Agenda : Awards : Exhibitors : Sponsors

Friday: Opening Address | Breakout Session A | Breakout Session B | Breakout Session C | Keynote Address
Saturday: Workshops
Friday, October 21, 2005
8:00 a.m. Dining Hall
Registration/Exhibits Open

9:00 a.m. - 9:35 a.m. Dining Hall
Opening Address

Signe Holtz -- Endangered Resources Bureau Director, WI Department of Natural Resources

9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.  
Concurrent Breakout Sessions - A


School Forest Garlic Mustard Monitoring: Engaging Teachers and Students
Jeremy Solin, Wisconsin School Forest Education Specialist
This was a pilot project of the school forest monitoring network. A summary of the project will be shared, highlighting how the project was used by teachers to connect students to environmental issues. Results of data collected will be discussed as will future plans of the school forest monitoring network. Ideas on how to engage teachers in monitoring projects will also be shared.

Charter Schools
Paul Tweed, Augusta High School Science/Wildlands Science Research School

BREAKOUT SESSION II-A Upper Program Center

Water Monitoring Strategy
Mike Staggs, Bureau of Fisheries Management and Habitat, WI Department of Natural Resources

Rivers Pilot Project
Denny Caneff, River Alliance of Wisconsin


Federally Endangered and Threatened Species Monitoring
Ursula C. Petersen, Biologist, Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
In our program to protect federally listed species in Wisconsin from pesticide harm, we inspect and monitor species and habitats, some regularly, others occasionally. We use this information to make management recommendations to private and public managers and to EPA regarding pesticide registrations and use. Several plant species and their sites have been monitored by us with help from public and private partners including over 150 volunteers since the early 1990's. As we move to additional projects, our need is for volunteer groups and individuals to adopt species sites, to coordinate their monitoring from one to 3 times annually, to learn and train others to use the methods, and to report data consistently. The additional information collected by volunteers will fill the data gaps due to time and funding limitations. The data will also allow better state-wide oversight of the status of each species over time and possibly help with recovery as well as management. Volunteers could also help us with newer projects around the state such as water monitoring and sampling.

Volunteer Carnivore Track Surveys - Part of an Integrated Approach to Monitoring Wisconsin Wolves
Jane E. Wiedenhoeft, Bureau of Endangered Resources, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Since 1979 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) has used radiotelemetry, aerial surveys, and winter track surveys to obtain an annual over winter count of the state’s wolf population. As the wolf population began to increase and spread in the early 1990's, WDNR recognized a future need to supplement agency surveys. In 1995 we initiated a volunteer carnivore tracking program to recruit and train volunteers to conduct winter track surveys throughout wolf range. Volunteers have more than doubled the mileage surveyed in the state by agency trackers. Statistical comparison of volunteer and agency survey results indicates both training and experience are important components in obtaining reliable results. Since 2000 we have integrated survey data from trained, experienced volunteers with our other data sets to determine the over winter wolf count and to map wolf distribution in the state. Obtaining an accurate over winter wolf count has been critical to monitoring this species currently listed as state protected and federally endangered.

10:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Dining Hall

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.  
Concurrent Breakout Sessions - B


Integrating Research in the Regular Biology Classroom -- Grantsburg High School 2005
Matt Berg, Grantsburg High School
During the spring semester, summer and fall semester of 2005, students from Grantsburg High School and their instructor participated in two citizen-science projects. The first analyzed mussel communities below four dams on the Yellow, Clam and Wood Rivers in northwestern Wisconsin as well as a high density control site. At each site, mussels and substrate were collected from 100 quadrats (0.25m2). Substrate was separated into five size classes and weighed, and all mussels were identified, measured and aged using annular rings. A numbered vinyl tag was also attached to the first 200 mussels at each site for future growth analysis. Students also sampled dragonfly exuviae (exoskeletons) from 70 sites on the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers to learn more about dragonfly communities in general, and rare species in particular. Initial analysis of 16,159 exuviae resulted in 43 species identified including the Cyrano Darner, Nasiaeschna pentacantha, a species not previously known to occur in Minnesota. Both of these projects allowed students to learn more about the local environment while participating in a challenging, hands-on experience.

Wisconsin NatureMapping in Classroom Curriculum
Sara Schmidt and Rick Koziel, Beaver Creek Reserve
NatureMapping is a statewide biodiversity survey program that allows volunteers to document their wildlife observations on the Wisconsin NatureMapping website at This program is innately appropriate for school groups since it provides the basic requirements for teachers to develop field surveys into the curriculum (i.e. protocols, online data sheets, and central location to report data). In an effort to reach beyond citizen scientists, six middle and high school teachers were recruited to attend a one-day workshop and develop activities specifically for student/class related projects utilizing the NatureMapping website. The three projects developed include an Asian Beetle Study, Fish and Water Study, and Milkweed Community Study. All three are active on the NatureMapping website, complete with teacher resources for simple integration into classroom curriculum. The developed activities also address the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards.

Training Adults for Water Monitoring...Perceiving the Differences
Bob Korth, University of Wisconsin - Extension
The long road to adulthood comes with a lot of baggage. We become set in our ways and have definite ideas on the world we live in. Join in on a discussion of methods for training and working with adult learners. Discover techniques and tips on how to assure the adult learners enjoy their experience and gain needed knowledge. These methods and ideas are used as part of the Wisconsin Citizen Lake Monitoring Network training, sponsored by the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership.

BREAKOUT SESSION II-B Upper Program Center

Research and Citizen Involvement at the Department of Natural Resources
Jack Sullivan, Bureau of Integrated Science Services, WI Department of Natural Resources
Overview of DNR's Fish, Wildlife, and Forestry Research Program. Presentation will include an overview of how the agency accomplishes it's research needs, highlight selected current research studies and emphasize how we utilize citizens to help us accomplish our work.

Trappers and Furbearer Management
John Olson, Bureau of Wildlife Management, WI Department of Natural Resources
Wisconsin has an extensive and growing population of trained trappers involved in furbearer management through the Wisconsin Trappers Association (WTA). Old or young, members are active in nearly all aspects of furbearer management. From trap research to species preservation, the WTA has been far more than just an interested user group. They've become serious partners in conservation management in Wisconsin. This brief talk will describe over a dozen different activities where trappers are working with the department and others to benefit the future of these unique resources.

Gilbert Creek and Elk Creek Cold Water Habitat Evaluation
Matthew Rasmussen, UW-Stout Applied Science Senior
As a summer intern for the Ojibleau chapter of Trout Unlimited, I have had the opportunity to evaluate Gilbert Creek in Dunn County, as well as, Elk Creek in Chippewa County, Dunn County, and Eau Claire County. The creeks were evaluated for ten weeks during the summer of 2005. Biological and physical parameters were measured in both creeks. Biological parameters measured include the following: water temperature, pH, conductivity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, salinity, E. coli, fecal coliform, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Physical parameters include the following: Mean stream width, channel condition, bank height, sediment depth, and velocity. This collection of data is the initial process in understanding the quality of these cold water habitats. In turn, this data will be utilized by the Department of Natural Resources to better manage these habitats for brook trout.


Volunteer Monitoring of Atrazine in Wisconsin Lakes Located along an Agricultural Land Use Intensity Gradient
Paula E. Allen, Envtl. Hydrogeologist/Paleoecologist, WI Dept. of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection
Atrazine is the most commonly used pesticide in the state. Not surprisingly, atrazine is also the most commonly detected pesticide in Wisconsin rivers and streams. Although lakes are prominent features on the Wisconsin agricultural landscape little is known about atrazine concentrations in lakes.
    With the help of lake monitoring volunteers across the state, the WDATCP began a survey of atrazine in lakes during the summer of 2005. Based on preliminary results from 42 lakes using the RaPID© Immunoassay test method for atrazine, atrazine concentrations ranged from below the method detection limit of 0.10 µg/L to 0.4 µg/L. The median lake atrazine concentration was 0.10 µg/L.
    These results suggest that although atrazine concentrations are below USEPA the proposed surface water quality criteria for atrazine of 12 µg/L, atrazine is widespread in Wisconsin Lakes with unknown consequences to specific lakes. Work to determine the relative impact of agricultural land use is on-going.

Challenges and Successes of Volunteer Monitoring at the Zeloski Wetland Restoration
Bryan Huberty, Volunteer Monitoring Coordinator, Rock River Coalition
Citizen-based volunteer monitoring began at the Zeloski Muck Farms in Lake Mills in the fall of 2004 with a pilot project to map invasive plants. It has been expanded during the spring and summer of 2005 to include the biological monitoring of frogs and toads, plants, water quality, birds, dragonflies and damselflies, butterflies and soils/seed bank. The fall and winter will focus on prairie and wetland seed collection as well as monitoring small mammals, carnivore tracking and a local historical/cultural survey. The site is currently in agricultural use until the summer of 2006 when the drainage tiles will be broken and certain ditches filled. There have been many successes and several challenges in training volunteers and determining the best scientific protocols to use in the biological monitoring of wetland pre-restoration.

Wisconsin Statewide Bat Monitoring Program
Dave Redell, Bureau of Endangered Resources, WI Department of Natural Resources

12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Dining Hall

1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.  
Concurrent Breakout Sessions - C


Certifying Monitors in the Rock River Basin
Suzanne Wade, UWEX Rock River Basin Educator
Every person who gives hours of their time to collect natural resource information expects their data to be used. Agencies and organizations have a critical need for this data, especially with monitoring program funds continuing to be cut. But the question arises "How do you know the data is accurate?". This session will discuss how the Rock River Coalition's stream monitoring certification works, what are the problems and what are the benefits.

BREAKOUT SESSION II-C Upper Program Center

Monitoring Data Issues
Steve Galarneau, Bureau of Watershed Management, WI Department of Natural Resources

Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative (WBCI)
Bill Mueller, Wisconsin Society for Ornithology
Citizen Scientists in ornithology have contributed untold amounts of data and information that has led to conservation efforts nationwide. The Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative (WBCI) and its partners are expanding on these efforts to meet new challenges and informational needs not met by current programs. Opportunities for citizens to contribute to bird conservation have never been greater and WBCI is to target those efforts to meaningful conservation programs.

Citizen Lake Monitoring Network
Jeff Bode, Bureau of Fisheries Management and Habitat Protection, WI Department of Natural Resources
Wisconsin's Self-Help Citizen Lake Monitoring Network began in 1986. Since that time, the Network has grown and so has the opportunities for lake monitoring. Wisconsin relies on quality lake data volunteers provide for protecting our lakes. Annual reports are prepared and shared with the volunteer monitor, local lake, county and regional interests, as well as with the US Environmental Protection Agency in Wisconsin's Water Quality Report to Congress. As we approach 20 years of monitoring by the Network, we will be bringing the 'Power of the Partnership' to enhance our support for the Network.

The Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan (CWCP)
Signe Holtz, Bureau of Endangered Resources, WI Department of Natural Resources
Wisconsin's Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan takes a look at the animal species that are part of Wisconsin's natural heritage, identifies those that most need our attention for conservation, and provides a roadmap of conservation actions that the conservation community may take to help preserve these species and habitats. Learn about the plan as well as the role that citizen-based monitoring programs may play in this important initiative.


Riparian Property Partnerships
Scott Peterson, The Friends of the St. Croix Headwaters
The Friends of the St. Croix Headwaters (FOTSCH) organization was formed in late December 2004. As a non-profit, citizen-based friends group FOTSCH been very active in getting Governor Doyle to propose the Wild River designation for the St. Croix River headwaters segment.

FOTSCH has been successful in securing funding and garnering support and volunteer time from riparian property owners along the St. Croix. Partnerships have been established with local citizens as well as about a dozen "stakeholder" organizations.

The data that the volunteers have gathered using WAV protocols, and UW-Stevens Point faculty and staff have gathered using advanced methods, will be used to assess overall river health, support a case for protective designations, and provide a baseline for water-quality trend analysis.

FOTSCH plans to continue its work by educating citizens about the use of shoreline buffers, expanding content on its website (, involving citizens in collaborative scientific studies (e.g., dragonfly, crayfish, mussel, and fishery), pursuing the acquisition and restoration of a commercial cranberry bog, and working to establish conservation easements along the river.

Effects of Land Use on Water Resources Quality
Mike Miller, Bureau of Fisheries Management and Habitat Protection, WI Department of Natural Resources
There is an intimate relationship between the land and water resources. Protecting groundwater, lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands requires wise land use. Human population growth and changes in land use increasingly impact aquatic resources. This presentation provides a brief overview of some of the effects that land use has on water resources quality, and provides insights into how data collected by citizen scientists can be used to assess the health of our aquatic resources.

Local Data Use
Dreux Watermolen, Bureau of Integrated Science Services, WI Department of Natural Resources

Who's Who of Citizen-based Monitoring in Wisconsin
Wendy Stankovich, University of Wisconsin - Platteville
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin-Extension received funding through Wisconsin's Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Planning Grant to gather information concerning citizen-based monitoring programs in order to provide citizens the opportunity to learn about volunteer opportunities in their communities and promote cooperation among citizen-based monitoring programs.

3:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Dining Hall

3:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. Dining Hall
Panel Discussion
Moderator: Laurel Sukup - WI Department of Natural Resources

Panel Members:
Todd Ambs - WI Department of Natural Resources
Bob Howe - University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Betty Les - WI Department of Natural Resources
Dale Luecht - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
George Meyer - Wisconsin Wildlife Federation
Peter Murray - Wisconsin Association of Lakes
Laurie Osterndorf - WI Department of Natural Resources
Suzanne Wade - Rock River Coalition

Panel members answer questions concerning data use, quality control and funding, as well as questions from the audience.

5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Upper Program Center
Evening Social

6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Dining Hall
Dinner/Door Prizes

7:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Dining Hall
Keynote Address

Jonathon Ela
Natural Resources Board Member

7:30 p.m. Dining Hall
Awards Ceremony

Saturday, October 22, 2005

8:00 a.m. Dining Hall
Registration/Exhibits Open

8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Dining Hall
Workshop Logistics


Bats, Birds, Bugs, Mammals, and Herps

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Loren Ayers, Tara Bergeson, Bob DuBois, Dave Redell, and Jim Woodford; Bureau of Endangered Resources
WI Department of Natural Resources

Learn about current programs and potential opportunities for monitoring bats, birds, bugs, mammals and herps. Presentations will include information on different monitoring techniques and strategies for each taxa group. Breakout sessions will provide one on one time with taxa experts.

Citizen Lake Monitoring Network

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Come join us in a Train the Trainer workshop for the Citizen Lake Monitoring Network. DNR and UWEX staff will walk you through what the Citizen Lake Monitoring Network is, how you can join the network, and how you, as a volunteer trainer, can help us expand our monitoring efforts. We will briefly cover what parameters we monitor for then we will give you hands-on training in techniques to train volunteers in water clarity monitoring and monitoring for aquatic invasive species on the lakes we so need to protect. A portion of this workshop will be in the classroom and then we will move out to the lake to demonstrate the techniques learned.

Effective Grant Writing 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon
Gail Pierce, River Alliance of Wisconsin;
Carroll Schaal, Bureau of Fisheries Management and Habitat Protection, WI Department of Natural Resources;
Erin Crain, Bureau of Endangered Resources, WI Department of Natural Resources

Learn about current sources of citizen-based monitoring project funding, as well as strategies and techniques for drafting effective grant proposals.

Stream Monitoring Using Water Action Volunteers' Methods

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kris Stepenuck, Volunteer Stream Monitoring Coordinator, WDNR and UW-Extension; Mike Miller, Baseline Stream Monitoring Coordinator, WDNR; Jim Peterson, Environmental Resources Center Director (retired), UW-Extension
This training event is designed for those who will be training others to monitor streams using Water Action Volunteers' (WAV) methods. It is ideal for teachers who want to conduct stream monitoring with their classes or for others interested in heading up a citizen stream monitoring effort in their area. The workshop will cover how to monitor 6 parameters of the WAV stream monitoring program including: macroinvertebrate biotic index, habitat assessment, dissolved oxygen, temperature, turbidity, and stream flow. Background information about professional methods for monitoring these parameters will also be given as a comparison for participants. A portion of the workshop will be hands-on at the stream, so participants should bring their own hip boots and dress for being outside for an extended period of time. Participants will be provided with a resource packet and CD in order to plan and prepare for conducting their own training.

Wisconsin NatureMapping Train the Trainer Session

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Sara Schmidt, Beaver Creek Reserve
NatureMapping is a statewide biodiversity survey program that allows volunteers to document their wildlife observations on the Wisconsin NatureMapping website at The concept of NatureMapping was conceived in Washington in 1993 and has been established in several states since then. The program was founded in Wisconsin in 2002 on the premise that everyday observations of wildlife are useful data. Citizens can observe birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals in Wisconsin, then go to the website to document their observations without the need for GPS or advanced map-reading abilities.
   NatureMapping provides an excellent opportunity to involve Wisconsin citizens and school groups as collectors of Wisconsin wildlife data. Professionals are also encouraged to NatureMap. Participants in this training session will receive the information and resources necessary to conduct NatureMapping training sessions in their communities and therefore further disseminate this valuable program. The majority of this training will take place indoors, however, attendees should dress appropriately for a short nature hike.

Wolf Ecology Training

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Adrian Wydeven, Bureau of Endangered Resources, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Wolf ecology training will include sharing information on the biology, ecology, and management of gray wolves in Wisconsin. Students will learn about physical characteristics of wolves that are helpful for identifying wolves from other animals, as well as examine how the physical attributes of wolves are useful adaptations to their social predator life style. The annual cycle of wolf activity will be examined including winter nomadic period, breeding season, denning, rendezvous site use, seasonal hunting activities, and dispersal of young adults. Aspects of wolf ecology will be discussed including, territoriality, food habits, ecological role, pack composition, and habitat use. Historical changes in wolf population will be examined from extirpation from the state, initial re-colonization, and eventual recovery to population >425 wolves today. Students will be exposed to all the main aspects of Wisconsin wolf management including legal protection, habitat management, public outreach, depredation management, population surveys, and population management. Training will be provided on wolf survey methods including radio-telemetry tracking, snow track surveys, and howl surveys, including demonstrations of radio telemetry, setting of wolf traps, and wolf howling. After taking this class and a track training class, students will be fairly knowledgeable of the biology and management of wolves in the state, and should have adequate background to participate in carnivore tracking surveys.

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