The 11th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Midwest Great Lakes Chapter of SER is now just a few days away.

The Eleventh Annual Chapter Meeting of the Midwest-Great Lakes Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration will be held at Central College in Pella, Iowa from April 12 to April 14, 2019. This year’s meeting theme is Cultivating Innovative Restoration Connections in the Midwest. Our primary meeting goal is to explore how to foster the development of innovative restoration connections ecologically, culturally, and professionally to enable the field of ecological restoration to meet future challenges.

New!  2019 Meeting Program and Abstract Book Now Available

The Meeting Program containing the detailed meeting schedule, the presentation schedules, and a campus map with parking information can be viewed at:2019MeetingProgram   The abstract book with the abstracts from all presentations at the meeting can be viewed at: 2019SERMWGLAbstractBook.

Online Registration Available Until April 7, 2019!

Online registration for the 2019 SER MWGL Annual Chapter Meeting is now open and will be available until 4/7/2019.  We encourage everyone to register early to take advantage of early bird discounted meeting registration rates.   One does not need to be a member of the SER MWGL Chapter to attend the meeting, but chapter members receive discounted registration rates.   Click on this link: Final2019MWGLSERmeetflyerFULL  to view an overview of the meeting agenda, the preliminary schedule, registration rates, workshop abstracts, field trip summaries, and lodging information.

Click here to register online for the meeting.  If you are a SER MWGL Chapter member then you can sign in with your SER login and register for the meeting.  If you are not an SER MWGL Chapter member you can “continue as a guest” and register as a guest.

Here are some preliminary program highlights.

Eleventh Annual Chapter Meeting

April 12 to 14, 2019

Central College, Pella, Iowa

 

Please join us for the eleventh annual meeting of the SER Midwest-Great Lakes Chapter.  Our goal for the meeting is to explore how to foster the development of innovative restoration connections ecologically, culturally, and professionally to enable the field of restoration to meet future challenges.  Our three day meeting will include:

 

  • Keynote Presentationby Laura Jackson (University of Northern Iowa’s Tallgrass Prairie Center). Recruiting New Allies to Restore the Tallgrass Prairie Ecosystem.

 

  • Plenary Session onPollinator Habitat Restoration at Multiple Spatial Scales. Sarah Foltz Jordan (Xerces Society), Seana Godbold (Iowa Department of Transportation), and Dana Kellogg (Linn County Conservation) will share their thoughts on pollinator habitat restoration in the Midwest at spatial scales ranging from regionally across the Midwestern United States to locally within Iowa.

 

  • Meeting Host Plenary Session onSmall College – Big Project: The First Seven Years of the Prairies For Agriculture Project. Faculty, alumni, and students involved in Central College’s Prairies For Agriculture Project will give a “Posters in the Prairie” session describing results of research conducted during the first seven years of this long-term project. Topics to be discussed include mowing, droughts, bees, plant bullies, Monarch butterflies, and more.

 

  • Choice of one of four symposia: 1) Overcoming barriers to ecological restoration on farms for soil, water, and wildlife in the upper Midwest; 2) Incorporating fire research into land management and restoration work across the Midwest; 3) Innovative science communication to build connections in restorations; 4) Working lands: innovative framework to expand and improve ecological restoration in the Midwest

 

  • Choice of one of three workshops: 1) On-farm pollinator habitat restoration using organic site preparation methods; 2) Employing innovative quality assurance strategies in ecological restoration – a workshop on best practices in conducting quality control field checks during restoration monitoring; and 3) Introduction to  identification of bees found within the Midwest.

 

  • 56 Contributed Oral and Poster Presentations: We currently have presenters from 12 states (Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Virginia) and Canada who will share their experiences involving prairie, forest, savanna, stream, wetland, and lake restoration.  Presentation topics include invasive species control, use of prescribed fire, evaluating restoration techniques, overviews of restoration designs, and more!

 

  • Choice of two of four field trips: 1) Prairie and Savana restoration at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge; 2) Restoration at the DeCook Bison Ranch; 3) 25 Years of Oak Savanna Restoration at the Snyder Heritage Farm; and 4) Marshall County Conservation Board Prairie STRIPS project site.

 

  • Social Events: Several social events are scheduled that include a student social on Thursday evening, a sponsorship reception on Friday, lunch on Friday and Saturday, breakfast on Saturday, and a no-host social on Saturday

 

Meeting updates will be periodically posted on our social media accounts and our Chapter website (http://chapter.ser.org/midwestgreatlakes/current-meeting/).  We encourage everyone to join us to learn about recent research findings, novel restoration techniques, and the chance to socialize with your colleagues.

REGISTRATION INFORMATION

 We encourage everyone to register early to receive Early Bird registrationprices and the deadline for receiving these rates isMarch 18, 2019.   Those who register from March 19, 2019 to April 7, 2019are eligible for Regular Registrationprices.  After April 7, 2019 the only registration option is On-site Registration.  Note: we cannot guarantee that we will be able to provide on-site registrants with tickets for the sponsorship reception, Friday and Saturday lunch, and transportation for the Meeting Host Plenary Session and Tour so we encourage you to purchase early or regular registration. 

 

Registration costs for Friday and Saturday are by the day and the fee covers payment for all scheduled events and meals that specific day.  There is no additional cost for Sunday’s offsite field trips for those attendees who register for Friday and/or Saturday.

To register go to this link

Registration Type Friday Price Saturday Price Sunday Price
Early Bird Registration – Student Chapter Member $30.00 $30.00 Free to those who register on Friday and/or Saturday
Early Bird Registration – Student Non-Chapter Member $40.00 $40.00 Free to those who register on Friday and/or Saturday
Early Bird Registration – Regular Chapter Member $60.00 $60.00 Free to those who register on Friday and/or Saturday
Early Bird Registration – Regular Non-Chapter Member $80.00 $80.00 Free to those who register on Friday and/or Saturday
 
Regular Registration – Student Chapter Member $35.00 $35.00 Free to those who register on Friday and/or Saturday
Regular Registration – Student Non-Chapter Member $45.00 $45.00 Free to those who register on Friday and/or Saturday
Regular Registration –  Regular Chapter Member $70.00 $70.00 Free to those who register on Friday and/or Saturday
Regular Registration – Regular Non-Chapter Member $90.00 $90.00 Free to those who register on Friday and/or Saturday
 
On-site Registration – Student Chapter Member $40.00 $40.00 Free to those who register on Friday and/or Saturday
On-site Registration – Student Non-Chapter Member $50.00 $50.00 Free to those who register on Friday and/or Saturday
On-site Registration – Regular Chapter Member $80.00 $80.00 Free to those who register on Friday and/or Saturday
On-site Registration – Regular Non-Chapter Member $100.00 $100.00 Free to those who register on Friday and/or Saturday

 

 

FRIDAY WORKSHOP INFORMATION

Foltz Jordan, Sarah*.  On-farm pollinator habitat restoration using organic site preparation methods.  Xerces Society, Duluth, Minnesota.  Email: sarah.foltz-jordan@xerces.org

There is growing interest from both farmers and restorationists in wildflower establishment using organic (herbicide-free) site preparation methods. This workshop will provide an overview of seven organic site prep approaches (solarization, smother cropping, sheet mulching, repeated shallow cultivation, soil inversion, organic herbicides, and sod removal), including our successes and failures from a series of trials across the Midwest, primarily on farmlands. We will also cover a wide variety of exciting on-farm habitat installation optionsfor farmers and conservation planners, including beetle banks, insectary strips, native flowering hedgerows, and more. Strategies for protecting pollinator habitat from pesticide driftwill also be presented, in the form of stories from farmers we have worked with in Minnesota and elsewhere. We will wrap up the workshop with an overview of farm-bill and other relevant programs for pollinator conservation.

 

Fevold, Brick M.1, Craig Palmer1, Adam Bucher1, and Louis Blume2.Employing innovative quality assurance strategies in ecological restoration – a workshop on best practices in conducting quality control field checks during restoration monitoring.1CSRA, a GDIT Company, Alexandria, Virginia, 2U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Chicago, Illinois. Email: brick.fevold@gdit.com; craig.j.palmer@gdit.com; adam.bucher@gdit.com; blume.louis@epa.gov.

 

Have you ever questioned the reliability of your monitoring data? (Be honest!) In ecological restoration projects, reliable data are needed to accurately assess ecosystem conditions, track progress toward stated restoration goals, determine the effectiveness of restoration practices, and provide evidence of restoration success. However, restoration projects often lack sufficient quality control (QC) assessment necessary to estimate uncertainty and facilitate the collection of data of acceptable quality to support sound decision making. In this training session, we will share applied QC strategies for assessing, improving and documenting the quality of ecological data. Participants will be invited to engage with the speakers, and each other, in creative exercises demonstrating the concepts and applications of QC field-check procedures. Quality control field checks are an essential component to any monitoring program and can provide the empirical data necessary to estimate uncertainty and evaluate conformance with established data quality acceptance criteria. Participants will gain an understanding of quality assurance best practices relevant to restoration project monitoring. A compendium of the presentations, exercises, and recommended resources will be made available to all participants. Guidance presented in this training opportunity is based on the results of interagency collaboration and published resources. Funding is provided by the U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

 

Mena, Paulina A.*  Introduction to the identification of bees found within the Midwest.  Central College, Pella, Iowa.  Email: menap@central.edu

 

This workshop will provide participants with an introduction to identifying bees to genus. It will consist of two parts.  The first part of the workshop will consist of a general overview of bee families and highlighting distinguishing characteristics. The second part of the workshop will consist of learning how to identify bees using the MMD genera of North and Central America key. Participants will become familiar with diagnostic characters used in the key.  Participants will be using bees collected in the area therefore it will be particularly useful for those interested in learning how to identify bees found within the Midwestern United States.

 

SYNOPSIS OF SUNDAY OFFSITE FIELD TRIPS

 

Prairie and Savana Restoration at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge Field Trip.  This field trip will provide a guided tour of the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, which is located about 28 miles northwest of Pella, Iowa.   The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been authorized to acquire 8,665 acres of land within the Walnut Creek watershed to reconstruct the tallgrass prairie ecosystem on former farmland. To date about 5,580 acres have been acquired.  The refuge staff’s management methods include prescribed fire, grazing, haying, tree removal, mowing, and invasive species treatment.  Participants will have the opportunity to view prairie and savanna restoration and reconstructions that have been conducted in the past 28 years on this site.  This guided tour will depart from the Central College campus at 8:00 am and will conclude by 11:30 am.  Participants are responsible for their own transportation.  Minimum of 8 participants required and maximum of 25 participants.

 

Restoration at the DeCook Bison Ranch Field Trip.  This field trip will provide a guided tour of the restoration efforts at the DeCook Bison Ranch, which is located about 26 miles south of Pella, Iowa.  The mission of the DeCook Ranch is to protect and restore wild nature and wildness, ecologically and aesthetically, on a profitable working ranch.  The specific management goals for this working ranch include: 1) to provide permanent protection of our wild and natural land from development; 2) protect dark skies and natural quiet; 3) to protect native biodiversity, ecosystems, and ecological land health; and 4) to produce native, healthy food with a perennial year-round natural grazing system.  Participants will have the opportunity to view and learn more about the restoration of ak savannas, wetlands, prairie remnants, prairie reconstructions, and bison that have occurred on the site.  This guided tour will depart from the Central College campus at 8:00 am and will conclude by 11:30 am.  Participants are responsible for their own transportation. Minimum of 8 participants required.

 

Twenty-five Years of Oak Savanna Restoration at the Snyder Heritage Farm Field Trip:  This field trip will provide a guided tour of oak savanna restoration efforts underway at the Synder Heritage Farm.  This working farm has been slowly transitioning from a traditional farm to a beautiful blend of prairie, oak savanna, woodland and wetlands. It is now a 154-acre natural area just north of the Des Moines metropolitan area.  Restoration practices over the past 25 years have included removal of invasive woody vegetation, prescribed fire, and interseeding of native seed. Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation staff will provide participants will discuss the journey of this site’s savanna restoration, lessons learned along the way, and their future restoration goals.  This guided tour will depart from the Central College campus at 12:15 pm and will conclude onsite by 3:30 pm.  Participants are responsible for their own transportation.  Minimum of 8 participants required.

 

Marshall County Conservation Board Prairie STRIPS Project Site Field Trip.   This field trip will provide a guided tour of the STRIPS (Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips) project site in Marshall County, Iowa. The STRIPS project is composed of a team of scientists, educators, farmers, and extension specialists working on the prairie strips farmland conservation practice. Over a decade of research shows that prairie strips are an affordable option for farmers and farm landowners seeking to garner multiple benefits.  This field trip will give attendees the opportunity to walk through first year prairie strips in a central Iowa crop field.  Participants will be able to ask questions and discuss prairie strip management, design, benefits, current research findings, and more. This guided tour will depart from the Central College campus at 12:15 pm and will conclude onsite by 3:30 pm. Participants are responsible for their own transportation.  Minimum of 15 participants required.

 

 

THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS MEETING HOST & SPONSORS

 

MEETING HOST

 Central College, Pella, Iowa

 

RUE ANEMONE

Tallgrass Prairie and Oak Savanna Fire Science 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

MycoBloom

University of Northern Iowa’s Tallgrass Prairie Center

Iowa Prairie Network

Stanley Consultants

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meeting Location and Lodging Information

 

 

The Chapter Meeting is being held on the Central College campus in Pella, Iowa.  Registration will be held in the Graham Banquet Hall within the Graham Conference Center and the physical address for this building is 301 Broadway Street, Pella, Iowa.

 

 

 

Information on Discounted Hotel Block Rates:

 

Country Inn & Suites

Address: 315 Roosevelt Road,, Pella, Iowa 50219

Rates:  $95.00 Standard or Double Queen rooms and 109 for 1 King, Queen Suite and 2) 2 Room King

Deadline for Discounted Rates:  March 11, 2019 or until the block is full

Instructions to Received Discounted Rates:  Call 641-620-1111 and use SER MWGL to get the discounted rates

 

Royal Amsterdam Hotel

Address: 705 East Street, Pella, Iowa 50219

Rates:  $109 for either single or double rooms

Deadline for Discounted Rates:  February 27, 2019 or until the block is full

Instructions to Received Discounted Rates:  Call  641-620-8400 and mention ECOLOG to get the discounted rate

 

Central College On-Campus Housing

Details will be provided at a later date. However, we anticipate that there will be the availability of a limited amount of rooms available from Central College’s on-campus housing.  Once these details are finalized we will share this information via email and on our website.