A Wicked Conservation Problem

Forest to Forest: A Bicknell’s Thrush Conference

About the Conference

The Forest to Forest: Bicknell’s Thrush Conference will feature a series of TED Light talks moderated by Sam Evans-Brown of New Hampshire Public Radio. The conference is part of an ongoing cluster project at Plymouth State University. Lunch will be served. Registration is required.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Merrill Place Conference Center at Plymouth State University
Please find Merrill Place #31 on the Campus Map here.


Conference Agenda

  • 8:30 a.m. Registration, Light Breakfast & Posters
  • 9:00 a.m. Welcome by Mary Ann McGarry
  • 9:05 a.m. Conference Overview by Sam Evans-Brown of NH Public Radio
  • 9:20 a.m. Introduction by Marek Bennett
  • 9:30 a.m. TED Light Talk #1 by Chris Rimmer
  • 10:00 a.m.TED Light Talk #2 by Aviram Rozin
  • 10:30 a.m. Break
  • 10:45 a.m.TED Light Talk #3 by Leighlan Prout
  • 11:15 a.m.TED Light Talk #4 by Keiselim Montás
  • 11:45 a.m. TED Talk Panel Discussion Moderated by Sam Evans-Brown
  • 12:15 p.m. Lunch
  • 12:45 p.m. Groups Discussions
  • 1:30 p.m. Ted Light Talk Sketches & Visual Interpretations by Marek Bennett
  • 2:15 p.m. Evaluations
  • 2:30 p.m. Concluding Remarks with Sam Evans-Brown

Speakers & Sessions

The conference will feature a series of TED Light talks with:

  • Chris Rimmer, Conservation Pressure Points for the Bicknell’s Thrush
    Bicknell’s Thrush has one of the smallest populations of any migratory songbird in North America and is considered among the most vulnerable. Climate change threatens the high-elevation forests it uses for breeding, and chronic deforestation, particularly on Hispaniola, threatens the wet broadleaf forests where the species spends 6-7 months during its nonbreeding season. Chris Rimmer is Executive Director of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies and has led a team of researchers for 25 years to investigate the ecology of this species, both in New England and in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. He will describe the plight of the Bicknell’s Thrush, its complex and fascinating natural history, and efforts underway to conserve its habitats across the hemisphere.
  • Aviram Rozin, Growing Food for People and Birds…
    It is challenging to create forests in Haiti. Over the last 7 years a model has evolved that works well on the ground. This model ties together the creation of long term food security and the needs to increase biodiversity, slow down devastating hurricane winds, and provide habitat for fauna, especially for birds and iguanas. In April 2010, after the earthquake, Sadhana Forest embarked on a journey to contribute to the reforestation efforts in Haiti. Since then there have been huge challenges and some successes too. Aviram Rozin, founder of Sadhana Forest, will share the story with you.
  • Leighlan Prout, Working on the Ground through Management
    Wildlife Program Leader and Forest Biologist Leighlan Prout with the U.S. Forest Service will share how the U.S.F.S. manages habitat for the Bicknell’s Thrush on the National Forests, providing examples of how they’ve dealt with projects that have conflicted with habitat conservation, and talk about possible ways to mitigate habitat effects when impacts cannot be completely avoided. As one example, the U.S.F.S. just finished writing a mitigation plan in collaboration with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies that would allow mitigation of impacts on the breeding grounds to be applied to improvements in the Caribbean.
  • Keiselim A. Montás, Conservation Efforts in the Dominican Republic: Challenges and Opportunities
    Keiselim A. Montás, Keysi, was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, emigrated to the U.S. in 1985 at age 16, and maintains a strong and living connection to his home country. He has led seven Dartmouth College student service trips to the D.R. to work on socio-economic development projects with some of the most marginal populations of the island. Due to this rich experience, Keysi can speak to aspects of the government and Dominican society that act as obstacles to conservation but may also present opportunities for education and building awareness.

Examining the issues presented in the Ted Light talks, participants in small groups will create visual reactions guided by Marek Bennett:

  • Marek Bennett is a NH cartoonist, musician, and educator. At the conference, Marek will first introduce key concepts of cartooning and sequential graphic narratives (a.k.a. comics), then “live cartoon” the four presenter’s talks to demonstrate an alternative way of understanding and sharing presentations, and lastly will show his cartoons and dynamically facilitate the presentation of the participants’ artwork.

The conference will end with the showcase of the participants’ collective interpretations. This material will then become an exhibit at the Museum of the White Mountains, opening on January 30, 2018, special reception from 5-7 p.m.; the show will run through February 21, 2018. Please join us at the opening and come see your creations displayed.

Leading up to the exhibit there will also be a watercolor class focused on painting the Bicknell’s Thrush in its winter and breeding habitat, offered by Cliff Gleason, sponsored by the MWM on November 13th, from 6:00-7:30 p.m., register through the MWM, (603) 535-3210. Space is limited.