Video archive records precision conservation event

Did you miss the Freshwater Society conference on precision conservation? If you did, you missed some really exciting presentations on some of the most exciting strategies for targeting conservation and pollution-prevention practices to the places on the land where they will do the most good. But all the presentations are archived on video. Check them out.

More than 160 people attended the March 29, 2012 conference titled “Precision Conservation: Technology Redefining Local Water Quality Practices.” The event, which drew a number of watershed district and soil and water conservation district employees and officials,  focused on two aspects of conservation:

  • Emerging technology, much of it based on Light Direction and Ranging, or LiDAR, mapping that makes it much easier and quicker to identify the spots on the land where conservation measures can have the most effect.
  • Human interactions between land owners and conservation planners that often make the difference whether conservation measures – no matter how badly needed or how carefully planned – end up being put in place.


David Mulla, a University of Minnesota soils scientist who is a national leader in the use of LiDAR-derived mapping, described the range of technologies and strategies for finding those sweet spots where conservation efforts can be most effective. View video of Mulla’s presentation. View a PDF of his slides.

Thanks to our co-sponsors:
Mn Assn. of Soil and Water
Conservation Districts, Mn
Assn. of Watershed
Districts; Board of Water
and Soil Resources, Mn
Dept. of Agriculture, U of M
Water Resources Center,
The McKnight Foundation,
Three Rivers Park District,
Mn chapter of Soil and
Water Conservation Society

The human side of conservation effort was presented by Mae Davenport, a University of Minnesota forestry professor, and by Paul Nelson, Scott County’s natural resources program manager. View video from Davenport’s and Nelson’s presentation.

Dave White, chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, gave the keynote address for the conference. View video of his talk.

View video of the other speakers:

  • Freshwater Society President Gene Merriam, welcoming those attending the conference.
  • Gerald Van Amburg, president of the Board of Managers of the Buffalo-Red River Watershed District. View his slides.
  • Shawn Tracy and Pete Young. Tracy is a watershed ecologist for the Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District, and Young, district engineer for the Washington Conservation District. View their slides.
  • Bev Nordby, district manager of the Mower Soil and Water Conservation District and administrator of the Cedar River Watershed District. View her slides.
  • Stephanie Johnson and Zach Herrmann, both engineers employed by Houston Engineering. Johnson has designed water quality models to compute pollutant loads and she has a particular interest in stakeholder involvement in water protection and conservation decisions. Herrmann has applied LiDAR analysis in the development of hydrologic models.View their slides.


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