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Science Symposium Open to Public

Bald Eagle (C) Jim LivaudaisThe National Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory is hosting an all-day Elements of Science Conference in Ashland on Wednesday February 12th, 2014. The conference will emphasize “cool” science, as characterized by novel, surprising, or innovative results, techniques, or ideas. This event represents an opportunity for the local scientific community, and the science-interested public, to come together to share ideas, engage in discussion, and pursue common interests. Klamath Bird Observatory biologists will give two of the presentations (see descriptions below). Click here to see the full schedule of the day’s programs.

Location: National Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory, 1490 E. Main St. in Ashland

Date: Wednesday February 12th

Time: 9:00am to 4:30pm

Registration: Pre-registration is required, but it is also free! Contact Tabitha Viner ( to register.

The Search for the Conservation Meme (10:00am – 10:25am)

Brandon M. Breen, Klamath Bird Observatory

In his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins coined the term “meme” to illustrate how evolutionary principles could help us understand cultural change in human societies. Each cultural idea, or “meme,” experiences increases or decreases in its expression in a human culture based, at least in part, on its merit or fitness. From a conservation perspective, the question arises, Does there exist a conservation meme with the potential for widespread expression in Western culture? This talk will be an exploration of how evolutionary principles can help us understand the prospects for a culture of conservation in the 21st century.

Avian Knowledge Northwest: An Online Science Delivery Tool (10:45am – 11:10am)

John D. Alexander, Jaime L. Stephens, Brandon M. Breen, Klamath Bird Observatory

Avian Knowledge Northwest, a regional node of the Avian Knowledge Network, provides information on birds and the environment for professionals engaged in natural resource management in the Pacific Northwest.  The data center is designed to advance bird and habitat conservation through the efficient delivery of information, specifically to (1) bring in and archive data, (2) ensure the multitude of datasets are discoverable and readily available, (3) combine datasets for broad-scale analyses, such as future species abundance under climate change scenarios, and (4) build a community of data providers and users who collaboratively identify information needs to address conservation challenges.  Avian Knowledge Northwest is integrated with eBird Northwest, an application that encourages contributions from a growing citizen science community.