Wondering how to get the most out of your next ecological restoration project? Extension and the Legacy Fund Restoration Evaluation Program recorded a series of free professional development webinars for ecological restoration practitioners and project managers.
Find out more about the Ecological Restoration online series
Webinar recordings and resources
In this webinar, staff from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources will provide some exciting updates on the state seed mixes and discuss how you can use them to improve your restorations. You will also hear how practitioners have been able to capitalize on the state seed mixes as a resource in their work.
Dan Shaw is the Senior Ecologist and Vegetation Specialist with the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR). His work focuses on conservation partnerships, restoration and stormwater projects, climate planning, pollinator habitat and invasive species control. He has also taught design and restoration classes at the University of Minnesota for the past 20 years and authored several publications on restoration and stormwater project planning.
Jessi Strinmoen is a manager at Shooting Star Native Seeds in Spring Grove, Minnesota. In addition to Human Resources, Marketing, Advertising, and Safety Compliance responsibilities, Jessi manages native seed sales for contractors and installers, many government agencies, tribal land agencies, CRP producers, and landowners. Jessi has been with Shooting Star Native Seeds for over 7 years.
This webinar brings together researchers and practitioners to share updates and stories of success on the ongoing challenge of managing buckthorn in restorations. Researchers from the University of Minnesota share new developments in the Cover it up! program, which works to understand if native plants can control buckthorn following removal efforts. Practitioners also share what is working for them in the ongoing battle against this invasive plant.
Mike Schuster is a researcher with the Department of Forest Resources at the University of Minnesota. His research broadly focuses on the ecology and management of invasive plant species. Mike is currently one of the lead scientists on the Cover It Up! program, which evaluates how land managers can use native plant species to reduce invasion by buckthorn and other species in Minnesota's forests.
Nicholas Snavely is an Assistant Area Wildlife Manager for the Minnesota DNR. He has focused a great deal of his work on wildlife habitat management in central Minnesota, where he has overseen multiple buckthorn control projects on state Wildlife Management Areas in collaboration with conservation partners like Great River Greening, The Nature Conservancy and Wildlife Forever.
The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) has been working throughout northern Minnesota to complete thousands of acres of habitat enhancements for golden-winged warblers on public lands. In this webinar, ABC staff share the story of how collaborations were critical in the work and how they were able to build a strong network. ABC has also partnered with researchers to document the success of the projects, and you will hear an update on how enhancement efforts have impacted bird populations.
Peter Dieser is the Minnesota Public Lands Coordinator for the American Bird Conservancy, where he identifies habitats for restoration and implements conservation projects on the ground. Prior to joining ABC, Peter received an M.S. in Natural Resources Science and Management from the University of Minnesota and worked as a naturalist for the Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center. He is based at the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge near Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.
Jeff Larkin is a professor of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Since 2011 he has worked closely with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to deliver conservation programs to benefit forests, forest birds, and forest owners. Jeff also serves as the Forest Birds Habitat Coordinator for the American Bird Conservancy, where he directs a team of conservation planners and foresters who assist NRCS with the delivery of private lands conservation programs that target forest wildlife including golden-winged warblers, American woodcock, and cerulean warblers throughout the Appalachian and Great Lakes states.
In this webinar, two local non-profit organizations will share their experiences and ongoing commitment to expanding access and equity in restoration efforts. Through their conservation program, Urban Roots engages youth in restoration work to provide service to the community, develop young leaders and improve health and the environment. Friends of the Mississippi River will share their ongoing efforts to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in their organization and in the mainstream environmental movement.
Sara DeKok is the associate director and development director for Friends of the Mississippi River, where her position marries the organization’s work to raise needed funding for its critical mission with operational management. Sara holds a master’s degree in conservation biology and sustainable development from the University of Wisconsin and has spent her 18-year career advancing strategic capacity-building initiatives for environmental NGOs. Key among her priorities at FMR is advancing equity—both within the organization and among our sector—through competency building, systems change, and strategic partnership work.
David Woods has helped lead the conservation program at Urban Roots for the past 8 years. In his role, David trains and leads youth interns in habitat restoration work in Parks in Saint Paul's East Side neighborhoods. He also develops curricula, coordinates with local and regional partners, and assists with securing funding.
Implementing minimum design criteria makes for impactful projects. Learn how developing specification sheets with a consulting firm helped one watershed district support and promote natural shoreline restoration.
Angie Hong is the coordinator for Minnesota’s East Metro Water Resource Education Program, a local government partnership with 25 city, county and watershed organization partners. In her free time, she enjoys singing, competing in triathlons, and exploring the prairies, woods and waterways of the St. Croix Valley. She is also mom to an exceedingly active nine-year-old boy. She holds an M.S. degree in Natural Resources Science and Management with an emphasis on Environmental Education (UMN Twin Cities, 2004) and a B.S. in Zoology (UW Madison, 2000). Read her tips and tales about keeping water clean at www.eastmetrowater.org.
Mike Isensee is the administrator of the Carnelian Marine St. Croix Watershed District (CMSCWD). The CMSCWD is in Northeast Washington county and encompasses 31 lakes, 22 streams, and 18 miles of the St. Croix River. Mike works closely with the East Metro Water Resource Education Program to promote and incentivize natural shoreline restoration, the District Engineering Firm landowners to and implement District rules that prohibit the use of rip rap unless bioengineering techniques are deemed infeasible to address shoreland erosion.
Jeff Forester has been the executive director of Minnesota Lakes and Rivers (MLR) for almost 20 years. His book, Forest for the Trees, How Humans Shaped the Northwoods (Minnesota Historical Society Press) examines fire and forestry in northern Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. This summer MLR is launching the Lake Steward program statewide. The pilot on Gull Lake successfully protected or enhanced over two miles of shoreline last year. Jeff lives with his wife, two daughters, and two dogs in Minneapolis, but spends as much time as he can on family land adjacent to the Boundary Waters.
Stream restorations can be complex and costly. Having a consistent planning process can help project managers make informed decisions and achieve desired outcomes.
Amanda Hillman has a Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences and Resources and has been the Restoration Coordinator for the Minnesota DNR’s River Ecology Unit for the last 9 years. She is primarily involved in ranking, funding and coordinating stream restoration projects across the state of Minnesota.
Molly Tranel Nelson is the regional natural resource specialist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trails division. She manages natural resources on Parks and Trails lands in the southwest region of the state through prescribed burning, invasive species management, and native community restoration. She also protects the natural and cultural resources on Parks and Trails lands through environmental review, sustainable development, and project mitigation. Molly finds the job of balancing the development of recreational opportunities for visitors with the protection of high-quality natural habitats and features challenging but rewarding. In the fall you can find Molly out on remnant prairies, collecting seed for her next restoration project.
Karen Gran is a fluvial geomorphologist in the Earth & Environmental Sciences department at the University of Minnesota Duluth whose research focuses on understanding how rivers respond to changes, from land-use changes to long-term post-glacial adjustments to rivers in the region. She has extensive experience studying river erosion and landscape adjustment and will be talking about efforts to bring in a wide array of stakeholders during the research process to help develop a consensus approach to reducing sediment loading in a large watershed.
Multidisciplinary project teams can bring a wealth of knowledge to your restoration, improving agility and outcomes. Learn how tapping into your available networks can help you solve problems and avoid pitfalls.
Kyle Arola is the Wildlife Area Supervisor at Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area and he works with numerous partners to accomplish habitat work on over 100,000 acres of public land. This work covers everything from removing invasive species to protect forests to applying prescribed burning to enhance prairies.
Sue Galatowitsch is a professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota, where she teaches ecological restoration and wetland ecology. In addition to many research publications, she's authored/co-authored three books, including the newly released revision of Minnesota's Natural Heritage.
Amazing restoration work is happening all across Minnesota, but poor documentation can become a barrier to understanding project goals and tracking successes. Learn about the hidden (and not-so-hidden) values to tracking your projects.
Bill Schuna is the MNDNR Area Wildlife Manager for Slayton and Talcot Lake Wildlife Management Area. Prior to that he was the Assistant Area Wildlife Manager from 2001-2013 in Marshall. He received his B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife from the University of Minnesota in 1999.
Matt Kaproth is a plant ecologist at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He investigates prairies and oak systems to understand what management leads to their success and how species have adapted to their environment.