Events & Schedule
You can find the full conference program here.
Plenary Speakers & Panel
Dr. Christopher J. Schell
Assistant Professor of Urban Ecology, University of Washington, Tacoma
Talk Title | It's all connected: Wildlife, people, and the intersectionality of socio-environmental systems
One of the most pressing challenges that urban ecology is to face, yet uniquely equipped to tackle, is inclusivity: both access to, as well as participation in, cutting-edge science. However, many of us are not professionally trained in socio-cultural theory, and the lack of shared cultural experiences can sometimes act as an obstacle to community engagement. Deconstructing this barrier requires that we integrate diverse voices into the scientific narrative of cities, both in the broader community and within our own scientific community. In his plenary, Dr. Christopher Schell will open up a dialogue aimed at highlighting pathways by which inclusivity is achievable, by intentionally pinpointing the emergent synergies among socio-cultural principles and urban ecology. In addition, Chris will provide an introduction to intersectionality and its multidimensional importance for understanding urban ecological research. Through this interdisciplinary exercise, he hopes to propose a framework in the service of bolstering authentic and inclusive community engagement.
Speaker Bio: Dr. Chris Schell is an urban ecologist whose research integrates evolutionary theory with ecological application to disentangle the processes accentuating human-carnivore conflict. Specifically, Chris’ interests lie in understanding the physiological mechanisms and anthropogenic drivers that bolster may contribute to fearless behavior in urban carnivores. His research is uniquely tied to the community: urban ecology is inherently a synergy of anthropogenic forces and natural processes. Hence, he often works closely with nondominant communities (e.g. ethnic and racial minorities), wildlife managers, cultural institutions, and philanthropic organizations to help foster mutually enriching relationships among people and wildlife. Concurrently, he strives to increase representation and affect positive change in STEM.
Chris received his B.A. in Psychology from Columbia University (2009) and his masters and Ph.D in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Chicago (2015). Since joining the faculty in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington, Tacoma, Chris has launched the Grit City Carnivore Project, a research collaborative among the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Metro Parks Tacoma to uncovering the patterns and processes by which wildlife are adapting to cities. Together with his collaborators, Chris works to connect local and national communities with wildlife while simultaneously working to uncover the mechanisms that drive urban adaptation in wildlife.
Deeohn Ferris, JD
Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the National Audubon Society
Talk Title | Equity and Culture Change In Conservation: It’s Complicated
Protecting the environment and natural resources, and grappling with solutions vests in our ability as Americans and global citizens to activate as many people as possible in conservation, advocacy, combatting climate change, and ending toxic exposures. Due to their mission and roles, environmental and conservation organizations and agencies are uniquely situated to help tackle the under-representation of people of color and people from different cultures in this essential work. The time is now to close these gaps by fostering the inclusion of racially and culturally diverse communities, broadening the policy agendas, and expanding voting power.
Speaker Bio: Deeohn Ferris, JD, is Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the National Audubon Society. Deeohn is an environmental lawyer whose career connects many fields of study and spans government, industry, the public interest and the civil rights sectors. She has extraordinary experience leading expert teams working on community regeneration and land revitalization with federal agencies, as well as governments, foundations, community coalitions, tribal organizations and indigenous peoples in the US and countries on five continents. Deeohn is an internationally recognized provider of specialized know-how that tackles equity, sustainability and resiliency, as well as inclusion, engagement and investments that benefit under-represented, often, racially and economically stratified populations.
Her mission is building the capacity of cross-disciplinary stakeholders to understand and implement equity best practices and strategies, shaping approaches and partnerships that ensure the inclusion of diverse and informed community perspectives, and securing health and the benefits of nature for every neighborhood. Deeohn is a popular speaker, she is the recipient of many professional achievement awards, and her public service involves numerous federal committees and boards.
Director of Conservation at Audubon Society of Portland
Talk Title | Souvlaki Coyote: The Challenge of Building an Inclusive Culture of Wildlife Conservation on the Urban Landscape
Speaker Bio: Bob Sallinger serves as the Conservation Director for the Audubon Society of Portland where he has worked since 1992. As Conservation Director, Bob directs Portland Audubon’s policy and advocacy initiatives, litigation, community science programs, and its Wildlife Care Center which treats over 3,000 wild animals each year. Bob has also served as an adjunct professor of law at Lewis and Clark Law School, is on several boards of directors and was an elected director at the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District for more than a decade. Bob learned his love of conservation and nature from growing up roaming the woods of New England and on long distance hikes on the Pacific Crest and Continental Divide Trails. He has a BA from Reed College and a JD from Lewis and Clark Law School. He currently lives in NE Portland with his wife Elisabeth, three children, dogs, goats and other assorted critters. Audubon Society of Portland was founded in 1902 to inspire people to love and protect nature.
Welcome Social - Oregon Zoo
Join us on Sunday June 2nd for a welcome social at the Oregon Zoo! The 64-acre Oregon Zoo is located in Portland, a city and surrounding metropolitan area of 2.26 million people. Attendance at the zoo in 2011 exceeded 1.6 million. With ongoing renovations to existing facilities and with every new exhibit or system, the zoo aims to be a model of sustainable conservation of natural resources. Learn more about the Oregon zoo by visiting their website.
Evening Social - OMSI
Join us on Tuesday June 4th at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) for snacks and drinks while we enjoy good times and explore Turbine hall and the Physics lab. Learn more about OMSI’s history and mission here.
Workshops will take place June 3rd-5th. For a full list of workshops, click here.
Field trips will take place on Sunday, June 2nd. For a full list of field trips, click here.