Wetland Coffee Break

The Wetland Coffee Break series helps keep our community of wetland lovers connected and learning about wetlands throughout the year, from anywhere! Bring your coffee and learn about wetlands, the plants and animals that call them home, and the many natural benefits they provide to our communities. Sessions are held on Zoom and feature time for audience Q&A.

See below for a list of upcoming presentations and to register. Once you register, you’ll receive an automatic email including the URL link and password you’ll need to access the meeting. We record and post each presentation so you can watch any that you missed live. You’ll find links to these recordings below, and you can also find them on our Facebook page.

We are grateful to all of the presenters for sharing their knowledge and expertise and to everyone interested in learning more about wetlands! If you are interested in giving a Wetland Coffee Break presentation, or if you have a wetland topic you’d like to see covered, please contact Katie.Beilfuss@wisconsinwetlands.org.

Register for a Wetland Coffee Break

Introduction to the damsels and dragons of Wisconsin (Part 1)

Dan Jackson, Wisconsin Dragonfly Society treasurer and Wisconsin Odonata Survey record reviewer
Friday, March 1, 2024
10:30 am CT

Description

This presentation is designed to be a fun and informative introduction to the order Odonata which includes Dragonflies and Damselflies. This session, part one of a two-part series, will focus on their anatomy and life cycle. Odonate expert Dan Jackson will talk about how members of these two sub-orders can be separated as well as how they are similar.

Dan Jackson is the current Treasurer and past President of the Wisconsin Dragonfly Society and is also a record reviewer for the Wisconsin Odonata Survey, Odonata Central (the Odonata survey of the Dragonfly Society of the Americas), and Bugguide.net. He has participated in many volunteer research activities and citizen science projects including the Wisconsin Odonata Survey, the Minnesota Odonata Survey, the Dragonfly Society of the Americas Dragonfly Survey, the Wisconsin Butterfly Survey, the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas (I & II), USGS Breeding Bird Survey, Wisconsin Owl Survey, Wisconsin Nightjar Survey, Kirtland’s Warbler surveys, Christmas Bird Counts, the Wisconsin Frog Survey, the Wisconsin Bumble Bee Brigade, and more. He has also led hundreds of field trips in search of birds and Odonata and regularly does presentations on dragonflies, butterflies, birds, and nature photography.

Introduction to the damsels and dragons of Wisconsin (Part 2)

Dan Jackson, Wisconsin Dragonfly Society treasurer and Wisconsin Odonata Survey record reviewer
Friday, March 8, 2024
10:30 am CT
Description

This presentation is part two of a two-part series and will introduce you to the three families of damselflies and six families of dragonflies found in Wisconsin. It will help you start to learn how to identify members of the order Odonata that are found in our state. Odonate expert Dan Jackson will review members of each family and talk about the key characteristics that can be used to determine the family of a dragonfly or damselfly that you find.

Dan Jackson is the current Treasurer and past President of the Wisconsin Dragonfly Society and is also a record reviewer for the Wisconsin Odonata Survey, Odonata Central (the Odonata survey of the Dragonfly Society of the Americas), and Bugguide.net. He has participated in many volunteer research activities and citizen science projects including the Wisconsin Odonata Survey, the Minnesota Odonata Survey, the Dragonfly Society of the Americas Dragonfly Survey, the Wisconsin Butterfly Survey, the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas (I & II), USGS Breeding Bird Survey, Wisconsin Owl Survey, Wisconsin Nightjar Survey, Kirtland’s Warbler surveys, Christmas Bird Counts, the Wisconsin Frog Survey, the Wisconsin Bumble Bee Brigade, and more. He has also led hundreds of field trips in search of birds and Odonata and regularly does presentations on dragonflies, butterflies, birds, and nature photography.

Helping farmers, saving cranes

Ryan Michalesko, International Crane Foundation
Friday, March 22, 2024
10:30 am CT

Description

The story of the Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) is one of true conservation success. Only recently, the species—one of the oldest on the planet—was nearly extirpated (regionally extinct) in the Midwest. Sandhill Cranes are thriving due to a mix of factors, including better wetland protection and management, as well Sandhill Cranes’ shift to agricultural crops after losing their natural grassland habitat. Modern row crop farming practices have created an easy way for cranes to locate food in the form of germinating corn seed during the breeding season, causing significant damage to corn crops. Ryan Michalesko will discuss how the International Crane Foundation is expanding its efforts to find real solutions to support farmers while also protecting cranes and the landscape.

Ryan Michalesko works as the Landowner Engagement Specialist on the North America Program team at the International Crane Foundation. Through the involvement of farmers and other key parties, Ryan is working to innovate solutions to crop depredation by Sandhill Cranes. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources Planning and master’s degree in Natural Resources Policy from UW-Stevens Point.

Transformational Thinking in Conservation and “Outdoors Access 4 All!”

Monica Spaeni, Access Ability Wisconsin
Friday, April 5, 2024
10:30 am CT
Description

Access to nature is integral to the human spirit. It is for the greater good, the whole of humanity, enabling people of all ages and abilities to connect and be reawakened in our natural world. Access Ability Wisconsin works to make nature accessible to everyone by providing opportunities for individuals with mobility challenges (whether acquired at birth or later in life) to access nature and outdoor recreational experiences with minimal environmental impact while promoting access, inclusion, equity, and healthy living. They provide outdoor wheelchairs and trailers at no cost* to help individuals explore nature and create their own outdoor adventures. They strive to increase public access to nature and recreational opportunities while promoting environmental stewardship from education to leadership. They collaborate on community-driven programs and services that empower individuals of diverse backgrounds and all ages, and they encourage organizations and individuals to engage in transformational thinking around experiences and assumptions as an individual and organization. How are you walking the DEIJ talk? Learn more about the transformational thinking that is needed in the conservation arena about including people of all abilities and how your organization or community group can learn from what AAW has to offer.

Monica Spaeni, Founding member and President of AAW, has a passion for the outdoors, nature, and animals. One of Monica’s passions extends to helping others to have easy access to the beauty she greatly enjoys. Out of that passion came Access Ability Wisconsin, where she can truly share Outdoors Access 4 All! Monica has served on the board of directors of conservation, health, natural resources, and various other nonprofit and public organizations. In addition, she graduated from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) with a BS in Mathematics and later graduated with an MS in Instructional Design and Distance Education. A few accomplishments include Conservationist of the Year (2022) Wisconsin Wildlife Federation; AARP Purpose Prize Awardee (2018); Jefferson Awardee (2016); Certified HE Safety Instructor (2010 · present), Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources; Certified Living Well With Chronic Conditions Facilitator (2011-2019), Stanford University Graduate School of Business; NYC Marathon 6th place in female handcycle division (2008); and Ms. Wheelchair WI (2007, 2008).

Dilution is NOT the solution to pollution: How amphibians, parasites, and you can help us understand the complex effects of pollutants on wildlife

Jessica Hua, UW-Madison Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology
Friday, April 19, 2024
10:30 am CT

Description

Tune in to this Wetland Coffee Break to learn about research being done in Dr. Jessica Hua’s lab at UW-Madison on unexpected negative (and positive) ways that “low” levels of pollutants (road salt, antibiotics, and pesticides) can affect amphibians and other wildlife. Dr. Hua will also describe how art and children’s books can be used to engage community members in citizen science that aims to protect amphibians, currently regarded as the most threatened vertebrate on Earth.

 

Dr. Jessica Hua is an associate professor in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at UW-Madison. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology and kinesiology at Southwestern University in 2008 and her PhD at the University of Pittsburgh in ecology and evolution in 2014. In 2014, she moved to Purdue University to study disease ecology as a postdoctoral fellow. In 2015, she moved to SUNY Binghamton where she was an assistant and associate professor and where she served as the Director for the Center for Watershed Studies until she moved to UW-Madison in 2022.

Watch previous presentations

Click “Older Entries” below to see more past presentations, or view our Google Sheet index of past presentations here.