PDFWebpage  - Aquatic Resources Education Association 2016 CONFERENCE Schedule

PDFWebpage  - Aquatic Resources Education Association 2016 CONCURRENT Sessions

National Conservation Training Facility

Shepherdstown, West Virginia 25443

October 22-28, 2016

2016 AREA Conference – Concurrent Sessions

Monday, October 24


For each concurrent session, there are four strands.

Pick a strand or mix and match.

Concurrent Sessions

Monday, October 24, 2016

2:30 pm to 5:15 pm


Learn from your peers by visiting all the sessions in each of four strands or mix it up.  Classrooms in “IE” are in the Instructional East building.  Classrooms in “IW” are in the Instructional West building.



Session 1

2:30 pm – 3:15 pm

Session 2

3:30 pm – 4:15 pm

Session 3

4:30 pm – 5:15 pm

A.  Partners: Better Together

Creating New Anglers



Angling for Partnerships



Outdoor Adventures



B.  Fish School

Invasive Monsters



At the Count of 4



Pono Fishing


C.  Outside the Tackle Box

Got Flat Fish? & Interpretation through Geocaching


Incorporating Magic




Connecting People through Snorkeling



D.  Hooked on Communication

Entering Aquatic Ed into TRACS


Creating and Airing PSAs for TV


Activities that Connect Students to Mission



Strand A.             Partners: Better Together (114-IE)

Creating New Anglers through Future Angler Foundation Partnerships (114-IE)

Robert “Nick” Schmal, Executive Director – Future Angler Foundation (WI)


Learn how you can partner with National Professional Angler Association (NPAA) members in your community with the help of Future Angler Foundation (FAF), a non-profit membership organization dedicated to growing the sport of recreational fishing through education and outreach. The educational component is critical for the future of the sport because equipment alone will not catch fish or provide the knowledge to sustain aquatic conservation support.


Nick Schmal retired from the USDA Forest Service in 2015 as a regional fishery program leader following a 36-year career. He became Executive Director, Future Angler Foundation. Nick holds a Ph.D. in Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management, and M.S. and B.S. degrees in fisheries science and water resource management from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He worked on a myriad of fisheries (habitat-related) projects during his tenure with state and federal agencies, including John G. Shedd Aquarium, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, American Fisheries Society, American Rivers, Mississippi River Basin Aquatic Nuisance Species Regional Panel, Trout Unlimited, Mississippi River National Museum and Aquarium, Discovery World, National Professional Anglers Association and Wildlife Forever.


Angling for Partnerships, Pro-staffers and Participation (114-IE)

Edward Shaw, Park Interpreter – Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center, Michigan DNR


Michigan's new Outdoor Skills Academy (OSA) rewards qualified volunteer instructors with “pro-staff designation” while taking the load off your staff. In addition, offering clinics to your state with volunteer pro-staffers has increased interest and participation in angling and other outdoor topics. This session will highlight new acquired partners, pro-staff designation, and the successful OSA model.


Edward Shaw is the Park Interpreter at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center and creator of the Outdoor Skills Academy. He has worked with the DNR Fisheries and Wildlife Divisions on a variety of research projects. He received his B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from Lake Superior State University, and he has received the Michigan NWTF Educator of the Year Award and the Michigan Association for Environmental Science and Outdoor Education Appreciation Award.


Outdoor Adventures - Fishing as a PE Course (114-IE)

Scot McClure, Education Coordinator – Outdoor Adventures/Dallas Ecological Foundation (TX)


The Outdoor Adventures program is taught in over 275 schools in 14 states reaching over 27,500 students annually. As a P.E. credited course, secondary school youth are introduced to angling. Casting, baits, tackle, aquatic habitats, ethics and regulations are taught to public school students who have never been introduced to angling. Learn how to get Outdoor Adventures started in your area. Outdoor Adventures can be taught in any secondary school across the country.


Scot McClure has been with the Dallas Ecological Foundation since 2007. His primary role is the Outdoor Adventures Education Program. He has 18 years of secondary school teaching experience in Coppell and Argyle, TX. Scot is married to Stephanie McClure, and they have two daughters, Bailey 21 (Texas A&M) and Berkley 17.


Strand B.              Fish School (158-IW)


Invasive Monsters of the Deep

Shana Ramsey, Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery Interpreter - Michigan DNR; Kevin Frailey, Education Services Manager - Michigan DNR


Long before there was an interest in the Walking Dead, Michigan was fending off an invasion of live, swimming, flesh-eating monsters, and still is. Come see one of the live, captured monsters and learn how it changed the Great Lakes ecosystem forever. Then learn an activity that connects teachers, and their students, to their aquatic resources and the threat of invasive species. There is no better critter to stir interest in invasive species than Michigan's Monster of the Deep, the sea lamprey.


Shana Ramsey represents the North Central Region on the AREA Board of Directors and is the 2014 recipient of the Steve Campbell Outstanding Aquatic Educator Award. Shana manages Michigan’s largest state hatchery visitor center near Kalamazoo, and is also a DNR Field manager of Michigan’s Salmon in the Classroom Program.                                                                           


Kevin Frailey is the Education Services Manager for the Michigan DNR. He has been involved in natural resources education for more than 30 years and has previously directed programs at Idaho Fish and Game and the Michigan United Conservation Clubs. Kevin chaired the 2014 AREA Conference Committee and recently chaired the education workshops and public engagement committee for the 2016 Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference.                                                                           


At the Count of Four, CAST—Four Steps to Connect Science and Social Study Subjects with Physical Education (158-IW)

Vilmarie Román Padró, Biologist – Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources;


Gain an appreciation of how this program promotes fishing as a recreational activity in schools. It connects Aquatic WILD, teacher sport fishing workshops, student fishing clinics, and inter-school fishing tournaments. Local fishermen are invited to the teacher workshops to share their knowledge. The presenter will provide an overview of this unique program and some of the collaborative activities and materials that have been developed.


Vilmarie Román was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in pedagogy in History with a minor in Marine Biology from the University of Puerto Rico, and later, a Master’s degree in Heath Promotion and Education. In 1991, she joined the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, helping staff the Aquatic Education Program (AREP). In 2005, she became the Project Leader to the AREP, and in 2015, she was also designated as Project Leader for the Archery Education Program. Vilmarie is the Project WILD Coordinator in Puerto Rico. This year, she obtained her Interpretative Guide certification from the U.S. National Association for Interpretation.


Pono Fishing—Creating More Sustainable Fisherman Using Hawaiian Values (158-IW)

Katie Nalesere, Education Specialist – Division of Aquatic Resources, Hawai`i DLNR


In Hawaiian culture, ‘pono’ is a powerful word. It means morality, proper, fair, goodness, to name a few. With fishing ingrained in the daily fabric of life, the goal of the Pono Fishing Program is to engage active fishermen in learning about and caring for the resource. The presenter will provide an overview of this unique program and some of the collaborative activities and materials that have been developed.


Katie Nalesere is the Education Specialist for Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources. She runs aquatic education programs with schools, youth programs, and community groups across the island of Kauai.


Strand C.              Outside The Tackle Box (154-IW)


Got Flat Fish? Get yours at Migration Station! / Aquatic Interpretation through Geocaching (154-IW)

Catherine Gatenby, Ph.D. Biologist/Communications – USFWS (NY); Katrina Mueller, Ph.D. Fisheries Outreach Coordinator – USFWS (AK); Dan Spencer, Outreach Coordinator – USFWS (WA)


Learn about two innovative aquatic education programs. World Fish Migration Day is a global initiative to create awareness and understanding on the importance of open rivers and migratory fish. We created a fun and easy way for kids, teachers, and anyone to learn about migratory fishes by playing “Flat Fish Migration—modeled after the world-wide "Flat Stanley" literacy project. Our goal is to help educate our kids on cool migratory fishes and to foster a conservation community around restoring rivers.


Aquatic Interpretation through Geocaching is conservation science, public outreach, and The Amazing Race all wrapped up in one. The Western Washington Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office (USFWS) designed and implemented two geocaching challenges which require participants to answer fisheries themed questions (using links and kiosks) in order to obtain the final coordinates to each cache of the challenge (6-9 caches per challenge).


Catherine Gatenby is an expert on freshwater mussels and their habitats. She built an endangered freshwater mussel recovery program for the USFWS, and she developed propagation technology for over 20 species. Her passions have always been inspiring others and raising awareness on the value of healthy aquatic places. Catherine conducts communications and outreach for the Northeast Region Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program, USFWS.


Katrina Liebich (Mueller) is the Alaska Fisheries Outreach Coordinator, USFWS. She also worked with Project SHARE to restore habitat connectivity and fish passage in Maine. For her Ph.D. dissertation, from Michigan State University, she explored the linkages between sense of place and public motivation to act on behalf of native diadromous fish. She is interested in figuring out creative ways to motivate a broader segment of society to care about fish and act on their behalf.


Dan Spencer has been the outreach coordinator for the Western Washington Fish & Wildlife Conservation office, USFWS, since 2010. He has developed a diversity of programming including the Youth Fisheries Academy, Salmon in the Classroom, and the Kokanee Quest Geocaching Challenge. Dan graduated from the University of Montana in 2001 and spent the following nine years in Alaska as a fisheries scientist and educator.


Incorporating Magic into Aquatic Resource Education (154-IW)

Jason Goldberg, Fish and Wildlife Biologist – USFWS (VA)


Can magic be used as an effective tool for aquatic resource education? As someone with 16 years of experience as a biologist and 15 years of experience as a magician, I answer with a resounding, "Yes!" While many people think of magic as something only for the glitzy stages of Las Vegas or for the odd uncle at Thanksgiving, magic can serve a broader purpose as a powerful storytelling platform to draw attention to and foster discussion about messages educators and outreach professionals wish to convey about aquatic resources. Using the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall as a case study and drawing on my experience in museum theater, I will describe—using a combination of discussion and performance—the evolution of my magic act to meet the Smithsonian’s needs.


Jason Goldberg earned a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and Biology and joint master’s degrees in Marine Science and Public Policy.  He worked for Congress and NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research prior to joining USFWS in 2003.  Among other roles, he helped develop and implement the National Fish Habitat Action Plan, and currently helps develop regulatory and non-regulatory solutions to prevent invasive species introductions. Outside of USFWS, Jason is an Associate Editor for The Linking Ring, the publication of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, which reaches thousands of performers in over 80 countries.  He has performed his unique style of environmental magic in the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History since the Sant Ocean Hall opened in 2008. 


Connecting People to Rivers through Snorkeling (154-IW)

Keith Williams, Executive Director – NorthBay Education Foundation (MD)


The underwater world of our rivers and streams is unexpected, unnoticed, and amazing! Getting people to experience this incredible world that is hidden from view establishes powerful connections between people and rivers. This presentation will share the underwater world of our rivers and streams with participants. It will also provide an overview of the U.S. Forest Service Snorkeling Toolkit that shows how to establish a river snorkeling program to include gear selection and sources, staff training, progra m logistics including pre-trip preparation, snorkeling related curriculum that encourages school involvement, and how to run the actual snorkeling event.


Keith Williams is the founding Director of Education, now Executive Director at NorthBay, an outdoor education program based in northeastern Maryland. He has a B.S. in Environmental Biology and an M.S. in Ecological Teaching and Learning from the Lesley University Audubon Expedition Institute. Keith has extensively snorkeled rivers in the eastern US, has developed river snorkeling-based science curriculum, and established river snorkeling programs for non-profits and the U.S. Forest Service. He has led thousands of people on river snorkeling adventures, and his first book on river snorkeling—Snorkelhead: Adventure in Creek Snorkeling—came out in June.


Strand D.             Hooked On Communication (160-IW)


Entering Aquatic Education Projects into TRACS (160-IW)

Fabian Romero, Fish and Wildlife Biologist – WSFR Division, USFWS (MN)


TRACS—Everything you ever wanted to know, but were afraid to ask. TRACS (Tracking and Reporting on Actions for the Conservation of Species) is the USFWS’ system to capture accomplishments resulting from WSFR-funded activities. Discover why we have TRACS, what TRACS is, and how TRACS works. Explore an aquatic education grant, project statement, and performance report, and learn how to write an efficient and effective SFR grant project statement for your program.


Fabian Romero is a Fish and Wildlife Biologist with USFWS. He has been with the service for 36 years; 26 of those with WSFR. He administers Wildlife Restoration, Hunter Education, State Wildlife Grants, and Aquatic Education Grants in Region 3 (Midwest states.) He enjoys hunting, fishing, soccer, volleyball, reading, and playing the guitar. He is married with two boys ages 18 and 24.


Creating and Airing Public Service Announcements for Television (160-IW)

Randy Honebrink, Education Coordinator Division of Aquatic Resources, Hawai`i DLNR


Hawai‘i has been producing and airing 30-second television PSAs for over 20 years, reaching vast numbers of people with conservation messages. This presentation covers the process from general concept to production and airing, including how to evaluate proposals from stations. We hope reps from other states will bring in samples of TV and radio PSAs, and this will be a show-and-tell session.


Randy Honebrink has been Hawai‘i's aquatic resources education coordinator for 28 years and has been involved with AREA since its inception. Most of that time, he has served as AREA's Pacific regional representative. Raised in Minnesota (favorite fish is still walleye), he has an M.S. in marine biology from the University of Hawai‘i. He oversees four education specialists statewide.


Activities That Connect Students to Your Agency's Mission (160-IW)

Natalie Elkins, Education Specialist – Michigan DNR


Experience several of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Conservation Tool Kit activities, and chat with peers about how they can be used best to enhance aquatic education programs—while meeting the mission and goals of your agency. They are FREE, and they are engaging, and they reflect the work of real-world biologists and the decisions they make.


Natalie Elkins is the K-12 Education Specialist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in Lansing, MI. Prior to this she worked for the DNR's Michigan State Parks as both the Training Officer and the Marketing and PR Coordinator. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries and Wildlife and her Master of Science degree in Park, Recreation, and Tourism Resources-Environmental Education from Michigan State University.
"Aquatic Resources Education Association" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Founded in 1994.
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