Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference Header
2021 Event Workshops
The following workshops were offered as part of the 2021 Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference.
What’s Next? Steps on the Pathway to Finding the Right Graduate Position or Job
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM (CST)

Overview: Determining the next career move can be daunting even during “normal” times. How do I find the right job? Do I go to graduate school first? If so, how do I get into the right position, with the right advisor(s), in the right program? We will begin to answer some of these questions in a morning, modular workshop. We will devote about an hour to short presentations and some discussion on tips for getting into graduate school. Then, after a short break, we will devote about an hour to short presentations and some discussion on tips for employment. We will wrap up our time with closing remarks on the importance of TWS and AFS in helping you achieve your goals.

Intended Audience: This is targeted primarily to undergraduates.

Contact: Jason D. Riddle, Gerald and Helen Stephens Professor of Wildlife, North Central Section TWS and University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point; Phone: 715-346-3224; Jason.Riddle@uwsp.edu
Time: 9:00 AM -12:00 PM (CST); or 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM (CST)
This workshop is offered twice; you can sign up for either the morning or afternoon session. The content is the same for both.

Overview: GGPlot is a plotting package for R that is designed to make plots modular and more extensible. In this workshop you will explore the different components of GGPlot and how these components can be styled, layered, and animated. This will help you use GGPlot to create more dynamic plots to better convey your data.

  1. Some programming knowledge in any language – it does not have to be R just to make sure people have some familiarity with a programming environment and basic programming structures (e.g, if-else statements).
  2. Installation of RStudio, Rtools, and some other tools (all free). Instructions will be provided and a test script to make sure everything has been installed properly – but it needs to be done before the workshop.
Presenter: Charlie Belinsky, Curriculum Developer, Quantitative Fisheries Center, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University; belinsky@msu.edu; 989-272-2623
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM (CST)

Overview: Self-care is imperative if conservationists are to be at their best to overcome the environmental and conservation challenges of today. Being your best self means prioritizing your health and wellbeing before caring for others and our land, water, and air. Self-care is not selfish, it is necessary. Our self-care practices (or lack of) are influenced by deeply held beliefs, attitudes, and upbringing. During this class, we will assess our attitudes and current situation in self-care to help us:
  • Examine what self-care and wellbeing are and are not
  • Identify personal beliefs around self-care and wellbeing
  • Determine barriers to successful self-care plans
  • Develop a process for committing to and implementing self-care
  • Discuss how conservation challenges of today might be affecting our emotional wellbeing
Note: This is an experiential workshop with lots of time for self-reflection mixed with a small amount of lecture. Registrants will receive a worksheet the day before to be used for personal work and workshop notes.

Intended Audience: Early professional through all levels of leadership and authority - for anyone struggling with self-care during these uncertain times.

Presenter: Michelle Doerr, Anavah Consulting LLC (former wildlife biologist and current TWS member)
W04: Build Cross-Cultural Relationships
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM (CST)

Overview: As natural resource professionals look to connect with communities beyond their traditional user base, what are some best practices that they can use to be most effective? In this two-hour workshop the organizers will share tips and experiences about communicating and working with people across lines of difference.

Presenters: Rowzat Shipchandler, Diversity Coordinator | Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Rowzat.Shipchandler@state.mn.us
Ray Ruiz, Hunting and Fishing Skills Liaison | Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; ray.ruiz@state.mn.us
Time: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM (CST)

Overview: It might be tough to hear, but conflict is not only inevitable... It’s essential. It’s important to all of us that we are able to work in a healthy workplace, and have healthy relationships with friends and family. That is only possible when we are able to navigate conflict thoughtfully and productively. This session will review conflict and how to use it to improve relationships in and out of the office. We’ll discuss:

What is conflict? What makes conflict healthy? What makes conflict unhealthy? Am I adding healthy or unhealthy conflict? How can we take unhealthy conflict and make it healthy? How can I build my skills to navigate conflict?

Presenter: Steven Reuter, Organizational Health Consultant | OH-EAP
Time:1:00 PM – 5:00 PM (CST)

Overview: Conservation and management policies and decisions about wildlife populations are commonly based on population models that rely on piecemeal analyses of abundance, survival, and reproductive success. With the advent of integrated population models (IPMs), researchers are now able to combine data sets that directly and indirectly inform abundance and demographic parameters (e.g., reproduction, survival and movements) to develop crossseasonal and spatial comparisons of animal population dynamics. As such, IPMs provide a more natural link to conservation planning than traditional population models. Key benefits of IPMs include increased precision of parameter estimates and the ability to estimate unmeasured demographic rates. These properties allow for more detailed insights into the processes that drive variation in key demographic rates that have been difficult to study. We propose a workshop to provide a gentle introduction to the analytical methods of IPMs. We will highlight the breadth and scope of recent developments in the use of IPMs to study wildlife populations and conservation. Our objectives of this session are:
  1. To demonstrate the diversity of IPMs that uniquely answer broad questions pertaining to wildlife ecology.
  2. To examine how IPMs increase population-level inferences (e.g. quantifying demographic rates not previously identifiable using traditional population models).
  3. To discuss the potential for IPMs to reform our understanding of animal demography using interdisciplinary approaches to tackle global issues, such as climate and land use change.
Intended Audience: Students and professionals will benefit from attending this workshop. In particular, we hope attendees with sparse monitoring and/or demographic data will find our workshop helpful to overcome common limitations with signle data sets. We anticipate attendees will have some familiarity with survival models (e.g., capture-recapture, dead recovery), population growth models and Program R. This workshop is focused at the intermediate level.

Presenters: Todd W. Arnold, University of Minnesota, arnol065@umn.edu; Mitch D. Weegman, University of Missouri, weegmanm@missouri.edu
© Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference
Website Design & Management by:
Delaney Meeting and Event Management