Restoration News Midwest Blog

Highlights of the 2019 SER MWGL Annual Meeting in Pella, Iowa

Posted on 30th Apr 2019

The chilly spring weather did not deter hardy conference goers from attend the Saturday morning field trip to learn about prairie restoration research conducted by students at Central College in Pella, Iowa as part of the Prairies for Agriculture Project.  Russell Benedict (far right) speaking to the meeting host plenary attendees during a “Posters in the Prairie” field trip.  Benedict is professor of biology at Central College and Director of the Prairies for Agriculture Project which put on the Posters in the Prairie field trip.

Cultivating Innovative Restoration Connections in the Midwest

Over 200 restoration ecologists attended the 11th Annual Scientific Meeting of the SER Midwest Great Lakes Chapter April 12-14, 2019 at Central College in Pella, Iowa.  The theme of the meeting was Cultivating Innovative Restoration Connections in the Midwest.  The meeting was highlighted by oral and poster presentations, workshops and symposia on Friday and Saturday and field trips on Sunday.

The Keynote address on Saturday was by Laura Jackson, director of the Tallgrass Prairie Center at Northern Iowa University in Cedar Falls, Iowa who spoke on “Ecological Restoration and Rapid Anthropogenic Change:  The Tallgrass Prairie of the Future.

Professor Paulina A. Mena of Central College presented her research on which prairie plants provided the greatest number and diversity native bees during “Posters on the Prairie.  Posters on the Prairie was literally an open air poster session with 10 posters arranged through the Prairies for Agriculture research site.

Workshops

The annual scientific meeting kicked off on Friday morning with a workshop (taught by Professor Paulina Mena) on identifying native bees found within the midwest.  That was followed by two workshops, one about on-farm pollinator habitat restoration and the second on ways to employ innovative quality assurance strategies in ecological restoration.

Symposia

Four symposia were conducted on Friday afternoon.  These included sessions on innovative science communication to build connections in restorations; working lands: an innovative framework to expand and improve ecological restoration; overcoming barriers to ecological restoration on farms; and incorporating fire research into land management and restoration in the midwest.

Concurrent Oral Presentations

Friday afternoon concluded with four concurrent oral presentation sessions (14) and a poster session/reception with 29 posters.

 

Saturday

Saturday included the morning field trip to see the Prairies for Agriculture research project and the afternoon was devoted to 13 more concurrent oral presentations; lunch and the awards ceremony; and the pollinator habitat restoration plenary session; and then concluded with the post-meeting social at the Peanut Cellar Pub in downtown Pella.

 

Sunday Field Trips

Greenhouse and plant production facilities at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge.

Four field trips were schedule for Sunday morning and afternoon.  These included morning jaunts to the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge. near Prairie City, Iowa and to the DeCook Bison Ranch.  Afternoon field trips included trips to the Synder Heritage Farm and to the STRIPS Project Site.

Karen Viste (far left, back to camera) biologist at Neal Smith NWR led participants on a tour of Neal Smith on a blustery spring day.  Here, field trippers were pausing in the bison enclosure to learn about how Neal Smith NWR manages its bison herd.

Thanks

Thanks for the success of the annual scientific meeting goes to many people but first and foremost to Rocky Smiley, at-large board member and chair of the annual meeting committee.  Rocky did a wonderful job of leading the annual meeting committee and attending to the many details of the meeting.

Also deserving of our thanks is Russell Benedict, biology professor at Central College and local host and his wife Mary for advance planning and for on-site detail and logistical management.

Thanks to Central College for hosting the SER MWGL’s 11th Annual Meeting.

Thanks to all those who attended and to those who make poster and oral presentations or who organized symposia and workshops.

 

Thanks to all of our sponsors and exhibitors.

MEETING HOST

CENTRAL COLLEGE, PELLA IOWA

 

RUE ANEMONE SPONSOR

TALLGRASS PRAIRIE AND OAK SAVANNA FIRESCIENCE CONSORTIUM

PRAIRIE-TRILLIUM SPONSORS

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTING & TECHNOLOGY, INC.

ERNST SEEDS
PRAIRIE RESTORATIONS, INC.
STANTEC
THE NATURE CONSERVANCY

BLOODROOT SPONSORS

ALLENDAN SEED COMPANY
BLANK PARK ZOO
IOWA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY
IOWA NATURAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION
IOWA PRAIRIE NETWORK
MYCOBLOOM
UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN IOWA TALLGRASS PRAIRIE CENTER
STANLEY CONSULTANTS, INC.


Comments are closed.