Michigan Inland Lakes Partnership


2016 Plenary - Keynote Speakers

David MifsudDavid Mifsud - Owner, Herpetological Resource and Management

Why are Inland Lakes Important to Amphibians and Reptiles? And Who Should Care?

Amphibians and reptiles are recognized as key bioindicators of water quality and overall ecosystem health. Their presence and abundance on the landscape helps us gauge the health of our ecosystems and our local environments.  Inland lakes run a range from high impacted to near pristine condition and the species that occur within them vary as well. We will discuss the range of species that occur in these habitats, why they are important to aquatic ecosystems, some unique adaptation species have made to living in lakes, and ways to help protect and preserve these habitats.

About David: David A. Mifsud is a Certified Wildlife Biologist, Certified Professional Ecologist, and a Professional Wetland Scientist.  He has been working for 20 years in wildlife biology, wetland ecology, and habitat conservation and management with expertise in Michigan amphibians and reptiles. David has spent his career advocating for the conservation and best management of amphibians and reptiles in Michigan. Mifsud is the author of the Amphibian & Reptile Best Management Practices for Michigan. He is the Co-Chair of the State of Michigan Amphibian and Reptile Technical Advisory Board and administer of the Michigan Herpetological Atlas. David also serves as an expert on Great Lakes Turtles for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group and is also active in global turtle and tortoises conservation. Recently, David was invited to co-author of the upcoming revised edition of Amphibians and reptiles of the Great Lakes Region with his friend and mentor Jim Harding.

Presentation: Why are Inland Lakes Important to Amphibians and Reptiles? And Who Should Care? - David Mifsud


Rebecca WilliamsRebecca Williams - Reporter and Producer, Michigan Radio

What’s Under a Rock is Interesting, But Why Do We Care?

When you’re excited about science, it’s easy to get frustrated when others don’t share your understanding or enthusiasm. So how can you reach people who might not share your passion? In radio, we only have a few seconds to capture a listener’s attention and try to hook them into a story. We’ll talk about ways to communicate science that won’t put people to sleep.

About Rebecca: Rebecca Williams is a senior reporter and producer at Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor and the host of The Environment Report. She has a degree in resource ecology and management from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources & Environment, where she had close encounters with escaped boars and poison sumac. Before getting into radio, Rebecca snapped photos of Mongolian diatoms and published a few papers in obscure scientific journals.

Presentation: What’s Under a Rock is Interesting, but Why Do We Care?  - Rebecca Williams (downloadable Power Point file with clickable multimedia links)