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Concurrent Session 8
60 minutes

April 1, 2016 ~ 1:30-2:30 pm

Agenda subject to change.

​Monitoring Beyond the Lake - Friday, 1:30-2:30 pm

History of Water Action Volunteers (WAV) and Citizen Monitoring in Streams

Modeled after the successful Citizen Lake Monitoring Network, the Water Action Volunteers Stream Monitoring Program (WAV) was developed 20 years ago. Co-sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin-Extension, program staff members work closely with numerous interest groups, organizations, and individuals across the State of Wisconsin to engage volunteers in monitoring the health of their local streams and rivers. The story of WAV’s development is rich in collaboration, and the program continues to be powered through benevolence of thousands of caring community members who want to learn more about their local stream or river, or to protect or improve it for the future. In this presentation I will take a walk back in time, stopping along the way to explore some of the stories of how citizen stream monitoring came to exist in Wisconsin, and how WAV, and a few other citizen stream monitoring efforts, have grown and developed over time.​

Kris Stepenuck, Extension Assistant Professor, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont


Using Water Quality Monitoring to Assist Farmers in Developing Best Management Practices

Valley Stewardship Network (VSN) has over 15 years of experience with water quality monitoring and has helped to mobilize a network of 56 Water Action Volunteers (WAV) in the Kickapoo River and surrounding watersheds. In 2014, we initiated a pilot research project where we employed WAV protocols within different types of grazing systems to aid farmers in learning about how different grazing practices can affect water quality and to assist in developing best management practices. Our results from the last two field seasons indicate that some of the parameters used in WAV monitoring are sensitive to different types of grazing practices. This project has relied on contributions by VSN staff, farmers, and citizen scientists. See how this work will continue to extend the project into cropping systems in the 2016 field season and beyond.

John Delaney, Water Quality Specialist, Valley Stewardship Network

Ecology - Friday, 1:30-2:30 pm

Wisconsin's Wolf Monitoring Program

Citizen scientists are critical to the success of Wisconsin’s wolf monitoring program. Volunteers annually conduct thousands of miles of snow track surveys collecting critical tracking data. This presentation will focus on the methods used to monitor Wisconsin’s wolf population, the data the program generates, and the ways in which volunteers contribute to the program’s success.

David MacFarland, Large Carnivore Specialist, Wisconsin DNR


Tools for Engagement - Friday, 1:30-2:30 pm

Countywide Lake and River Organizations

​Join us for a round table exchange with representatives of county lakes and rivers associations. Others involved in county matters or interested in learning more about countywide association operations are welcome too. This round table is an opportunity to network with your peers in an informal setting and bring forward topics that you would like to discuss. Does your organization have an exciting project, success story, or helpful resources to share? We’d also like to hear your perspectives on current issues and challenges your county’s lakes and rivers face. Plus, we’ll explore ways to collaborate regionally on issues that affect our waters.

Facilitator: Mike Engleson, Executive Director, Wisconsin Lakes


Invasive Species - Friday, 1:30-2:30 pm

No Ordinary Worm Watch!

Charles Darwin loved worms because he knew their tenacity to survive, spread, adapt and prosper was unrelenting.  Gardeners (and everyone else) love worms because they simply don’t know any better.  Earthworms are a lot like a loving relationship - you can’t live with them, can’t live without them.  But is that really true?  In Wisconsin we’ve got worms of all sorts, and they are all non-native.  We’ve always known that we had European species, but the discovery of an Asian species (Jumping worms) in 2013 was a complete surprise. 

Now, if you’re like most people, the arrival of another invasive species is far from a good thing. Sometimes, however, it can really motivate people to get involved, or in this case; JUMP to action!

“Citizen Activism” in this case turned to “Citizen Science” when word started to spread about worms that jump.  Everyone from backyard gardeners to landscapers, to nurseries got involved and started looking for worms under the “Wisconsin Worm Watch.” These grassroots efforts transformed into “Jumping Worms 101,” which included everything from identifying and reporting, to how to minimize the spread of Jumping worms.  Through these efforts, the unknowing but motivated citizens were turned into dedicated citizen-scientists!  Charles Darwin admired the tenacity of worms to survive, but more impressive to me is the insistence of the unrelenting citizen-scientists to get involved in protecting their forests and communities from these non-native invaders.
Bernie Williams, Plant Pest and Disease Specialist, Wisconsin DNR Division of Forestry


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