife and to improve captive population management.  Emily is President of the TWS Molecular Ecology Working Group and a member of the IUCN Conservation Genetics Specialist Group.
Ken Leinbach, Executive Director, Urban Ecology Center (Milwaukee)
"It's Kind of Fun to Do the Impossible: The Story of Milwaukee's Urban Ecology Center" 
Ken is a nationally recognized educator and leader in community-based environmental education. He is the Executive Director of the Urban Ecology Center, and a recently published author. Ken speaks on a variety of topics including urban education, community organizing, storytelling, and green living. Ken holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Antioch College in Ohio, a Master’s degree in Environmental Education from Prescott College in Arizona and received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.
Eva Lewandowski, Citizen Based Monitoring Coordinator, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
“Citizen Science: Expanding Conservation Through Partnerships”
Eva Lewandowski is the Citizen-based Monitoring Coordinator at the Wisconsin DNR, where she coordinates the Wisconsin Citizen-based Monitoring Network and facilitates many of the DNR’s rare species monitoring projects. She is active in the national and international citizen science community and enjoys volunteering for several citizen science projects in her spare time. She received her PhD in Conservation Biology from the University of Minnesota.
Curt Meine, Senior Fellow, Aldo Leopold Foundation
“Making Common Cause:  Wisconsin’s Legacy of Collaborative Conservation”
Curt is a conservation biologist, historian, and writer. He has a wide range of interests involving land conservation and wildlife, and is a preeminent scholar of Aldo Leopold. He is a Senior Fellow at the Aldo Leopold Foundation and the Center for Humans & Nature and an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Curt received his bachelor’s degree in English and History from DePaul University in Chicago and his graduate degrees from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW-Madison.
Jeremy Pyatskowit, Director of Environmental Services, The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin
“Menominee Lake Sturgeon Restoration-Past to Present”
Jeremy is the Director of Environmental Services for the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. His role involves performing lake and stream studies for fisheries, water quality monitoring, and habitat restoration.
Jennifer Sereno, Communications Manager, Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District
“From Flush to Fish: Managing the Wastewater Flow”
Jennifer Sereno currently serves as communications manager for Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District with previous experience as strategic communications manager for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and business editor of the Wisconsin State Journal. She’s produced stories for The New York Times, Dow Jones, Reuters and Wisconsin Trails, among others. In her free time, she enjoys fishing, open water swimming and winter training for the American Birkebeiner.

Plenary Presenters
avatar for August M. Ball

August M. Ball

Founder, Cream City Conservation
August M. Ball is the founder of Cream City Conservation. Her two-prong social enterprise helps organizations attract diverse candidate pools and institute strategies that attain and retain top talent, making their workforce stronger and smarter and their programs more sustainable... Read More →
avatar for Evan Hirsche

Evan Hirsche

Co-Founder, Discover Nature Apps
Evan Hirsche is Co-Founder of Discover Nature Apps. He is a 27-year veteran in the wildlife conservation field. Prior to Discover Nature, he served for 12 years as President of the National Wildlife Refuge Association, and before that as National Policy Office Director for National... Read More →
avatar for Casey A. Holtz, Ph.D.

Casey A. Holtz, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychology, Wisconsin Lutheran College; Licensed Psychologist
Casey A. Holtz, Ph.D. is an associate professor of psychology at Wisconsin Lutheran College and he has a private clinical psychology practice. He obtained his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Marquette University. Dr. Holtz teaches a variety of classes related to child abnormal... Read More →

Monday January 29, 2018 8:00am - 12:00pm CST
Ballroom A/B