This seminar will cover the basics of using drones for monitoring easements. Participants will be introduced to the various data products that can be produced by drones, learn how those data can integrate into a geographic information system (GIS), and learn which broad classes of drones are appropriate for different projects. We will learn about the flight planning and safety steps related to drone use, review the personnel hours needed to survey study areas of varying sizes, and discuss the option of contracting drone services. Finally, the course will address the legalities surrounding drones at the state and federal level, and offer advice for surveying over landowner property, neighboring properties, and areas open to the public.
Session Level: Basic Session Location: David L. Lawrence Convention Center Price: $210/$245
Great stories about the places your land trust conserves are one of the best tools available to engage the public and for garnering support. Esri’s Story Maps are web-based apps that provide maps, images, video and text to present place-based narratives. Stories can be anything from quick, seasonal items relevant to your lands (like wildflower spots, fish or bird migration, or tales of ranchers working during calving season), or perhaps self-guided tours around your preserves or the locations of annual accomplishments. Story Maps are templates that enable authors to develop an engaging experience within a well-designed interface. Many templates can be used “out-of-the-box”, but they also allow customization with special formatting and features, without requiring heavy technical expertise. This presentation will cover a hands-on demonstration of Story Maps, walking you through how to set up a Story Maps web account and then taking you through the creation of three separate Story Map applications (Tour, Journal, Cascade templates), with time for Q&A along the way. We'll also bring in some new information about how and where to include Calls to Action in your stories.
Land stewardship is defined as the wise care of the land entrusted to our organizations. Wise management requires knowing and understanding what is on the land so that we can track changes and evaluate the impacts of our management actions. For many reasons, gathering this crucial data is difficult, and unfortunately, having species lists and biological data becomes a luxury. In this session we describe a tool that equips volunteers to help us gather this valuable biological data. It is a citizen science web-based platform called iNaturalist.org, but iNaturalist is more than a website, more than an app, and more than just a tool for gathering data on the critters using our lands. iNaturalist is also a community conservation initiative, a network of nature lovers, and a place for environmental education and communicating about our lands and their diverse flora and fauna. This session will introduce you to the iNaturalist database and network and the breadth of options available for a land trust to utilize the power of the platform. Learn how to set up an account, how to use iNaturalist in a Bioblitz, how to easily gather observational data from iNaturalist users visiting your lands, and other tips and ideas as we share our experiences using iNaturalist.
This session will introduce you to using GIS to incorporate various objective criteria you choose (e.g., presence of specific landforms, elevation, slope, soils, proximity to water, and more) to identify potential lands for conservation. We will demonstrate how you can use readily available, consistent, nationwide data as well as data developed for a specific trust, to find lands that meet a trusts project selection criteria. You will then see how you can adjust the weights of these criteria interactively to see how varying those weights affects prioritization, and thus "test" the resulting priority areas. Finally, we will show how local land records can be incorporated into the process to translate identified priority areas into parcels to be targeted.
Session Level: Intermediate Session Location: David L. Lawrence Convention Center
Land conservation technology is improving rapidly and land trusts have the opportunity to increase efficiencies, collect better data and enhance fundraising and outreach efforts. Drones are on the forefront of these emerging technologies. Both small and large land trusts are looking toward aerial monitoring with drones for annual monitoring, but the possibilities don’t end there. The ability to explore inaccessible terrain, get a bird’s eye view of the land and create exciting videos for promotional purposes are all benefits of incorporating drone technology. This session will briefly cover new applications which allow an iPad to be used for annual monitoring with no other gear necessary, thus eliminating paper waste and increasing the speed of post data processing and report creation. In addition, drone technology takes beautiful photographs that can be used to tell compelling stories of the land. Learn how BYLT uses drone images to create content for fundraising campaigns, social media, websites, eNewsletters and traditional printed collateral.
Session Level: Basic Session Location: David L. Lawrence Convention Center
Land trusts are increasingly adept at GIS, using it to support work in acquisitions, monitoring, communications, and more. But if you work with GIS at a land trust, chances are you wear many other hats as well. This session is designed for people already frequently using GIS in their work, who could use some practical tips to continue to maximize their efforts. We'll help you manage the chaos of field data collection using Esri tools; we'll cover best practices for maintaining your own properties and easement database; and we'll share advanced cartographic techniques for making consistent, professional-looking maps.
The Chesapeake Conservancy is working with land trusts across the Chesapeake Bay watershed to identify and prioritize locations where restoration and conservation efforts can maximize ecological benefits, particularly for water quality improvements. Leveraging GIS technology, web-based mapping, high-resolution land cover, and concentrated flow data, the Conservancy finds areas with the greatest potential for mitigating impacts of stormwater runoff or avoiding land use conversion. These analyses are designed to amplify the efficiency and effectiveness of partner organizations, in addition to elevating the environmental benefits of their work. Three pioneering Chesapeake Bay watershed land trusts are incorporating these and other innovative GIS-based approaches in their planning: Harford Land Trust, Virginia Eastern Shore Land Trust, and Maryland Environmental Trust. Each organization is utilizing data or novel tools in their work, such as in their evaluation of potential easement properties, selection of parcels for restoration, and collection and management of monitoring site visit data. Attendees in this panel-style session will learn about different datasets, analyses, and tools for conservation and restoration planning, hear from land trust staff about strategies for integrating them into workflows, and get tips on resources for building internal GIS capabilities.