78th Annual Conference

78th Annual Conference SEAFWA October 12-16, 2024 Augusta, GA

Save These Dates!

OCTOBER 12-16, 2024 | AUGUSTA, GEORGIA

The 78th Annual Conference will be hosted by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Make plans now to join us October 12-16, 2024 at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center in Augusta, Georgia.

Visit the Announcements/Important Dates section for updates.

The Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is a forum for the exchange of ideas and critical information regarding the management and protection of fish and wildlife resources primarily in the Southeast. The conference attracts over 500 representatives from state and federal agencies, citizens' organizations, universities, private wildlife research groups, fisheries and wildlife scientists, agency enforcement personnel, and other natural resource-related organizations. 

Related meeting requests are now being accepted for committees and working groups, universities, organizations, agencies, and others interested in holding a meeting or social function in association with the 78th Annual SEAFWA Conference. Deadline to submit: September 6, 2024. Visit the Calls for Program Content section of this site to learn more. 

On behalf of the Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA), we invite you to participate as a sponsor or exhibitor! Visit the Sponsors / Exhibitors section of this site to learn more about opportunities to get involved. 

Register to Attend 

Registration for the 78th Annual Conference will open in late July. 

Pricing and Options

Registration pricing and options are provided below. Sign up early to save!

Registration Option Rate Available Through 9/1 Rate Available After 9/1
Professional Full Conference Registration $400 $450
One Day Conference Registration $225 $275
Student Full Conference Registration $175 $225
Guest/Additional Ticket to Welcome Social on Sunday  $40 $40
Guest/Additional Ticket to Awards Banquet on Tuesday  $70 $70

What's Included

  • The Full Conference Registration and Student Registration fee includes the following meals and social events: Welcome Reception on Sunday evening; Student/Professional Lunch on Monday (RSVP required); Tradeshow & Poster Social on Monday evening; Continental Breakfast Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, coffee breaks daily, and the Awards Banquet on Tuesday evening.
  • The One-Day Registration fee includes meals and social events on the day they are attending.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received by September 30, 2024 will be refundable less a $50 administrative fee. No cancellations received after September 30th will be refunded but substitutions will be allowed.  To request a refund, call 802-865-5202 or email info@delaneymeetingevent.com.

Questions?

Any questions or comments regarding registration or the conference, please call the conference office at 802-865-5202 or via email at info@delaneymeetingevent.com.

Location & Lodging Information 

We are pleased to announce that the 78th Annual Conference will be held October 12-16, 2024 at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center. Overnight accommodations are available for a discounted rate of $175/night plus 14% tax plus $5.00 City Tourism Fee. Reservations at that rate will be available until September 20, 2024, or until the SEAFWA group block is full; whichever occurs first.
Book Online Here

Federal Per Diem:
A limited number of rooms will be available at the prevailing government per diem rate for those who are eligible and provide a valid government ID upon check-in. This block is for federal government employees only. Make your reservation in the Government Block here

Overflow Hotels Available

 The Marriott Augusta is close to sold out. 

We have additional rooms blocked at the Holiday Inn Express, located at 44 Broad St. in Augusta approximately 6 blocks from the Marriott. The rate is $104/night plus tax and includes breakfast. Please use this link to make your reservation at the Holiday Inn Express. Should you have trouble booking on line, please call the hotel at (706) 922-1414 and ask their reservations staff for the Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies block. Rates will be available until September 21, 2024.

We also have a small block set aside at the Hyatt House Augusta, located at 1268 Broad St approximately 5 blocks from the Marriott. The rate is $145/night plus tax and includes breakfast. Reservations can be made via the hotel website,  www.hyatt.com › Hyatt-house-Augusta-downtown › AXSGA , Put in the dates of arrival and departure.  Under departure date, go to "Special Rates". Click on the down arrow & you will see "Corporate or Group Code".   Enter G-SEAF, which is your group booking code.  Click Book Now. OR Guests can call our reservations number:  (866) 974-9288 and ask to make a reservation for the SEAFWA. Rates will be available until September 20, 2024.

Area Information

Augusta, Georgia has a lot to offer! While you're in town, be sure to check out the 5th Street Pedestrian Bridge, Augusta Riverwalk, Augusta Canal National Heritage Area, breweries, southern cuisine, and more! Start planning your trip.

Schedule

The following schedule of events is subject to change. Please check back for updates! 

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Special Symposia Overviews

We are pleased to announce that 8 special symposia have been selected for inclusion in the program! Each symposia will comprise a number of integrated presentations that address aspects of a single topic or theme. Read their overviews and learn more here. 

Symposia will be included as part of the technical program and will run concurrently with other technical sessions. All individual presentations within a special symposium, including those that have been invited, need to submit abstracts through the online call for papers portal. 

1. Adapting to Climate Change: What’s Been Tried and What Works for Wildlife Management

Type: Invite Only

Contact: Hailey Shanovich, Postdoctoral Fellow, Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center, hshanovich@usgs.gov

Co-Organizers: Dolly Ya-Nemeh, South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center; Paul Armsworth, University of Tennessee - Knoxville; Codie Winn, South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center; Katherine Smith, Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center

Overview:  State agencies account and plan for potential climate impacts on species and ecosystems in their State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAP) revisions and other wildlife management planning in different ways. The next step after planning is moving to action. Considering potential climate change impacts can bring new management questions. It is one thing to say that a species or ecosystem may be impacted by climate change and quite another for a manager to know how that information should change or inform management actions. Our goals for this symposium are to provide examples of what works for climate adaptation and discuss approaches and frameworks. We will highlight real-life examples of adaptation actions by SEAFWA members and demonstrate how adaptation actions can be evaluated for effectiveness. We will have tangible outcomes for participants in the form of real-world examples to takeaway, facilitated discussions, and opportunities for further training and community as they navigate climate adaptation actions for their own agencies.

2. Conservation of Aquatic Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) in the Southeastern U.S.

Type: Open Symposium

Contact: Brett Albanese, Assistant Chief, Wildlife Conservation, Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources, brett.albanese@dnr.ga.gov

Co-Organizers: Peter Hazelton, Ph.D, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia; Paula Marcinek, Director of Freshwater, The Nature Conservancy, Georgia; Shawna Fix, Aquatic Connectivity Teams Facilitator, Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP), shawna@southeastaquatics.net; Scott Robinson, Georgia DNR

Overview:  The southeastern United States is a globally significant hotspot for aquatic biodiversity and imperilment.  Since the early 2000s, development and implementation of State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAPs) has provided an opportunity to broaden conservation efforts from a small number of federally listed species to literally hundreds of fishes, mussels, crayfishes, and aquatic insects identified in individual SWAPs as Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN).  Recognition as SGCN enables use of State Wildlife Grant funding to meet conservation and research needs for these species and also raises their profile for competitive grants and unique partnerships.  The purpose of this symposium is to share results from conservation and research projects that have addressed southeastern aquatic SGCN.  Presentations focusing on surveys, monitoring, habitat management, aquatic connectivity projects, species introductions, conservation partnerships and the SWAP revision process are all appropriate for the symposium.

3. Emerging Issues and Novel Approaches in American Alligator Management and Research

Type: Open Symposium

Contact: Jon Warner, Alligator Program Leader, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, jonathan.warner@tpwd.texas.gov

Co-Organizers: Thomas Rainwater, PhD (Clemson University); Benjamin Parrott, PhD (University of Georgia)

Overview:  This symposium would focus broadly on American alligator management and research across range states, highlighting emerging research trends and addressing commonalities and differences in how state wildlife agencies manage alligators for hunting, nuisance control, and commercial egg ranching and farming. Multiple universities and research programs in the southeastern U.S. are currently focused on novel and important research questions relevant to alligator conservation and management; this symposium would ideally bring various research and management stakeholders together for a day of sharing information and collaboration. With recent formal sanctioning of the SEAFWA Alligator Working Group, most state alligator program leaders will be at the conference in October for the annual AWG meeting, but a dedicated alligator symposium would be beneficial for all attendees involved with alligator work, and hopefully attractive especially to researchers that may not normally consider attending a SEAFWA conference.

4. Managing and Restoring Coastal Wetlands for Fish and Wildlife in the Southeastern United States

Type: Open Symposium

Contact: John AndrewNyman, Professor, School of Renewable Natural Resources, Louisiana State University, jnyman@lsu.edu

Co-Organizers: Jim Anderson, Clemson University, Georgetown, South Carolina; Jena Moon, USFWS, Winnie, Texas; Mark Woodrey, Mississippi State University, Biloxi, Mississippi

Overview:  Our symposium addresses topics that range across scales from seasonal management of individual impoundments to decadal planning for state-wide land acquisition.  Presentations address a variety of habitat management techniques such as water management, prescribed fire, marsh creation, living shorelines, control of invasive species, oyster reef restoration, etc.  Presentations also include the natural history information of focal wildlife and fish species that managers use when managing communities ranging from temperate tidal freshwater swamps to tropical mangroves. 

We believe that SEAFWA is an ideal venue for this symposium because, excluding Alaska, the 15 states and two territories that make up SEAFWA contain ~ 83% of U.S. coastal wetlands.  Furthermore, wildlife biologists began determining which plant species provided food and cover for ducks and geese and then how to manage coastal wetlands to promote those plants over 100 years ago.  Within decades, that knowledge was the basis for managing water levels, water salinity, fire, and land acquisition on the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts. By the end of the 1900s, that knowledge was also being used to improve habitat for wading birds, shore birds and other species, and in efforts to combat coastal wetland loss.  Today, wildlife biologists are facing new challenges as they begin to determine which plant species are best at offsetting subsidence and sea level rise, and how to manage coastal wetlands to improve elevation while also improving wildlife habitat with dredged material. 

5. Revitalizing Conservation: R3 Strategies for the Southeast

Type: Open Symposium

Contact: Audrey Hawk, Education & Outreach Coordinator GA/FL, R3 Coordinator GA/FL, Quail Forever, ahawk@quailforever.org

Co-Organizers: Breanna Bashford- Georgia Wildlife Federation, R3 Coordinator

Overview:  This symposium will discuss the crucial aspects of the Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation (R3) initiative in the Southeastern United States. While participation in shooting sports and angling is steadily increasing, hunting is still facing declining rates of involvement. Session will explore innovative strategies to diversify and broaden participation. We will consider methods of scaling our efforts of connecting participants with these essential activities. Additionally, this symposium aims to provide case studies on innovative efforts to build community; employ marketing techniques; and expand access to essential equipment, resources, and education. By sharing our learned experiences, we strive to secure the future of conservation.

6. SECAS Symposium: Building the Southeast Landscape of the Future Together

Type: Invite Only

Contact: Amanda Sesser, Fish and Wildlife Administrator, USFWS, amanda_sesser@fws.gov

Co-Organizers: Amanda Sesser, SECAS Coordinator and US Fish and Wildlife Service, New Orleans, LA; Daniel McInnis, US Forest Service, Atlanta, GA; Mallory Martin, Conservation Consultant, Linville, NC; Todd Jones-Farrand, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Columbia, MO; Deborah McGlothlin, US Forest Service, Flagstaff, AZ; Stephanie Laseter, US Forest Service, Asheville, NC; Shannon Westlake, US Forest Service, Lexington, KY; Katherine Smith, USGS Climate Adaptation Science Center, Asheville, NC

Overview:  The Southeast Landscape of the Future Summit was held February 27-29, 2024, under the theme of “Building the Southeast Landscape of the Future.” The Summit was an opportunity for state, federal, Tribal, and other leaders in natural resource conservation to come together to define a shared vision for the Southeast landscape of the future. The Summit was designed to deepen relationships with new and existing peer leadership communities, gain perspectives on critical conservation issues facing the Southeast, and discover where participant priorities intersect across boundaries. Understanding that today’s actions will contribute to the landscape one hundred years from now, attendees were asked to contemplate a strategic approach emphasizing broader and deeper collaboration to achieve the desired future. Concluding discussions focused on immediate and long-term actions needed to continue the collaboration and shape the future landscape.

The SECAS Symposium will build on the recommendations from the Summit: collaboration is essential, action over planning, commitment to adaptability, and the importance of a backbone organization, and equity and inclusion matter. The following activities will take place during the half-day symposium: 

  • Kickoff presentation of SECAS 2024 accomplishments, Summit overview 
  • Panel discussion comprised of SEAFWA Directors, State Foresters, Tribes, and federal agencies will discuss their recommendations for moving forward together. 
  • AFWA Joint Task Force on Landscape Conservation will follow with their recommendations. 
  • Presentation with the results from both the SECAS and Keeping Forests Social Network Analyses will be shared along with recommendations on how to build stronger networks. 
  • Symposium participants in the symposium will break out to discuss the increased need for collaboration and communication across jurisdictions to address complex conservation challenges effectively. Participants will discuss how to build the necessary networks and engage with Indigenous Communities and how to apply adaptive management and continuous learning to navigate uncertainty and evolving landscapes at various scales.

7. Understanding Current Threats to Wildlife Health in the Southeast United States

Type: Invite Only

Contact: Ellen Haynes, SEAFWA Regional Wildlife Health Coordinator, UGA-SCWDS, ellen.haynes@uga.edu

Co-Organizers: Mark Ruder, Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, University of Georgia

Overview:  Wildlife health is a critical component of One Health, which includes human health, animal health, and environmental health. Wildlife health can be measured in multiple ways, including population resilience to challenges and the presence or absence of various pathogens and diseases. There are numerous threats to wildlife health in the Southeast United States that have varying impacts on wildlife populations. These include diseases caused by viruses (e.g., highly pathogenic avian influenza, canine distemper virus, turtle fraservirus), bacteria, fungi (e.g., ophidiomycosis/snake fungal disease, white-nose syndrome), parasites (e.g., mange), and toxicants (e.g., anticoagulant rodenticides). Further, such diseases impact species of greatest conservation need, which are already impacted by factors such as climate change, habitat destruction/fragmentation, and invasive species. This symposium will address the concept of wildlife health and include talks that describe the nature and scope of current threats to wildlife health with the goal of giving wildlife biologists and managers a better understanding of these threats and their potential impacts on wildlife populations.

8. What is Happening in the Caribbean? Accomplishments and next actions after more than one year of a Caribbean Community of Practice

Type: Open Symposium

Contact: Miguel Garcia-Bermudez, Fish and Wildlife Administrator, US Fish and Wildlife Service, miguel_garcia-bermudez@fws.gov

Co-Organizers: 

Overview:  Since its inception in February 2023, the Caribbean Community of Practice (CCoP) has been growing in participants, organizations and most importantly in relevance for its constituents. After the initial selection of the most pressing conservation issues—freshwater availability and climate change, the CCoP has kept meeting and throughout active and collaborative work has supported and help to advance the discussion and facilitated moving forward with the required actions. Up to date highlights are updating the Blueprint for the region using additional indicators, identifying specific areas of collaboration for the partners, and providing a consistent forum to dialogue, initiate or strengthening, timely and interdisciplinary response to natural and societal challenges. In addition, current or planned course of action includes, augmenting the social science component to all partners’ conservation initiatives, and to provide technical and scientific support to the work with Conservation Opportunity Areas (COAS) and  Wildlife Action Plans.

Call for PRogram content 

Related Meeting Requests - OPEN!

Related meeting requests are now being accepted for committees and working groups, universities, organizations, agencies, and others interested in holding a meeting or social function in association with the 78th Annual SEAFWA Conference.  Deadline to submit: September 6, 2024. 

About the Scientific Program

The scientific program will consist of three types of sessions:

  • Organized Symposia – A series of integrated presentations that address aspects of a single topic or theme.
  • Contributed Oral Presentations – Individual oral presentations that are grouped into thematic sessions based on selected disciplines: Fisheries; Wildlife; Law Enforcement; Legal; and Marketing/R3/Communications.
  • Poster Presentations – 4’x4’ printed poster showcased as part of the Poster Session on Monday.

Call for Presentation Abstracts - CLOSED!

The Call for Presentation Abstracts for oral (general sessions and symposia) and poster presentations is now closed. Notifications of acceptance will be sent in early August and the schedule will be posted online at that time. Please note that if accepted, all presenters, whether presenting in the general oral or poster session, are required to register and pay the applicable fees. 

Call for Symposia - CLOSED!

Symposia will be included as part of the technical program and will run concurrently with other technical sessions. All technical presentations within a special symposium, including those that have been invited, need to submit abstracts through the online call for papers portal (opening mid-May). 

Responsibilities of Symposia Organizers

Organizers are responsible for coordinating with the Program Committee, planning their sessions, selecting instructors/presenters, moderating their sessions, and meeting all deadlines. SEAFWA does not pay registration fees, travel expenses, or honoraria for symposium organizers or presenters. All organizers and invited speakers are required to register for the conference and pay applicable fees.

Important Dates

  • Call for Symposia: Open March 14 to April 29
  • Call for Abstracts for oral presentations and posters: Opens May 13
  • Deadline to submit all abstracts (individual speakers within a symposium, general oral, and posters): July 12
  • Please submit an abstract only if you plan to attend the meeting. All presenters, whether presenting in a symposium, oral, or poster session, are required to register and pay the applicable fees.
  • Accepting related meeting requests: June 3 to September 6

Click here for details on peer-reviewed manuscripts

Sponsor & Exhibitor Opportunities

On behalf of the Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA), we invite you to participate as a sponsor or exhibitor! The 2024 Annual Meeting will be held October 12 - 16, 2024 at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center in Augusta, Georgia. We hope you will be able to join us!

Download the Sponsor Registration Brochure

Register Online to Participate

About the Conference

The Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is a forum for the exchange of ideas and critical information regarding the management and protection of fish and wildlife resources primarily in the southeast. The conference attracts over 500 representatives from state and federal agencies, citizen’s organizations, universities, and private wildlife research groups, fisheries and wildlife scientists, agency enforcement personnel, and other natural resource-related organizations. 

Questions About Exhibiting or Sponsoring? 

Contact Karen Forbes at (802) 865-5202 or karen@delaneymeetingevent.com.