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Join in every other Thursday @ 1:00pm ET on our National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) Livestream at: https://nctc.fws.gov/broadcasts/ or on our National Conservation Training Center Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/USFWSNCTC/.

Backyard Wildlife Habitat

Date recorded: 2021-05-13
Speaker(s): Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; David Mizejewski, Noted ecologist and former TV Host for Animal Planet
Description:  Join Conservation Connect Live! host, Brett Billings, as David shares his secrets for creating a space for wildlife, no matter where you live. Springtime has you excitedly looking for your garden gloves? David will unearth a treasure trove of resources from the National Wildlife Federation to help you learn new ways of attracting wildlife.

Biking on the NWR

Date recorded: 2021-03-18
Speaker(s): Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Nancy Fernandez, Park Ranger, California’s Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge; Laurel Wilkerson, Chesapeake Bay’s Chincoteague NWR
Description: Put a little adventure in your outdoors! Whether you relish a mountain-biking excursion in the mountains or a simple family ride along the beach, biking on our national wildlife refuges is an inexpensive way to experience unprecedented beauty and nature. Experts will give us some advice on gear and techniques to help you have an enjoyable and safe biking experience. Park Ranger, Nancy Fernandez, will show us some stunning photos of biking along the border at California’s Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge. Meanwhile, Laurel Wilkerson, will give us an up-close look at the great biking opportunities at the scenic beaches of Chesapeake Bay’s Chincoteague NWR. 

Bald Eagle

Date recorded: 2020-04-23
Speaker(s): Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Chelsea McKinney, Conservation Connect Creator, USFWS; Jim Siegel, PhD, Wildlife Biologist, USFWS
Description: Conservation Connect live and answering questions! We’ll feature lessons on animals such as eagles, manatees, cool birds, fish and more. Including free science education toolkits and activities.

Bird Banding

Date recorded: 2020-08-27
Speaker(s): Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Jennifer Malpass, PhD, Biologist, USGS
Description: Learn the full story on bird banding. Dr. Jennifer Malpass explains how bird banding got started and how it helps scientists. You’ll even learn how you, too, can get involved in bird banding.

Bird Watching

Date Recorded:  2020-08-27
Speaker(s):  Brett Billings, Host, Chris Deets/USFWS and Geoff LeBaron/Christmas Bird Count, National Audubon Society Count Coordinator
Description: As Christmas gets ever closer there are more things in the sky to watch for than just flying reindeer. It is almost time for the annual Christmas Bird Count. We’ll be talking with some experts about how to get involved in identifying the birds that live near you. Up for a good walk outside? Don’t forget the binoculars and the field guide to birds. We’ll get your bird-watching efforts off on the right foot.

Black Bears

Date recorded: 2020-07-09
Speaker(s): Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Dr. Cindy Driscoll, Veterinarian, Maryland Department of Resources; Harry Spiker, Bear Biologist, Maryland Department of Resources
Description: Learning about black bears with veterinarian Dr. Cindy Driscoll, and bear expert Harry Spiker.

Bog Turtle

Date recorded: 2020-06-04
Speaker(s): Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Christine McCue, Bog Turtle Researcher, USFWS
Description: Learn all about America’s smallest turtle: the bog turtle.

Brook Trout

Date recorded: 2020-05-14
Speaker(s): Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Than Hitt, Fisheries Scientist, USGS
Description: We will learn all about brook trout from USGS scientist, Than Hitt. Have your questions ready as we get to know the native trout of eastern North America. Tune in to our Conservation Connect!

California Condor

Date recorded: 2020-07-23
Speaker(s): Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Joseph Brandt, Condor Expert, USFWS; Molly Astell, Condor Expert, USFWS
Description: Learn all about these giant birds from the American West that were nearly extinct not so long ago.

Delmarva Fox Squirrel

Date recorded: 09/03/2020
Speaker(s):  Brett Billings, Host, Cherry Keller of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Dr. Carol Bocetti, of California University of Pennsylvania
Description: The Delmarva Fox Squirrel is one of the largest tree squirrels and it’s coming back from it’s formerly endangered status. Thanks to a lot of hard work by some concerned citizens. Squirrel experts, Dr. Cherry Keller and Dr. Carol Bocetti will be on hand to answer any questions about the fascinating squirrel with a big story.

Duck Stamp

Date recorded: 2020-06-11
Speaker(s): Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Jennifer N. Chin, Duck Stamp Program, USFWS
Description: The national Duck Stamp competition is the most famous environmental art contest. But, did you know there is a version just for kids?  The Junior Duck Stamp program is way for kids to learn about conservation while expressing themselves through art. This week on Conservation Connect Live! we will talk about how kids can get involved in this national art contest. It’s a chance for kids of any age to be recognized among their peers for their work.

Electrofishing

Date recorded: 2020-06-18
Speaker(s): Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Alan Temple, Fisheries Scientist, USFWS
Description: Learn about the technology biologists use to catch fish. Dr. Alan Temple will be discussing the interaction between electricity and fish!

Fishing (Video to be added soon)

Date recorded: 2020-12-03
Speaker(s): Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Denise Wagner, Holly Richards – Fisheries and Aquatic Conservation
Description: Dying to get out of the house? Even in the cold of winter, the fish are still biting! Join us as we discover some beautiful places around the National Wildlife Refuge System that you can wet a line, and potentially catch a healthy dinner. There is probably one near you. Whether it is fly fishing a mountain stream for trout…catching catfish on the bayou or ice-fishing for perch on a frozen lake, we’ll tell you how to take advantage of several fishing opportunities this winter.

Fly Fishing

Date Recorded:  2021-04-15
Speaker(s):  Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Davis Horton, Educator, Calkins Nature Area in Iowa Falls
Description: With spring here, many anglers are taking to the water. Fly fishing is just one of many ways to catch fish. We’ll talk with an expert fly angler on how to get started, where to go and what kinds of gear one needs to wade into the world of fly fishing. Davis Horton, an educator with the Calkins Nature Area in Iowa Falls, will be with us to talk fly tying and fly fishing. We’ll look at some of his innovative patterns while discussing basic fly fishing gear.

Freshwater Mussels

Date recorded: 2020-04-30
Speaker(s): Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Matthew Patterson, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, USFWS
Description: Learn about the creatures that can filter 24 gallons of water in a day. The Hidden World of Fresh Water Mussels!

Hiking and Wilderness

Date Recorded:  2021-02-04
Speaker(s):  Brett Billings, Host
Description:  If you are looking for a place to get outside, look no further! We’ll explore great hiking opportunities across the national wildlife refuge system. Wilderness trainer, Michelle Reilly and park ranger, Quinton Smith, will tell us how to get the most out of our wilderness excursions. Needing to get back to basics? We’ll get the inside scoop on the service’s many wilderness areas – offering unique opportunities to experience landscapes in their most natural form…all on Conservation Connect Live!

Humpback Chub

Date recorded: 2020-08-13
Speaker(s): Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Chelsea McKinney, Refuge Ranger, USFWS; Mike Pollow, Fisheries Biologist, USFWS
Description: This fish is a survivor in one of the most beautiful, but harshest, rivers in North America. Tune in here to learn all about the humpback chub.

Kayaking

Date Recorded: 2021-03-04
Speaker(s):  Brett Billings, Host
Description:  Canoes and kayak’s can transport you to some of America’s most impressive scenery…and it may be closer than you think. In this week’s show we’ll survey some of the best watersports opportunities across the country and get pointers from seasoned guides on how to have a safe and enjoyable outing on the water…all on Conservation Connect Live!

Manatees

Date recorded: 2020-07-16
Speaker: Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Jim Valade, Manatee Expert, USFWS
Description: Explore the lives of these secretive and fascinating animals that can grow to be twelve feet long and weigh over a half-ton!

Milkweed

Date recorded: 2020-06-25
Speaker: Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Mara Koeing, Pollinator Expert, USFWS
Description: Milkweed is the sole host plant to the monarch butterfly’s caterpillar. Planting milkweed is one of the many ways you can help the monarch butterfly. Learn how you can plant and grow milkweed yourself.

Monarch Butterfly

Date recorded: 2020-05-21
Speaker: Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Mara Koeing, Pollinator Expert, USFWS
Description: Learn all about Monarch Butterflies. Join host, Brett Billings, as he discusses monarch butterfly migration and habitat with Pollinator Outreach specialist, Mara Koenig. They will also show you wintering monarchs and easy ways to help pollinators at home.Join Chelsea Mckinney in the sky to fly over waterfowl habitat and learn more about migratory birds, waterfowl, and life as a pilot biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Monarch Tagging

Date recorded: 2020-08-20
Speaker: Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Mara Koeing, Pollinator Expert, USFWS
Description: Learn about an exciting citizen science project where you can tag a monarch to help scientists.

Native Gardening

Date recorded: 2021-04-01
Guest(s): Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Casey Johnson, USFWS; Dennis Kruzac, USFS
Description: With the spring wildflowers starting to bloom, many people’s thoughts turn to gardening. In this week’s show we’ll talk to native plantscaper, Casey Johnson, of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and learn about how you can use native plants to make a low-maintenance garden that wildlife will love! The U. S. Forest Service’s Dennis Kruzac, will talk all about small-space native gardening, and how to use containers and raised beds to make the most of your balcony or tiny outdoor area.

Outdoor Photography

Date recorded: 2021-01-21
Guest(s): Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Lisa Hupp, Alaska Refuges Communications Coordinator, USFWS; Tom Koerner, Project Leader at Seedskadee NWR, USFWS
Description: One of the best social distancing activities you can do is outdoor photography. We’ll have two professional photographers join us to clue you in to the best techniques and places for capturing your own stunning winter nature images. Need advice on a new camera? Want to learn the tricks to getting stunning wildlife pictures and videos? Our guests will have the secret info that will make your shots the best ever!

Paddlefish

Date recorded: 2020-05-07
Speaker: Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Sam Stukel, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, USFWS; Louie Ocaranza, Wildlife Biologist, USFWS
Description: Meet a freshwater cousin of the shark: the american paddlefish. These bizarre-looking animals are a link back in time… and part of our American Rivers.

Pilot Biologist

Date recorded: 2020-05-28
Speaker: Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Steve Earsom, Pilot Biologist, USFWS
Description: #Throwback to flying over waterfowl habitat with a pilot biologist. Today we learn about waterfowl, and life as a pilot biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Small Mammals

Date recorded: 2020-07-30
Speaker: Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Jon W. Erz, Small Mammal Expert, USFWS
Description: Learn all about kangaroo rats, silky pocket mice and other species that go unnoticed by most of us. Join our LIVE Q&A with small mammal expert Jon Erz.

Spoonbill

Date recorded: 2020-08-20
Speaker: Brett Billings, Host, USFWS; Toni Westland, Refuge Ranger, USFWS
Description: Learn all about these gorgeous pink birds with one of the most unusual bills in the bird world. Join Toni Westland, from J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge (Official) in Florida shares her insights about this remarkable bird and all the other wildlife that abounds on her refuge.

The Directorate Fellows Program

Date recorded: 10/08/2020
Description: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s premiere Fellowship program: the Directorate Fellows Program (DFP). DFP offers a unique opportunity to gain special direct hire authority (upon successful completion of the program requirements), which enables FWS (and other land management agencies) to be able to hire former Fellows into permanent, full-time positions within two years of their graduation without having to use the competitive application process.

The 11-week fellowships begin in mid-May/mid-June 2020 and end in August/September 2020.