Expand your horizons with the monthly Conservation Café series. We will discuss science, nature, policy, journalism, art, spirituality, justice, and so much more as we explore all the ways that people work towards conservation and environmental protection. Meet and learn from inspiring speakers and ask them questions live.
Click the link for each event below to see more information and register. Cafés are held Jan – June and Sep – Nov. All programs run via Zoom, 7-8:30 pm.
Registration fees ($5-15) go to support our Nature Forward Conservation Program! Registrants will receive a link to the recording within a few days of the talk; it will later be made available on this page to the public.
Do you get Nature Forward action alerts? Ever wondered what goes into them – how we decide on
Do you get Nature Forward action alerts? Ever wondered what goes into them – how we decide on what to work on, how we strategize what to say and who to say it to, which partners we work with, and how often we’re successful in the short- and long-term? Want to know the nuts and bolts of how we protect nature for people and wildlife in local and regional policy arenas? Just excited to hear silly stories of getting lost in statehouses and county government buildings?
Join the Nature Forward Advocacy team for an in-depth dive into how we do our work. You’ll hear about how we align our work with our Conservation Priorities, successes, challenges and ways to get involved in DC, Maryland and Virginia. Our work is built on personal relationships, coalitions, deep knowledge, and the ability to prioritize and act. We lean on volunteers and partners for help, and on our members and funders for support. Sometimes we get to do quick actions with quick results – like joining the campaign to prevent NASA from selling 400 acres of undeveloped land in Prince George’s County. Other times we spend a year or more on a campaign that ends up successful – like passing improvements to Montgomery County’s Forest Conservation Law! – or unsuccessful.
This will be our first in-person Conservation Cafe since 2020. It will not be livestreamed. Please join us at Woodend Sanctuary for this exciting event!
Renee Grebe is the Northern Virginia Conservation Advocate for Nature Forward, leading efforts in Northern Virginia to protect watersheds and to respond to the climate emergency. Renee serves on Fairfax County’s Environmental Quality Advisory Council, is trained as a Master Naturalist and loves working with community partners to help grow and foster local environmental champions of any age.
Jamoni Overby is the DC Conservation Advocate for Nature Forward. Jamoni uses her background in policy, project management and community engagement to focus on issues surrounding clean water, electrification, environmental justice, and equity. Jamoni has been with Nature Forward since October 2021 partnering with several DC environmental organizations to spearhead and continue the legacy of programs that increase access to nature while addressing the climate crisis and its impact on disenfranchised communities.
Denisse Guitarra (She/Ella) is the Maryland Conservation Advocate at Nature Forward. She advocates for environmental policies centered around climate change, environmental justice, and sustainable land use. She is currently leading advocacy campaigns on local forest conservation, transportation, climate change and sustainable land use. Denisse has led the community outreach and engagement programs at Long Branch in Silver Spring, MD. She holds a Bachelor’s in Biology from Hood College and a Master’s in Biodiversity, Wildlife and Ecosystem Health from the University of Edinburgh.
Eliza Cava is the Director of Conservation at Nature Forward. She leads Nature Forward’s policy, advocacy, and community outreach work, and supervises our water quality monitoring and other community science programs. She co-leads internal Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility work and is co-Chair of the Naturally Latinos Conference. She studied at Swarthmore College and the Yale School of the Environment, and is a Senior Fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program’s Chesapeake Regional Network. She serves on the Steering Committee of the Choose Clean Water Coalition.
Join Brian Evans, PhD, in person at Woodend Nature Sanctuary for an in-depth look at the National Zoo’s
Join Brian Evans, PhD, in person at Woodend Nature Sanctuary for an in-depth look at the National Zoo’s newly rebuilt Bird House. Brian will share about his research on bird population ecology and discuss his work as an educator developing a bird banding demonstration program and community science projects at the Zoo. But most of all, he will tell us all about the new Bird House! Just reopened in March after 6 years of renovation, the new Bird House is dedicated to the full-annual cycle of migratory birds and lets visitors walk through three aviaries full of 60 species of free-flighted birds from North and South America. New interpretive panels in English and Spanish, and a kid-friendly Washington Wood Thrush guide, help visitors learn about the birds, their natural habitats, and their conservation statuses. Brian was integral to the effort to renovate this historic exhibit, and is eager to re-introduce it to the public in its new form and discuss the caretaking, scientific, and educational choices made in its design. Check out his talk, and then be sure you visit the exhibit at the Zoo this year!
This will be our second in-person Conservation Cafe since 2020. It will not be livestreamed. Please join us at Woodend Sanctuary for this exciting event!
Dr. Brian Evans is a quantitative ecologist, data scientist, ornithologist, and educator at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Migratory Bird Center (SMBC). His research explores the influence of urban environments and other human-managed landscapes on bird populations and communities. He integrates traditional field methods, tracking technology, remotely sensed data, and community science to evaluate these systems. He is also the research coordinator and project lead of SMBC’s Bird Observatory, a joint research and outreach center located at the National Zoo’s Bird House. As an educator, Dr. Evans develops and implements courses and workshops on data science and ecology for students of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. His training programs are especially aimed at sharing open-source technology with students from underserved communities.