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Conservation and Land Use Webinars

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The Hudson River Estuary Conservation and Land Use Webinar Series was developed to provide a foundation in conservation and land use planning for members of Hudson Valley conservation advisory councils/boards. In addition, environmental commissions, members of planning and zoning boards, elected officials, and interested citizens may find these programs of interest. Webinars provide background about regional biodiversity, conservation principles, best planning practices, and tools to identify and conserve important habitat and water resources.

Webinar attendees will receive an email confirming attendance, which may be submitted locally for municipal planning or zoning board training credit.

Note: Webinars are held using the WebEx platform. You can join a WebEx event from your computer, mobile device, or phone. Download the WebEx app (leaves DEC website). Get WebEx troubleshooting advice (leaves DEC website).

Upcoming Webinars

people reviewing a map
Training participants review natural features on site plans.
(L. Heady)

Webinar Series: Vernal Pools and Amphibian Migrations

As part of our Amphibian Migrations and Road Crossings (AM&RC) Project, we're offering a webinar series to more deeply explore the ecology and conservation of pool-breeding amphibians and their habitat. The series will include presentations from researchers and practitioners from New York and New England who will share expertise and strategies to help prevent amphibian road mortality during breeding migrations and achieve more effective conservation of vernal pools. See below for information on each of the three AM&RC webinars.

Webinar 1: Introduction to Vernal Pools
Register for Tuesday, January 25, 2022, 5:00-6:30pm
This webinar will provide an in-depth look at vernal pools and their importance for a special group of amphibians that live in the forest. How do these small, seemingly insignificant wetlands play such an important role in our forest ecosystems? How have amphibians adapted to use the temporary abundance of water in vernal pools to breed? Our speaker, Dr. Mary Beth Kolozsvary, will share her knowledge of vernal pools, of the salamanders and frogs that rely on this critical breeding habitat, and some of the threats to vernal pools that warrant our conservation attention.

We'll also share a brief update from the Amphibian Migrations and Road Crossings project.

Dr. Mary Beth Kolozsvary, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Siena College

Webinar 2: Amphibian Migrations: Case Studies in Reducing Mortality at Road Crossings
Register for Tuesday, February 1, 2022, 5:00-6:30pm
This webinar will feature two stories of communities taking action to reduce mortality of amphibians on roads where there is high migration crossing activity each Spring. We'll learn from Brett Amy Thelen how data collected by volunteers led a small New Hampshire city to close a local road to vehicle traffic on amphibian migration nights, in partnership with a local conservation organization. We'll also learn from Chris Slesar about the creation of an award-winning wildlife crossing culvert between two areas of critical amphibian habitat in Monkton, VT. Both Brett and Chris will share lessons learned and strategies for implementing similar conservation actions.

Brett Amy Thelen, Science Director, Harris Center for Conservation Education
Chris Slesar, Environmental Resources Coordinator, Vermont Agency of Transportation

Webinar 3: Vernal Pool Habitat Conservation
Register for Tuesday, February 15, 2022, 5:00-6:30pm
Our final webinar in the series will consider conservation approaches needed to protect the critical habitat needed by pool-breeding amphibians. First, we'll learn about a recent study that investigated vernal pools across New York State. Dr. Matt Schlesinger will share key findings from that study, including indicators of vernal pool significance for conservation of amphibian biodiversity at local and landscape scales. We'll then hear from Dr. Aram Calhoun about a new, locally driven, voluntary vernal pool mitigation tool called the Maine Vernal Pool Special Area Management Plan (or SAMP) currently adopted by two Maine towns.

Dr. Matt Schlesinger, Chief Zoologist, New York Natural Heritage Program
Dr. Aram Calhoun, Professor Emerita, University of Maine

Webinar attendees will receive an email confirming attendance after each webinar, which may be submitted locally for municipal planning or zoning board training credit. You can join this WebEx event from your computer, mobile device, or phone. Download the WebEx app prior to the webinar. Get assistance if you have difficulty joining the meeting.

Past Webinar Recordings

Note: Use the WebEx Network Player Playback function to stream webinar recordings to your computer. It may take some time for the recording to open.​ All links to recordings in this section leave the DEC website. Presentation slides are available in PDF format upon request.