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Plenary Sessions & Presenters
PLENARY SESSION I: Fish and Wildlife Stewardship in Grassland Systems
Monday, February 14, 8:00 AM – 10:30 AM (Central Time)
Marshall JohnsonMarshall Johnson, Audubon Society

Marshall Johnson exemplifies the ethos of Audubon’s bird conservation mission. Joining the organization at the age of 22, first as a part-time climate field organizer for the D.C. policy team, Marshall has served the Audubon mission with distinction for over 12 years. Beginning in 2012, Marshall served as Vice-President, Executive Director of Audubon Dakota where he thrived in building a mission-moored, highly impactful team and state program.

Responding to the growing grassland and shorebird crisis, he spearheaded the creation and implementation of Audubon’s Northern Great Plains Grasslands Project, targeting one-million acres of ecologically significant and threatened grassland and wetland habitat across North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana. This effort launched a series of programs aimed at improving landowner profitability and enhanced bird and ecosystem outcomes through the implementation of a variety of on-the-ground programs, using voluntary easements, habitat cost-share and a new market-based habitat approach. To date, overn300 farmers, ranchers and communities have enrolled within these programs. To resource this vision, Marshall has led the fundraising and leveraging of more than $50M to directly protect, enhance and conserve critical prairie pothole and grassland habitat. With an eye towards long-term fiscal health, Marshall led the creation of $5.5M endowment fund to support this work, as the state office budget increased from $126,000 to $3.4M under his leadership, growing from a staff of only himself, to a team of more than dozen talented conservation leaders. Beginning in 2014, Marshall led the creation of the Urban Woods & Prairies Initiative with the aim of creating a nature park within walking distance of 70% of North Dakota’s population. Since then, Audubon Dakota has worked with partners to create over 36 new nature parks across North Dakota, creating safe passage for migratory birds, while returning over 2,000 acres back to nature and increasing recreational access and ecosystem services across 5 communities.

In addition to his state director duties, he has helped develop, pilot, and grow Audubon’s ambitious market-based Conservation Ranching Initiative (ACR), now America’s largest regenerative, bird-friendly food certification, spanning more than 3.5m acres across 16 states. Upon becoming VP for Conservation Ranching Initiative in 2019, Marshall worked to bolster the scientific monitoring and tracking of the program by working with National science and ACR teams to implement the peer-reviewed bird-friendliness index (BFI) and soil carbon monitoring across all ACR ranches.

Marshall currently serves as a management board member of the U.S. Prairie Pothole Joint Venture and Chair of the North Dakota Natural Resources Trust Board of Directors. He is the recipient of the North Dakota Wildlife Society’s 2018 Wildlife Habitat Award, presented annually to an individual or group that has made an outstanding contribution toward preserving and/or establishing high quality wildlife habitat. In his spare time (with his phone at his hip), Marshall busies himself waterfowl and upland hunting, canoeing, tinkering with his muscle car and cherishing his time with his fiancée Meleah in their restored 1932 Cape cod home, North Fargo.

The title of Marshall’s presentation will be "Everyday Earth Day: The Power of Market-Based Conservation".
Nathan Anderson, Bobolink Prairie Farms

Nathan Anderson operates Bobolink Prairie Farms in Northwest Iowa with his wife Sarah, two young sons, and family. While raising corn, soybeans, hay, cattle, and some small grains, their farm implements a number of conservation practices. In 2019, they were named the Northwest Iowa Conservation Farmers of the Year in recognition of their ongoing work. Nathan also serves as Vice President on the board of Practical Farmers of Iowa based in Ames and hosts on-farm field days and research projects as part of PFI and other agricultural outreach and education organizations.
PLENARY SESSION II: Fish and Wildlife Stewardship in Intensive Agriculture Systems
Tuesday, February 15, 8:00 AM – 10:05 AM (Central Time)
Dr. Christian KrupkeDr. Christian Krupke, Purdue University

Dr. Krupke leads an applied research and extension program focused upon pest management in corn and soybean systems. The work includes two broad themes: 1) investigating the durability and efficacy of the refuge concept in Bt corn systems, and 2) documenting the pest management potential and unintended consequences of neonicotinoid seed treatments.

Dr. Krupke will share the findings of his years of research on the use of neonicotinoid seed treatments in Midwestern agricultural settings, and the consequences for pollinators and other invertebrates on the landscape.
Andrew DiAllesandroAndrew DiAllesandro, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Andrew (Drew) leads the Partners for Fish and Wildlife (Partners) Program in Iowa which provides technical and cost-share assistance to private landowners and conservation partners to implement wildlife habitat restoration and enhancement projects across Iowa. Drew has worked in the Partners Program since 2012, having delivered the program in both Illinois and Iowa. In his current capacity, Drew seeks to build strategic partnerships with entities that share common goals of landscape-scale conservation that benefits wildlife and helps private landowners and conservation partners meet their objectives. He is passionate about removing barriers to conservation and leveraging the skills and expertise of partners to facilitate conservation delivery in the right place at the right time.

Drew earned his M.S. degree in Natural Resources Management from North Dakota State University. He enjoys mushrooming, deer hunting, gardening, and proudly embraces a girl-dad mentality!
PLENARY SESSION III: Fish and Wildlife Stewardship in Urban Systems
Wednesday, February 16, 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM (Central Time)
Emma MarrisEmma Marris, Author

Emma Marris is an environmental writer and author. She has written for many magazines and newspapers, including National Geographic, Wired, the New York Times, Nature and the Atlantic. She has a Master’s in Science Writing from Johns Hopkins University. In 2021, she published her second book, Wild Souls: Freedom and Flourishing in the Non-Human World. She has given two TED talks, which have been watched two million times. She grew up in Seattle, Washington, and lives with her husband and two children in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Ms. Marris will seek to alter your perspective on seeing and appreciating the nature of urban spaces, and thereby recognizing opportunities for management, research, and public engagement.
Dr. Charles NilonDr. Charles Nilon, University of Missouri

Nilon’s research considers the impact of urbanization on wildlife habitats, populations and communities. From 1997-2020 Nilon was a co-principal investigator on the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES), one of two urban ecosystems included in the National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecological Research program. His work with the BES focused on understanding how ecological and socioeconomic factors influence bird species composition and abundance. Because urban areas are homes for people as well as wildlife, Nilon’s research also considers the role of nature as part of an individual’s day-to-day environment, and environmental justice issues associated with access to nature. Nilon and his students have worked on projects Columbia and St. Louis that seek to understand how people perceive open spaces in their neighborhood. Recently he has collaborated with colleagues from the MU School of Medicine on a project studying the kinds of open spaces where children are active. Since 2010 Nilon has been a principal investigator on four synthesis projects that are compiling data from more than 150 of the world’s cities. The projects seek to understand global patterns of biodiversity in cities, the filters that shape species composition in cities, and the social and ecological factors that shape patterns of abundance in cities, and apply that information to management, conservation and planning programs.
Tyler StubbsTyler Stubbs, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Tyler Stubbs has been the statewide Community Fishing Biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources based out of Des Moines since 2016. Prior to being in this position he was a Fisheries Biologist with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks for 5 years. Tyler received his education from Iowa Central Community College (A.A.), South Dakota State University (B.S.), Mississippi State University (M.S.), and recently graduated from the Certified Public Manager program through Drake University.

He has a broad background in fisheries having collaborated on various projects ranging from work on large reservoirs and rivers to small ponds and streams as well as projects with the commercial catfish industry. He has strived to develop quality opportunities for anglers by building strong partnerships with Iowa’s communities to provide local fishing access.

In his spare time, Tyler enjoys fishing and exploring the 100+ city park fisheries with his family in the Des Moines metro.

Tyler will represent the management agency perspective on fisheries issues and solutions in urban areas.
Andy KellnerAndy Kellner, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Andy Kellner graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with degrees in Conservation Biology and Anthropology. He has worked for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for 10 years and is currently a Wildlife Biologist with the Depredation Program.

In this role, Andy works with private landowners, farmers, businesses, parks, and cities experiencing wildlife damages. Some of the cities he has worked with include Sioux City, Council Bluffs, Corning, Des Moines, and Iowa City. Common wildlife species involved in these situations include white-tailed deer, Canada geese, turkeys, and turkey vultures.

Andy will represent the management agency perspective on wildlife issues and solutions in urban areas.
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