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Sunday, February 5 • 8:00am - 12:00pm
Workshop: Introduction to Data Basin and the Midwest Grassland Conservation Area

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ORGANIZER: Kelly VanBeek; Tom Will, USFWS, kelly_vanbeek@fws.gov; tom_will@fws.gov

PRESENTERS: Kelly VanBeek, Migratory Bird Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 3 Division of Migratory Bird Management;  Tom Will, Migratory Bird Coordinator, Midwest Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory Birds

OVERVIEW: Despite significant advances in conservation policy and land-use practice, stewards of Midwest grasslands face persistent challenges in sustaining the ecological and economic values of pasture, hayfield, and prairie ecosystems. This workshop will profile a newly developed resource to support grassland stewardship in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Region, Prairie Pothole, and Central Hardwoods Joint Ventures. The Conservation Atlas for Midwest Grasslands is an online mapping and data-sharing platform, hosted by Data Basin, which organizes spatial information about bird populations, ecosystem services, and conservation opportunities. It also synthesizes strategic guidance generated by regional and international initiatives and provides a platform for collaborative grassland project development. A tool within the Atlas, the Conservation Opportunity Model for Bobolink, provides a flexible template for exploring species conservation opportunities by allowing user weighting of objectives and model parameters. Program leaders and field personnel from public and private sectors should find these tools useful in promoting the wildlife, water-quality, and agricultural benefits of grassy landscapes.

After an introduction to the Data Basin framework, the Atlas layers, and the available tools for combining, weighting, and viewing spatial data, we will provide examples of how spatial hypotheses can be explored at regional, state, and local scales. Participants will then work independently and in small groups on structured problems at each of the three scales. We will then discuss as a group how these tools can be used to generate planning ideas or make conservation decisions at appropriate venues and levels within conservation organizations. Finally, we will conclude with examples of how organizations can share their spatial data to contribute to the scope and scale of the Atlas and how the Atlas can be used as a platform to strengthen collaboration and build stronger partnerships for collective impact.

Participants will be asked to create a Data Basin account prior to attendance and, if possible, to bring a laptop to the workshop in order to participate in the problem-solving exercises and practice Data Basin techniques in real time.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Any; but professionals and planners would benefit

FEES: $20. Sign-up on registration form; lunch is on your own. 

Sunday February 5, 2017 8:00am - 12:00pm CST
Olive Branch Room

Attendees (4)