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Monday, April 16 • 8:00am - 12:00pm
Plenary Session and Awards Presentation

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8:00 AM | Welcome 
  • Presentation of the Colors – Vermont Honor Guard: Lt. Gregory Eckhardt, Lt. Carl Wedin, Lt. Justin Stedman, Robert Currier, Josh Hungerford, Matthew Theil, Timothy Carey
  • National Anthem

8:15 AM | Welcome to Vermont
  • Welcome Remarks - Julie Moore, Secretary, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (invited)
  • Welcome Remarks - Vermont Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter

8:30 AM | Re-connecting Ourselves to Our Neighbors Through Stories of PlacePeter Forbes, Center for Whole Communities 

9:30 AM | Powerful Science Communicators in Our Own Backyard: A Science Slam Jacob DeBow, University of Vermont; Rich Kirn, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department; John Austin, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department; Adam Miller, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
Hear about the great work happening in our own backyard with quick updates from around the northeast. (see details below)

10:00 AM | Hunting Stories: Connecting People and Nature Isabella Milazzo, Poultney High School
Isabella Milazzo is a sophomore at Poultney High School in Poultney, Vermont. She finds herself deeply connected to nature through hunting with her relationship with her grandfather. In turn, these relationships with nature foster a sense of community, wholeness, and joy. What can be learned from Isabella, and how might her experiences inform and empower professionals in their job to conserve natural resources for future generations?

10:30 AM | Break 

11:00 AM | Awards Ceremony 
  • Conservation Law Enforcement Officers of the Year
  • Northeast Section of The Wildlife Society
    • Student Presentation Awards (2017)
    • Certificates of Recognition
    • P.F. English Memorial Award
    • John Pearce Memorial Award
  • Angelo Incerpi Fisheries Conservation Award
  • William T. Hesselton Award presented by the Northeast Wildlife Administrators Association
  • 2018 Information and Education Professional of the Year Award presented by the Northeast Conservation Information & Education Association
  • Robert McDowell Award for Conservation Management Excellence

12:00 PM | Adjourn for Lunch (On Your Own)


SLAM Presentations:

Speaker: Jacob DeBow
Title: Moose Survival and Reproduction in Northern Vermont
Synopsis: Vermont is conducting research on moose survival and fecundity alongside other New England states to better understand the driving forces behind population declines and reduced herd health at a state and regional level. I will discuss the impacts of shorter winters on winter ticks and results to-date from the Vermont study.
Biography: Jacob DeBow is a Master’s student at the University of Vermont.  His research focuses on mortality and productivity of moose in northern Vermont in partnership with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. Jacob has been involved in moose research in New England since 2014 and developed a deep interest in the management of this iconic and ecologically important animal. As an avid sportsman, Jacob enjoys hunting, fishing, and trapping and hopes to someday be involved with game species research, management, and conservation.

Speaker: Rich Kirn
Title: Incorporating Aquatic Habitat Protection into Flood Resiliency & Recovery Practices
Synopsis: Tropical Storm Irene exposed many shortcomings in Vermont’s flood recovery regulations and practices which lead to excessive and unnecessary degradation of stream habitat.  Large scale removal of coarse streambed substrate and natural wood, channel widening, berming and straightening resulted in over 80 miles of stream channels devoid of aquatic habitat features. Through improved regulations and coordination, the development of standard instream practices, and a formal training program, future flood responses should be more targeted and effective while minimizing impacts to aquatic habitat.
Biography: Rich Kirn has been a Fisheries Biologist for the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife for 31 years and oversees the Aquatic Habitat and Trout Management Programs. Rich represents the Department on a variety of aquatic habitat issues, including significant efforts on Aquatic Organism Passage (AOP), riparian habitat protection and instream construction practices, procedures and regulations.  

Speaker: John Austin
Title: Connectivity Conservation from Connecticut to Labrador – A Vision for Keeping Our Regional Ecosystem Intact
Synopsis: In 2016, the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers signed a resolution mandating that all state and provincial governments in the region work together to ensure an ecologically connected landscape for purposes of climate change resilience and biodiversity conservation.  Efforts are underway to develop a plan to advance the interests of this resolution and capitalize on the wealth of science, as well as conservation programs and partnerships that exist now and that may emerge as a result of this broad conservation vision for the region.  This SLAM talk will provide a brief overview of the vision of the resolution and how it might be put into action where 11 states and provinces work collaboratively to keep our system of forests, streams, wetlands and more connected for the benefit of everything from moose to mink.
Biography: John Austin is the Land & Habitat Program Manager in the Wildlife Division of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.  He’s worked with the department for nearly 25 years focusing on land and habitat management and conservation.  

Speaker: Adam Miller
Title: Going Green: Energy Efficiency at Vermont’s Hatcheries
Synopsis: Vermont’s hatchery systems are going through extensive revamp and review of their energy efficiency. Utilizing interns to lead the charge, Vermont’s hatcheries are on their way to being completely independently
Biography: Adam Miller has been the Fish Culture Operations Manager for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department since 2012. Before that he worked in private non-profit hatchery projects in Alaska. He is a graduate of National Conservation Leadership Institute.  

Speaker: Carolyn Balparda
Title: Your Work and Climate Change
Biography: Carolyn Balparda is a University of Vermont student. 

Plenary Presenters
avatar for Peter Forbes

Peter Forbes

Center for Whole Communities
ABOUT PETER FORBES: My life work is focused on understanding, supporting, and facilitating healthy communities through civic dialogue, leadership development, and access to land, nature and place.  For twenty years, I've been creating curricula and leading learning experiences designed... Read More →

Isabella Milazzo

Poultney High School
Isabella Milazzo is a sophomore at Poultney High School in Poultney, Vermont. Besides being at the top of her class at school, she is a cheerleader, and a hunter.

Monday April 16, 2018 8:00am - 12:00pm EDT
Adirondack Ballroom