URBANA, Ill. - Landowners and managers can learn the latest in conservation practices at the third annual Southern Illinois Conservation Workshop. This year, all the sessions are presented online at no cost.
"This workshop brings together professionals with expertise on different aspects of landowner conservation to offer an opportunity for local land managers and landowners to learn, make connections, and ask questions," says Erin Garrett, University of Illinois Extension energy and environment educator. "Although focused in Southern Illinois, much of the information has application to all areas of Illinois and nearby states."
The conference runs from 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 21-25. Online registration is required for this free online webinar series. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, contact Brenda Hileman firstname.lastname@example.org. Early requests are encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet the requested accommodation. For questions about the workshop, contact Erin Garrett email@example.com or Chris Evans firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a review of the offerings:
Monday, September 21 | 2 PM | KEYNOTE | Traces on the Land: The Importance of Managing Cultural Resources on Private Property
Presented by Mary McCorvie and Heather Carey, Shawnee National Forest
People have used, interacted with, and influenced the natural resources present on the landscape for thousands of years. What they left behind allows numerous opportunities for studying both human behavior and conditions of the natural world. The management, preservation, and protection of cultural resources is a worthwhile endeavor with lasting benefits.
Monday, September 21 | 3 PM | Conservation Strategies for Karst and Cave Resources in Illinois
Presented by Bob Weck, Southwestern Illinois College
The karst landscapes of southern Illinois contain hundreds of caves and some globally rare species. This presentation will provide an introduction to karst and cave ecosystems in Illinois and describe recommendations for landowners and managers to help preserve these unique resources.
Tuesday, September 22 | 2 PM | Lessons from the Red Oak Rain Garden
Presented by Eliana Brown, Illinois Indiana Sea Grant and University of Illinois Extension
The Red Oak Rain Garden is a 10,000 sq. ft landscape installation on the University of Illinois campus that soaks up stormwater and supports pollinators. This talk focuses on the experience of designing and building it with lessons that you can apply to your own project.
Tuesday, September 22 | 3 PM | Stream Restoration in Southern Illinois – Structural Alternatives
Presented by David Webber, Natural Resources Conservation Service
This presentation will address how streams behave, common problems in Southern Illinois streams, and structural alternatives for streambank and streambed restoration.
Wednesday, September 23 | 2 PM | Wildlife Benefits of Native Shrubs
Presented by Kevin Rohling, University of Illinois Extension Forestry
Native shrubs provide resources that have significant benefits to native insects and wildlife. This presentation will discuss a number of desirable native shrubs, including information about their characteristics and site preferences and their value to native insects and wildlife. Many unique species make use of native shrubs and several of these will be highlighted in the presentation. This talk advocates for increasing the use of native shrubs in conservation efforts and reducing or eliminating non-native invasive shrubs and other plants that provide little to no wildlife value.
Wednesday, September 23 | 3 PM | What’s That Plant? Identifying the Plants You See Daily
Presented by Austin Little, University of Illinois Extension
While native plants are highly promoted for natural landscaping, there are plenty of other common herbaceous plants of value that can be found in the wide range of Illinois landscape. This talk will look into the identification and uses of the more commonplace native and non-native plants found in the landscape.
Thursday, September 24 | 2 PM | Herbicide Sprayers and Best Practices 101
Presented by Nick Seaton, River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area
This talk will provide listeners with an overview of the various herbicide applications and sprayers that are currently available. Topics to be covered include safety, pros and cons of sprayer types and best practices while applying herbicides. Listeners will gain a better understanding of the ways that invasive species can be safely managed at home and while volunteering.
Thursday, September 24 | 3 PM | 2020 International Year of Plant Health: Protecting Plants, Protecting People
Presented by Tricia Bethke, The Morton Arboretum
In Illinois, we have over 40 known forest pests, the loss of crops and reduction in biodiversity affects the air we breathe, and the food we eat. Changes to our climate and human activities have created new opportunities for pests to thrive, altered our natural resources and agricultural systems. Learn more about ways to keep our plants healthy while protecting our environment, how to identify potential forest pest threats in Illinois, and ways you can strengthen and enrich your community through plant monitoring and reporting.
Friday, September 25 | 2 PM | Wildlife Nest Boxes
Presented by Peggy Doty, University of Illinois Extension
Due to habitat loss and/or invasive species, many native wildlife species struggle to find a place to shelter and raise young. You can supplement a habitat for anyone from insects, birds, mammals and other wildlife if you know what they are looking for in a home. Learn what it takes to create prime real estate.
Friday, September 25 | 3 PM | Snag Availability, Shifting Bat Communities, and Fire Management
Presented by Joy O'Keefe, University of Illinois
This talk presents empirical data collected in our studies of Indiana bats and other bats in fire-adapted forests in the southern Appalachian mountains, with considerations for the changing nature of bat populations across the eastern U.S. following the devastating effects of the white-nose syndrome disease.
Tricia Bethke is the Illinois Forest Pest outreach coordinator. Her position is funded through a cooperative grant with the United States Department of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and The Morton Arboretum. Tricia’s responsibilities include statewide training of key stakeholders on the USDA APHIS Hungry Pests program for forest pest identification, high-risk pathways, regulations and quarantines, and reporting protocols. Tricia also coordinates and instructs public and private audiences on forest pest detection, tree identification, and tree health monitoring.
Eliana Brown is a Water Quality Specialist with Illinois Indiana Sea Grant and Illinois Extension. Her areas of expertise include green infrastructure and stormwater. She leads Extension’s involvement in the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy and is a National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP) instructor at Parkland College. Her education includes a Master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. She is a certified Master Gardener and hopes to become a certified Master Naturalist.
Heather Carey is an archaeologist for the Shawnee National Forest.
Peggy Doty is an Extension energy and environmental stewardship educator. She received her bachelor of science in zoology, with a specialization in wildlife management from Southern Illinois University. She holds a master of education from Northern Illinois University, where she specialized in curriculum and instruction. Her interests are the people and wildlife interfaces where conflict can occur with wildlife interactions.
Austin Little, Illinois Extension horticulture educator, is instrumental in working with the Master Gardener and Master Naturalist volunteer programs. Little is available to assist the community and answer questions on a variety horticulture-related topics including home gardening, residential and commercial horticulture, small-scale fruit and vegetable production and urban agriculture, soil fertility, and integrated pest management, as well as landscaping.
Mary McCorvie is the Heritage Program Manager for the Shawnee National Forest.
Joy O'Keefe joined the faculty at University of Illinois in 2020 as an assistant professor after serving as an assistant and associate professor of biology at Indiana State University from 2011-2020. From 2012-2020, she was director of the Center for Bat Research, Outreach, and Conservation.
Adam Phillips is a district wildlife biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in southern Illinois. Adam coordinates wildlife management at state sites, including state parks, wildlife management areas, and state fish and wildlife areas. Adam’s primary duties include coordinating wildlife habitat management projects on public and private lands, executing wildlife population surveys, and managing hunting programs on public lands in his district.
Kevin Rohling is a forestry research technician with Illinois Extension forestry working out of Dixon Springs Agricultural Center. Kevin earned both bachelor and master degrees in geography from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, specializing in bBiogeography and GIS. He has worked in natural resource conservation since 2004. He conducts research and Extension activities focused on invasive species issues, prescribed fire, use of technology in forestry, wildlife monitoring, and natural areas management.
Nick Seaton received his bachelor's degree in forestry and resource management from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 2013 prior to working with The Nature Conservancy for three years on the Invasive Species Strike Team. With the Strike Team, he saw the issues associated with invasion firsthand and learned each of the invaders in the region by name. He left the Strike Team in 2016 to pursue a graduate degree in plant biology, studying the invasive plant Japanese Chaff Flower. While at SIUC he became the project coordinator of the River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area in January 2018.
David Webber is the area engineer for NRCS for the southern 30-county region of Illinois. He has over 30 years of experience in conservation engineering and works in the Marion regional office where he supervises other engineers and senior technicians. He has designed and implemented hundreds of streambank projects throughout Southern Illinois during his career and has taught courses for NRCS in stream restoration.
Bob Weck is a biology professor at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville. He and his wife, Nancy, are the landowners and managers of Stemler Cave Nature Preserve in St. Clair County. Bob’s research interests focus on the biology of cave dwelling snails in southwestern Illinois. He serves on the board of directors for two nonprofit organizations with ties to karst and cave conservation, the Illinois Speleological Survey and Clifftop.
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