Stewardship Network Webcasts

The Stewardship Network presents monthly webcasts from noon to 1 p.m. (Eastern time zone) on the second Wednesday of each month, covering a variety of conservation and land management topics.

You can tune in on your computer, cell phone or tablet. A high-speed internet connection is required, as well as an updated web browser with Adobe Flash.

Test your connection here.

Join the Webcast (link active at 11:30 a.m.)

Stewardship Network Webcast Archive

November 2015: Japanese knotweed control: It takes a community

Japanese knotweed, now a state prohibited plant, is spreading explosively in some areas of southern Michigan. Due to its attractiveness in flower and former intentional planting in many landscapes as a cultivar, the insidiousness and particular challenges of managing this plant are often not recognized until infestations are extensive. Common first approaches like using over-the-counter herbicides and pruning or mowing can actually stimulate its spread. Effective treatments for Japanese knotweed ARE available and involve a combination of community and municipality education and using the right herbicides at the right time. We will present lessons learned and successes in managing Japanese knotweed in Ingham and Clinton Counties, which have taught us how to manage other invasive species more effectively, too!

October 2015: The Coming Winter of 2015 - 2016: Influence of El Niño and Climate Change

El Niño is a natural warming of the waters in the equatorial Eastern Pacific that causes major influences on winter weather patterns across much of the globe, particularly in North America. With one of the strongest El Niño events ever recorded currently in progress, Dr. Masters will discuss how such events have influenced past winter weather in the U.S. He will also discuss how the event will affect this winter's weather--keeping in mind that global warming is likely to bring Earth its warmest winter on record this winter and bring jet stream patterns capable of causing periods of intense cold and snow to eastern North America.

September 2015: Climate change and northern forests: risks, opportunities, and ways to adapt

Projected climate change may pose challenges to the long-term stability of our forests, so it is important for forest landowners to consider their particular risks, opportunities, and ways to adapt.

August 2015: How to make the most of your volunteer program and the most of your volunteering time

Volunteers are key to most stewardship programs. We’ll look at volunteer programs from both sides.

July 2015: Sustainable Small Scale Phragmites Control Programs and How Project Scale can affect Procedures

In this webcast, we will highlight control techniques available for small scale projects, which are not normally available for use on large scale projects. Homeowners and land stewards should be aware of these techniques, and use them to get the best possible results from their management efforts.

June 2015: Make Your Message Soar - Using megafauna to get a community's attention

Using megafauna like raptors or birds of prey is the perfect way to get a community's attention. Once you have their attention the directions you can go are limitless. During this webcast, learn how to link conservation success stories of flagship species like bald eagles or the back yard hunting prowess of eastern screech owls to the broad range of conservation issues we face today. Presentation tips, techniques and examples of story flow will help you communicate your message and engage your community in your conservation efforts.

May 2015: Minimizing Impacts of Prescribed Fire on Eastern Box Turtles

Prescribed fire is an effective management tool frequently used to alter, maintain, and restore vegetative communities throughout Michigan. It is also a tool that can negatively impact Eastern box turtle populations. There are several natural history and behavioral conflicts that make reducing the negative effects of prescribed fire on box turtles challenging. Box turtles are slow-moving, their active season overlaps the burning season, they tend to hide in high fuel loads, and their movement patterns are variable and uncoordinated. Evaluating and utilizing the strengths and weaknesses of your site (such as water sources and available nesting areas), rotating burns between seasons, and using the longest burn interval possible will be important in reducing the negative impacts of prescribed fire on box turtles.

February 2015: Report IN! How You Can Easily Report Invasive Species in Indiana, And Why You Should Want To

See an invasive plant on the roadside and want to report it? Whip out your smartphone and in less than 60 seconds the report is in the system! Compared to much of the Midwest, there is little information on the location of invasive species in Indiana, primarily because there hasn’t been a simple way for people to map and report them. That’s changed now, with the new Report IN system. Using the Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System (EDDMapS) as the starting point, there is a website and smartphone version of the reporting platform. Since August 2014 when the system was rolled out, hundreds of reports have come in that are helping us better manage invasive plants and educate the public. We will go through how to submit reports via the website ( and smartphone app, and discuss how the system is being used in Indiana by different groups. This is your chance to learn more and ask questions.