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Conservation Conversations: Remote Great Lakes Surveys- Josh Cohen

March 14, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT


The Michigan Conservation Stewards Program (CSP) is hosting a series of in-person events held in various locations on current research and management approaches, unique natural communities, and diverse partnerships involved in supporting Michigan ecosystems.

Participants will have the opportunity to enjoy refreshments, ask questions and engage in discussion with the featured speaker, and mingle with Conservation Stewards and invited local organizations who will share information about the work they do and how to get involved in local conservation efforts. MSU Extension staff will also provide information about the 2023 Fall Michigan Conservation Stewards Programs and other MSU Extension programs being offered in 2023. Each “Conservation Conversation” event will take place from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Light refreshments will be served. Registration fee is $10/person. Individuals who have previously taken the Conservation Stewards Program can attend for free. Pre-registration is required.

Josh Cohen from Michigan Natural Features Inventory is the featured speaker for the March 14 “Conservation Conversations” event hosted by the University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor. He will present on “Remote Great Lakes islands surveys: notable discoveries & prioritization framework for biodiversity stewardship.”

Talk Description:
Great Lakes islands provide critical habitat for native biodiversity and support rare and endemic natural communities. Many of these islands are remote, difficult to access, and challenging to survey. Despite limited access, these islands face a variety of threats to native biodiversity and rare taxa including establishment and spread of invasive species and the impacts of climate change. Unfortunately, within these unique geographies biodiversity data is limited or outdated, which hinders effective management and decision-making. Over the past several years, Michigan Natural Features Inventory has collaborated with the United State Fish and Wildlife Service, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and tribal natural resource departments to collect baseline information on the current status of ecosystems on these islands to help guide biodiversity stewardship and conservation planning efforts. In this presentation, we will present highlights from this ongoing research and provide a framework for prioritizing biodiversity stewardship.

Presenter Biography:
Joshua Cohen has worked for the past 23 years as an ecologist with Michigan Natural Features Inventory. His primary duties involve refining and revising the natural community classification through ecological inventory and sampling, literature research, and data analysis. He is responsible for classifying conservation targets and prioritizing areas for conservation and restoration; creating and delivering biodiversity and ecosystem management trainings; and designing and conducting vegetative sampling, ecological mapping and modeling, monitoring, and surveys for natural communities and rare species. Cohen is the lead author of A Field Guide to the Natural Communities of Michigan and a recent article in Diversity entitled “Assessing the Ecological Need for Prescribed Fire in Michigan Using GIS-Based Multicriteria Decision Analysis: Igniting Fire Gaps.”

Learn more about all of the Conservation Conversations and how to get registered at: https://www.canr.msu.edu/conservation_stewards_program/

Who should attend Conservation Conversations events?
• Anyone interested in nature who wants to learn more about natural communities and conservation efforts in Michigan
• Individuals who have previously completed the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program interested in continuing their learning and networking/connecting with other alumni. Registration for Conservation Stewards participants is free.
• Natural resource professionals who want to build their knowledge on ecosystem-based management principles
• Individuals who want to learn more about the Michigan Conservation Steward Program as well as other MSU/MSU Extension programs and events being offered in 2023
• Those who want to learn about area conservation organizations and their local conservation efforts, including upcoming programs and events

Contact Bindu Bhakta (bhaktabi@msu.edu or 248-396-9777) with questions about this event.


MSU Extension
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university of michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens
1800 N Dixboro Rd
Ann Arbor, 48105 United States
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