WET & WILD 2020: Working Together for Water and Wildlife
Are you ready to get WET and WILD?
Project WET and Project WILD have teamed up to offer one conference for coordinators and facilitators of both programs. Share, learn and have fun with Project WILD at the 2020 Coordinators Conference and Training.
Mark your calendars for the week of July 27-31, 2020 for some WET and WILD fun!
The Place: Springfield, MO
Centrally located in the U.S. and home to Project WET, Project WILD and Project Learning Tree (PLT) Coordinators, Springfield, Missouri is an ideal location to host the joint WET and WILD conference. Springfield boasts claim to the Wonders of Wildlife Museum, is close to Lake of the Ozarks and is considered the Gateway to the Great Outdoors with numerous parks, trails, rivers and streams in the area. One of the amazing natural features of the area is the network of caves. Missouri is home to more than 7,300 caves, second only to Tennessee in the U.S. Springfield is also home to Missouri State University, partner to Project WET, Project WILD and PLT.
Learn more at https://www.springfieldmo.org/
July 27: New Coordinator Training. This all-day training allows any coordinators who are new to, or unfamiliar with, running their own network of facilitators to learn with Project WET and Project WILD staff and experienced coordinators. Like any Project WET and Project WILD training, it is an interactive and hands-on session that will last most of the day.
Opening dinner will take place on the evening of July 27th at the Sportman's Lodge of the White River Conservation Center. Participants are encouraged to explore the Wonders of Wildlife Museum attached to the Morris Conservation Center before the event starts at 6:00 pm.
July 28: Coordinators’ Network Meetings. Project WET and Project WILD Coordinators have both joint and separate sessions to discuss updates in our networks and encourage collaboration. These sessions are for Project WET and Project WILD Coordinators only. It is a time to discuss your program with other Coordinators and Project WET or Project WILD staff and to help shape the future of each program in the coming year. The afternoon will be divided into two sessions to discuss each Project’s program separately.
July 29: Field Experience. Open to anyone, these field experiences will highlight the natural wonders of the area—including a trip to the Hellbender Salamander Recovery Project, Bull Shoals Lake on the Ozarks and Smallin Cave—as well as share some of the work of the Project WET and Project WILD programs in Missouri.
July 30: General Sessions. Open to anyone, these sessions share presentations and activities submitted by participants and vetted by the conference planning committee. Sessions will be dedicated to sharing WET and WILD best practices and discussion on collaboration in the future.
The closing banquet will the evening of Thursday, July 30th at the Plaza University Hotel. This night will feature awards, a live auction, photos from the week and WET & WILD fun!
Submit a Presentation
Everyone is encouraged to submit a proposal to present. Click here to submit your presentation proposal. Proposals will be accepted through Friday, March 13th. Selections will be made by Monday, April 6. All selected presenters must register for the conference.
Presentations will be in concurrent sessions as this will be a larger group with the combined conference. Email Julia Beck at Julia.Beck@projectwet.org with any questions.
Cost and Logistics
Registration link coming soon.
*Note that Project WET is not handling registration this year.
Deadlines: Early Bird registration deadline is June 10th. Final registration deadline is June 24th.
$425 - Full registration (Monday-Friday) for Coordinators. Registration increase to $500 after June 10th. This includes all events and included meals (see agenda).
$275- Partial registration for facilitators and guests (Wednesday and Thursday). Registration increases to $325 after June 10th. This includes all events and meals included Wednesday through Thursday night.
$125 - Wednesday only registration. Registration increase to $150 after June 10th. This includes the field experiences and included meals.
$150 - Thursday only registration. Registration increases to $175 after June 10th. This includes Thursday sessions and all included meals and events. The final banquet will take place on Thursday night.
$50 - Banquet registration. Join Monday or Thursday night's banquet. Registration increases to $60 after June 10th.
Cancellations: Cancellations possible until TBD through TBD.
The Project WET Foundation will offer conference scholarships for conference registration ($425) to four coordinators. Scholarships will be awarded to at least two new coordinators (of less than 3 years) who needs to attend to the New Coordinator Training. Preference will be given to applicants who are presenting or needing to attend the New Coordinator Training. Deadline is April 1st. Scholarships awarded in April.
Lodging will be at the University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center. Lodging is not included but we have received a negiotated rate of $99/night. To reserve your room, call the University Plaza Hotel at (417) 864-7333 and mention group block “Project WET and Project WILD.”
Rooms are available checking in Sunday, 7/26, and checking out Saturday, 8/1. You must book before Friday, June 19th in order to get your room on the room block.
Participants are responsible for getting themselves to the hotel. The University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center offers a complimentary airport shuttle as well as complimentary parking.
The closest airport is Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF) approximately 15 minutes from the University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center.
Other airports that are further away (approximately 3 hours travel time) are Tulsa, OK (TUL), Kansas City (KCI) and St. Louis (STL).
About the Field Experiences
Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium
Ranked as the #2 thing to do on Tripadvisor, the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium is a suggested activity for Monday before the opening dinner. Outdoor enthusiast Jonny Morrison, started the museum and aquarium to help people feel more connected to wildlife through “an authentic, educational and fun celebration of wildlife conservation.”
Hellbender Recovery Project
In… Missouri started a recovery program for the Hellbender Salamander. We will tour the Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery, where Missouri Department of Conservation staff work in conjunction with the St. Louis Zoo on a hellbender research and recovery project.
Bull Shoals Field Station
We will eat lunch on the shores of the Ozarks at Project WET and Project WILD partner’s, Missouri State University Bull Shoals Field Station. Here we will enjoy Bull Shoals Lake and learn about the research and educational programs that our partners at Missouri State University implement.
What better way to being water and wildlife together than through a cave? For our last stop of the day we will explore Smallin Cave to learn about the natural features, unique animals and history of the cave.
Whova Conference App
Project WET will continue to go as paperless as possible. We will again be using the app Whova for event management at the conference. Please download this app to your smartphone or tablet to stay connected during the conference. Please be sure to sign in to Whova before the conference and edit your information so everyone can find you! You can log in with your email or the code WETWILD2020.
If you don’t have a smartphone you can still access the agenda and speaker information (and print it!) through the Whova WILD & WILD website. Please note that we are still updating agendas and speaker bios and will likely be doing so through the conference.
In the Whova App you can view the agenda, speaker information, attendee bios, see last minute updates, upload pictures and give feedback on sessions. For more information, and to watch a brief tutorial on Whova, click here.
Auctions and Raffle
Please bring something to contribute (and your money) for the Project WET auctions and raffles. Proceeds go to providing scholarships for the 2021 Project WET USA Conference—it could be YOU needing a scholarship in 2020! Ideally, we are looking for water and other environmental education-related items (fun and functional) that can be used by educators, but anything to raise money is helpful. Jewelry, art and food make great auction items. Help us make this the best silent auction ever!
Apply for a scholarship by filling out the application and submitting to firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Note: WET items that sell go to the WET scholarship fund while WILD items that sell go to Project WILD.]
This year’s featured reading is Missouri Caves in History and Legend by H. Dwight Weaver.
“Missouri has been likened to a “cave factory” because its limestone bedrock can be slowly dissolved by groundwater to form caverns, and the state boasts more than six thousand caves in an unbelievable variety of sizes, lengths, and shapes. Dwight Weaver has been fascinated by Missouri’s caves since boyhood and now distills a lifetime of exploration and research in a book that will equally fascinate readers of all ages.
Missouri Caves in History and Legend records a cultural heritage stretching from the end of the ice age to the twenty-first century. In a grand tour of the state’s darkest places, Weaver takes readers deep underground to shed light on the historical significance of caves, correct misinformation about them, and describe the ways in which people have used and abused these resources.”
We will convene book discussion groups at Thursday lunch for anyone who is interested!
Infromation for Project WILD Coordiator can be found on Project WILD's conference website.