Keynote Speakers

NAISMA hosts the only conference to bridge geographic divides across North America in invasive species management. Network with natural resource managers, researchers, and leaders in the invasive species field. 

Keynote Speakers

The NAISMA board of directors, staff, and planning committee are thrilled to bring our expert keynote speakers to Nebraska, a state with unparalleled invasive species concerns.

Dr. Patricia Baiao

Island Conservation

October 17th

Dr. Jeanette Davis

Science is Everywhere, LLC

October 18th

Platte River Timelapse

Conservation Photography in the Great Plains

October 19th

Dr. Patricia Baiao

Island Conservation

October 17th

Island Stories: modeling solution for invasive species management

October 17

Invasive species are an existential challenge for island communities around the globe. As a leading threat to native biodiversity and functioning ecosystems, they cause extinctions, impact livelihoods, and increase vulnerability to climate change. The urgency and magnitude of invasive species issues on islands, along with their small size and isolation, has led to significant investment resulting in success stories that can be models on how to manage invasive species. In particular, the eradication (i.e. complete removal) of invasive vertebrates such as rodents, cats, and ungulates has become a proven tool that has led to measurable outcomes for biodiversity and people. These successes have been built upon tools and methods developed to tackle agricultural pests in the continent, and customized to achieve complete eradication in isolated island systems. We are now posed to leverage them as models to improve our shared practices at larger scales.

About Dr. Patricia Baiao

Dr. Patty Baiao is a seabird ecologist by training, holding a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has over 15 years of experience leading conservation initiatives across the globe. As the Director of Partnerships at Island Conservation, she leads collaborations that enable the successful eradication of invasive species on islands worldwide. Dr. Baiao is committed to linking the best available science, including traditional knowledge, and inclusive participatory processes to deliver lasting outcomes on the ground, and increasing awareness of the far-reaching implications of invasive species for livelihoods and climate resilience.

Projects: Lehua Island rat eradication, Midway Atoll mouse eradication, Kaho’olawe rodent and cat eradication, Aleutians rodent eradication, Savanah Island rodent eradication (USVI), Swains Atoll rat eradication, Wake Atoll rat eradication.

Dr. Jeanette Davis

Science is Everywhere, LLC

October 18th

Building Community in Invasive Species Management

October 18

Invasive species cause billions of dollars in ecological and economic damage each year impacting industries such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, real estate and international trade. While there are several approaches to prevent and respond to invasive species, building diverse communities in both expertise and experience is essential for effective invasive species management. Through storytelling, Dr. Davis delivers policy experience and scientific understanding to encourage audiences to make real-world connections to invasive species and concerted efforts towards building diverse teams to help mitigate invasive species.

About Dr. Jeanette Davis

Dr. Jeanette Davis (Dr. Ocean) is a Marine Microbiologist, 2X Amazon bestselling children’s science book author, and served as the Invasive Species Coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Davis earned a B.S. in Marine and Environmental Science from Hampton University and a Ph.D. in Marine Microbiology from the University of Maryland. Davis is recently cited in Science where she ultimately helped discover a marine microbe associated with a Hawaiian sea slug and its algal diet that helps fight cancer. Davis has integrated her scientific knowledge and policy experience to help manage invasive species which led to the 2020 North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA) – Rita Beard Visionary Leadership Award. Davis helped develop a blueprint for how to manage invasive species across multiple NOAA departments, programs, and geographically distant facilities. She has built and engaged with diverse teams within NOAA, across several federal and state governments, and has served as the US representative on two international committees to help mitigate invasive species. Davis championed the use of environmental DNA tools to better track invasive species and helped lead a team of federal scientists that produced a highly cited technical report in the Management of Biological Invasions Journal: Strategic considerations for invasive species managers in the utilization of environmental DNA (eDNA): steps for incorporating this powerful surveillance tool. Davis continues to be a strong supporter of building diverse teams to manage invasive species. You can find out more at www.drjeanettedavis.com

Platte River Timelapse

Conservation Photography in the Great Plains

October 19th

Platte Basin Timelapse

October 19

Platte Basin Timelapse (PBT) has been in motion since early 2011. Currently, the project has more than 60 timelapse camera systems placed throughout the 90,000 square-mile basin, from its headwaters along the Continental Divide in the Colorado Rockies to the river’s confluence with the Missouri River on Nebraska’s eastern border. Our cameras capture change over time on a diversity of landscapes including places where management has been used to control invasive species. Like chapters in a book, each timelapse camera tells one part of the story of that proverbial drop of water as it journeys roughly 900 river miles through the heart of North America. The PBT team creates innovative multimedia content to tell the myriad stories of the Platte: web-based journalism, blending art and research, STEM-based educational curriculum, university-level courses, and documentary films.

Learn more at: plattebasintimelapse.com 

Dakota Altman

Dakota Altman grew up in the North Bottoms of Lincoln, Nebraska. His backyard was where he first fell in love with nature. Family trips in the summers took him across the vast western states through some truly beautiful landscapes. Dakota always yearned to live somewhere else; but all along his home of prairie, woodland, and wetlands had been waiting, tugging him closer, revealing ever so slowly the fascinations of our unique natural world. Dakota answered that call, and as a graduate student at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, he studied to become a conservation storyteller. His work focused on the dynamic story of the “Wetlands Among Us”. Dakota is now a full-time producer with Platte Basin Timelapse. He hopes that by sharing what makes a place special, others will be in awe of the beauty right under their noses.

Ethan Freese

Ethan started at Platte Basin Timelapse as a production intern in 2015. After completing his undergraduate degrees at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) in Fisheries and Wildlife and Grassland Ecology and Management, Ethan started a Master’s of Applied Science project at UNL, which he completed in August 2020. Growing up, Ethan’s summers were spent exploring the prairies and waterways of Southeast Nebraska. Ethan has developed a deep appreciation for the prairies of Nebraska and he hopes to use the power of photography to show others the beauty and importance of these undervalued ecosystems.