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The King of Dinosaurs

Conservation Symposium

Science by the People:
New Challenges, New Opportunities

Friday, September 11, 2015; 9 am to 4 pm

Register Now

$20/person until September 4, 2015

Citizen science harnesses the power of the crowd to drive scientific research. Ordinary people help with scientific projects by doing tasks that range from documenting observations to interpreting data. This strength-in-numbers approach allows scientists to undertake research on a scale that would otherwise be impractical or even impossible. The 2015 Conservation Symposium examines opportunities and challenges for conservation work that come with asking for—and getting—help from enthusiastic masses.

The symposium will feature two keynote speakers. Sam Droege is a biologist at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland and is known as the “Johnny Appleseed of Citizen Science.” He will discuss citizen science projects that have worked and those that haven’t. Mr. Rusty Russell, a collections manager at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, will talk about the Field Book Project, a massive field-notebook digitization and transcription project that he has undertaken with the help of citizen scientists.

Symposium Schedule

Friday, September 11, 2015; 9 am to 4 pm

8:00 Check-in and Registration
9:00 Harvey Webster Director of Wildlife Resources Welcome
9:15 Sam Droege Biologist, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center  Boots on the Ground: Citizens Needed to Take the World's Pulse
10:15 Marnie Urso Senior Program Manager, National Audubon Society How Birders Can Save the World (again)
10:45 Dr. Sarah Diamond Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Case Western Reserve University The Future of Biodiversity: Insights from Long-term Butterfly Monitoring by Citizen Scientists 
11:15 Denise Ellsworth Program Director, Honey Bee and Native Pollinator Education, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center Phenology: Engaging citizen scientists to study bloom time, and pest activity and pollinator visitation
12:00 Lunch
1:15 Conservation Educator of the Year Award Presentation
1:30 Rusty Russell Collections Manager, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History Grinnell to GUIDs: Connecting Natural Science Archives and Specimens 
2:30 Marlo Perdicas Park Biologist, Summit Metro Parks Connecting People to Nature: Using Technology to Document Biodiversity
3:00 Dr. Lisa Rainsong Department of Music Theory, Cleveland Institute of Music Crickets and Katydids: Research by Ear
3:30 Andy Avram Interpretive Naturalist, Lake Metroparks Searching for Serpents
4:00 Symposium Adjourns

Field Trips

Conservation Symposium registration includes one field trip of your choice on either Thursday, September 10 or Saturday, September 12. You can add an additional field trip for a $6 fee. See the schedule of field trip options.

Workshop: Mobile Data Collection Using a Smart Phone

Thursday, September 10; 9 am to 3 pm

Instructor: Nathan Randolph Lakeland Community College GIS Lab $10/person (add during registration) This workshop will provide a summary of data collection applications and methods using GPS-enabled smartphones. Topics covered will include app installation, custom database creation, uploading data to a cloud server or directly to a PC. Field data collection will be done at the Lakeland Community College Campus. We will then return to the GIS lab to upload, process, and map data collected in the field using ArcMap.

Great Lake Erie Boat Float

Saturday, September 12, 2015; 10 am

The Great Lake Erie Boat Float is held on the Saturday following the Conservation Symposium each year. This unique event helps raise awareness about the impacts of plastics on the environment. For details on how to enter a boat into the race or, other ways that you can participate, visit the Great Lake Erie Boat Float website. Sponsored by Cleveland Metroparks, Sustainable Cleveland and The Cleveland Museum of Natural History.


The 2015 Conservation Symposium is made possible by the generous support of Cleveland Metroparks • Cleveland Metroparks Zoo • Cleveland Zoological Society • Geauga Park District • The Holden Arboretum • Lakeland Community College • Lake Metroparks • Summit Metro Parks • The Nature Conservancy • Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District • Northeast Ohio Sierra Club • Ohio Natural Areas & Preserves Association • Ohio Division of Wildlife • Panera Bread • The Trout Club of The Cleveland Museum of Natural History • Western Reserve Land Conservancy • The Wilderness Center