The Prairie Enthusiasts Virtual Conference

Inspired by Resilience

The Prairie Enthusiasts Virtual Conference was held 2/16 - 2/19/2022

Thank you to everyone who participated! See you at the 2023 conference! 



Tuesday, February 15

8:45am - 2:40pm - Prescribed Burn School


Wednesday, February 16 

1:00 - 4:00pm - Conference Welcome and The Prairie Enthusiasts Oak Savanna Showcase  

1:00 1:20 Scott Fulton and Steve Winter Welcome Address and Introduction to TPE Savanna Showcase Sessions
1:20 1:50 Rich Henderson Oak Savannas and Woodlands on TPE Preserves - Empire-Sauk Chapter
1:50 2:20 Jack Kussmaul Oak Savanna and Woodland of the Southwest Chapter
2:20 2:40 Video Dudley Edmonson: Northern Waters
2:40 3:00 Evanne Hunt St. Croix Valley and Our Oak Savannas
3:00 3:30 Gabe Ericksen De-Afforestation work in the Minnesota Driftless Chapter
3:30 4:00 Katherine Stahl The land, community and people: Chippewa Savannas chapter

4:00 - 5:30pm - Oshkigin Spirit of Fire Video Screening

5:30 - 9:00pm - Oak Savanna Research Session Presentations 

5:30 5:45 Stephen Winter Introduction to Oak Savanna Research Sessions
5:45 6:05 Mark K. Leach Restore to what? Savanna Ecosystems are not just “prairie with trees” but complex, dynamic systems worthy of protection and restoration
6:05 6:25 Jeannine Cavendar-Bares Fire and Ice: Deep-time community assembly of the oak savanna
6:25 6:45 Tyler Bassett Connecting the dots: how does oak savanna restoration alter what controls ground layer plant communities, from Toledo to Madison?
6:45 7:05 Lee Frelich Influence of climate change and fire on prairie and forest biome boundaries in the western Great Lakes region.
7:05 7:20   break
7:20 7:40 Scott Abella An Overview of Adaptive Management Investigations in Northwestern Ohio's Oak Openings Region
7:40 8:00 Laura Ladwig A comparison of restoration seed mixes and historical plant communities in Midwest oak savannas
8:00 8:20 Austin Yantes Targeted Grazing to Restore Woody-Encroached Oak Savannas
8:20 8:40 Dr. Amanda Martin Examining Land Use Changes to Evaluate the Effects of Land Management in a Complex, Dynamic Landscape
8:40 9:00 Adam Pelligrini Fire and disease jointly regulate the temperate savanna-forest boundary


Thursday, February 17 

12:00 - 1:00pm - Lunch & Learn with Adaptive Restoration: Benefits of diversity and prescribed fire - your questions answered

1:00 - 5:00pm - Exhibitors, Artist Gallery, Video Screening, On-Demand Content, and Networking 

5:00 - 9:00pm - Stewardship and Protection Session Presentations 

5:00 5:15 Steve Winter Welcome to Stewardship and Protection Sessions
5:15 5:40 Gary Wyatt Use of Herbicides in Restoration Projects for Woody Plant Management
5:40 6:00 Matthew Nugent The Nachusa Grassland’s Arsenal of Restoration Equipment
6:00 7:00 Daniel Carter Introduction to Oak Savanna and Oak Woodland Restoration
7:00 7:15   break
7:15 8:15 MaryKay O'Donnell, Scott Fulton, Chris Hughes, Ginny Moore
Now what? Opportunities for landowners with conservation goals
8:15 9:00 Debra Behrens
Idea exchange: Quality, sustainable, scalable land management solutions


Friday, February 18 

9:00am - 12:00pm - TPE Member Connections 

9:00 9:30 New Members / Unaffiliated Members 
9:00 9:30 Chippewa Savannas - Caroljean Coventree
9:15 9:45 Coulee Region - Jim Rogala (with Jon Rigden and Justine Nooker)
9:30 10:00 Empire-Sauk Chapter - Willis Brown
9:45 10:15 Glacial Prairie - Alice Mirk
10:00 10:30 Many Rivers - Deanna Pomije
10:15 10:45 Minnesota Driftless - Steve Winters
10:30 11:00 Northwest Illinois (NIPE) - Jay Rutherford
10:45 11:15 Prairie Bluff - Jerry Newman
11:00 11:30 Prairie Sands - David Hamel
11:15 11:45 Southwest Wisconsin - Jack Kussmaul
11:30 12:00 St. Croix Valley - Evanne Hunt

12:00 - 1:00pm - Lunch & Learn with Good Oak Ecological Services: Feeling inspired? Find out how to apply what you've learned

1:00 - 5:30pm - Art Inspired by Nature Workshops

1:15 2:30 Dana De Greff In Bloom - an introduction to nature writing
2:30 2:45   break
2:45 4:00 Chris Helzer Building the prairie conservation constituency through storytelling
4:00 4:15   break
4:15 5:30 Bethan Burton Cultivating curiosity through nature journaling

5:30 - 6:30pm - Ask the Experts: herbicide use in restoration and management of prairies, savannas, and woodlands

6:30 - 7:15pm - Poster Sessions 

7:30 - 8:30pm - Friday Night Live: Trivia fun for all!


Saturday, February 19 

9:00am - 11:00am - Keynote & Q&A with Douglas Tallamy 


*All sessions (including Burn School) will be held online. Recorded presentations will be available online for 3 months after the conference. 


Thank you to our conference sponsors!


Gold Level:

Adaptive Restoration LLC


Good Oak Ecological Services


Prairie Moon Nursery


Silver Level:

C.D. Rigdon & Associates, Ltd.


Oak Woodlands and Forests Fire Consortium



Bronze Level:.

Helena Agri-Enterprises, LLC


Prairie Nursery


Shooting Star Native Seeds

Stafford Rosenbaum


Tallgrass Prairie & Oak Savanna Fire Science Consortium

Quercus Land Stewardship Services

Valley Stewardship Network

Please contact Executive Director, Debra Behrens, [email protected], for sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities.  

Conference Merch

Get the brand new, 100% cotton, long-sleeve t-shirt today!
Show up to your next burn in comfort and style. 

What is Burn School?

This 1-day online class is for people without previous burn experience or those who want a refresher. The training follows the guidelines of the Wisconsin Prescribed Fire Council and is taught by TPE volunteers. Successful participation in this training, plus a half-day field practical course provided by a local chapter, and helping on two TPE burns as an apprentice, provides the qualifications to be a new crew member on TPE burns.

Key topics addressed:
Why do we burn?: Fire ecology
Fire behavior
Fire suppression
Safety on the fire line
Burn crew roles

Virtual Conference Platform - Whova

The 2022 is accessilbe on the Whova virtual conference platform. Review the conference orientation guide here. 

Click here to sign into Whova and access the burn school and conference. 

Already registered? Sign into the Whova conference platform from your computer to access conference details and start connecting with your conference community. You can also join via the Whova mobile app on your phone or tablet. Get started with these next steps:

  • Sign in to Whova to set up your profile
  • Explore the Whova platform, see the Whova How-To Guide for instructions and helpful hints
  • Open the “Community” tab to start connecting. Start a discussion, ask questions, and interact with your peers before and during the conference.
  • Review conference details: event schedule, speaker and session details, and exhibitors.

Recorded presentations will be available in Whova for 3 months after the conference. 

How to sign into Whova

  • If this is your first time accessing Whova
  • If you already setup your Whova account

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Questions? Write to [email protected] with questions anytime. 

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  • Caleb DeWitt
    followed this page 2021-12-06 19:19:51 -0600
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  • Jim Rogala
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