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2021 Ohio Wildlife Diversity Conference

2021 Wildlife Diversity Conference: 
The Cardinal Rule – Everything is Connected

Discover the cardinal rule of nature – everything is connected - at the 37th annual Ohio Wildlife Diversity Conference. Hosted by the ODNR Division of Wildlife, the conference was held virtually on Friday, March 5th. The conference was available free of charge to all registrants.

The conference featured three outstanding presenters, who were available for live Q&A sessions after each talk. Presentations featured the road to recovering North American birds, as well as the lesser known world of Ohio’s millipedes and freshwater snails.

Webinar Recordings

Thank you to everyone involved in putting together another fascinating Wildlife Diversity Conference this year! If you missed the live event, or if you'd like to revisit a presentation, please click to view the YouTube recordings below:

Welcome Message from Governor Mike Dewine

Welcome Message from ODNR Director Mary Metz

Wildlife Diversity Conservation Award - Darlene Sillick

The Sky Is No Limit: The Road to Recovering North American Birds - Amanda D. Rodewald, PhD, Cornell University

Every Leg Counts: The Millipedes of Ohio - Derek Hennen, PhD and Jeff Brown, MS

Ohio's Freshwater Snails: Connecting Snails To The Environment and Us - Michael Hoggarth, PhD, Otterbein University

Conference Date and Time

Date/Time: Friday, March 5th, 2021. Event is from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Participants will be able to begin logging into the event at 9:30 a.m.

Platform: Zoom will be used for this year’s conference. Participants are encouraged to sign up on the Zoom website prior to the event date and use the Zoom test site: https://zoom.us/test

How to Register

The 2021 Wildlife Diversity Conference is available free of charge to all registrants. Online registration is required. Recordings of the presentations will be available after the conference on the ODNR YouTube Channel

Conference Agenda

10:00 AM    Welcome – Kendra Wecker, Division of Wildlife Chief 

10:15 AM    The sky is no limit:  the road to recovering North American birds

  • Amanda D. Rodewald, PhD, Cornell University

11:00 AM    Break 

11:10 AM    Every leg counts: the millipedes of Ohio 

  • Derek Hennen, PhD and Jeff Brown, MS

11:35 AM    Ohio’s Freshwater Snails: Connecting snails to their environment and us

  • Michael Hoggarth, PhD, Otterbein University

12:00 PM    Conclusion – Thank you for attending

Presenter Biographies

Amanda D. Rodewald, PhD
Garvin Professor & Senior Director of the Center for Avian Population Studies at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology & Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at Cornell University

Prior to joining Cornell in 2013, Amanda spent 13 years as a professor at The Ohio State University and worked closely with the Ohio Division of Wildlife.  Now she is the Director of the Cornell Lab’s Center for Avian Population Studies, where she leads an interdisciplinary & international research program that addresses global challenges linked to changing climate, land cover, and human activities in temperate and tropical landscapes.  She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Ornithological Society, and has published over 150 scientific papers, 10 book chapters, and 70 popular articles. Amanda frequently collaborates with communities of practitioners, decision-makers, and private sector partners.  Her leadership roles include serving for over a decade on the Science Advisory Board of US EPA and testifying to Congress on legislative matters related to conservation.

Derek Hennen, PhD and Jeff Brown, MS

Derek Hennen is an entomologist and recent graduate of the Entomology department at Virginia Tech, where he earned his PhD in 2020. While at Virginia Tech, he researched the taxonomy and systematics of Appalachian millipedes. Previously, he earned a Master's degree at the University of Arkansas in 2015 and a bachelor's degree at Marietta College in 2012, where his interest in millipedes was sparked. Derek has taught identification workshops and educational hikes focused on millipedes, and runs a Twitter account to spread appreciation for these animals. Jeff Brown is a biologist and 2020 graduate of Wright State University, where he earned his MS in Biological Sciences. Jeff is a contributing editor on BugGuide.net, where he identifies user-submitted millipede photos. Together, Derek and Jeff worked on a photo-based field guide to Ohio's millipedes, the first of its kind.

Michael Hoggarth, PhD, Otterbein University

Mike Hoggarth is Professor in the Department of Biology and Earth Science at Otterbein University and co-author with Tom Watters and Dave Stansbery of The Freshwater Mussels of Ohio. He became interested in snails when as an Environmental Scientist with the Ohio Department of Transportation, Environmental Services, he would travel the state to perform ecological assessments of streams, which included the collection of many snails. Tom Watters similarly became interested in aquatic snails while Curator of the Mollusk collections at the Ohio State University Museum of Biological Diversity. Tom provided the text and technical assistance to help create The Freshwater Snails of Ohio, an Ohio Division of Wildlife Field Guide that moves these mostly unseen animals to the fore. To introduce this new publication, this presentation will describe the life of snails as they interact with their environments and how they have been useful tools for us in so many ways from food, to art, to science, and our understanding of the ecological integrity of our streams and lakes. 

Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp and Pin for Sale

The 2021 Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp featuring the northern cardinal can be purchased through the Wild Ohio Store. The 2021 Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp will be for sale beginning February 22, 2021.

Those wishing to receive the associated pin can request one by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543). Those who request a pin will receive them in the mail later in the spring.

Proceeds from the sale of the Wildlife Legacy Stamp are used to support endangered and threatened native species, habitat restoration, land purchases, conservation easements, and educational products for students and wildlife enthusiasts. 

Wildlife Publications

Two new publications will be debuted at the Diversity Conference. Field guides featuring Ohio’s millipedes and Ohio’s freshwater snails will be available electronically on the Ohio Wildlife Field Guides and Backyard Wildlife page (and below) during the conference. Those wishing to request a paper copy of the new guides can call 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543). Requested guides will be mailed later in spring. 

Millipedes of Ohio Field Guide [pdf]

Freshwater Snails of Ohio Field Guide [pdf]

About the Wildlife Diversity Conference

Ohio’s event is the largest single-day wildlife diversity conference in the country. The first Ohio Wildlife Diversity Conference was held at The Ohio State University in 1985 with 40 people in attendance. In 2020, approximately 1,000 people attended the daylong event.

Stay Connected!

Follow the Division of Wildlife on Twitter and Facebook for instant news stories, outdoor recreation ideas, local wildlife information and so much more. The Your Wild Ohio Explorer page provides wildlife success stories, ways to help wildlife throughout the seasons, and local wildlife updates. And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram to view the best of Ohio’s wildlife photography.

Visit our new Find a Destination web page to find locations to hunt, fish, trap and view wildlife in Ohio.