We will also be offering two Workshops on the afternoon of Saturday, January 31. The workshops are: 

Workshop 1: Seeing your Project Clearly: Developing a Conceptual Model for Project Design

Workshop facilitated by Dr. Amy Vedder, FES/Yale, field practitioner

At the heart of any field conservation project is a “mental map” of the project’s intended outcomes, the obstacles and opportunities that influence achievement of these outcomes, and consequently a logical strategy for project work that incorporates these factors in determining what to do and why – in other words, a conceptual model.  The Conservation Measures Partnership, a consortium of international conservation NGOs, has designed guidelines for designing such models, which are now commonly used across the globe.  This workshop will demonstrate a hands-on process for creating a participant-driven project model for wildlife conservation, and explore how this also lays the foundation for a plan for monitoring progress.   Participants will be provided background information on a hypothetical project’s context, then engage as “project partners” in a workshop to jointly develop a “rough draft” model and monitoring framework for the project.  Participants will leave the workshop with an understanding of the utility of conceptual models in project design and monitoring, initial experience in creating one, and exposure to practical workshop techniques for group-based strategic planning. References will be provided for additional information.

Amy Vedder, PhD

Dr. Vedder has worked in applied conservation for more than 30 years, using ecological and social science to conserve wildlife and wildlands.  She currently teaches in the graduate program of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, focusing on the practice of international conservation.

Formerly, Dr. Vedder served as Senior Vice President for Conservation at The Wilderness Society (TWS), senior advisor to theRwandan Environment Management Authority, Vice President and director of the Living Landscapes Program at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and Director of the 
WCS Africa Program.  Vedder is known for her pioneering ecological studies of mountain gorillas in Rwanda during the late 1970s and as co-founder, with her husband Dr. Bill Weber, of the Mountain Gorilla Project.  Among publications, she co-authored the critically acclaimed book “In the Kingdom of Gorillas,” and co-edited “African 

Rainforest Ecology and Conservation,” published by Yale University Press. 

Workshop 2: Using spatial biodiversity data and remote sensing to support conservation decision-making

A workshop by the Yale Program in Spatial Biodiversity Science and Conservation

Adam Wilson, Giuseppe Amatulli, Walter Jetz

Spatial biodiversity and environmental data availability are growing rapidly and provide a remarkable opportunity for informed conservation decision-making.  Integration of different data sources and types together with appropriate modeling approaches can provide critical information to address these issues. In this workshop we will address use of remote sensing (satellite) products with examples including net primary productivity, cloud frequency, and temperature. We will also provide a short overview of open source analytical tools.  We will then discuss potential pitfalls of species distribution modeling for conservation and provide examples of how different data types and sources can be integrated.  Finally, we will showcase a general distribution prediction analysis workflow that can be customized for specific applications.  The workshop will include a short tutorial (in the R programming language) that will guide participants through an example distribution modelling workflow.

Adam Wilson, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher

Adam is interested in the ecological implications of global environmental change. His interdisciplinary approach draws upon remotely sensed observations, field data, and other existing datasets to investigate shifting species distributions, climatic controls on ecosystem resilience, and changes in the timing of ecological events. 

Giuseppe Amatulli, PhD, Spatial Analyst Support

 Giuseppe is a forest scientist and spatial modeler with expertize in computer  science. His research activity is mainly dedicated to spatial modeling with  special emphasis in species distribution model, areal distribution and potential  shift under climate change condition, wildland fire occurrence and pattern  recognition, and wildfire risk assessment based on human and bio-physical  parameters. He is daily dealing with high resolution data in the context of  complex and modern modeling techniques using stand-alone implementation  process under Linux environment. He use open source programming language  and software (GRASS, R, PYTHON, GNUPLOT, AWK, BASH, QGIS, OPENEV,  CDO) to accomplish large data processing in cluster processing keeping always  in mind the ecological aspect of the research study. He supports the use of open source for ecological modeling giving dedicated courses using (and mantaining) the web page.

Walter Jetz, PhD

Associate Professor, Yale University 

Walter is broadly interested in global biodiversity science. His research is interdisciplinary and combines elements of biogeography, community ecology, landscape ecology, macroecology, global change ecology, evolutionary and comparative biology, biodiversity informatics and conservation. Study systems include terrestrial vertebrates, in particular birds, and plants. Work in his research group attempts to integrate across scales of geographical, phylogenetic and ecological organization.