The SHIFT Summit: Nature

On Thursday, Oct. 9, The SHIFT Summit continues with a focus on Nature: the natural environment.

No communities in North America are better positioned to understand the fragility of the balance between the built environment and the natural environment then GEMS—and to advocate ways to maintain it. This session explores the natural environment from three perspectives: how to balance economic, community and environmental priorities; how to engage the next generation of stewards in modern conservation; and how to fund conservation.

Tickets for the Nature Program of the SHIFT Summit are available here.

Complementary transportation will be provided from the town of Jackson to the National Museum of Wildlife Art and back per the following schedule:

8:00 a.m.: Pick-up at the Ride2Fly stop (located at the parking lot garage on Simpson Street, between Millward and Glenwood streets: 180 W Simpson Ave, Jackson, WY 83001; 43.477516, -110.764619)
8:15 a.m.: Drop-off at the Museum
6:35 p.m.: Pick-up at the Museum
6:45 p.m.: Drop-off at the Ride2Fly stop

Nature | Thursday October 9

8:30 AM: Opening Remarks

Scott Ferguson, Executive Director, Teton Science Schools (Jackson, WY)

  • Introduction
  • Overview of the SHIFT Sustainability Awards
  • Review of previous day’s discussion and outcomes
  • Reminder of format and purpose for the day

Location: Auditorium

8:45: The Future of Conservation Philanthropy

Panel Moderator: Scott Ferguson, Executive Director, Teton Science Schools (Jackson, WY)

Location: Auditorium

9:45: Coffee Break

10:00: The Last Child in the Woods: Reconnecting Kids and Nature
Panel moderator: Randy Luskey, City Kids

Location: Auditorium

11:00: Wild Living: The Human/Wild Interface

Panel moderator: Maggie Schilling, Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative (Jackson, WY)

Location: Auditorium

12:00 PM: Lunch

Lunch is available for purchase at the Rising Sage Café.

National Museum of Wildlife Art

1:00: Finding the Balance: Community and Environment in North American GEMS

Panel moderator: Doug Wachob, Teton Science Schools

Location: Auditorium

2:00: Building in Harm’s Way
Panel moderator: Kevin Krasnow, Teton Science Schools

Location: Auditorium

3:00: Coffee break

3:30: Breakout Group

Participants will divide into small groups organized around the themes of:

  • Funding conservation
  • Balancing economic development with the environment
  • Communities and nature
  • Youth engagement

Each breakout group will further refine the best practices and specific actions for a roadmap to sustainable communities.

Locations: Auditorium

4:30: Report Back

Each group shares their refined best practices and actions. This includes a quick summary of the groups conversation and recommendations for “best practices” for GEMS in North America. After presentations audience will be provided an opportunity for Q&A and additional discussion

Location: Auditorium

5:00: Facilitated Discussion

Synthesizes the proceedings of the day and allows for participant feedback to give the day’s deliverables structure. Final refinement and sign off on best practices for presentation at Friday’s plenary session.

Location: Auditorium

5:30: Adjourn

Mix’d Media with Asher Jay starts at 6:00 pm in the Museum’s Johnston Hall


Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley, Canmore, Alberta, Canada. The Biosphere Institute is a non-profit charitable society dedicated to ensuring the ecological integrity of the Bow Valley for the well-being of the ecosystem and those who live there, through education, research and outreach.  It promotes sustainable communities and environmental stewardship with its outreach programs engaging youth, residents and visitors, and local businesses. Its Public Resource Centre hosts wildlife and sustainable community displays, and a library focused on the ecology of the Bow Valley.

Island Institute, Rockland, ME. The Island Institute works to sustain Maine’s island and remote coastal communities. Our core program areas—including economic development, education, community energy, marine resources, and media—are driven by the requests of community members themselves. Our core commitment to the islands of Maine includes sharing what works among these diverse communities and beyond.

Friends of the Dillon Ranger District, Frisco, CO. Friends of the Dillon Ranger District promotes stewardship of the White River National Forest in Summit County through partnerships, volunteer service, education, and support.

Mountain Studies Institute, Silverton, CO.  The Mountain Studies Institute develops science that people can use to address environmental issues facing the San Juan Mountains.

Nantucket Land Council, Nantucket, MA. The Nantucket Land Council is a watch-dog environmental group which holds conservation restrictions, commissions scientific research, monitors development, engages in legal proceedings, and educates the public on local environmental issues.

Niparaja, La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Our mission is to perpetuate the natural assets that distinguish Baja California Sur, as a result of actions by consensus and with scientific basis, for the benefit of local communities, and present and future generations.

Reef Relief, Key West, FL. Reef Relief is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving and protecting our coral reef ecosystem. We focus on rigorous science to educate the public & advocate policymakers to achieve conservation, protection, and restoration of coral reefs.

Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary, McCall, ID. The Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary’s mission is to rehabilitate and return injured and orphaned wildlife to the wild and to educate the public to appreciate wildlife and minimize conflicts with humans.

Town of Estes Park’s Estes Valley Bear Education Task Force, Estes Park, CO. The mission of the Bear Education Task Force is to create a better environment for bears and other wildlife, to preserve watchable wildlife in the Estes Valley, and to promote public safety.

Uncompahgre Plateau Collaborative Restoration Project, Telluride, CO. The mission of the UP is to develop a collaborative approach to improve the ecosystem health of the landscape, using best available science, community input and adaptive management.

WildSmart, Canmore, Alberta, Canada. The WildSmart program is a proactive conservation strategy that encourages efforts by communities to reduce negative human – wildlife interactions.


Rocket Fuel