2015 Conference Archive

69th Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies

Conserving Large Landscapes

Sunday, November 1 - Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Renaissance Asheville Hotel • Asheville, North Carolina


Technical Sessions Schedule

NEW THIS YEAR! The schedule of technical sessions is capable of being sorted by date (i.e, Monday, Nov. 2), track (i.e. Wildlife Technical Sessions), or session (i.e. Wildlife Session #1). You can also search for a presentation title (i.e. Changing Landscapes by Coalition), key term (i.e. striped bass), or presenter last name (i.e. Weaver). You also have the option to build your own schedule of technical sessions.

To review the schedule of technical sessions and read the presentation abstracts, click here. They're also linkable through the schedule at-a-glance below. To review poster abstracts, click here.

Schedule at-a-Glance

The following conference schedule is subject to change (as of 10/27/2015). Please check back for updates. Click here for a printer-friendly version of this schedule

A printed copy of the detailed program agenda with presentation titles, authors, room names and scheduled times will be distributed onsite at the conference. Please note: technical session abstracts will not be printed and are only available online. Changes made after the program was printed are outlined on the Program Addendum

The conference registration desk is located in the Renaissance on the lobby level (1st Floor) in the Grand Ballroom Pre-Function Corridor.


Saturday, October 31, 2015
1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. MINRC Student Check In
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Conference Registration Desk Open
Sunday, November 1, 2015
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Conference Registration Desk Open
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Directors’ Retreat (invitation only)
Sponsored by Brandt Information Services
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Forest Land Resources Technical Committee
9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. USFWS/ Fisheries Resources Working Group
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. MINRC Student Workshop (all students welcome)
9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Trapping Matters Workshop
Many wildlife professionals shy away from trapping-related discussions, because it is considered a controversial wildlife management technique. Yet, it is essential that wildlife professionals understand the diverse ways that regulated trapping provides environmental & social benefits. This workshop will help participants understand & better communicate the benefits of regulated trapping to wildlife management. Participants will leave with scientifically sound information & be trained in skills that will make them effective communicators on this subject. This workshop is free to attend but pre-registration is required. View the workshop flyer for more information!
11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Exhibits Set-up
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Fisheries Administrators’ Lunch (invitation only)
Sponsored by Miller Net Company
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. SEAFWA Human Resources Committee
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Wetlands Wildlife Committee
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Multi-state Hellbender Research Meeting (invitation only)
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Speaker Ready Room Open
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Central Hardwoods Joint Venture Management Board
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Fisheries Resources Committee
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Wildlife Resources Committee
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Student Field Trip - Free to attend but you must pre-register 
Join us for a guided tour of the Marion State Fish Hatchery, a coldwater trout hatchery consisting of four earthen ponds, eight concrete raceways, a hatchery building with indoor rearing tanks, and a spring-fed, water-supply pond. On the tour, you'll learn about the Hatchery's Aquatic non-game program. We'll also visit Swannanoa, North Carolina in eastern Buncombe County to hear about Asheville's Urban Bear Project. Click here for the Student Activities flyer!
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Refreshment Break
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Law Enforcement Chiefs Business Meeting
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Executive Board Meeting of the Southeastern Section of The Wildlife Society
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. SEAFWA Hunting, Fishing & Wildlife Recreation Participation Committee
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Women in Conservation Reception
Sponsored by US Fish & Wildlife Service
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Welcome Reception & Open Mic Night
Sponsored by Brandt Information Services, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Swarovski Optik

Connect with old friends and meet new ones at the opening social event. Cocktails, and light hors d’oeuvres will be served. Then join fellow SEAFWA musicians for a night of musical talent. If you have a recording contract or just like to play or sing, bring your instrument and join in the fun. If you are not musically talented, just relax and enjoy the show!
Monday, November 2, 2015
7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Directors’ Breakfast (invitation only)
Sponsored by Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation
7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast with Exhibitors
7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Conference Registration Desk Open
7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Exhibits Open
7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Speaker Ready Room
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Plenary Session
9:00 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. SEAFWA Guest Activity: Tour of the Biltmore Estate
Advance registration is required; contact info@delaneymeetingevent.com or 802-865-5202 to register. Transportation will depart from the front lobby at 9:00 a.m.

“The luxurious family home of George and Edith Vanderbilt is a marvel of elegance and charm, as magnificent today as it was more than a century ago. Your self-guided house visit spans three floors and the basement. You’ll see displays of vintage clothing, accessories, art, furniture, and more that tell stories and illustrate the lives of the Vanderbilt family, their guests, and employees.”

The cost to enter the estate is $42.80 including tax. Attendees will pay for their own tickets and any additional enhancements they are interested in. For more details on upgrading your package, visit www.biltmore.com. This fee includes entry to the house, and gardens, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. There are many dining options for lunch on the property, and the day will finish at the Antler Village Winery.
10:00 a.m. – 10:20 a.m. Refreshment Break
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Attendee Lunch on Your Own (maps and recommendations available at the information desk)
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Student/Mentor Lunch (advance registration required)
Sponsored by Southeastern Section The Wildlife Society and Southern Division American Fisheries Society
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Wildlife Administrators’ Lunch (invitation only)
Sponsored by Ducks Unlimited
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Directors’ Lunch (invitation only)
Sponsored by National Wild Turkey Federation
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. IT/Licensing Lunch
Sponsored by Sovereign Sportsman Solutions
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Law Enforcement Wildlife Officer of the Year Luncheon
Sponsored by Brunswick Commercial and Government Products
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Poster Set-up
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Wildlife Administrators’ Meeting (invitation only)
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Southern Company ESA Managers Meeting (invitation only)
1:00 p.m. – 2:40 p.m. Technical Sessions and Symposium
2:40 p.m. – 3:20 p.m. Refreshment Break with Exhibitors
3:20 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Technical Sessions and Symposium
5:15 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Exploring the South Atlantic Conservation Blueprint
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Poster Session & Social
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. University of Georgia Warnell School Alumni Reception
Evening Dinner on Your Own
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Directors’ Breakfast (invitation only)
Sponsored by American Sportfishing Association
7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast with Exhibitors
7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Speaker Ready Room Open
7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Exhibits Open
7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Conference Registration Desk Open
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. SARP Steering Committee Meeting (invitation only)
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Southern Company ESA Managers Meeting (invitation only)
8:00 a.m. – 9:40 a.m. Technical Sessions and Symposium
8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. SEAFWA Technical Committee Chairs
9:40 a.m. – 10:20 a.m. Refreshment Break with Exhibitors
Sponsored by Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
10:20 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Technical Sessions and Symposium
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Attendee Lunch on Your Own
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. IT Licensing Lunch (invitation only)
Sponsored by JMT Technology Group
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Directors’ Lunch (invitation only)
Sponsored by Ducks Unlimited
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Human Resources/MINRC Business Meeting
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Directors’ Business Meeting
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. SEAFWA Wildlife Diversity Committee Meeting
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. GCPO LCC Steering Committee Meeting
1:00 p.m. – 2:40 p.m. Technical Sessions and Symposium
2:40 p.m. – 3:20 p.m. Refreshment Break with Exhibitors
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Annual Business Meeting of the Southeast Section of TWS
3:20 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Technical Sessions and Symposium
3:30 p.m. Exhibit and Poster Tear-Down
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception
7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Awards Banquet
Sponsored by USDA Forest Service
9:30 p.m. After-Banquet Social
Offsite at Pack’s Tavern - South Bar (20 S Spruce Street; a few blocks walk from hotel). Local entertainment provided by Fireside Collective. Cash bar. 

A progressive approach to American folk music, Fireside Collective delights listeners with memorable melodies and contemporary songwriting. Formed in the mountain city of Asheville North Carolina, the band plays original songs on stringed instruments, intended for a modern audience. Following the release of their debut album “Shadows and Dreams”, the band hit the road seeking to engage audiences with their energetic live show built on instrumental proficiency, colorful harmonies, and innovative musical arrangements.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
7:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Conference Registration Desk Open
8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. LCC Council Meeting
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Technical Sessions
8:30 a.m.- 10:30 a.m. Annual Meeting/Conference Debrief Committee
10:00 a.m. – 10:20 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:20 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Technical Sessions
1:00 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. Realizing the Vision for Fish and Wildlife in a Changing Southeastern Landscape: A Stakeholder Engagement Workshop (flyer)
(Lunch will be provided from 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.)
If you’re interested in attending this workshop, or have any questions, please contact Bill Reeves, Chief of Biodiversity, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Bill.Reeves@tn.gov.


Monday, November 2, 2015
Emcee: Allison Medford, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
8:00 a.m. Opening Ceremony - North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Honor Guard
8:10 a.m. Welcome and Introductory Comments: Why Conserve Large Landscapes?
Gordon Myers, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
8:30 a.m. The Housing Bomb: How our Homes can Shape Landscape Conservation
Nils Peterson, North Carolina State University

The metaphor of a housing bomb is apt in many ways. Rapid declines in numbers of people sharing homes are leading to explosive growth in housing, with the fast growth occurring in the landscapes most important for wildlife. The physical footprint of each U.S. house more than doubled over the last 60 years, increasing the impact of each home. Rampant housing speculation has left “zombie sub-divisions” in otherwise idyllic locations around the globe including the Yellowstone area in the United States. Demographic trends we want including aging, increased wealth, and equal rights for women all drive down household size and drive up house size. These trends have shifted the major threat to landscape conservation from growing numbers of people to growing per-capita consumption, and that consumption takes place primarily through households. Households are responsible for the most energy use of any sector, and they use that energy in the least efficient ways. They drive water consumption, waste production, and their patterns on the landscape drive social unrest, obesity, and oil dependence.

Despite these problems there are numerous ways to defuse the housing bomb that are unbelievably easy; and even self-serving for individual homeowners. For example home owners can cut their energy and water use in half while saving rather than spending money and increasing rather than decreasing their quality of life. Similarly, builders can adopt wildlife friendly development practice while reducing construction costs and increasing sale prices of homes. Most forward thinking cities are obsessed with complete streets and conservation sub-divisions, and states and nations can overcome obesity and oil dependence by tackling the housing bomb. The housing bomb can be defused simply by waking people up to the incredible opportunities we have to make housing more sustainable. At the same time, the alarmist language is honest. The bomb is ticking, and it’s up to everyone to defuse it!
8:50 a.m. Landscape Conservation in the Southeast- How Much is Enough?
Thomas Eason, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Many factors are affecting the landscape and natural ecosystems of the southeastern United States. From human development to transportation and roads to climate change, the Southeast has undergone significant change and more is coming. Simultaneously, many efforts have successfully worked to conserve large landscapes and restore depleted natural resources. So, with change in full swing and conservation efforts continuing, how much is enough? Or put another way, how do we know what success looks like? There is a plethora of current work underway that hints at answers to this question, but how does it all fit together? The Landscape Conservation Cooperatives of the Southeast are pulling together work in this regard and Florida has a long and rich history of landscape conservation design and protection. These efforts point the way, but much more is needed. And, challengingly for many of us in the fish and wildlife field, success will hinge on understanding the human component of the system. Ultimately it will boil down to people conserving what they value and putting targets on what success looks like. Developing processes and products that allow environmental resources to exist in harmony with social and economic priorities will be critical. This linkage of social, economic, and ecological elements encourages all of society to view our natural landscapes as an asset because they are linked to meaningful human values. What these exact outcomes will be is unknown, and it is our collective job to help figure it out.
9:10 a.m. Integrating Governments and the Public: Exemplary Leadership by Nongovernmental Organizations
Chuck Peoples, The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) work to conserve the Lower Roanoke River began in 1982 with an initial donation of land. Our long-term commitment to this landscape embodies all facets of TNC’s approach to conservation – using collaborative planning and sound science to drive management and land protection decisions, active conservation of critical natural areas, and ensuring appropriate long-term resource stewardship. As of 2010, just over 95,000 acres are permanently protected, conserving 136 miles of frontage along the river, 570 miles on other creeks and waterways, and over 77,000 acres of wetlands. Recognizing that protecting lands would not be enough to sustain this freshwater system, in 1993 TNC began working with partners and water managers to restore key ecological processes impacted by three dams near the North Carolina/Virginia border. These efforts led to involvement in Dominion Generation’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission relicensing and engaging with the US Army Corps of Engineers on the operations of the Kerr Dam. Our collective work in both regards appears poised to pay significant dividends for the future of the Roanoke River and contributes substantially to TNC’s expanded vision for achieving conservation at the scale of the Albemarle Sound system.
9:30 a.m. International Landscape Conservation: Perspectives from the Caribbean 
Carmen R. Guerrero-Pérez, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico DNR
10:00 a.m. Break
10:20 a.m. The Pivotal Role of Conservation Partnerships in Conserving Southeastern Landscapes
  • Private Landowners — Jim Willis, WW Ranch, Cat Springs, TX

    This presentation provides testimony that populations of bobwhite quail and other upland birds can be increased significantly with an effective wildlife management association. Once a wildlife cooperative is established, success can be achieved by recruitment of more landowners through more boots-on-the-ground activities, most of which were purported by Aldo Leopold decades ago; through financial incentives and with technical expertise. When the Wildlife Habitat Federation (WHF) was formed in 2004 it was working with a model that represented slightly more than 200 acres; today, it is now assisting landowners with more than 50,000 acres covering 12 Texas counties. In spite of reoccurring droughts in most of the last decade, surveys conducted by official third party analysts have shown that areas where WHF has reclaimed habitat have about 70 percent more quail than adjoining areas. Due to continual success, the number of WHF customers/members and sites being restored is constantly growing. Future expansions will largely be a duplication of what has previously worked, which involves the formation of fully equipped, 3-man Habitat Action Teams (HATs). The function of these HATs is to restore habitat and having more suitable habitat trumps all factors when it comes to bringing back quail and other upland wildlife.
  • Industrial Landowners — Bob Emory, Weyerhaeuser

    Industrial forestland is a key component of some southern landscapes and provides important habitat, especially early successional habitat types, as well as providing open canopy conditions. Though NCASI, a group of industrial owners recently examined the stand conditions provided by their combined ownership in a set of important watersheds in the Deep South. We found that this ownership provides habitat for a wide variety of species, both terrestrial and aquatic. We also examined the role that forest certification plays in the management of these lands and the influence certification has on non-certified forest land. It is reasonable to think that similar outcomes should be expected in other areas of industrial forest ownership.
  • Local Communities — Catherine Deininger, Biocenosis, LLC 

    Chatham County is a rural community located in central North Carolina, adjacent to the Research Triangle formed by the cities of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. Its rapid development is representative of the unprecedented growth in rural communities throughout the Atlantic Piedmont Mega-Region. Pittsboro, the county seat, has population of approximately 4,000. This small town is predicted to see a tenfold increase in population over the next two decades, due to the rezoning for a planned development district in 2014. Over the last decade, the Chatham community has been scrambling to protect their natural resources and the ecosystem services they provide.

    In 2006, local residents, grassroots organizations, and government agencies formed a stakeholders group called the Chatham Conservation Partnership (CCP), with a mission to develop and implement strategies for a community conservation vision that builds awareness, protection, and stewardship of Chatham County's natural resources.

    In 2011, the Comprehensive Conservation Plan for Chatham County was completed by the partnership. This innovative conservation tool is the first conservation plan developed for a county in North Carolina, and served as a model for other communities in the state. The CCP, with help from the NC Forest Service and the NC Wildlife Resource Commission, obtained federal funding in 2013 for a Planning Tools for Pittsboro project. The tools developed for Pittsboro are being shared in a series of publications, so that other rural communities may adopt the process. The tools include: tree canopy assessment and ecosystem service analysis, biodiversity and wildlife assessment, model natural resource conservation ordinance and tree protection ordinance language, economic feasibility study, and community outreach. The intent of the project is to show the benefits any town or county can obtain by making planning decisions that take into account their natural resources.
  • State Governments — Bill Ross, N.C. DENR (retired); Ryan Orndorff, Dept. of Defense

    If there’s a key lesson that’s been learned from efforts to conserve Southeastern landscapes over the last 25 years, it is the power of partnership. The realization that what happens beyond your particular organization’s literal or jurisdictional fence line will have a profound effect on your organization’s ability to carry out its mission, made collaboration with interests beyond the fence line essential. And, as cooperative initiatives have evolved in the Southeast over that time, they have demonstrated that conservation on a large landscape scale is possible if a broad, diverse, private and public partnership powers the effort. A case in point is the evolution of cooperation in the Southeast that began with efforts to protect red cockaded woodpeckers and the soldier’s ability to train at Ft. Bragg, NC; grew into a regional partnership that helped stop the fall and begin the rise of the longleaf pine ecosystem from NC to east Texas; and is now evolving further into innovative, regional collaborations that solve threatened and endangered species issues proactively on a landscape scale and that support working lands, conservation and national defense across broad areas that are called Sentinel Landscapes. An unconventional combination of partners, from state fish and wildlife agencies, to private landowners, to industrial landowners, to private non-profits, to state departments of agriculture, to local governments, to the Department of Defense, to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, is leading the way.
  • Federal Governments - a USFWS Perspective — Cindy Dohner, USFWS

    As the Southeast Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a Federal agency dedicated to conserving the outdoor way of life, my team and I need to do all we can to work with the public to strategically address the challenges to sustaining fish and wildlife resources and America’s outdoor way of life. The Service’s mission is to ensure that present and future generations of Americans have abundant populations of fish and wildlife species to enjoy. We are able to do this because we work with partners to respond to the multitude of threats to America’s wildlife heritage from such things as pollution, the disappearance of wild lands, invasive species, and wildfires. We are finding that together we can do what none of us can accomplish on our own. We are making a difference on the landscape. In the Southeast, we are working with all of our partners such as state and federal agencies, tribal governments, industry like the Southern Company and Alcoa, foresters, non-profit groups, and as many private landowners as possible to ensure our outdoor way of life endure.

    The trends for growth and economic development predicted in recent assessments show that the region’s population grew at a rate roughly 40 percent faster than any other region over the past six decades. Cities are getting bigger, rural communities are getting smaller. These are just some of the challenges we are seeing on the landscape. Between now and 2050, more than half the nation’s population growth and an estimated 65 percent of its economic growth will occur in 10 mega-regions across the country - three are in the Southeast Region. Between now and 2060, more than half of America’s population growth and at least 65 percent of its economic growth will be packed into those mega-regions. The gross regional product for the Piedmont mega-region alone: $1.1 trillion – and that number is already outdated.

    In that same time frame, we are likely to lose an amount of land to development the size of the State of South Carolina. Globally, demand for food will grow by 35 percent. Demand for energy will grow by 50 percent. Demand for water will grow by 40 percent. Most people will have little contact with nature and the outdoors. All these pressures – on conservationists, business owners, private landowners, policymakers, farmers - ALL of us. Decisions are being made to address population growth, increasing urbanization, traffic congestion, struggling educational systems, increasing global competition, and wildlife conservation needs. In addition, there is farmland conversion, ecosystem degradation, declining air quality, droughts, and competition for water resources as a result of all that pressure.

    The challenges are clear. And the opportunities within those challenges are even clearer. We need to work to shape the landscape BEFORE it is shaped for us. We also know that engaging in the outdoor way of life is an instant refresher. Research and anecdotal studies in relatively new work by Richard Louv and others show getting into the outdoors can boost mental awareness, creativity, and foster greener, smarter communities and businesses. (Many of these are the reasons, I and my colleagues in the Service are so passionate about fish and wildlife conservation, and dedicated to what we do every day. We believe that healthy lands that support thriving populations of fish and wildlife are vital to our American way of life especially here in the south. These wildlife resources contribute economically, aesthetically and spiritually to our wellbeing as individuals and as a nation.)

    We are at a crucial time - a time when citizens are more and more disconnected from the outdoor world, connected to the Internet and their smart phones and tablets, or distracted by the 20,000 messages they are hit with every day. We need to build a stronger, more creative coalition to raise awareness across the region and America about the value that the outdoors and its wildlife resources bring to all of our lives.

    We need to inspire people to get outside and get involved in the conservation effort for fish and wildlife resources, and we need to figure out how we reach people that we don't always reach with our conservation messages.
11:35 a.m. Panel Q&A
11:50 a.m. Final Comments and Adjourn


About the Plenary Session Presenters

Emcee: ALLISON MEDFORD, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
Allison Medford is a Wildlife Diversity Biologist with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. Her position is based in the Piedmont, but has statewide responsibilities for nongame birds and mammals. Before beginning her nongame biology career, she worked as a temporary employee for the Commission as the Captive Cervid Biologist since 2014. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from NC State in 2013, and her Master’s degree in Applied Ecology at NCSU in 2014. Her current work includes monitoring songbird and small mammal populations in the Sandhills and Uwharries.
GORDON MYERS, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
Gordon Myers has served as the Executive Director of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission since 2008. The Commission and its 650 employees are responsible conserving North Carolina’s wildlife resources and their habitats and providing programs and opportunities that allow hunters, anglers, boaters; other outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy wildlife-associated recreation.

After graduating from North Carolina State University’s College of Engineering in 1990, Mr. Myers spent the 17 years prior to his appointment as Executive Director working with the Commission in a variety of capacities, including engineering design, capital development planning, organizational analysis, and legislative affairs. He oversaw development of the agency’s headquarters, which achieved LEED Gold status and was the first sustainably designed state government office building in North Carolina. More recently, he has led the agency’s efforts to become financially self-sufficient.
NILS PETERSON, North Carolina State University
Nils Peterson is an Associate Professor of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at North Carolina State University. His research focuses on unravelling the drivers of environmental behavior, using environmental education, conservation development, environmental conflict, and environmental policy making as natural experiments to test hypotheses. Much of this research is summarized in his recent books The Housing Bomb and Urban Wildlife Conservation: Theory and Practice. Nils received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Texas A&M University, and his Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Additional information about his research, teaching, and service activities is on his web page:http://www4.ncsu.edu/~mnpeters/index.htm
THOMAS EASON, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Thomas Eason works as a wildlife biologist and administrator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). He received his B.S. and M.S. in Wildlife Science at Virginia Tech and the University of Tennessee, respectively, and completed his Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Tennessee. He began his career working on black bear ecology and management and subsequently has taken on a variety of duties for the FWC focused on wildlife diversity conservation. He began his career with FWC as the Leader of the Bear Management Section and now serves as the Director of the Division of Habitat and Species Conservation. Thomas grew up playing soccer and enjoying the outdoors in the suburbs of Washington DC in Vienna, Virginia. Since then, he has steadily moved south for school and work. He has lived in Tallahassee, Florida since 1999. Thomas and his wife, Angel, like tinkering in the yard (a certified monarch butterfly way station), hiking, camping, and kayaking.
CHUCK PEOPLES, North Carolina Chapter of The Nature Conservancy
Chuck Peoples serves as Director of Conservation Programs for The Nature Conservancy in North Carolina and as co-director of the Albemarle Sound Whole System. He holds a BSc. in Wildlife Biology from NC State University and a MSc. in Wildlife Biology from Auburn University. Prior to his work with TNC, he served as Executive Director for the Tar River Land Conservancy. His previous experience includes such diverse jobs as: regional wildlife ecologist with International Paper covering south side Virginia and most of coastal North Carolina, and as a conservation biologist in Georgia with both the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center and the Ida Cason Callaway Foundation. Chuck lives along the Roanoke River in Historic Halifax where he is a Town Commissioner and serves on the Roanoke River Bi-State Commission.
CARMEN GUERRERO-PÉREZ, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico DNR
Carmen Guerrero-Pérez is Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources. She obtained her Bachellor’s Degree in Environmental Public Policy at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She has a Masters’ Degree in Environmental Planning from the Graduate School of Planning at the University of Puerto Rico and a Masters’ Degree in Environmental Management from the School of Environmental Studies at Yale University in Conneticut. She also participated in sustainable development study programs at Costa Rica and at the University of California in Berkeley. She is a licensed professional planner in Puerto Rico. Before assuming her current post, Carmen had a long and fruitful career in environmental conservation and community engagement in the management of protected areas. Carmen started her career at the Office of Policy and Planning of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, D.C. She returned to Puerto Rico to join the San Juan Bay Estuary Program as a Project Coordinator. For more than 15 years, she served as environmental and conservation planner and consultant to numerous organizations and government entities, among them: Puerto Rico Conservation Trust, El Yunque National Forest, Corporación ENLACE del Caño Martín Peña, University of Puerto Rico, Banco Popular Foundation, and The Nature Conservancy, one of the leading environmental conservation organizations in the world. Carmen also founded an environmental non-government organization that provides volunteer advisory services on environmental and sustainable development issues to local communities across Puerto Rico. As Secretary of the DNER, she has led the implementation of a number of Executive Orders formalized by Commonwealth Governor Alejandro García Padilla regarding climate change mitigation and adaptation at an island and municipal scale level, as well as important participatory planning and implementation initiatives to protect Puerto Rico’s coastlines and ocean ecosystems.
JIM WILLIS, WW Ranch, Cat Springs Texas
Jim Willis was raised in an agricultural community in NE Louisiana, where cotton was the leading income provider. We also raised corn, soybeans, sweet potatoes and cattle. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agri-Business at Louisiana Tech University; and a Master’s of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics from Mississippi State University. In his career, Jim has served as agricultural economist/Soviet specialist/rice analyst for Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA, Washington, DC; foreign service officer in 3 American Embassies; co-owned two farm equipment dealerships; Director, Foreign Programs for USA Rice Council; President, International Programs for US Rice Producers Association and Co-Founder/President of Wildlife Habitat Federation Conservation Awards: Wildlife Conservationist Awards from county/regional Soil & Water Conservation Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Lone Star Steward Awards for WW Ranch & for Wildlife Habitat Federation, Houston Chapter of Quail Coalition’s Fletcher Gibson III Lifetime Sportsman Award, Texas Wildlife Association Federation’s Conservation Award and Coastal Prairie Partnership’s Dick Benoit Upper Texas Coastal Prairie Conservation Award.
BOB EMORY, Southern Timberlands Environmental Affairs Manager, Weyerhaeuser
Bob Emory is Environmental Affairs manager for Weyerhaeuser Company’s Timberlands Business in the Southern US. Weyerhaeuser owns over 4 million acres of timberland in the South and Bob is responsible for managing legal compliance, forest certification and regulatory issues including the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act. He has a BS in Forestry from Virginia Tech and has been with Weyerhaeuser for almost 45 years.

He is a member of the Society of American Foresters and serves on the Board of Directors of the Forest Landowners Association and the Institute for Forest Biosciences. He is a past Board member of the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust. For twenty years, including seven as Chairman, Bob served on the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission which establishes policies for the N.C. Coastal Management Program and designates areas of environmental concern, adopts rules and policies for coastal development within those areas, and certifies local land use plans. He and his wife reside in New Bern, NC.
Catherine Deininger began her environmental career in air quality as a consultant to the EPA. After the birth of her second child, she decided she wanted to work on environmental issues at the local level. She accepted a job with the Haw River Assembly, a local riverkeeper group, where she learned to engage the public in through conversations on how to protect the creeks in their own backyards. Currently she is focusing on growing her own consulting business, teaching at Elon University, supporting her local community by serving on the Steering Committee for the Chatham Conservation Partnership and learning about bees.
RYAN ORNDORFF, Department of Defense
Ryan Orndorff is the Deputy Director for the DOD Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) program and has over a decade of experience within the DOD focusing on natural resources management, regulatory issues and regional land use planning. Prior to joining REPI, Ryan served as a Natural Resources Specialist at Headquarters Marine Corps, Marine Corps Installations Command. He will leverage his expertise and relationships to advance the goals and objectives of REPI’s large landscape partnerships and off-base regulatory solution efforts, specifically SERPPAS, WRP, gopher tortoise strategies and longleaf pine restoration work in the Southeast. Prior to working with the DOD, Ryan also worked with the National Park Service and as a Research Assistant with the Center for Watershed Stewardship, assisting with development of community based watershed management strategies and plans. He holds an M.S. in Forestry and Watershed Management from the Pennsylvania State University, and a B.S. in Environmental Resource Management from Shepherd College, WV. Ryan is originally from West Virginia and currently lives in Vienna, VA with his wife, Rachel, and their two children.
BILL ROSS, NC DENR (retired)
William G. Ross, Jr., Chapel Hill, NC; of counsel, Brooks Pierce, Raleigh, NC, through which he supports the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program of the Department of Defense; chair, US EPA National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology; co-chair, Research Triangle Environmental Health Collaborative; former secretary, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (2001-2009).
CYNTHIA DOHNER, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Cynthia (Cindy) Dohner was named Southeast Regional Director in October 2009. She provides vision and leadership for the southeastern United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. As the Regional Director she oversees the management of 128 national wildlife refuges covering more than five million acres, 14 national fish hatcheries, five fishery assistance offices, six migratory bird field offices, and 16 ecological services field offices. She also serves as the Department of Interior’s Authorized Official for the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration and oversees the restoration of the Everglades and the Gulf of Mexico. Before becoming the Regional Director, she served as Deputy Regional Director for the Southeast Region. Throughout her 23 year career with the Service, she has held positions that include serving as Assistant Regional Director for Ecological Services in Atlanta, and the Branch Chief for Recovery and Consultation in the Washington Office. She has also worked for three State Agencies, two other Federal agencies and in the private sector. She has a B.S. in Marine Biology and a Master’s degree in Fisheries and Aquaculture.



Monday, November 2

Building a Fish Passage Community of Practice Through Case Studies and Lessons Learned
1:20 p.m. – 4:40 p.m.

This symposium aims to help develop a fish passage community of practice throughout the Southeast by highlighting successful dam removal projects, identify lessons learned and recommend key factors to minimize the intimidation often encountered around dam removal projects. (click here for more information)  

Human Dimensions of Wildlife
1:00 p.m. - 5:20 p.m.

This symposium offers insights into the ways human dimensions research can inform management on how to adapt to these social pressures. It will highlight examples of human dimensions research applied to management decisions and facilitate increased interaction among human dimensions researchers and specialists in SEAFWA member states and other conservation related organizations. (click here for more information)  

Tuesday, November 3

Frameworks for Large-scale Conservation of At-risk Species in the Southeast
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

The objective of this panel is to seed a broader conversation about the emerging and evolving frameworks that states might employ in the Southeast to achieve large-landscape and species conservation objectives. Speakers on the panel will provide insight into regional and national trends, review the multiple factors that have influenced the design and uptake of different conservation approaches in the past, and identify barriers and opportunities for implementation of new conservation frameworks.  

Large Landscapes and Biodiversity Conservation in the South 
1:00 p.m. - 2:40 p.m.

In this symposium, speakers address US Forest Service research studies related to ecosystems that are especially vulnerable to broad scale changes... and implications for fish and wildlife species that depend on them. (click here for more information)  

Landscape-scale Wildlife Habitat Conservation and Local Government Land Use Planning
3:20 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

This symposium will provide case studies and lessons learned to wildlife agencies and professionals so that they may assess the effectiveness of investing in wildlife habitat conservation through local land use planning. (click here for more information)  

Wednesday, November 4

Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

This symposium will present recent progress and identify important next steps for key elements of this conservation adaptation strategy, 1) network of landscapes and seascapes, 2) conservation collaborations, and 3) landscape change information. (click here for more information)