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​​Friday Afternoon Workshops

April 7, 2017
1:30-4:30 pm

Pre-registration required to attend.
Agenda subject to change.

Introduction to Blue-green Algae: Identification and Ecology (Limit: 25) - Friday, 1:30-4:30 pm

In this introduction to identifying blue-green algae, learn what characteristics you can observe in the field with the naked eye or hand lens to distinguish blue-green algae from other common lake algae. We will review the environmental conditions that cause blue-green algae to grow to nuisance levels. We will also discuss the health impacts of the toxins made by some blue-green algae on animals and people who ingest, inhale, or have skin contact with blue-green algae. We will cover health guidelines for blue-green algal toxins, and how to determine the safest recreational levels of blue-green algae in Wisconsin’s lakes. If possible, please bring a hand lens or magnifying glass for some hands-on identification practice. Due to the short duration of the workshop, we are unable to cover algal identification based on light microscopy. This Friday workshop is intended for citizen scientists and others with an interest in algal identification.

Gina LaLiberte, Statewide Blue Green Algae Coordinator, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Presentation: Blue-green Algae ID and Ecology (PDF)

Loon Watch (Limit: 30) - Friday, 1:30-4:30 pm

For over 35 years, LoonWatch has engaged an active volunteer network of "Loon Rangers" as its primary tool to collect critical long-term data on loons in Northern Wisconsin. Through this workshop you’ll learn how to monitor loons, hear what's new in the world of loon research, and to meet other loon enthusiasts. Loon Rangers also help protect loons by spreading the word to their neighbors and other lake users to steer clear of loons on nests and on the water.

Erica LeMoine, Project LoonWatch Coordinator, Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College

Presentation: LoonWatch Loon Ranger Training (PDF)
Loon sounds:
Hoot (MP3)
Tremolo (MP3)
Wail (MP3)
Yodel​ (MP3)

Project RED: AIS Identification (Limit: 30) - Friday, 1:30-4:30 pm

Wisconsin’s rivers are vulnerable to invasion by a number of aquatic invasive species from Eurasian watermilfoil to Japanese knotweed.  The key to successfully protecting your river is detecting invasives early, though monitoring programs like Project Riverine Early Detectors, when it is still possible to isolate or eradicate the infestation. During this Project RED workshop you will learn which invasive species threaten your local rivers, how to differentiate them from native look-a-likes, and how to keep an eye out for them by canoe, kayak, or on foot.

Amanda Perdzock, Statewide Aquatic Invasive Species Program Director, River Alliance


SWIMS and the Lakes and AIS Map Viewer (Limit: 25) - Friday, 1:30-4:30 

Interested in learning more about SWIMS and the Lakes and Aquatic Invasive Species Viewer? Come and get a general walk-through of both and stay to get more in-depth information of how to maximize the available tools. Demos provided will include how to add, find, and update information in the SWIMS database as well as how to create a quick map, add graphics, share maps, add your own data to the viewer. Time will also be set aside at the end for questions and answers as well as a brief overview of new tools and functions that will be coming.
Dennis Wiese, GIS Analyst / Cartographer​, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Dave Winston, IS Data Service, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Jake Dickmann, Water Resource Specialist, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources


Story-telling as Science Communication: Using Story to Communicate Clearly and Effectively (Limit: 20, Additional fee: $20) - Friday, 1:30-4:30 pm

It can be a major struggle to communicate complex scientific content in a way that is engaging and useful to non-specialists. Whether you’re talking to community members, a town board, or a state agency, it’s easy to get bogged down in the details and lose touch with your audience. Stories provide a great framework for identifying interesting questions, choosing and using evidence, and shaping a compelling message for nearly any audience or communication situation. This workshop will start with some simple improvisational theater to help participants gain comfort with shifting, dynamic situations. Then we’ll move on to learning and practicing the common elements of good story structure that make them understandable and memorable. And finally, we’ll have time for each participant to practice applying these principles to their particular communication challenges. 
Jessica Courtier, Continuing Studies, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Holly Walter Kerby, Continuing Studies, University of Wisconsin -Madison
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