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  1. If you're interested in understanding bird conservation and policy making don't miss out on this opportunity to hear from the experts at NAOC VI. Guest speakers include: David Blockstein, Jeffrey Walters, Al Teich, Cameron Kovach, Ellen Paul, and Julie Palakovich Carr. This is a FREE workshop (sponsored by NAOC societies), held Tuesday 9:00-12:00. Outline: I. How do scientists know what to say? (1 hr) 1. Talk: David Blockstein (NCSE) 2. Talk: Jeffrey Walters (Virginia Tech) 3. Panel (15 min) 4. Audience Q/A (15 min) II. What individuals can do (45 min) 1. Talk: Al Teich (AAAS) 2. Talk: Cameron Kovach (TWS) 3. Panel (15 min) 4. Audience Q/A (15 min) III. Nuts and Bolts (1 hr) 1. Talk on regulatory: Ellen Paul (Ornithological Council) 2. Talk on legislative: Julie Palakovich Carr (AIBS) 3. Panel (15 min) 4. Audience Q/A (15 min)
  2. Are you planning to attend the NAOC? Are you thinking that the conference starts on Wednesday so you should arrive on Tuesday? BIG MISTAKE. HUGE MISTAKE. If you don't arrive until Tuesday, you will miss out on the chance to attend one or more of these terrific workshops .... so when you book those flights, be sure you will be getting to DC early enough to take advantage of these great workshops. Some are free, some have a small fee, but all are really worthwhile. You will need to register in advance because workshop organizers and the conference planners need to have a good estimate on attendance figures. Monday, August 15, 2016 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Advanced Programming and Graphing in R (One-Day Workshop) $40 Our goal is to help students and early career professionals use R in new and more effect ways. We will go over functions and the language of R in addition to details of programming that many miss when teaching themselves. These skills are crucial for automating research, and to make data analysis more efficient and reproducible. We will cover a popular R graphing package ggplot2 and discuss how to easily make publication quality plots within R and how to automate the graph making process for data exploration. At the end of this course, we want participants to feel comfortable using R for all of their data manipulation and analysis, for making manuscript quality plots, for automating their code, and creating functions. Each topic will include a lecture portion, followed by hands on exercises where students can work through problem sets while instructors help individuals. Instructor: · Matt Boone, · Auriel Fournier 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Audio Recording: An Introduction to Theory, Techniques and Equipment (One-Day Workshop) $40 Acoustic recording and monitoring are now mainstay methods for biological research and conservation. Nevertheless, few purpose-built devices for biological investigation are commercially available and few technical references geared toward the requirements of biologists exist. This workshop is designed to provide participants with a solid basic knowledge of audio theory and practices appropriate for field investigations. Participants will receive basic instruction in digital audio theory, equipment designs and application, and the organization of acoustic data and associated metadata. An array of equipment will be on hand for inspection and comparison. The session is appropriate for a range of knowledge levels, from the novice to the experienced user. Instructor: · Greg Budney 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM (Tuesday, August 16, 2016) Introduction to Analysis of Biological Sounds using Raven Pro (Two-Day Workshop) $175 DAY 1: 8/15/16 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM DAY 2: 8/16/16 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM This 2-day course is intended primarily for biologists interested in analysis, visualization, and measurement of animal sounds. The workshop covers basic principles of spectrographic analysis and measurement of digital audio recordings, and specific tools and techniques in Raven Pro (license included in course fee), a sound analysis application program developed by the Bioacoustics Research Program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. This course includes lectures, demos, hands on exercises and practice sessions using example audio recordings, and time for question and answer sessions. Instructor: · Russ Charif, · Emma Grieg 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Tuesday, August 16, 2016) Light-level Geolocation with Open Source Tools (Two-Day Workshop) DAY 1: 8/15/16 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM DAY 2: 8/16/16 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM Our instructional workshop on geolocator analysis will demonstrate several R packages that can be used to visualize raw data, prepare it for analysis, and derive not only location estimates but renderings of potential location error and estimates of likely movement periods. The workshop will begin with analyses familiar to many geolocator users (e.g. GeoLight) and will progress more advanced analysis packages (e.g., SGAT and FlightR). The workshop will enable attendees to make the most of their geolocator data by making informed decisions about what analytical approach to take and how far the can stretch their inferences. We will also use this workshop to promote the principle of open science, by making participants aware of the opportunities for sharing data and analyses through Movebank.org. The workshop will make extensive use of the R programming environment. We will recommend tutorials and reading material to participants who are entirely new to R; however, only a passing familiarity with R is necessary for this workshop. Instructor: · Eli S. Bridge, · Nat Seavy, · Eldar Rakhimberdiev, · Simeon Lisovski 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM The Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Conservation Future (One-Day Workshop) $40 This course will provide a detailed overview of the four international treaties for migratory bird conservation, and discuss how these treaties create the foundation of bird conservation actions today. We will provide a detailed overview of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) and how this act differs from other laws that protect birds, discuss the role of MBTA in conservation, and provide a detailed overview how the US Fish and Wildlife Service implements MBTA as part of the overall bird conservation program. In addition we will emphasize the goals of the Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial Celebration by connecting the origins of bird conservation actions to partnerships among agencies, NGOs, and academics; and emphasizing that meeting the challenges of bird conservation today and into the future will continue to require strong partnerships and collective action. Instructor: · Eric L. Kershner, · Michael Green, · Tom Will, · Dean Demarest, · Katie Koch 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM Using eBird Data: Tools and Applications (One-Day Workshop) $40 This workshop is designed to provide participants with a hands-on introduction to tools for efficient manipulation of eBird data and an understanding of important sources of bias and variation in the data and ways to deal with them. We will discuss the quality-control processes applied to the publically-available data and examples of methods for manipulating these data. We will also discuss suggestions for best practices in analyzing these data with example analyze including statistical approaches to account for biases associated with varying detectability. Instructor: · Daniel Fink, · Wesley Hochacka 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Basics of Program Mark: An Introductory Course for Beginners (One-Day Workshop) $90 Estimation of demographic parameters from mark-recapture data is important for basic and applied questions in ornithology, including evolutionary ecology, conservation biology, and wildlife management. Many of the statistical tools available for estimation of abundance, occupancy, and survival have been implemented in Program Mark, an open-source software that is freely available to the community. Learning new demographic analyses can be intellectually challenging if the concepts are technically difficult or if the software tools are not well-documented. The purpose of this short course is to introduce the Program Mark software and a series of the statistical models that are available for demographic analyses for birds and other wildlife populations. The format of the one-day short course will be a series of short lectures on background concepts, and working through examples of published analyses in Program Mark. Instructor: · Brett K. Sandercock 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM Birding the Future — Exploring Extinction Rates by Focusing on the Warning Abilities of Birds (Free Training Class) Birding the Future is an interdisciplinary artwork that explores current extinction rates by specifically focusing on the warning abilities of birds. An outdoor sound installation is paired with a stereoscopic image walk as participants are guided through a walk of extinction. We will introduce participants to some of the key issues relating to birds that are specific to the Mid-Atlantic region via an interactive art experience. We hope to promote interdisciplinary dialogue between art and science, and provide the space and opportunity to heighten perceptual awareness and provide a historical link to human impact on the environment via sound and visual analysis that includes poetry, statistical data, and historical information. www.birdingthefuture.org Instructor: · Krista Caballero, · Frank Ekeberg Tuesday, August 16, 2016 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM Collections-based Symposium & Roundtable Discussion (One-Day Workshop) $40 AM: Integrating Natural History Collections into Undergraduate Education Talks and discussions on integrating natural history collections into undergraduate education. Our goal is to convey the relevance of museums for training the next generation of scientists. We also tie in the relevance of museums to conservation through discussions of specific research projects involving undergraduate students. Examples of conservation-focused work include studies on stable isotopes, resurveys, phylogeography, genetic change over time, trophic change, disease ecology, pesticide/toxicity studies, describing cryptic species, and species distribution modeling. PM: Issues in Collections Management and Museum Science The afternoon session will include a round-table discussion, considering some of the most pressing issues in collections management today, including data quality, complexity, and associated software; social media; destructive sampling; specimen transport; and permitting. Instructor: · Carla Cicero, · Chris Milensky, · Kevin Winker 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM Network Analysis Using R (One-Day Workshop) $40 The goal is to get students and researchers up and running with network analysis. Network analysis is broadly applicable in many areas of ornithology, and we will touch on several areas, specifically social networks, ecological networks and spatial networks. This short course will begin with the basics of network theory and relevant data collection methods in ornithological applications. The bulk of the course will consist of hands­on exercises in network analysis using R. These guided hands­on exercises will cover a wide array of topics including network construction, displays of networks, network metrics, temporal dynamics in networks, and hypothesis testing. We will also leave time for in­depth discussions about the ‘next step’ challenges in network analysis in ornithology. Instructor: · Daizaburo Shizuka, · Damien Farine 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM North American Ornithological Atlas Committee (One-Day Workshop) $40 Ornithological atlases are active monitoring projects that involve hundreds or thousands of amateur and professional birders in an intensive effort to document the distribution and abundance of birds in a particular region over a fixed time period. Atlases are typically repeated every twenty years to assess change in distribution and abundance. Although most often used for breeding birds, the same approaches can also be used for birds at other times of year. Dozens of atlases have been published in North America, with some jurisdictions approaching their third such project. The North American Ornithological Atlas Committee (NORAC) was originally formed from representatives of many of the active bird atlas projects in the Americas to develop standards for data collection and data analyses, especially for breeding bird atlases. Importantly, NORAC meets in person in conjunction with major ornithological conferences, including the past two NAOC meetings in Veracruz and Vancouver, and the joint meetings of AOU/COS/SCO in Portland (2008) and San Diego (2010). These in-person meetings are especially valuable for sharing experiences among atlas coordinators and for in-depth discussions of standards, new approaches, and common issues. Instructor: · Charles M. Francis, · Andrew Couturier 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM Revolutionizing Knowledge Sharing for the Conservation of Birds (One-Day Workshop) $40 The objective of this workshop is to provide familiarity with the process and products of bird conservation vulnerability assessment as exemplified by the Avian Conservation Assessment Database (ACAD, originally the Partners in Flight Species Assessment Database). We will provide examples of how species assessment products can be used to establish species conservation priorities at different geographic scales and for different objectives, understanding of the data management cycle and concepts of data sharing, and the philosophy of using knowledge of birds and their habitats to inform decisions. In addition, we will provide participants with working knowledge of the Avian Knowledge Network (AKN), and examples of how to use the AKN nodes to accomplish bird conservation or monitoring objectives. Feedback from participants will be used to identify needs for improvements and to help prioritize future datasets, analytics, or decision support tools that would expand the practical utility and conservation function of the ACAD and AKN. Instructor: · Tom Will, · Troy Wilson, · Geoff Geupel, · Arvind Panjabi, · Humberto Berlanga 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM Improving Your Communication Skills as a Scientist: A Two-part Series (Free Training Class) Improving Your Presentation Skills (Part One 8:30–10:00) Conveying scientific results in a clear and effective manner is one of the most important aspects of a scientist’s career. Unfortunately, training opportunities that help individuals improve both their oral presentation skills and their ability to construct clear and effective presentations can be limited. The objective of this workshop is to provide conference attendees with guidance on these topics, which are critical for success both in academia and beyond. This is a collaborative workshop between the Joint Student Affairs Committee and Early Professionals Committee and sponsored by NAOC ornithological societies. How to be a Scientist on Twitter (Part Two 10:15–12:00) Our objective is to make Twitter more accessible for scientists, explain the benefits, and demonstrate how to get started. We will discuss topics such as “Who is social media for?”, “What social media should you use?”, and “Why should you use social media?” We will go over how to get started on Twitter and the utility of such tools for objectives including outreach and to crowd sourcing citizen scientists. Instructor: · Auriel Fournier, · Scott A. Taylor, · Matt D. Carling, · Sara A. Kaiser, · Beth Ross, · Jordan Rutter, · Desiree Narango, · Rebecca Heisman, · Nicholas Mason 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM Birding the Future (Free Training Class) Birding the Future is an interdisciplinary artwork that explores current extinction rates by specifically focusing on the warning abilities of birds. An outdoor sound installation is paired with a stereoscopic image walk as participants are guided through a walk of extinction. We will introduce participants to some of the key issues relating to birds that are specific to the Mid-Atlantic region via an interactive art experience. We hope to promote interdisciplinary dialogue between art and science, and provide the space and opportunity to heighten perceptual awareness and provide a historical link to human impact on the environment via sound and visual analysis that includes poetry, statistical data, and historical information. www.birdingthefuture.org Instructor: · Krista Caballero, · Frank Ekeberg 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM Forum on Inventive Teaching in Ornithology (Half-Day Workshop) $25 This workshop is designed as a forum for discussing and developing teaching strategies for bridging in-person instruction and online experiences in teaching ornithology. Co-chairs will briefly introduce participants to an array of web-based learning resources appropriate for college-level biology and ornithology students and share a case study in “flipped” teaching. The case study focuses on the results of a pilot project incorporating online modules into Cornell University’s large introductory evolution course to amplify the student experience. The bulk of the session will focus on group discussions among participants—with opportunities for ornithology educators of all stripes to share their own experiences, innovative teaching strategies, and go-to resources. Instructor: · Mya Thompson, · Kevin McGowan 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM Improving GIS-based Wildlife Habitat Models (Half-Day Workshop) $25 The objective of this workshop is to provide wildlife and conservation biologists with a better understanding of both the capabilities and limitations of GIS technologies, and to provide insight into the assumptions that underlie some of the methods and technologies, particularly those associated with GIS, now routinely applied in both research and management within these disciplines. In addition, I will provide some alternative approaches and metrics to address current limitations, and illustrate how these alternatives can lead to more predictive, easily interpreted models that will provide a firmer scientific basis for conservation and management decision-making. Instructor: · Jeffrey Keller 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM Introduction to Bird Conservation Policy — A Panel Discussion (Free Training Class) The objective of this workshop is to provide rudimentary but expert guidance on and understanding of policy-making in regards to conservation science. Experts who work at the international, national, or state levels in promoting the use of science to inform conservation and management policy will speak on how to best communicate scientific information to policy makers. The discussion will cover three main topics: the challenges of providing complex and often incomplete scientific information in a way that is useful to policy makers, effective ways scientists can engage as individuals, and the nuts and bolts of the legislative and regulatory process. Each topic will include two short presentations followed by a panel discussion and opportunity for questions from the audience. Hosted by Joint Student Affairs Committee and Early Professionals Committee and sponsored by the NAOC ornithological societies. Instructor: · Valerie Steen, · Melanie Cólon, · Barry R. Noon, · Ellen Paul 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM Understanding Molt and Ageing of Passerines (Half-Day Workshop) Using the Howell-Humphrey-Parkes and the Wolfe-Ryder-Pyle Systems $25 This session offered by the North American Banding Council (NABC) aims to develop the participants’ knowledge and skill in understanding molt and ageing of passerines. Through a combination of lecture and hands-on work, participants will actively learn and apply molt strategies to arrive at sound age determinations. We will begin by reviewing molts and molt strategies, followed by a discussion of the traditional calendar-based Howell-Humphrey-Parkes (HPH) ageing and molt classification system. We will then introduce the cycle-based Wolfe-Ryder-Pyle (WRP) system, and compare it to the HPH system. Participants will learn about typical patterns of feather replacement in the pre-formative and pre-basic molts, consistent patterns of feather replacement within families and genera, and locations of molt limits. Using a combination of whole-group and small-group hands-on work, students will put these principles into action as they age specimens from the Carnegie Museum and from photo arrays. Instructor: · Andrea Patterson, · Kristen Covino, · Luke DeGroote, · Jared Wolfe 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Animal Welfare Policy and Wildlife Research: A Primer and Dialogue (Free Training Class) Every ornithologist in the U.S. and Canada who studies live birds must submit animal welfare protocols; the Ornithological Council devotes a very substantial amount of time to this subject because it is so central to the research life of every ornithologist. The objective of this workshop is to help NAOC participants understand the animal welfare policies in the U.S. and Canada and be able to use this information to improve their own research protocols. Audience members will achieve a better understanding of the protocol review process and effective methods for working with the IACUC. Through structured discussion with audience, instructors will gain insights into wildlife biology including study design and field methodology. Instructor: · Susan Brust Silk, · Kay Carter-Corker, · Gilly Griffin, · Anne Maglia, · John Bradfield 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Bird Conservation Alliance — How to Effectively Engage in Conservation (Free Training Class) The program will consist of presentations and discussion on how to influence timely bird conservation issues including administration rulemakings affecting migratory birds, Bald Eagles, the Endangered Species Act and public lands, and congressional challenges to conservation funding, species protection and habitat conservation. Sponsored by the Bird Conservation Alliance, a coalition of over 200 organization working together to advance bird conservation, and American Bird Conservancy. Instructor: · Steve Holmer 1:00 PM - 4:15 PM Careers in Ornithology: A Two-part Series (Free Training Class) Working for NGOs (Part One 1:00–2:30) The objective of this workshop is to discuss working for NGOs. This is the part of a series of track-specific workshops hosted by Early Professionals Committee and Joint Student Affairs Committee. Speakers will discuss the different types of positions available with NGOs; the difference between science and advocacy positions; how to prepare for careers with NGOs/what employers are looking for, benefits/challenges, international positions, etc. in a panel-style discussion. Working for Government Agencies (Part Two 2:45–4:15) The objective of this workshop is to discuss working for government agencies. This is part of a series of track-specific workshops hosted by Early Professionals Committee and Joint Student Affairs Committee. We will discuss the different types of positions available with government agencies; identify which agencies employ ornithologists; how to prepare for careers with the government/what employers are looking for, benefits/challenges, etc. in a panel-style discussion. Sponsored by the NAOC ornithological societies. Instructor: · Valerie Steen, · Melanie Cólon, · Kimberly A. Sullivan 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM Introduction to R (Free Training Class) This half-day class will introduce attendees to R, a free, open-source statistical software program. The workshop is aimed at students, post-doctoral researchers, and early-career professionals who have little or no experience with R. The main objective will be to confer a basic familiarity and understanding of what R is, what it is capable of, and learning how to perform some basic tasks and functions using rudimentary data structures. Attendees will be asked to bring their own laptops and have R installed prior to attending the workshop. Participants will be encouraged to run through some brief tutorials on their own time prior to arriving at the conference to get some basic familiarity with R and get the most out of the workshop. Participants will generate their own code and also follow scripts that have been provided by the instructors. Hosted by Joint Student Affairs Committee and Early Professionals Committee and sponsored by the NAOC ornithological societies. Instructor: · Kristen Covino, · Nicholas Mason, · Rebecca Harris 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM Undergraduate Laboratory Exercises in Ornithology (Half-Day Workshop) $25 The objective of the workshop is to add three new ornithology teaching modules to the Wilson Ornithological Society’s Manual of Ornithology (http://www.wilsonsociety.org/wosmanual/index.html) in an interactive, audience participation, laboratory demonstration. Each of the three lab modules would be conducted in 30–45 minutes, followed by audience feedback and discussion for 15–30 minutes. Instructor:
  3. Important New Information About Workshops Workshop fees have dropped before registration even opens! By raising the minimum requirement to 20 participants per session, we were able to significantly reduce the cost to participate in these important educational opportunities. We encourage everyone to sign-up early for these pre-conference workshops and classes as some may be canceled if the minimum number of participants is not met. Final decisions will be made by June 1 and registrants will be notified of any cancellations at that time. We have reflected these changes in the meeting announcement which can be viewed or downloaded here at any time. Or for a quick glance at the updated workshop fees, click here. We’re revising registration and these new fees will be available when registration opens early next week. Stay tuned as important NAOC 2016 details continue to develop. www.naoc2016.com
  4. Call for Proposals for Training Opportunities, Short Courses and Workshops The North American Ornithological Conference (NAOC) will be held in Washington, DC from August 16–20, 2016. We are inviting proposals for training opportunities, short courses, and workshops related to ornithological research and conservation, due by December 1. We hope to provide something of interest to a wide audience, from agency staff to young ornithologists from North and Latin America. DESCRIPTION OF EVENTS Training Opportunities are geared towards the professional development of attendees, mainly in government and NGO sectors. Proposed events should be scheduled for a half or a whole day, and could include topics such as Remote monitoring systems, Overview of avian collision impacts, or an Introduction to full annual-cycle models and monitoring needs. Preference will be given to proposals that provide training opportunities to which the target audience does not have regular access. Short Courses are multi-day, interactive experiences that offer training in relevant tools and skills for ornithological research and conservation. These courses are targeted towards students, academics and professionals, and will be held 2 days prior to the start of conference. Example topics include Advances in tracking of bird migration and movement, Urban avian ecology, or an Introduction to multi-species modeling. Workshops provide overviews of concepts, topics, and initiatives across diverse fields of interest and audiences. Examples include Effective science communication, an Overview of the bird habitat Joint Ventures, Social science for the biologist, or Innovations in the teaching of ornithology. All proposed events will take place during the days preceding the conference: Monday, August 15 and Tuesday, August 16. Six conference rooms, accommodating a range of 50–200 people per room, will be provided at the Washington Hilton Hotel each day. Proposals that require off-site facilities will also be considered. Participation in all workshops is through advance registration only. PROPOSALS Proposals should be 1–3 pages, and specify the following: Type of event (Training, short course, or workshop) Title of event Desired times and dates (up to 3 options) Name and affiliation of instructor(s) Number of participants (min, max) and target audience Proposed cost to participants (if applicable) Summary of course objectives Overview of topics or syllabus Prior experience teaching proposed topic Room set up, location and other requirements The NAOC Training Opportunities and Workshops Committee must receive all proposals by December 1, with the subject line NAOC Proposal to workshops@naoc2016.com. Please do not hesitate to contact the Committee Chair (Viviana Ruiz-Gutierrez) with any questions or concerns.
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