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SE CASC Staff & Researchers Presenting at 77th Annual SEAFWA Conference

Every year the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies hosts a conference dedicated to providing a forum to present information and exchange ideas around the management and protection of fish and wildlife resources, specifically in the southeastern U.S. The conference hosted by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department is being held from October 15-18 at Omni Hotel in Corpus Christi, Texas. Registration is still available here and you can learn more about the SEAFWA 77th Annual Conference here.

The Southeast CASC is a strong supporter of SEAFWA’s goals and activities, reflected by the number of sessions and presentations organized by SE CASC staff and affiliates at this year’s meeting. Learn more about these relevant sessions below.

S-03: A Caribbean Community of Practice to Benefit People and Fish and Wildlife Resources

Date: October 17, 2023 | 8:00am-12pm
Contact: Miguel Garcia-Bermudez, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Co-organizers: Amanda Sesser, Fish and Wildlife Service; Shannon Westlake, Fish and Wildlife Service
Overview: Both, complex social and simplified natural scenarios characterize islands in the Caribbean region. The reduced ecological connectivity (natural or anthropogenic), the uniqueness of its endemic species, and centuries of natural resources exploitation coupled with the rich culture, have created conservation challenges that require equally complex and diversified approaches to safeguard and improve societal and natural conditions. The most common mechanisms to conserve fish and wildlife resources in this geography have been the creation of natural reserves and development of laws and regulations. However, an array of conservation successes and failures prompt the need to revisit the status and update actions to integrate lessons learned and discussing relevant and common issues and priorities—freshwater and climate change. There is great need and opportunity for working collaboratively to develop a timely interdisciplinary response to these natural and societal challenges. In this session, we will converse and explain how we are approaching this through a Caribbean Community of Practice with the overarching goal of benefitting people and natural resources.

SE CASC affiliated presentations

Title: From Regional Priorities to Local Action: Conservation and Restoration Potential in Puerto Rico
Presenters: Adam Terando, USGS SE CASC; Jaime Collazo, USGS NC Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit; Mitch Eaton, USGS SE CASC
Time: 8:20-8:40 am

Title: Identifying Climate Science Priorities in the US Caribbean
Presenters: Katherine Smith, USGS SE CASC; Jaime Collazo, USGS NC Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit; Shannon Westlake, FWS; Adam Terrando, USGS SE CASC; Kim Waddell, University of the Virgin Islands
Time: 8:40-9:00 am

Title: Urbanization driving Ocypode quadrata burrow density, depth, and width across Caribbean beaches
Presenter: Guilherme Corte, University of the Virgin Islands
Time: 10:40-11:00 am

Title: Climate Change Projections for Adaptation Decisions within the US Caribbean
Presenter: Jared H. Bowden, NCSU; Adam J. Terando, USGS SE CASC
Time: 11:00-11:20 am

S-04. Climate Services and Technical Support for State Fish and Wildlife Agencies

Date: October 17, 2023 | 8:00am-12pm
Contact: Dolly Na-Yemeh, South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center,
Co-organizers: Caitlin Rottler, South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center; Marina Tomer, USGS South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center; Paul Armsworth, Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center
Overview: The Symposium on Climate Services and Technical Support for State Fish and Wildlife Agencies aims to bring together experts from government agencies, universities and other stakeholders to share knowledge, experiences, and best practices in providing climate services and technical support to state fish and wildlife agencies. In addition, the symposium will provide a platform for discussions on the latest advances in climate science, tools, and technologies that can assist state agencies in understanding and adapting to the impacts of climate change on fish and wildlife. The symposium will cover various topics related to climate services and technical support, including climate adaptation research, climate modeling, communication strategies, and species and habitat vulnerability assessments, including how these approaches can be incorporated into State Wildlife Action Plans. The symposium will also highlight successful case studies from across the geographic scope of the SE AFWA region that have provided climate services and technical support to inform their resource management decisions and actions.

SE CASC affiliated presentations

Title: Strategic Partnerships for Climate Adaptation Planning
Presenters: Dolly Na-Yemeh (SC CASC), Paul Armsworth (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), Cait Rottler (SC CASC), and Mike Langston (South Central CASC, USGS)
Time: 8:00-8:20am

Title: Climate Support for Species Status Assessments
Presenters: Catherine A. Nikiel, ORISE SE CASC; Marta P. Lyons, USGS MW CASC; Olivia E. LeDee, USGS MW CASC; Ryan Boyles, USGS SE CASC
Time: 8:20-8:40am

Title:  Assessing climate impacts on southeastern plant Species of Greatest Conservation Need to support State Wildlife Action Plans
Presenter: Alex Loomis, SE CASC ORISE Fellow; Jennifer Cartwright, USGS SE CASC
Date: 9:00-9:20am

Title:  Assessing Vulnerability of Species to Climate Change Using Trait-based Indices and Niche Models
Presenters: Paul Armsworth, UTK; Narayani Barve, UTK; Amanda Benoit, UTK; Emily Brock, UTK; Erika Dalliance, UTK; Jennifer Durant, UTK; Xingli Giam, UTK; Stephanie Insalaco, UTK; Heather Jackson, CSU; Samuel Jantz, UTK; Candice Jones, UTK, Lauren Lyon, UTK; Margaret Mamantov, UTK; Monica Papes, UTK, Casey Richards, UChicago; Sarah Roth, UMD; Louise Vaughn, SECAS; Bryce Wade, UTK
Date: 9:20-9:40am

Title:  Estimating Opportunities for Prescribed Fire Across Time Scales
Presenters: Adam Terando, USGS SE CASC; Reetam Majumder, NCSU; Brian Reich, NCSU; Jaime Collazo, USGS NC Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit
Date: 10:40-11:00am

S-07. U.S. Geological Survey Science to Support State Agency Needs for Aquatic and Fisheries Management

Date: October 18, 2023 | 8:00-11:20am
Contact: Suzanna Soileau, U.S. Geological Survey
Co-organizers: Jenn Malpass, USGS Eastern Ecological Science Center; Andrea Ostroff, USGS Eastern Ecological Science Center; Ryan Boyles, USGS Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center
Overview: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists conduct cutting-edge research to provide resource managers the scientific information they need to protect, restore, and enhance our Nation’s fish and aquatic species and their habitats. This symposium will provide highlights of the breadth of USGS’s research related to fish and aquatic resources with a focus on how USGS research supports state managers. We anticipate presentations on topics such as species of conservation concern, effects of climate change, invasive species, disease, and environmental health.

SE CASC affiliated presentation

Title: Supporting At-Risk Aquatic Species Management with Hydrologic Projections
Presenters: Catherine A. Nikiel, ORISE SE CASC; Jacob LaFontaine, South Atlantic Water Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey
Time: 8:40-9:00am

Title: Science Needs for Determining the Effects of Climate Change on Harmful Algal Blooms in the Southeastern United States
Presenters: Thomas Byl, Champagne Cunningham, Devin Moore, De’Etra Young – USGS
Time: 9:00-9:20am

Title: Foundational data to support Climate Adaptation of Eleutherodactylus Frogs in Puerto Rico.
Presenters: Rafael Chaparro, Ana C. Rivera, Jaime A. Collazo, NC Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Eloy Martinez, EIU; Adam J Terando, Mitch J. Eaton3, USGS SE CASC
Time: 9:20-9:40pm

S-08. SECAS Symposium: Southeast Conservation Lands of the Future – Collective Action Towards a Sustainable Landscape

Date: October 18, 2023 | 8:00am-12:00pm
Contact: Amanda Sesser, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Co-organizers: Amanda Sesser, SECAS Coordinator and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New Orleans, LA; Rua Mordecai, Southeast Blueprint Coordinator and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Raleigh, NC
Overview: The Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy (SECAS) partnership is working toward a vision of connected lands and waters that support thriving fish and wildlife populations and improved quality of life for people. In support of that vision, SECAS is a highly effective collaborative initiated by SEAFWA state agencies that provides a robust partnership-based platform for agencies, organizations, and initiatives to create and implement a shared vision of the Southeast – one that will sustain natural and cultural resources, people, and communities. This half-day symposium is an important convening step of a multi-tiered approach envisioned to engage diverse sectors of the economy in implementing this landscape vision. Speakers will address questions such as: How do we engage a wide range of conservation professionals and technical experts to develop and buy into a model of collective action? How do we ensure a vitality of life for people, including underrepresented communities, while meeting the need of fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats? How can we better incorporate working lands in meeting both ecological and economic outcomes? Can we use the Southeast Conservation Blueprint for siting green energy projects that maintain a connected landscape of lands and waters?

The symposium will be moderated by previous fellows from Minorities in Natural Resource Conservation (MINRC).

Following the presentations, a panel discussion comprised of select presenters, SECAS Steering Committee Members, and MINRC fellows will discuss future directions for the SECAS partnership, focusing on long-term sustainability of the southeastern landscape. This panel discussion will set the stage for continued dialogue within the partnership to guide future strategic direction, identify opportunities for voluntary, landscape-scale collaboration, and address barriers for working across organizational boundaries.