Saturday, May 18

Please note: due to space limitations, you must pre-register Saturday morning field trips and workshops.

 

Morning Field Trips/Workshops

 

FIELD TRIP: Prairies of the Past and Present

8:30 am–12:00 pm
Meeting Location: Conference Center Atrium
Ryan Peterson & Cory Netland

We have one heck of a good prairie tour planned for 2019 Gathering Partners conference attendees! With visits to Rau Prairie Potholes WMA, Fladaboe Farm, and Prairie Woods ELC, we will discuss and see an oak savanna, prairie seeding information and demonstrations, a prescribed burning site, prairie ecology, remnant prairie sites, invasive species and prairie reclamation. Depending on spring burning conditions, we are likely to see two similar sites, one burned and one unburned. We’ll also see equipment used in prairie burns and restoration activities. You may also see the "Pretty Purple Prairie Pothole Posies" if they are blooming. If you like prairies, this will be an outstanding tour! Please dress appropriately and wear closed-toe footwear. There may be poison ivy on this trip. This field trip is not wheelchair accessible. Pre-registration required. 

Experience Level: Beginner
Activity Level: Moderarely active

 

FIELD TRIP: Glacial Landscape (Geology)

8:30 am–12:00 pm
Meeting Location: Conference Center Atrium
Carrie Jennings

Our keynote speaker, Carrie Jennings has a unique way of making geology understandable and exciting! She will lead this tour through the West Central area to discover the landscape left behind by glaciers thousands of years ago,You will learn new geologic terminology, see the actual feature on the land and may see some spring blooming prairie plants, and migrating birds. Bring your hiking boots and your binoculars for this fabulous tour. It will ROCK your world. Please dress appropriately and wear closed-toe footwear. There may be poison ivy on this trip. Pre-registration required. 

Experience Level: Beginner
Activity Level: Moderately active

 

FIELD TRIP: New London Fish Hatchery

8:30 am–12:00 pm
Meeting Location: Conference Center Atrium
Gary May

This tour will inform you of current and historic fish production activities at the New London Hatchery. You will learn our technique for harvesting adult walleye, stripping, fertilizing, and incubating eggs, and what happens to the fry after the eggs hatch. You will also learn the various strains of walleye that are hatched at the New London Hatchery and why they are kept separate. Depending on timing, you may see eggs incubating and fry swimming in the tanks. This tour will give you a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with fish fry (but not fried fish!). Wear shoes for wet and slippery floor conidtions. It may be loud inside the hatchery, and you may wish to bring ear plugs or noise protection. Pre-registration required. 

Experience Level: Beginner
Activity Level: Moderately active

 

FIELD TRIP: Fantastic Fen Frolic

8:30 am–12:00 pm
Meeting Location: Conference Center Atrium
Megan Benage

Come learn about Minnesota's rarest wetland at The Nature Conservancy’s Regal Meadows Preserve. Calcareous fens are peat-accumulating wetlands fed by a constant supply of mineral-rich groundwater. These ancient features are 10,000-15,000 years old and they take the phrase 'getting better with age' to heart. Frolic at the fen with us and see a once in a lifetime habitat. We promise, it will be fen-tastic. Please dress appropriately and wear closed-toe footwear. There may be poison ivy on this trip. Pre-registration required. 

Experience Level: Beginner
Activity Level: Moderately active

 

 

Afternoon Sessions

 

Meet the Insects that Use Your Bee Hotel

1:15–2:45 pm
Gallery 4
Britt Forsberg

Bee hotels, bee boxes, insect condos. No matter what you call them, providing man-made habitat for native bees has become popular among gardeners and conservationists. You also may have seen bee blocks used for research projects like the Minnesota Bee Atlas. But do you know which critters may call your nest “home”? In this session, we will learn about several different species of bees and wasps that are commonly found in artificial nests. By learning about the size, seasonality, and appearance of nests, participants will be prepared to identify the bees and wasps using and visiting bee hotels. Participants will have the opportunity to build a bee nest of their own to take home and observe as a part of the Minnesota Bee Atlas.

Experience Level: Beginner
Activity Level: A little bit active

 

A Walk Through the New MN HAB Educational Trailer!

1:15–2:45 pm
Gallery 5
Shahram Missaghi

Minnesota communities are facing potential negative environmental, health, and economic consequences of freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs). Particularly where 20% of the residents of Minnesotans depend on surface water for drinking water. The MN HAB Group has built a mobile educational trailer with demonstration equipment and public education materials to facilitate learning more about HABs. We will showcase the trailer, walk through it, examine it, and show how we can together - learn more to defend MN lakes against HABs and increase the resiliency of Minnesota communities to the potential for toxic algae breakouts.

Experience Level: Beginner
Activity Level: Moderately active

 

Native Plant Community Field Guide Introduction

1:15–2:45 pm
Gallery 3
Megan Benage

Come explore the Native Plant Community Field Guide of Minnesota! You will learn how to use the authoritative field guide to identify and discover native plant communities. We'll describe how the guides were developed and how YOU can assist with resource management or restoration using the guide.

Experience Level: Beginner
Activity Level: Inactive

 

Reptiles and Amphibians- Teaching with Them, Looking for Them, and Resources You Can Use

1:15–2:45 pm
Gallery 1
Misi Stine & Beth Girard

If you have basic knowledge about these cool animals, this is the session for you. Take it one step further, learn fun ways to teach about them: learn activities, games, field techniques, and get resources to use when teaching children and adults. We will have live animals, and we will also be talking about the hog-nosed snake, found on the prairies of Minnesota.

Experience Level: Beginner
Activity Level: A little bit active

 

Addressing Controversial Issues in Outreach and Education

1:15–2:45 pm
Gallery 2
Andrea Lorek Strauss

Teaching about natural resource topics often raises controversial issues. How instructors handle these issues can either create a compelling educational experience or leave audiences feeling confused, disillusioned, and cynical. Often, it would be easier to avoid controversies altogether, but to do so would fall short a valuable opportunity to effectively engage with natural resource issues and proactively contribute to collaborative solutions. This presentation will discuss approaches to addressing controversial issues at both the organizational and the instructional levels with an aim to prevent (when possible) and defuse (when necessary) contentious situations.

Experience Level: Intermediate
Activity Level: A little bit active

 

Oak or Ash? Quick and Easy Woody ID

1:15–2:45 pm
Gallery 6
Angie Gupta & Mike Reichenbach

Wow your friends at the next dinner party by identifying their wooden table, door frames and flooring! If you’re interested in learning practical wood identification, this is the session for you. We’ll cover the differences between hardwood and softwood (conifers) and discuss easily identified traits in wood commonly used in furniture, cabinets and flooring. This session will focus on sawn wood, but if time and interest permit we can also address firewood ID. Have a small piece of wood that’s got you stumped? Bring it with you and have the experts give it a shot! (Just don’t bring grandma’s heirloom dresser!)

Experience Level: Beginner
Activity Level: A little bit active

 

Sharing Your Passion and Expertise with Diverse and Underserved Communities

3:45–4:45 pm
Gallery 1
Lisa Keitel

Are there communities or groups that you know of where learning about the natural world is a challenge? Young adults with learning differences or on the autism spectrum and the cancer support community are the focus of Lisa’s work. She will describe her process researching funding sources, equipment, writing grants, and creating opportunities for these two groups to experience birding. Lisa will share her experience and knowledge to help you think about the communities you know – communities that can benefit from your passion, expertise, outreach and love of our natural Minnesota.

Experience Level: Beginner
Activity Level: Inactive

 

Using Plants to Control Buckthorn: Recent Research and a New Citizen Science Program

3:45–4:45 pm
Gallery 2
Peter Wragg & Mike Schuster

Control methods for European buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) in Minnesota woodlands are costly and often offer little long-term benefit due to rapid buckthorn recolonization from seeds and resprouts. Experiments around Minneapolis/Saint Paul suggest that densely revegetating using native shrubs – and potentially herbs – to create dense shade can reduce buckthorn recolonization. We will invite participation in a new citizen science program to evaluate revegetation to suppress buckthorn seedlings in diverse environments across Minnesota. We will offer an orientation to starting your own experiment in a woodland or forest near you to contribute to this program. Please join us!

Experience Level: Beginner
Activity Level: A little bit active

 

Save Your Ash: The Emerald Ash Borer in Minnesota

3:45–4:45 pm
Gallery 3
Matt Russell, Angie Gupta, & Mike Reichenbach

The invasive emerald ash borer (EAB) is spreading across Minnesota. In this presentation you'll learn about the extent of Minnesota's ash forests, the ins and outs of identifying EAB , and some unique uses of ash wood. Our cold Minnesota winters can kill all of the EAB, right? Come to learn more about EAB and how to be on the front lines of watching for EAB signs.

Experience Level: Intermediate
Activity Level: Inactive

 

Offal Wildlife Watching: Camera-trap Monitoring of Hunter Provided Carrion

3:45–4:45 pm
Gallery 4
Ellen Candler

Scavengers have been shown to obtain high-quality food from carrion without using the energy needed to capture and kill prey. At certain times of the year, hunters can provide a significant source of carrion in the form of gut piles (offal). The purpose of this research is to understand what and when scavengers use deer offal provided by hunters across Minnesota. Minnesota offers a unique opportunity to look at this across three different biomes and different scavenger assemblages. With the help of hunters across Minnesota, many from the Master Naturalist program, we have collected several thousand images of offal scavengers.

Experience Level: Intermediate
Activity Level: Inactive

 

Teaching Children a Love of the Natural World

3:45–4:45 pm
Gallery 6
Galen Erickson

Many Master Naturalists have shared their skills with children. From school presentations to nature walks, we hope to make a positive impact. Unfortunately, many children live in a world of screens and are often fearful of the natural world. Galen will present his experiences as a parent, grandparent, as a scoutmaster and as a Jeffers Foundation board member. The Jeffers mission is to educate teachers in environmental education and how to take their classes outside to enhance learning. He will share video clips from his many outdoor adventures with youth, including his own twenty grandchildren.

Experience Level: Intermediate
Activity Level: Inactive

 

Master Naturalist Instructor Meeting

3:45–4:45 pm
Gallery 5
Andrea Lorek Strauss & Amy Rager

If you've been through Master Naturalist Instructor Training, this session is for you! What is your favorite part about teaching Master Naturalist classes? Biggest challenges? This session will focus on peer-to-peer mentoring and support. Got a great teaching method to share? Bring it! Finding barriers to offering Master Nat courses where you are? Your peers will help you think it through. You'll get program updates and sneak peeks of program developments on the horizon.

Experience Level: Advanced
Activity Level: Inactive