OOS 32
Backing It Up: Science at Non-Profit Conservation Organizations

Wednesday, August 13, 2014: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
308, Sacramento Convention Center
Candan Soykan, National Audubon Society
Chad B. Wilsey, National Audubon Society
Candan Soykan, National Audubon Society
Non-profit, non-governmental conservation organizations are traditionally valued for their advocacy, outreach, and conservation actions. In that unique position, these organizations have designed and championed several well-known conservation strategies, such as Audubon’s Important Bird Areas, The Nature Conservancy’s Ecoregional Assessments, and the National Wildlife Federation’s Climate-Smart Conservation. These and other local-scale strategies are increasingly supported by in-house monitoring and scientific analysis. Many conservation organizations have established science divisions contributing to a variety of disciplines including wildlife biology, agro-ecology, climate-impacts science, and the study of ecosystem services. Their scientists also partner with academic and government scientists through co-sponsorship, memoranda of understanding, and cooperative research agreements. Connections between ecological research and conservation science are strengthening with conservation science benefiting from advances, both theoretical and methodological, in ecology as well as contributing new questions for ecological research. This session addresses a broad range of research topics, including ecosystem function in novel plant communities, rangeland restoration, trophic cascades, water management and freshwater conservation, citizen science, and endangered species management. In fitting with the theme of the meeting, this session stresses the diversity of landscapes that constitute California from offshore islands and marine ecosystems to the agriculturally-oriented Central Valley, the high country east of the Sierra Nevada, the Mojave Desert, and major urban centers such as Los Angeles and San Francisco. Although the research topics vary, each speaker will place his or her study within the unique context of their organization’s mission and/or decision-making process. Thus, the connection between science and its application will be a unifying theme running through the diverse talks included in this session.
1:30 PM
 Modeling population effects of burrowing owls on ashy storm-petrels in relation to house mouse eradication on the Farallon Islands
Nadav Nur, Point Blue Conservation Science; Russell W. Bradley, Point Blue Conservation Science; Leonardo Salas, Point Blue Conservation Science; Jaime Jahncke, Point Blue Conservation Science
2:10 PM
 Point Blue’s Rangeland Watershed Initiative: Measuring the soil, vegetation, and wildlife benefits of prescribed grazing
Wendell Gilgert, Point Blue Conservation Science; Kenneth W. Tate, University of California-Davis; Leslie M. Roche, University of California Davis; Geoffrey Geupel, PRBO Conservation Science
2:50 PM
 Simulating future climate and land-use impacts on the Greater Sage-grouse
Chad B. Wilsey, National Audubon Society; Joshua J. Lawler, University of Washington; Nathan H. Schumaker, US EPA
3:10 PM
3:20 PM
 Protecting natural vegetation: Comparative analysis of land protection mechanisms
Tosha Comendant, Conservation Biology Institute; Kai Henifin, Conservation Biology Institute; Michael Lundin, Conservation Biology Institute; James Strittholt, Conservation Biology Institute
3:40 PM
 Google searches inform real-world conservation
Justin Schuetz, National Audubon Society; Candan Soykan, National Audubon Society; Trisha Distler, National Audubon Society; Gary Langham, National Audubon Society
4:20 PM
 Setting and implementing regional strategies for landscape-scale invasive plant management
Elizabeth D. Brusati, California Invasive Plant Council; Dana Morawitz, California Invasive Plant Council; Douglas W. Johnson, California Invasive Plant Council
4:40 PM
 California Gull population growth and response to tidal marsh restoration in San Francisco Bay
Natalie B. Washburn, San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory; Catherine E. Burns, San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory; Erika J. Taketa, San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory; Karine E. Tokatlian, San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory