The Waterbird Society Annual Meeting 2023


All workshops will be held from 1:00pm to 5:00pm on Wednesday, October 11th. To sign up for a workshop, please register under the "Registration" page by purchasing a ticket for the desired workshop. All workshops are free with registration of at least one day and have a maximum attendance of 25 participants. 

Quantitative Necropsy 

This workshop will help you to become familiar with the basic internal and external anatomy of waterbirds so that you can participate in collaborative efforts that will not only further your skills in the field and laboratory, but will also enhance your abilities to obtain the most comprehensive understanding of the internal maladies that your populations might be encountering. You will also receive modifiable files that you will use as datasheets, reminders of the process flow, and supplies lists and contacts for putting together easily packable kits for field deployment. All participants will have the opportunity to perform all or part of quantitative necropsy with previously-frozen specimens.

Instructor: Dr. Kate Sheehan, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Frostburg State University. PhD in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology, Clemson University. Performing avian necropsies since 2010.

The Use of Drones and UAVs in Waterbird Research and Conservation 

This workshop will cover the basics of different types of drones and UAVs and the applications for their use in waterbird research and conservation. It will also cover information on license and registration requirements, programs that can be used to aid with analyzing data collected and examples of how drones have been used to study wildlife. This workshop with have an outdoor hands-on component.

Instructor: Andrew Alloco,  Andy is a UAS Hands-on flight trainer and Part 107 License Instructor as well as an FAA commercial helicopter and airplane pilot and an FAA part107 remote pilot (UAV/UAS/Drone). He has 30+ years of experience building and flying remote controlled airplanes, helicopters, and gliders. Andy is a USAF Auxiliary Search and Rescue Pilot, and the former UAS Program Manager for Civil Air Patrol's Florida Wing.  Andy is also the founder of Birddog Drones, Inc., a licensed FAA drone services provider and consultant which has worked with numerous other public agencies and private corporations in developing their UAS programs, policies, and in-house training and operations curricula. Andy is currently the UAS/Drone Program Coordinator for the South Florida Water Management District.

An introduction to passive acoustic monitoring (ARU) and acoustic data analysis

Before participating in person at the WBS meeting, we highly recommend you view the following virtual workshop:

This workshop will introduce the field of passive acoustic monitoring. We will briefly discuss equipment, survey design, data management and data storage. The majority of the workshop will be focused on the analysis of acoustic data, with particular emphasis on implementing machine learning models to find key species, and evaluating the performance of these models.  You can find additional workshop resources at: 

Instructors: Laurel Symes and Larissa Sugai: Laurel is the Assistant Director at the K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics. She is a community ecologist with experience in passive acoustic monitoring in temperate and tropical terrestrial environments. Her research spans frogs, bats, insects and birds. 

Larissa co-leads training programs in passive acoustic monitoring for ecology and conservation at the Yang Center. In research, she is interested in understanding what shapes ecological assemblages in space and time, with frogs being the adopted (but not exclusive) model organism.

R Statistical Software - Data manipulation, exploration, and visualization made easy: the tidyverse packages

Reproducible data practices are not only important to ensure our science is rigorous – they also make our life easier and save us time. Tired of spending hours processing, reshaping, and manipulating data by hand in Excel? This workshop is for you! Using the tidyverse packages in R, you will learn how to write code to automatically process and manipulate your data and to produce beautiful, reproducible visualizations and graphs. Participants will need to install R and RStudio prior to the workshop. Follow the installation instructions here (sections 0.1.4 and 0.1.5): Email with any questions.

Instructor: Simona Picardi, Assistant Professor, Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences, College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho

Dr. Simona Picardi is a quantitative ecologist with years of experience teaching programming to ecologists at all level – from undergraduate students to professionals. She is a certified instructor with The Carpentries, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote informatics literacy among researchers worldwide. She developed and teaches a graduate-level course titled "Reproducible Data Science", which teaches students how to manage data reproducibly throughout their life cycle – from collection to publication and dissemination. The materials for this course are publicly available online at

533 hits