Nature Center Summit

Date:  February 05, 2021  
Time:  09:00 AM - 04:00 PM
Location: Zoom

Session Descriptions:

9:15 a.m. - Michigan birds: status, conservation and action

Erin Rowan, MI Birds conservation associate with the Audubon Great Lakes, will outline the current conservation status of Michigan birds. Her presentation will include population trend information, conservation actions being taken, and outline how the MI Birds program can help your organization connect visitors to Michigan’s avian resources.

Erin Rowan joined the Audubon Great Lakes team as the MI Birds program associate in 2018, working to increase all Michigander’s engagement in the understanding, care and stewardship of public lands that are important for birds and people. She previously worked as a staff biologist with the Institute for Bird Populations in California before moving to Michigan where she worked with Detroit Audubon as their research coordinator. Erin holds a Bachelor of Science in conservation and resource studies from UC Berkeley.

10 a.m. - Back from the brink: recovery and continued management of the Kirtland’s Warbler

Keith Kintigh, forest conservation and certification specialist, will present the latest recovery and population status on the Kirtland’s Warbler. The Endangered Species Act, population swings of other passerines and forest management strategies are all part of this tale.

Keith Kintigh is the statewide forest conservation and certification specialist for the DNR Forest Resources Division, where he is focused on the management of rare species and rare natural communities on state forest lands and the coordination of sustainable forest certification. He has degrees in wildlife science from Michigan State University and New Mexico State University. Keith has worked for the DNR for over 20 years, spending 15 of those with the Wildlife Division. Keith and his family live in the hardwood moraines up the Leelanau Peninsula.

10:45 a.m. - Fisheries dynamics: how the Great Lakes are adapting to ecosystem changes

Brad Utrup, fisheries research technician, will use Lake Erie and Lake Huron as examples of changing Great Lakes food webs and the complex reasons for those changes.

Brad Utrup has worked for the DNR for 12 years. He is currently a research technician at the Lake St. Clair Fisheries Research Station. The station conducts research and long-term monitoring of fish populations in the Great Lakes waters of southeast Michigan.

11:30 a.m. - Aquatic invasive species update

Lucas Nathan, aquatic invasive speices coordinator, will present the latest on invasive carp and other species that put Michigan’s aquatic resources at greatest risk.

Dr. Lucas Nathan is the aquatic invasive species (AIS) coordinator for the DNR. His background is in fisheries management with experience conducting research on AIS, genetic applications to fisheries conservation and decision-making science. In his current role he collaborates with local, state, and regional partners to develop and implement the statewide AIS program. His presentation will provide an overview of AIS and ongoing efforts to prevent their introductions and impacts in the state of Michigan.

1 p.m. - Mega mammals: an update on bear, wolf and cougar populations

Cody Norton, DNR large carnivore specialist, will provide the latest status of these large predators and will untangle the complex story of the Federal Endangered Species Act and gray wolf management.

Cody Norton received a Bachelor of Science in biology with ecology emphasis from Northern Michigan University. During that time, he also worked as a wildlife research technician on the Michigan predator-prey study working with wolves, coyotes, black bears, bobcats and deer in the western Upper Peninsula. He then continued on with the study as a graduate student while pursuing his Master of Science in biology through NMU, looking at the effects of infanticide risk and timber harvest on black bear space use. In 2015, he was hired by the DNR as the wildlife biologist for the Shingleton management unit in the central UP. In 2019, he accepted the large carnivore specialist position and is now responsible for bear and wolf management statewide, as well as cougar sightings.

1:45 p.m. - Managing Michigan’s mystifying mammals: featuring furbearers such as bobcat, fisher, marten and more!

Adam Bump, DNR furbearer specialist, will present information on seldom seen but fascinating Michigan species and their management. Topics will include range, habitats and behaviors, as well as how these species are managed.

Adam Bump is the furbearer specialist for the DNR Wildlife Division. Adam has had this position since 2008, providing management recommendations for Michigan’s 17 species of furbearers as well as providing expertise to field staff and the public. Adam has worked as a field biologist for the DNR in the Saginaw Bay area and as worked for the Ruffed Grouse Society and Michigan United Conservation Clubs prior to coming to the DNR. He has a Master of Science from the University of Massachusetts and a Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University – both in wildlife management/conservation.

2:30 p.m - Battle for the bats: latest news and research on white-nose syndrome

John DePue, DNR wildlife biologist, will provide an update on the reach of white-nose syndrome and the impact it is having on a variety of bat species in Michigan. He will also describe some of the efforts DNR and other are working on to curb the effects of white-nose.

John DePue coordinator for the DNR bat program. He has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Idaho and a Master of Science from the University of Wyoming. John has worked for the DNR since 2014. Prior to coming to Michigan, John was the furbearer and small mammal biologist for the state of Maine working on bat related management and conservation issues. John has crawled through holes, repelled down shafts and dug-out hibernacula for bat conservation in Michigan.

3:15 p.m. - Oh, deer! Managing Michigan’s most popular wildlife resource

Chad Stewart, DNR deer management specialist, will provide a high-level update on white-tailed deer including chronic wasting disease, bovine tuberculosis, population trends and recent changes in management strategies.

Chad Stewart has been the deer management specialist for the DNR for six years. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in sildlife and fisheries sciences from Penn State University and an Master of Science in natural resources and environmental sciences from the University of Illinois. Prior to coming to Michigan, Chad served as the deer biologist for the Indiana DNR for eight years. He also spent time as a wildlife biologist with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia where he worked on deer research projects, as well as international conservation research projects in China and Malaysia.

For more information, contact Jon Spieles or Kevin Frailey.