One of my favorite parts of my AmeriCorps service is being out in the field, working with volunteers, and improving wildlife habitat. But during the winter months, when the field events are fewer and farther between, a great way to spend some time is to take a step back and look for opportunities to expand my knowledge on the many decisions that impact our natural resources here in Michigan.
With the increase of working virtually, there are a plethora of webinars and educational resources available for those interested in taking the time to research natural resource issues.
For example, the Michigan Sea Grant has many archived recordings of their fishery workshops that provide a status update on the health and management of the Great Lakes Fisheries. There was also recently an excellent webinar put on the Audubon Great Lakes MIBirds program. Speakers from Detroit Audubon, Ducks Unlimited, and the River Raisin Institute explained proper winter waterfowl identification and the importance of Michigan’s wetlands.
The last great resource I will mention is the 2021 Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) Nature Center Summit. On February 5th, conservation/environmental educators from across the state tuned in for a day of presentations about all sorts of Michigan wildlife, including Kirtland’s Warbler, white-tailed deer, fur-bearing species such as bobcat, and fisher, amidst many others. My favorite presentation was on the various bat species that live in Michigan and the ongoing research regarding white-nosed syndrome. All MDNR Nature Center Summit videos can be accessed using this link.
These are only a few of the many available resources to conservationists who are eager to learn more. It is a fantastic time to get involved and learn about the ongoing science and management of Michigan’s natural resources.