Special Symposia

A symposium is comprised of a series of presentations that address aspects of a single topic. Five special symposia will be included as part of the technical program at the 2019 SEAFWA Annual Conference; they will run concurrently with other technical sessions.  

1. Congratulations on Your Promotion to Management: Considerations for Supervisory Biologists

Organizer: Cecil A. Jennings, Unit Leader & Adjunct Professor, US Geological Survey, GA Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources University of Georgia; jennings@uga.edu
Overview:  The aim of this symposium is to provide an overview of the roles and responsibilities of mid- level managers in natural resource organizations to mid-career biologist considering applying to a supervisory position or those who have been recently-promoted to such a position. The information presented will cover a range of non-scientific topics (e.g., personnel, budgets, procurement, safety) with which the new supervisor will have to contend, and do so without formal training in those areas. The need for this type of information is great as many state, federal, and NGO natural resource agencies nationally are facing large-scale retirements as the last of the baby boomers reach retirement age. Accordingly, many mid-level biologists at these agencies will be recruited to fill the recently or soon-to-be vacated supervisory positions, but without the benefit of formal training in this area as these topics are seldom covered in graduate fisheries and wildlife science curricula. This symposium will introduce new and aspiring supervisors to the opportunities and challenges inherent in their new position as well as to a cadre of professionals from whom they can learn. The topics covered in this symposium will facilitate a smooth transition from mid-career biologist to a supervisory biologist and will help fulfill agency mission in natural resource stewardship.

2. The State of Conservation Social Sciences in the Southeast: Highlighting a Growing Field

Organizers: Nia Morales, Human Dimensions Specialist, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, nia.morales@myfwc.com; Betsey York (Oklahoma), Wylie Carr (USFWS), Ashley Gramza (Arkansas), Marianne Hudson (Alabama), Ken Wallen (University of Arkansas at Monticello)
Overview:  Natural resources agencies and conservation organizations have made concerted efforts over the past decade to increase the visibility of and capacity for social science. Several state and federal agencies, as well as private conservation organizations, have hired research social scientists or human dimensions (HD) specialists who develop research and programmatic initiative to address the complex relationship between stakeholders and natural resources. This session will highlight those efforts and the growth of the field by focusing on HD initiatives implemented across the southeast. An organized panel of natural resources professionals from state, federal, academic, and private institutions will illustrate ongoing research and programmatic initiatives through invited oral presentations and a facilitated discussion. Additional invited and open presentations will highlight the diverse conceptual and methodological toolbox social science professionals utilize and emphasize the actionable application of social science to improve agency-stakeholder relations and aid natural resource management decision-making. The overarching objectives of the panel include identifying areas of continued social science capacity building, effective integration of that capacity, and firsthand accounts of successful initiatives.
Theme: human dimensions, conservation social science

3. The SECAS 10% Goal: How Do We Get There?

Organizers: Mallory Martin, Coordinator, Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy (SECAS), mallory_martin@fws.gov;  SEAFWA Wildlife Diversity Committee - Todd Ewing, NC Wildlife Resources Commission and Anna Smith, SC Dept of Natural Resources; Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP) - Jessica Graham
Overview: In Fall 2018, the SEAFWA Directors approved an ambitious goal for the Southeast: a 10% or greater improvement in the health, function, and connectivity of Southeastern ecosystems by 2060. This long-term goal also includes shorter-term metrics for different ecosystems across the Southeast. The overarching goal and associated metrics are part of the guiding vision of the Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy (SECAS), a joint effort by SEAFWA and the federal Southeast Natural Resource Leaders Group to achieve a connected network of lands and waters that supports thriving fish and wildlife populations and improved quality of life for people. 
In this symposium, we will discuss progress so far in tracking the goal, and what conservation actions may be needed to meet this ambitious “10% goal” by 2060. We will start by providing  background on the SECAS initiative and sharing results on tracking progress toward the overarching goal. We will then explore challenges and opportunities for meeting the goal in two presentations, with one focused on terrestrial ecosystems and another focused on aquatic ecosystems. Next, we will highlight examples of how the Southeast Conservation Blueprint has been used to contribute to meeting the goal in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and showcase the latest updates to the Blueprint. Finally, we will consolidate the insights of the presenters and conclude with a group discussion of what’s working well, what isn’t, and next steps needed to achieve the SECAS 10% goal.
Theme: SECAS, landscape, goals

4. Responding to SEAFWA’s Wildlife Management Needs at the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center

Organizers: Nils Peterson, NC State University, nils_peterson@ncsu.edu; Mallory Martin and Louise Vaughn, Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy; Ryan Boyles, Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center; Bruce Stein, National Wildlife Federation
Overview:  We propose a half-day session focused on how the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center (SE-CASC) can respond to SEAFWA’s wildlife management needs, particularly needs linked to rapid urbanization, landscape fragmentation and inundation, and adapting to changing climates. The proposed session will include 6 talks (15 minutes with 5 minutes of questions) followed by a 1-hour facilitated discussion. The first talk by Kathryn Jewell will report on ongoing research soliciting input from SEAFWA directors and commissioners about how the SE-CASC can best support wildlife management in SEAFWA states.  The second talk will summarize insights from the AFWA Climate Adaptation Committee, and how they may be applied in the SEAFWA region. The remaining four talks will describe ways the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center can help address research needs for SEAFWA. Anna Huckabee Smith (South Carolina Department of Natural Resources) will describe the SEAFWA based Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need project. This collaborative initiative is developing a targeted list of SGCN species for the 15-state southeast region that will encourage cross-jurisdictional conservation action for priority species and contribute to the vision of the Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy (SECAS) of a connected network of lands and waters that supports thriving fish and wildlife populations.  Louise Vaughn (SECAS) will describe the SECAS initiative and describe cases where the Southeast Conservation Blueprint was used for helping states implement conservation actions in response to climate change.  Adam Terando (SE-CASC) will present results from the latest modeling work in support of SECAS, and how it can inform risk management in prescribed fire programs.  Lydia Olander (Duke) will describe ecosystem service mapping that has been conducted for 10 states within the CASC region, opportunities to include all states in future mapping, and highlight potential uses of this data. Finally, Bruce Stein (NWF) will facilitate audience discussion of how the CASC can best support SEAFWA wildlife management priorities through research and education.
Theme: Climate, policy, planning

5. 21st Century Waterfowl, Waterbird, and Wetland Science and Conservation in Southeastern United States

Organizers: Richard M. Kaminski, Director, Clemson University-James C. Kennedy Waterfowl & Wetlands Conservation Center, rmkamin@clemson.edu; Nemours Wildlife Foundation; South Carolina Department of Natural Resources; Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
Overview:  The Southeastern United States contains all classified wetland ecosystems and deep-water habitats of the nation, including marine, estuarine, riverine, lacustrine, and palustrine systems.  These systems yield significant “goods and services” (e.g., invertebrate, fish, and wildlife habitat; water quantity and quality; carbon sequestration; human recreation) from which billions of dollars generate annually. A diversity of wetland and avian research and conservation initiatives is underway throughout the Southeast, and the 73rd annual meeting of SEAFWA is an ideal venue to communicate objectives, goals, results, management implications, and future needs from these initiatives. The Nemours Wildlife Foundation (NWF, Yemassee, SC; http://www.nemourswildlifefoundation.org/) and Clemson University’s James C. Kennedy Waterfowl and Wetlands Conservation Center (KC, Georgetown, SC; https://www.clemson.edu/cafls/departments/kennedycenter/) are fellow conservation organizations and have invited colleagues from public and private sector partners to present topics relevant to the proposed special SEAFWA symposium. Our goal is to assemble an informative array of presentations on current and future research and conservation initiatives on waterbirds and wetlands and deliver these during a full-day symposium.  General topics received in response to an email survey to potential presenters/agencies/organizations included inland emigration of managed tidal wetlands in response to sea-level rise; carbon sequestration and other eco-services of managed and non-managed coastal wetlands; air:ground surveys, research, and management of waterfowl and other waterbirds black rail; Laterallus jamaicensis); recent conservation advances by the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan; the new national general wetlands permit; genetics and hybridization among mottled ducks (Anas fulvigula), mallards (A. platyrhynchos; wild and domestic [feral] birds), and American black ducks (A. rubripes); historic vs. contemporary duck population and harvest distribution dynamics; recruitment and other reproductive metrics of box-nesting wood ducks (Aix sponsa); GIS tools for wetlands identification and management; energy value of waterfowl foods for estimation of habitat carrying capacity; waterfowl forage values of Louisiana and Texas ricelands; and states’ research priorities for waterbirds and wetlands in the south Atlantic flyway.  Staff from NWF, KC, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, and Clemson University has volunteered to serve as a steering committee, select presentations, and organize the symposium. Depending on time and space availability at SEAFWA, the session may extend into the evening with facilitated panel discussion.  Interested presenters have been invited to submit a manuscript from their presentation to the Journal SEAFWA but no other plans for publication have been made. We are seeking monetary sponsors to help defray costs of convening this day-long symposium. The NWF and KC are planning to be sponsors but level of sponsorship has not been determined.
Theme: Waterfowl, waterbirds, wetlands