Join Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) ecologists Josh Cohen and Brad Slaughter for a discussion of important natural features of Michigan's Great Lakes coastal region. In 2015, Josh and Brad conducted surveys throughout the coastal zone to document areas of significant ecological importance, including examples of several imperiled natural communities such as lakeplain prairies and oak savannas, dune complexes, and Great Lakes marshes. The goal of these surveys was to collect information on the ecological integrity of these remnant natural areas to provide stakeholders, including land trusts, local, and state governments, direction on the conservation and management of these important ecological resources.
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Brad Slaughter - Brad Slaughter has worked as an ecologist and botanist with Michigan Natural Features Inventory for the past 11 years. As the lead botanist with MNFI, Brad's primary focus is assessing the distribution, ecology, and conservation status of Michigan's rare plants, which includes conducting and guiding field inventories, reviewing herbarium records and literature, and collaborating with resource professionals and the broader botanical community. Wearing his ecology hat, Brad conducts natural community inventories throughout the state and contributed to the revision and expansion of the MNFI natural community classification, resulting in the book A Field Guide to the Natural Communities of Michigan, published by Michigan State University Press in 2015. Brad holds a B.A. (Biology) from Albion College and a M.S. (Botany) from Miami University.
Joshua Cohen - Joshua Cohen has worked for the past 16 years as an ecologist with Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI), Michigan's natural heritage program. In the fall of 2012 he became the Ecology discipline lead. His primary duties as an ecologist with MNFI involve refining and revising the natural community classification through ecological inventory and sampling, literature research, and data analysis. He is also responsible for classifying conservation targets and prioritizing areas for conservation and restoration; creating and delivering training sessions for resource professionals on biodiversity and ecosystem management; and designing and conducting vegetative sampling, ecological mapping and modeling, monitoring, and surveys for natural communities and threatened and endangered species.
Lisa Brush - Lisa is the Executive Director of The Stewardship Network. Lisa has been leading collaborative conservation initiatives in the nonprofit environmental sector for over two decades. In her role as co-founder and Executive Director of The Stewardship Network she has engaged thousands of professionals and volunteers in identifying community and conservation needs of the 21st century and determining strategic support The Network can provide. She has managed and overseen grant projects from federal and state agencies, as well as family and private foundations. She has been involved in all aspects of organizational management including foundation/agency relationships, grant based project funding, budget tracking, contract negotiation, implementation, accountability, project reporting and staff and board development. Lisa has facilitated strategic planning sessions, focus groups, citizen task forces, community visioning sessions, and public involvement and feedback meetings with groups ranging in size from four to four hundred. Lisa emphasizes tried and true in-person methods of bringing people together augmented by the use of cutting edge online technology. Lisa serves on numerous boards of directors, has a BA in Science in Society from Wesleyan University, an MS from University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment, and is a graduate of Michigan State University's Great Lakes Leadership Academy.