Urban Wildlife Conservation Program Webinar Series

The Urban Wildlife Conservation Program (UWCP) webinar series is presented by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Conservation Training Center (NCTC). The archived webinars are meant to be a resource for conservation professionals (i.e., biologists, educators, communicators, interpreters, law enforcement officers and natural resource managers) in the USFWS and in partner organizations who seek innovative community-based solutions for wildlife conservation. As a whole, the series aims to support the diverse work of UWCP partners who work to establish and strengthen relationships with urban audiences to protect and conserve our wildlife resources. Webinars showcase successful approaches, tools and resources used by partners to advance progress in reaching the goals established in the UWCP Standards of Excellence. This series also provides a venue to share experiences and connect with others in the UWCP community.

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Disclaimer: This webinar series is for educational purposes only. The opinions, ideas or data presented in this webinar series do not represent FWS policy or constitute endorsement by FWS. Some of the materials and images may be protected by copyright or may have been licenses to us by a third party and are restricted in their use. Mention of any product names, companies, web links, textbooks or other references does not imply Federal endorsement.


Webinar Descriptions

Authentic Community Engagement: Lessons from Portland’s Latino Community

  • Details: Explore the ideas of relevant and authentic communication with segments of your community that have a unique identity, as you work toward sincere relationship-building. While every community has its particular characteristics, there are approaches you can take that will help you achieve genuine, long-lasting, truly cooperative partnerships. We’ll dive into these core concepts by examining a case example from Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge—an intentional effort to build a relationship with Portland’s Latino community. It’s an example that reinforces the need to be both genuine in your invitation to engage, as well as relevant and authentic in your delivery of the engagement.

  • Presenters: Bonnie Anderson (Friends of Tualatin River NWR), Mauricio Valadrian (Valadrian Creative & Consulting), Patrick Stark (USFWS) and Kim Strassburg (USFWS)

  • Recorded: August 5, 2020

  • Duration: 74 Minutes

Bird and Bat Migration in the Great Lakes basin: Combining data sources for a cohesive view

  • Details: This webinar will give an overview of the USFWS Avian Radar Project and demonstrate the draft Decision Support Tool in development. The Avian Radar Project has collected radar and acoustic data to study bird and bat migration around the Great Lakes since 2011. As the project matures, we are shifting focus to synthesizing our existing data and developing a Great Lakes basin-wide understanding of migration. The resulting Decision Support Tool (DST) will combine radar data with other data sources and allow agencies, funders, and resource managers to consider migratory corridors and hotspots when making management decisions.

  • Presenters: Nathan Rathbun, Michael Wells and Kevin Heist (USFWS)

  • Recorded: October 24, 2019

  • Duration: 72 Minutes

Bird Safe Portland: Developing a Bird-friendly Buildings and Dark Sky Campaign

  • Details: Up to 1 billion birds die in window collisions every year in the United States alone, at all scales of development, from single family residential to low rise commercial buildings to high rises. Moreover, light pollution from artificial light at night contributes not only to collisions in migrating bird populations, but impacts behavior, movement, reproduction in many wildlife species. Today, over a dozen North American cities have developed Bird Safe Building standards, including San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Portland and Toronto, paving the way for similar efforts in other municipalities. Many cities, counties and states are also implementing sustainability initiatives to address climate change and reduce energy-efficiency demands, which presents opportunities to integrate lights out and dark skies initiatives that protect the ecological function of our cities at night. Portland has been a UBT City since 2003, and Audubon’s Bird Safe Program has been generously funded by a National Fish & Wildlife Foundation grant to educate the public as well as architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, and elected officials about these issues to ensure that we are designing our built landscape for ecological resilience into the future. From data collection and development of a voluntary Resource Guide, to legislative advocacy to integrate Bird Safe measures into the city of Portland’s Green Building Policy and zoning code, we have been on this road for a while. We will discuss the tactics, best practices, resources, collaborations and key stakeholders used to develop an urban hazard reduction campaign. This webinar is sponsored by the Urban Bird Treaty (UBT) program.

  • Presenters: Mary Coolidge (Portland Audubon)

  • Recorded: August 21, 2019

  • Duration: 74 Minutes

Building and Maintaining Strong UBT Partnerships in Albuquerque

  • Details: Developing strong partnerships is critical to the creation of an effective and sustainable conservation program in any urban area. Since Albuquerque was designated an Urban Bird Treaty (UBT) City in 2014, the original partnership has grown into the Albuquerque Urban Bird Coalition, that held a formal rededication to UBT goals in May 2019. “Through the power of partnerships, Albuquerque has risen to be one of the most successful UBT Cities in the history of the program,” said Amy Lueders, Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Southwest Region. During this webinar, Jennifer Owen-White, Refuge Manager for Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge and Kristin Madden, Deputy Chief, Division of Migratory Birds, USFWS, Southwest Region will share their strategies and tips for building and maintaining long-term partnerships that include diverse groups of people.

  • Presenters: Jennifer Owen-White and Kristin Madden (USFWS)

  • Recorded: July 18, 2019

  • Duration: 56 Minutes

Co-Designing Conservation WITH (not for) the Community

  • Details: A growing number of environmental professionals are realizing that equitable and meaningful engagement of local community members in the development of programming is essential for catalyzing the durable, long-term action needed to conserve biodiversity. Many who attempt to co-design programs with (not for) communities find that choosing the most effective strategies to accomplish this task is crucial and can often times feel daunting. In this webinar, we will identify principles professionals can use as guide posts and describe how participatory research strategies have been effectively implemented by organizations to engage their surrounding communities in the co-design of locally relevant conservation programming.

  • Presenters: Kayla Cranston and Daria Keys (USFWS)

  • Recorded: September 10, 2020

  • Duration: 84 Minutes

Creating Equitable Transportation Access to Urban Wildlife Refuges

  • Details: Have you ever thought about how nice it would be to have a greenway or trail connecting a local community to your refuge? Or maybe you’ve thought a weekend bus service with a stop at the refuge would be a great way to get new visitors to your site? If so, we have just the webinar for you! The Urban National Wildlife Refuge Transportation Connections Study team has completed Refuge Access Plans at seven wildlife refuges across the country. Through the planning process, the team has assembled some valuable project and program ideas for increasing transportation access to often underrepresented communities surrounding urban wildlife refuges. During this webinar, they will briefly review the overall planning process, provide key takeaways from their site visits and access plans, and offer ways that you can leverage the work from the study to help grow transportation options at your refuge/complex.

  • Presenters: Angelina Yost, Nathan Caldwell, Jo Ann Clark and Susan White (USFWS); Beth Tucker, Kimley-Horn, Cristina Pastore, Kimley-Horn, Danielle McCray, Kimley-Horn and Jennifer Bihl (Bihl Engineering); Lewis G. Grimm (USDOT)

  • Recorded: January 22, 2020

  • Duration: 62 Minutes

Engaging New Communities

  • Details: How can you meaningfully and respectfully engage a community in conservation when you cannot personally relate to the real-life issues they are addressing? This presentation highlights the efforts of two very different urban programs that are doing just that in a variety of ways and on different scales. During this webinar, presenters will share their strategies and lessons learned for building trust and meaningful partnerships as outsiders from the community.

  • Presenters: Nancy Brown and Jennifer Owen-White (USFWS)

  • Recorded: March 31, 2020

  • Duration: 58 Minutes

FWS Urban Wildlife Conservation Program Strategic Planning

  • Details: Learn how you can give feedback on the strategic planning process for the FWS Urban Wildlife Conservation Program.

  • Presenters: Angelina Yost (USFWS)

  • Recorded: February 11, 2020

  • Duration: 54 Minutes

GIS Mapping for Birds and People

  • Details: With increasing urbanization, and 90% of Connecticut’s population living in urban areas away from natural green spaces, there is an urgent need to re-acquaint communities with nature while creating more sustainable and healthy cities for people and wildlife. Presenters share their model for bridging the gap – community-based conservation through our Urban Oases and Schoolyard Habitat Programs. As part of the presentation, they highlight GIS technology they have developed and are using for urban habitat restoration and communication. They describe the GIS decision support tool used to identify urban communities in greatest need of healthy green spaces, while also addressing the need of restoring high quality habitat for migratory songbirds in urban and suburban areas. Further, they discuss best practices for engaging the community and stakeholders in the conservation planning process. A background in GIS is not required to understand and apply the concepts presented. This webinar was sponsored by the USFWS, Urban Bird Treaty program.

  • Presenters: Corrie Folsom-O’Keefe and Genevieve Nuttall (Audubon Connecticut)

  • Recorded: June 24, 2019

  • Duration: 63 Minutes

  • Resources: Growing Schoolyard Habitats in New Haven Public Schools

Finding Common Ground - Managing Vacant Lots for Birds and People in St. Louis, Missouri

  • Details: During this webinar you will learn the results of our research and discover the importance of transforming vacant lots to address both ecological and social issues. We hope this provides a window into the imperative practice of urban greening with consideration to its residents. Let’s look to build a conservation constituency rather than inadvertently pushing urban residents out of their communities.

  • Presenters: Sebastian Moreno (University of Massachusetts-Amherst) and Drew Mallinak (Sierra Institute for Community and Environment)

  • Recorded: November 2019

  • Duration: 59 Minutes

The Urban Bird Treaty in Chicago

  • Details: Chicago is celebrating its 20th year as an Urban Bird Treaty City with new goals and efforts that build on two decades of successful and ever-evolving partnerships. More than a relationship between the FWS and one city, the Chicago Urban Bird Treaty partnership is an ever-evolving network of relationships in our thriving metropolitan region. This year we are continuing to grow the partnership to include more diverse members. Also this year, two adorable piping plovers supported our urban outreach efforts by successfully raising their chicks in the middle of a busy beach right in the City of Chicago, watched over by almost two hundred volunteer monitors.

  • Presenters: Louise Clemency (USFWS) and Judy Pollock (Chicago Audubon Society)

  • Recorded: December 12, 2019

  • Duration: 61 Minutes