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Wednesday, February 23 • 4:15pm - 5:00pm
Ignite Sessions

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Session 1:  Wildlife Battles for Education
Presenter:  Julie Bless, Nevada Department of Wildlife
Nevada’s wildlife has gone to battle, and teachers and students are loving it AND learning! Join for a quick overview of Nevada’s award-winning Nevada Knockout classroom program. This fun program operates like March Madness, but with Nevada’s wildlife. Students learn about wildlife found in Nevada, animal adaptations, and so much more!
Session 2:  Engagement in Wildlife Conservation and Recreation 
Presenters:  Heather Bokman and Johanna Dart, Ohio Division of Wildlife
Engaging and serving broader audiences in meaningful ways and working toward increased relevancy in society is a top priority for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Society’s Wildlife Value Orientations, or the ways that people think about and interact with wildlife, are changing. Additionally, there are shifts in motivations, ideologies, and lifestyles surrounding interactions with wildlife. This means the Division has needed to think critically engaging constituents in ways that resonate with them. Following the Association of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Agencies’ Relevancy Roadmap as a guide, the Division is investing time and resources in human dimensions research to learn more about perspectives and expectations of the public, as well as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work to understand historical barriers that marginalized groups face in the outdoors and wildlife recreation. As part of this work, the Division is building the Wild Ohio Harvest Community and planning strategies to expand wildlife conservation and stewardship as programs and lifestyle brands to connect and engage with a broader diversity of audiences. By having a range of relevant and convenient learning opportunities, the Division will be able to appeal to a diversity of audiences and become relevant to a larger portion of the state population. Having targeted, thoughtful, and inclusive communities for a variety of interactions with wildlife, as well as working closely with a diverse network of partners, will be essential to improving the agency’s relevancy across the state. The increased exposure to wildlife recreation opportunities for all will also benefit Ohio’s nature-based tourism. It is our hope that the audience leaves this presentation with an enlightened perspective of how state fish and wildlife conservation agencies can work creatively to break down systemic barriers that exist for so many in wildlife conservation, recreation, and tourism. We also hope to spur new thoughts and ideas for how other organizations might also begin the work to create more welcoming spaces through partnerships, experiences, and marketing. 

Session 3:  Guides, Tour Operators and Outfitters (GORP):  Online Training for Interpretive Staff and Contact Guides.
Presenter:  Miles Phillips, Oregon State University
Guides, Tour Operators and Outfitters, services are a key component of the tourism & outdoor recreation industry. This business provides a valuable contribution to the local economy, the environment, and community social wellbeing! In this presentation you will learn about GORP, a training program developed to help market guides as professionals and raise the value of guide services to the public. The program content is organized into four regions: Local, State, National, & Global. The content provides a broad range of knowledge and skills including identification of 101 local species of plants and animals, knowledge of local history, natural resource agencies, tourism organizations, and economic impact, group management, customer service, sustainability, marketing, personal interpretation skills, and more. Explore a new way of learning and training with the GORP Guide Program. This program supports any existing training and blends online knowledge courses with live skills training. The four core online courses are designed to allow easy customization to any location. The program was developed for and by guides in collaboration with University Extension faculty and tourism industry destination marketing and management organizations.

avatar for Julie Bless

Julie Bless

Nevada Department of Wildlife
Julie Bless is the Statewide Wildlife Education Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. Much of her work involves working with the department’s regional educators to create quality education programming that brings wildlife to classrooms. Julie... Read More →
avatar for Heather Bokman

Heather Bokman

Ohio Division of Wildlife
Heather Bokman (she/her) has a B.S. in Natural Resources/Wildlife Management from The Ohio State University (2006) and a M.S. in Marketing and Communications from Franklin University (2011). She began work with the Ohio Division of Wildlife as a college intern in 2005 and immediately... Read More →
avatar for Johanna Dart

Johanna Dart

Ohio Division of Wildlife
Johanna Dart (she/her) has a B.A. in Sociology from Albion College (2012) and an M.S.W. in Organizational and Community Leadership from Michigan State University (2015). While in graduate school, she accepted an internship that provided a class in natural resources. After this internship... Read More →
avatar for Miles Phillips

Miles Phillips

Oregon State University
Miles Phillips is recognized nationally for his work, serving as a member of the National Extension Tourism Design Team, and currently the Chair of the National Extension Tourism Network, and the 2019 Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Conference.Mr. Phillips developed and... Read More →

Wednesday February 23, 2022 4:15pm - 5:00pm MST
Room 2

Attendees (1)