Refuge Radio is a podcast about the National Wildlife Refuge Association and the nation’s National Wildlife Refuge System, spanning more than 850 million acres of land and water as part of a growing network of 568 refuges — at least one in every state.
Today we are speaking with Steve Jester. Steve is the Executive Director for Partners for Conservation (PFC). Prior to joining PFC, Steve was the Executive Director of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust. Steve was on the staff of The Nature Conservancy for almost a decade leading community-based conservation projects first in Texas and later in Wyoming. Before joining The Nature Conservancy, he spent a decade working with state fish and wildlife agencies in Florida and Texas.
Steve is a sixth-generation Texan who has worked with private landowners throughout his career and has come to appreciate their critical importance in conserving working landscapes that provide for both people and nature in the United States.
Big data, the cloud, analytics, AI, and machine learning. When you hear these words you might think of Google, Facebook or Uber, but not necessarily the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Today, we live in a world where information is highly prized and becoming increasingly essential in overcoming the many challenges we face, and this includes our capacity to protect and restore wildlife at a time when threats seem greater than ever. The world of wildlife biology can be pretty traditional and there is nothing more iconic than the image of the field biologist, binoculars in one hand and field notebook in the other, documenting important phenomena about wildlife and their habitats. Today, we realize that the data in that notebook has much more value if it can be shared with other biologists, with land managers, or even with policymakers.
Doing this is possible, but it takes significant effort to build the information management systems – databases, apps, etc – that can perform these functions, and in a time when resources are scarce, the daily demands placed upon the personnel of the US Fish and Wildlife Service makes the transition difficult.
This is where the National Wildlife Refuge Association comes in. By providing technical support to wildlife refuges to build robust, cloud-based information systems to handle key data related to land and water management, we empower biologists, refuge managers, and others to make smarter decisions and work more effectively. In making data widely available, we facilitate the use of data at the regional and national levels to address important threats such as invasive species, altered fire regimes, and landscape fragmentation.
Although the trusty field notebook will probably always have its place, the smartphone, and tablet are considered essential gear for the next generation of wildlife biologists.
The National Wildlife Refuge Association is working with US Fish and Wildlife Service in Oregon and Washington to develop these modern tools and put them in the hands of those charged with conserving our nation’s fish and wildlife.
Refuge Radio is a podcast about the National Wildlife Refuge Association and the nation’s National Wildlife Refuge System, spanning more than 850 million acres of land and water as part of a growing network of 567 refuges — at least one in every state.
Today we are speaking with the National Wildlife Refuge Association’s Acting Vice President, Government Affairs, Caroline Brouwer. In her work with the National Wildlife Refuge Association, Caroline advance federal conservation policies focusing on federal conservation funding and legislation affecting the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Happy National Public Lands Day! For this episode, we go off refuge and chat with park ranger Selene Castillo about getting into conservation, the unique challenges of working in an urban area, the importance of diversity in the conservation/environmental workforce, and how the film "The Goonies" inspired her to get into cycling.
To learn more about Los Angeles State Historic Park, visit https://lashp.com
We'll see you outside!
Photographer and filmmaker Ian Shive chats with Angie Horn about storytelling in the outdoors, partnering with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and bringing the Pacific Ocean’s protected and remote national wildlife refuge islands and marine national monuments to audiences in his new film, Hidden Pacific.
Trailer - Hidden Pacific
Instagram - Ian Shive
This episode take us to Florida to learn about some amazing conservation efforts taking place to protect endangered and important species like the Florida Panther and The Florida grasshopper sparrow which is considered the most endangered bird species in the continental U.S. with fewer than 80 adult birds left in the wild.
Our guest is Julie Morris of the National Wildlife Refuge Association. Julie holds the position of Florida and Gulf Programs Manager for the National Wildlife Refuge Association. Julie has over 23 years’ experience working in the conservation field. Julie has a wide breadth of experience and knowledge, from working as a wildlife biologist and land manager to land protection implementation, land conservation program development, and advocating for land conservation funding and programs.
Julie works with all levels of governmental agencies and private entities to: develop conservation plans for protected wildlife species, identify conservation lands and protection strategies; develop reserve designs, management and policy, community education and outreach and stakeholder coordination. Her passion is assisting landowners in protecting their natural and agricultural lands; she has extensive knowledge and experience in land acquisition and easement programs, and other conservation incentive programs that can assist landowners and achieve conservation goals. Julie served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic and has worked in conservation and rural development in Latin America and Central Asia Julie holds a Master’s degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida.
Frances Kinney of Ocean Connectors chats about partnerships, building a bi-national education effort with Nayarit, Mexico, and conducting programs at San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Website – www.oceanconnectors.org
EcoTours - https://oceanconnectors.org/eco-tours
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Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge is located on a Navy base in Orange County, CA. Angie Horn talks to refuge manager Rick Nye about access, urban partnerships, and his own path from the military to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Aryn LaBrake, Executive Director of Friends of Valle de Oro NWR, chats with Angie Horn about building an urban wildlife refuge from the ground up, and the importance of community input and engagement.
Watch the latest video about Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge here: https://youtu.be/uOyBZK8WSZE
People connect with nature in their own way; whether it’s looking out their kitchen window or backpacking in the wilderness. We all have a connection to nature and Mother Earth. Learn more about wildlife refuges and their programs in south Texas and the Houston region that meets community where they are.
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Complex still considers itself a work in progress and promises to be a premier urban national wildlife refuge in the Denver Metro Area. The Complex includes the Arsenal, Rocky Flats and Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuges and is home to hundreds of native wildlife species including bison, bald eagles, migratory songbirds, coyotes, large-mouth bass, to name a few. As one of the largest urban wildlife refuges in the United States, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff at the Refuge are taking action to remove physical and perceived barriers and investing in education and outreach efforts in order to be a true assets and partner for the community.
Habitat Is Where It’s At! Conversation with Dinah Maygarden of the University of New Orleans.
As the Director of Coastal Education Programming, Dinah is in charge of most operations at Coastal Education Research Facility (CERF) including coordinating with partner groups, planning activities for grant-funded groups, maintaining the building, and so much more.
A conversation with NWRA's Urban Refuge Program - Joy Blackwood, Angie Horn & Bhargavi Karumuri about urban wildlife refuges and the Refuge Association's efforts to raise the profile of 14 USFWS designated urban wildlife refuges. Listen and learn how these wild places are perfect for seeking solace and peace on public lands close to urban centers may be closer than you think.