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Take advantage of your SWS membership by participating in outstanding educational
opportunities without leaving your desk!

SWS is pleased to provide a webinar series on wetland science topics of interest. The convenience and flexibility of SWS webinars enables you to educate one or a large number of employees at once, reduce travel expenses and maintain consistent levels of productivity by eliminating time out of the office.

Webinar registration is complimentary to all SWS members. Certificates of completion, worth one hour of participation, are available upon request; please contact Kara Miller at kmiller@sws.org, if interested.  If you're unable to participate in the live webinar, all webinars will be recorded and archived for complimentary viewing by members on our Past Webinars page. 

Webinars on YouTube

The SWS Webinar Committee is excited to announce that our free webinar recordings are now available on the SWS YouTube channel! Now, SWS supporters around the world can watch the webinars with subtitles in their native language.

Watch webinars with subtitles

To view the webinars with subtitles, click the “CC” button in the bottom, right-hand corner of the video. You can change the language of the subtitles by clicking on the settings button in the bottom, right-hand corner and going to subtitles/CC > auto-translate > and choosing the language of your choice.

Here's what our members are saying...

"Thank you presenters and thank you SWS for hosting this. It is a great SWS membership benefit." - Kurt Kowalski, Ann Arbor, MI

"Excellent coverage of fascinating topics for wetland scientists!" - Ellen Hartig, New York, NY

Upcoming SWS Webinars

Download printable schedule

SWS Legacy Webinar

December 14, 2017
1:00 p.m. EST

Paul Keddy, Ph.D.
Independent Scholar

 

Five Causal Factors: A General Framework for Wetland Science and Restoration 

At one time, lack of information limited our understanding of wetlands, and made restoration difficult. Now it is possible that the opposite is true: we are drowning in data on wetlands, and confused about how to best apply the huge volume of information. People are now, it seems, busily engaged in collecting data that no one will ever use, and writing papers that no one has the time to read. 

How to deal with this situation? We cannot organize our information by species, because there are too many of them (ca. 125,000 species in wetlands according to the IUCN). We cannot organize information by geographical or ecological region, because there are too many of those too (867 ecoregions according to WWF).  Meanwhile, new data streams into journals. What is to be done?

Perhaps we can learn from others. Consider that physicists can describe most of the universe using only four forces! Without succumbing to physics envy, we could borrow from this approach, and consider causal factors as ecological forces that transcend species and geography. Causal forces might provide us with a set of general principles to organize our existing knowledge, and to guide our attempts to restore wetlands.

I will explore how only five causal forces may account for nearly all the variation we see in and among wetlands: hydrology, fertility, natural disturbance, herbivory, and competition. In fact, the list can be shortened to four if we treat herbivory as just another kind of natural disturbance.  These factors operate in all wetlands, be they peat bogs, mangrove swamps or freshwater marshes. The order in which we list them them above matters, since hydrology alone likely accounts for half the variation (ca 50 percent), with fertility and natural disturbance next (ca 15 percent). If we can explain 80 percent of the composition and function of wetlands with just three causal factors, that is actually a rather good situation to be in.

Of course, other factors influence wetlands.  Near the coast, salinity needs to be added to this list. Other factors can include burial, roads, and coarse woody debris.

In this presentation, I will walk you through this approach in more detail. My intention is to illustrate each of the causal factors with two examples: one that illustrates generality (for scientific organization of our ideas) and the other that illustrates application (for immediate use in wetland conservation or restoration.)

Dr. Paul Keddy has been a biologist, writer and scholar for more than forty years. He was a professor of ecology at three different universities, and now is an Independent Scholar, living on the edge of a large wetland, deep within the deciduous forests of Lanark County in southern Canada. He has written over 100 scholarly papers, and even more essays, most of which can be found at his web site www.drpaulkeddy.com.  He achieved international designation as a Highly Cited Researcher, has awards from the Society of Wetland Scientists and the Environmental Law Institute, and, locally, is designated a Champion for Nature. His best-known books include Wetland Ecology, and Plant Ecology, both of which offer a global perspective on general principles in ecology and their applications to conservation. He also co-edited The World’s Largest Wetlands. In his spare time, has written two self-published natural history guides, one for Lanark County (which won the W.E. Saunders award from Ontario Nature), and one for Louisiana. The focus of his career has been upon the general principles that organize ecological communities, with emphasis upon plants and wetlands. His focus on plants was a rational decision -- the inescapable fact that more than 90 percent of the biomass on Earth is comprised of plants. He has a particular soft spot for turtles, frogs and alligators, but says that getting the vegetation right is essential to provide habitat for such species. He thinks that science should be used to solve problems in the real world, and hence has spent many hours advising on wetland conservation in areas including Nova Scotia, the Great Lakes watershed, and coastal Louisiana, with lesser forays including San Francisco Bay and the Everglades. He has served organizations including the National Science Foundation, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, World Wildlife Fund, and The Nature Conservancy.  He also puts his money where his mouth is – over 40 years he has slowly bought nearly a square mile of forest and wetland in Lanark County, habitat which has now been donated to the local land trust as a nature sanctuary. He continues to write and lecture.  His latest book is a new edition of Plant Ecology. His lectures have included Washington, Toronto, Madrid, Granada, and Lyon — as well as Perth, Almonte and Lanark Village.

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January 18, 2018
1:00 p.m. EST

Stephanie Simpson
Restore America's Estuaries

Blue Carbon: Science and Application for Adding Value to Estuary Restoration

Coastal blue carbon has emerged as a new opportunity to connect coastal management goals with climate mitigation and adaptation and tap into carbon finance. In this webinar, participants will learn about the science of blue carbon, how partners across the U.S. are looking to use this ecosystem service to add value to tidal wetland restoration efforts, and about market opportunities for tidal wetlands.

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February 15, 2018
1:00 p.m. EST

Fred Ellery, Ph.D.
Rhodes University

The enigmatic Okavango Delta: A large wetland in a dryland

The Okavango Delta in the semi-arid Kalahari, is southern Africa’s largest wetland.  It forms an integral part of an internal basin that drains the highlands in Angola such that runoff that enters rivers never reaches the ocean.  This means that the clastic and dissolved sediment loads that enter the ecosystem accumulate within it.  It is therefore surprising that the Okavango Delta is characterized by fresh surface waters and is not saline.  The webinar will describe research that has shed light on this remarkable African ecosystem.

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March 15, 2018
1:00 p.m. EDT

Amr Keshta, Ph.D.
University of Maryland - College Park

Stefanie Nolte, Ph.D.
University of Hamburg

Livestock grazing affects microbial activity at different soil depths via the groundwater level with potential implications for carbon sequestration

At the coastal marshes of the Wadden Sea (Germany), livestock grazing has been practiced for centuries. It is, however, unclear how grazing affects ecosystem services and functions. Livestock grazing in salt marshes might have a negative or positive impact on soil Carbon stocks based on the grazing history and the management practices.

Our Wetland Ambassador, Amr Keshta, is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Marine Estuarine Environmental Science (MEES) program at University of Maryland, USA. He completed his Master’s degree in the field of Environmental Science at Tanta University in Egypt in 2011. He will be carrying out his Wetland Ambassador fellowship at the University of Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany under the mentorship of Dr. Kai Jensen. Amr Keshta is passionate about studying carbon cycling in wetlands, wetland biogeochemistry, sediment dynamics, soil carbon stocks, wetland hydrodynamics, climate change, and wetland restoration. His graduate research involves the application of remote sensing tools to aid in the prediction of the impact of sea level rise on coastal wetlands. He also studies greenhouse gas emissions and their global impact on coastal wetlands and wildlife habitats. The title of his Wetland Ambassador fellowship project is “Sediment dynamics and hydrology in natural and restored tidal freshwater wetlands across continents.”

In the Applied Plant Ecology group at the University of Hamburg, Stefanie focuses on the ecology and geomorphology of coastal ecosystems such as salt marshes. In times of climate change salt marshes are threatened by sea level rise and an increased storm frequency. Therefore she investigates whether salt marshes are able to keep pace with sea level rise. Furthermore, the establishment of national parks has led to a land use change in these areas. In the last decades marshes previously used for intensive livestock grazing with sheep have been abandoned. How will these changes in climate and land use affect ecosystem functions, such as carbon cycling, and ecosystem services, such as the coastal protection function? These are the questions she wants to answer in her research projects.

In addition to her work in the Wadden Sea salt marshes, she studies the marshes of the Yangtze estuary together with her collaboration partners of FUDAN University (Shanghai, China).

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April 19, 2018
1:00 p.m. EDT

Joanna Lemly
Colorado Natural Heritage Program

Colorado Natural Heritage Program

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ASWM Webinars

Interested in viewing more webinars? Visit the Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM) webinar's page to access free webinars. These webinars focus on various topics, mostly relating to a specific project or work group. To learn more please click here

 

 

Knowledge about human culture, and its role alongside wetland science in the Ramsar Convention