Wild Things Conference Websites Have Moved

Wild Things conferences (past and future) have moved to a new website, Wild Things Community, a nexus for grassroots Chicago region conservation. Wild Things gratefully acknowledges Audubon Chicago Region for hosting the 2007-2015 conference web sites and for their staff support of the 2007-2013 conferences. We look forward to our future collaborations. (December 7, 2015)

Wild Things 2009: Conference Schedule

Saturday, February 7, 2009
University of Illinois at Chicago

Schedule Overview

08:00am Registration Opens
08:45 – 09:45am Welcome & Keynote
10:00 – 10:45am Breakout Sessions 1
11:00 – 11:45am Breakout Sessions 2
11:45 – 12:20pm Lunch Group 1 Exhibits/Poster Sessions
12:20 – 01:15pm Lunch Group 2
01:15 – 02:00pm Breakout Sessions 3
02:15 – 02:45pm Breakout Sessions 4
03:00 – 03:30pm Breakout Sessions 5
03:45 – 04:30pm Breakout Sessions 6

For individual sessions, see the detailed schedule below.


Most sessions are organized by topic according to this track lettering system. However, because the number of sessions in each topic varies, some sessions have letters that are inconsistent with the track topic. (The session abstracts show relevant topics for a particular session in addition to the abstract.)

A Advocacy/Constituency Building
B Arts/Culture/History
C Backyards/Neighborhoods
D Birds/Bird Conservation
E Land Management and Restoration
F Monitoring
G Sustainability
H Natural History of the Chicago Region
J Volunteers/Community Building/Outreach
K Education
L Prairies/Grasslands/Shrublands/​Savannas/Wetlands
M Woodlands/Forests

Detailed Schedule

Click on the session code (e.g. D1, C2, M3) to view the abstract and topic for that session.

08:00am Registration Opens

08:45 – 09:45am Welcome & Keynote Speaker

KEY Doug Ladd, Director of Conservation Science, Missouri Field Office of The Nature Conservancy

10:00 – 10:45am Breakout Sessions 1

A1 How to engage (and lobby) your local elected officials to benefit biodiversity - Doug Chien and Benjamin Cox
B1 Making Buckthorn Work for You - Sean Shaffer
C1 Panel Discussion: Making conservation inclusive and affordable - Jessica Cañas,Naomi Davis, Michael Howard, Dr. Sylvia Hood Washington
D1 Learning to Bird by Ear: Recognizing and Identifying Birds by Their Vocalizations - Geoffrey A. Williamson
E1 Ecological Restoration—Building on the Past, Adapting to the Future - John D. Rogner and Justin Pepper
F1 Citizen Science: Tracking Nature in Chicago Wilderness - Karen Glennemeier and Susanne Masi
G1 The Urban Game Park: Fox Squirrels and Gray Squirrels of Chicago - Dr. Joel S. Brown
H1 Working with the Government - Dick Riner and John Elliott
J1 Recruiting Church Groups and Other Faith-based Organizations as Volunteers in Natural Areas - Jack Speer, Monica Drane
K1 Twenty-eight Years of Restoration and Monitoring at Somme Prairie Grove - Stephen Packard
L1 Significant declines of wetland birds in an urbanizing landscape - Brad Semel
M1 Panel: Oak Regeneration In Chicago Wooded Lands - Greg Spyreas, Ken Klick, Scott Kobal, Greg Nowacki

11:00 – 11:45am Breakout Sessions 2

A2 Restoring Sustainability to Human Landscapes - Judy Speer
B2 Land Ownership History - David Lloyd
C2 Back Yard Gardening for Birds and Butterflies - Marian Thill
D2 100 Years of Changing Bird Communities in Illinois - Jeff Walk
E2 Habitat Restoration in an Altered Landscape: Looking Beyond Invasive Species - Debbie Maurer
F2 Oak and Fire: Past, current and future trends of oak in the eastern United States - Gregory Nowacki
G2 History of The Plants of the Chicago Region, including a description of the forthcoming edition - Gerould Wilhelm
H2 Why Prairies? - Factors that shaped grassland ecosystems - Dr. Thomas Simpson
J2 Reaching the Community through Organization of Festivals, Events, and Lectures - Becky Hartman and Jane Balaban
K2 Simplifying the technique of digital photography - Charles Peterson
L2 The Springbrook Meander Project - Leslie A. Berns
M2 Creating a doorway to Nature in the City: Eden Place and Fuller Park Community Development Corporation - Michael Howard

11:45 – 01:15pm Lunch (Includes exhibits, posters, an art fair, & book signings)

  Impressions of the Woodworth Prairie, making the prairie experience available electronically - Dennis Nyberg

01:15 – 02:00pm Breakout Sessions 3

A3 Economics and the environment: Opportunities for conservation finance and constituency building - Ken Bagstad
B3 Art & Nature: An Intersection Worth Visiting - Andrea Harris
C3 When your closest neighbor isn’t human—learning to co-exist with backyard wildlife - Beth Flitz
D3 Raptors of Illinois - An Overview - Vic Berardi
E3 Site-based Restoration Planning and Prioritization - Steve Flexman, Conrad Fialkowski
F3 Restoring habitat for amphibians: Translocation, effects of herbicides, and other factors - Robert Brodman and Allison Sacerdote
G3 The currrent status of Illinois lichens - Richard D. Hyerczyk
H3 Nesting Biology of Grassland Birds in Northeastern Illinois - Jim Herkert
J3 People’s Changing Relationship with Nature - Dr. Oliver Pergams
K3 Illinois Master Naturalists Come to Cook County - Nancy Pollard and John Elliott
L3 Roger Tory Peterson: No Person Left Inside—How one man and his book changed the way we look at the natural world - Joe Lill
M3 Distribution of Oak-Dominated Ecosystems in McHenry County 1837-2005 - Edward Collins

02:15 – 2:45pm Breakout Sessions 4

A4 Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity in the Chicago Region - Robert Sullivan
B4 Natural Transition: Bridging art and science through the illustrated diary - Diane Huebner
C4 How to Set up Vegetation Monitoring at Your Site - Karen Glennemeier
D4 Wooded Island: The Development and Implementation of the Management Plan to Enhance Wildlife Habitat - Zhanna Yermakov
E4 The Ecology and Culture of Water - James Patchett
F4 Especially for Bird Monitors—turning monitoring data into management recommendations - BCN Census Monitors
G4 Keys to Nature: Author-friendly, web-based tools for identification of regional plants and animals - Bil Alverson
H4 Prairie Mushrooms: a unique set of challenges - Leon Shernoff
J4 Create Awareness while Raising Money for Stewardship - Karen Hunter, James Ellis and Derek Liebert
K4 Deer as Keystone Herbivores in the Chicago Metropolitan Area - Dr. Clayton K. Nielsen and Rachael E. Urbanek
L4 Prairie Wolf Slough Wetlands Demonstration Project: A Case Study Illustrating the Need for Incorporating Soil and Water Quality Assessment in Wetland Restoration Planning, Design and Monitoring - James Montgomery
M4 Oak Keepers of Project Quercus Survey Private Woodlots - Gregory T. Rajsky and Lisa Haderlein

03:00 – 03:30pm Breakout Sessions 5

A5 The Last Four Miles - Completing Chicago's Lakefront Parks - Eleanor Roemer
B5 The Ecology of Design - Mike Iversen
C5 Ten Years of Regional Bird Monitoring—What We Have Learned - Judy Pollock, Doug Stotz, Eric Secker
D5 Backyards provide safer nesting sites: Avian nest predation across the urban-rural gradient - Amy Hank
E5 The Ecology and Culture of Water (continued from E4) - James Patchett
F5 Sustainable Practices and Rain Gardens at Shedd Aquarium - Christine Nye and Cecelia Ungari
G5 CW's Shrublands: Restoring a forgotten habitat for birds and other animals - Bob Fisher and Karen Glennemeier
H5 Captive Rearing for Conservation: Techniques for Raising Imperiled and Endangered Butterflies - Vincent Olivares
J5 Reaching the Community by Engaging Schools, Community Leaders, and Corporations - Kent and Jerry Fuller, Roger Keller, Patricia Hayes, Emily Kenny and Michelle O'Connor
K5 Expanding the Scope of Volunteer Stewardship in Chicago - Becky Schillo
L5 Wetland and Buffer Vegetation Management Techniques - Robert P. Sliwinski
M5 Evaluation of an Oak Woodland Restoration at Deer Grove Forest Preserve - Pete Jackson

03:45 – 04:30pm Breakout Sessions 6

A6 Confessions of a Nature Lover: How I finally learned to connect kids and nature - Katie Slivovsky
B6 Finding the Still Point…Writing and Publishing the Wetland Memoir - Laurie Lawlor
C6 Conservation @Home—Helping homeowners build eco-friendly yards that benefit people, water and wildlife! - Jim Kleinwachter
D6 Ecology and Conservation of Migrant Landbirds of the Chicago area - Doug Stotz
E6 Releasing the Sprit of Place: Treading the Ancient Pathway between Land and Self- Edward Collins
F6 Singing Insects - Carl A. Strang
G6 One Size Does Not Fit All: Conservation Challenges Related to Amphibian and Reptile Life Histories - Mike Redmer
H6 Leave No Child Inside: Regional Efforts & National Strides - Sean Shaffer, Liza Fischel, Jessica Soto, and Lauren Plescia
J6 Using Technology in Community Conservation Projects - Emily Kenny and Michelle O'Connor
K6 Fox River Curriculum - David Rigby
L6 Restoring Prairies and Managing Stormwater and Local Waterways with Environmental Stewardship Vision: The MWRD Leading By Example - Dr. Lakhwinder S. Hundal and Dr. Sam Dennison
M6 Effects Of Overstory Stand Density And Fire On Ground Layer Vegetation In Oak Woodland And Savanna Habitats - Dr. John Taft

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