UM Hosts National Conservation Biology Conference

June 30, 2014

MISSOULA – More than 900 leading conservation scientists and practitioners from across the continent will gather at the University of Montana for workshops, short courses, symposia and field trips Sunday through Wednesday, July 13-16.

The UM Wildlife Biology Program and the Montana Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology will co-host the second North America Congress for Conservation Biology. A broad range of scientists will present the latest in conservation research and unveil new initiatives and solutions to challenges including habitat loss, conservation across boarders and threats from oil sands production in Canada.

The conference theme is “Challenging Conservation Boundaries.” The biennial NACCB provides a forum for presenting and discussing new research and developments in conservation science, and Missoula provides a great venue for the discussion of these topics.

The conference kicks off Sunday, July 13, with an interactive session called “Conservation Tapas: Small Bites of Big Issues,” which features a fast-paced panel of leading journalists and scientists.

Three conference plenaries are scheduled as follows:

  • 8-9:30 a.m. Monday, July 14: “Conservation Biology, Politics and Policy – What Does It Take for Science and Scientists to Make a Difference?” Session panelists are Director of Fish and Wildlife Service Dan Ashe, GEOS Institute Chief Scientist Dominick DellaSala, Biotechnology Industry Organization President and CEO James C. Greenwood, Portland State University faculty member David Johns, Turner Endangered Species Fund Executive Director Mike Phillips and UM wildlife biology professor emeritus Bob Ream.


  • 8-9:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 15: “Conservation Across National Borders.” Session panelists are Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative President Karsten Heuer, Montana Chapter of The Nature Conservancy Director Richard Jeo and Borderlands Restoration founder and CEO H. Ronald Pulliam.


  • 8-9:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 16: “The Consequences of Thinking Big: Conservation Across Cultures for Landscape-scale Results.” Session panelists are researcher Eleanor Sterling (moderator), research scholar Leo Douglas, University of Washington faculty member Kiki Jenkins, Traditional Ecological Knowledge at Qqs Projects Society Director Jess Housty, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Renewable Resources Manager Linaya Workman and Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Division of Fish, Wildlife, Recreation and Conservation Education Specialist   Germaine White.

The conference will open its doors to the general public on Monday, July 14, for a free screening of two family-friendly films from the International Wildlife Film Festival. Two “top picks” from the festival, “The Mystery of Eels” and “Touching the Wild,” will be screened at 7 p.m. in the University Center Theater. There is a suggested donation of $2.

Earlier the same day, Regents Professor Emeritus of Biology and Missoula community member Fred Allendorf will be honored for his fundamental role in the genesis of conservation genetics and his contributions to the conservation of imperiled species. Allendorf is one of a handful of people who founded the field of conservation genetics. He was one of the first to apply genetics to real-world conservation problems, and he has continued to advance the application of genetics, and now genomics, to pressing conservation problems.

            The closing reception, open to meeting participants and guests, will be held at Caras Park and will feature UM faculty member M. Sanjayan, who is a leading global conservation scientist, writer and Emmy-nominated news contributor. His work focuses on the role of conservation in improving human wellbeing, wildlife and the environment.

For more information on the conference and a full schedule of events, including session times and locations, visit


Contact: Nate Spillman, Society for Conservation Biology marketing and communications coordinator, 202-413-7115,