The Texas Society for Ecological Restoration 26th Annual Conference will take place October 12-14, 2023 in El Paso, TX. All general and concurrent sessions will take place at the El Paso Convention Center on Friday, October 13th. The awards banquet that evening will be held at Alcantar Sky Garden. Off-site field trip and workday options will take place on Thursday afternoon and Saturday morning. A welcome session will be held on Thursday evening at Ardovinos Desert Crossing. Lodging will be available at the Paso del Norte Hotel (use link to book). Budget friendly lodging is available at The Gardner Hotel and Hostel.
For more information on attending and/or participating in the conference please email email@example.com.
In addition to our keynote address, this year’s conference will include concurrent sessions with presentations on research and practice from around the state.
Call for Abstracts
Abstract Submission Deadline – Friday, September 15th
We invite submissions for oral and poster presentations on any topic related to the practice, study, or policy of ecological restoration, management, or conservation in Texas and beyond. We especially encourage submissions related to the conference theme, Restoration Across Borders. We welcome submissions from scientists, practitioners, students, landowners, and policy makers. Submission Form linked here. Please follow all instructions for submission, including formatting, and submit in the fillable form.
Janaé Reneaud Field was raised in the rural community of Carland Michigan. She earned a bachelor of science degree in Wildlife Biology from Michigan State University and then a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in land conservation from Eastern Michigan University. Janaé was the executive director at the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust (Seguin, Texas) until 2011 when she moved to El Paso. Previously, she had served four years as the development and grants manager of the Washtenaw Land Trust in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She has worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife at the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and has also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bulgaria. Today, she manages The Frontera Land Alliance which includes over 1,400 acres of land in the City of El Paso, Frontera has become the lead for the Castner Range National Monument Community Coalition (Friends Group) with other partners and has a growing nature education program from stewardship to art.
Please be sure to check every selection you wish to attend during the checkout process (including field trips and the NERD talk)! The banquet dinner is included in all full conference registration tickets. The field trips and Welcome Session are add-ons.
We highly recommend becoming a SER and TXSER member if you aren’t already – doing so will grant you a $100 discount on regular registration costs (see table below)! To receive the member discount, make sure that you are logged in to your SER member account. If you forgot your login info or have any problems with your membership, please contact SER directly, as TXSER cannot troubleshoot these issues.
Regular conference registration includes all general and breakout sessions on Friday and the awards banquet on Friday evening. Breakfast and dinner on Friday are provided. We will have an extended lunch break for attendees to enjoy downtown El Paso (recommended restaurant list will be provided). If you wish to attend the Welcome Session on Thursday night, be sure to add a ticket at the time of registration. If you’d like to bring a guest to the Friday night Awards Banquet you may purchase a ticket through the registration.
**Student conference registration includes everything in the regular conference registration, plus entry to the Thursday Welcome Happy Hour and Poster Presentation. If you need financial assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information**
Thursday, October 12th
9am-11am : Knapp Nature Land Preserve Trail Presented by Frontera Land Alliance. About Knapp Land Nature Preserve: The Knapp Land is located in the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas in the northern portion of the Chihuahuan Desert. The 353 acres are fully a part of the Franklin Mountains, a tilted fault-block mountain range composed of mainly sedimentary rock with some igneous intrusions. The flora and fauna on the Knapp Land are representative of species found in similar elevations and substrates throughout the Franklin Mountains. Creosote bush, sotol, prickly pear, and lechuguilla are among the most widespread plants on the land. The canyon slopes harbor scrub oaks and acacias. Within the flow paths are communities dominated by desert willow and Apache plume. Water in the arroyos flows westward, towards the Hueco Bolson. The property has a number of areas where the land has been highly modified with flood control dams and basins, a rock quarry, dirt roads, and power lines. There are also remnants of some buildings and foundations. Native and non-native vegetation is slowly reclaiming many of these disturbed areas.
Viridiana Orona is the Education Manager at Frontera Land Alliance. She grew up in the El Paso/Juarez border region and obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental science from The University of Texas at El Paso. During her academic journey, she conducted research on aquatic insects and water quality as an undergraduate research assistant. Her master’s studies focused on dryland soil carbon dynamics. Viridiana also gained experience in environmental consulting and worked as a biological science technician at Saguaro National Park, conducting research on saguaro flowering and hummingbird nectar preferences. These experiences enhanced her knowledge of desert ecosystems.
12pm-2pm : Rio Bosque Wetlands Park Rio Bosque Wetlands Park is a 372-acre city-owned park next to the Rio Grande in El Paso. Since 1997, it has been the site of a project to restore native river-valley ecosystems. Central to this project was reconstruction of a former bend of the Rio Grande that was cut off with channelization of the river in the 1930s. On a hike along the former river bend, trip participants will learn about historic environmental conditions in the river valley, the history of the restoration project, restoration work that has taken place at the site, and the challenges the project faces going forward.
Park Manager John Sproul and Assistant Manager Sergio Samaniego, both with the Center for Environmental Resource Management at the University of Texas at El Paso, will be the trip leaders. SER member John Sproul has been guiding the restoration work at Rio Bosque Wetlands Park for 25 years. Sergio Samaniego has 3 years of experience at the park.
3-5pm : The Chihuahuan Desert Gardens Established in 1999 with a mission to educate visitors about the flora of the Chihuahuan Desert and adjacent regions. The Gardens are designed to show the attractiveness of native desert plants for landscaping, demonstrate landscaping techniques that conserve water in this desert region, and serve as a resource for both formal and informal botanical and environmental teaching. With more than 600 species of plants that are native or adapted to the Chihuahuan Desert, visitors can see the plants in their native setting. The Chihuahuan Desert Gardens are visited by thousands of people each year, including international visitors and school children from the region.
Dr. Kevin Floyd is the Botanical Curator at the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens at UTEP. He studies the native bee communities in the El Paso region, and which plants best support pollinators. Kevin promotes the use of native plants in landscapes to provide habitat and food for all types of wildlife.
Saturday, October 14th
9am-11am : (notorious) Ecological Restoration Discussions or (n)ERD Presented by Kevin Thuesen. Your education should not end with a diploma. Come join us for a discussion about the attached peer reviewed article and learn how this could help your home group continue their education. This is a solid practice that you should consider for your home group to stay up to date with the latest science and help avoid group think/confirmation bias. It can also help bring together your local peers in ecological restoration and help develop ties between government, consultants, NGOs and academics. Come give it a spin and then consider pulling this practice together at your own location. This article is a good fit for the conference as it covers a range of statewide ecosystems and works to try and unify the relationship between vegetation and water across ecosystems.
1pm – 3pm : Organ Mountains Field Trip The Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument reflects our community’s commitment to preserve and study the diverse natural and cultural resources found within its boundaries. Join us for a guided hike to learn about the historic and current native plants, a diverse range of wildlife, and cultural resources.
We’re kicking off the conference with a casual welcome session at Ardovino’s Desert Crossing. Light food and beverages will be provided. If you’re in the beginning stages of your career, come early at 6pm for a discussion with other students/young professionals and consider your future options with representatives from public, private, and academic sectors. See ticketing information for cost and location. Guests are welcome to attend. For individual guest tickets (not attending the conference) click link here.
Join us for our awards banquet ceremony and dinner at the Alcantar Sky Garden. Dinner and drinks will be provided with your registration.
*Refunds All refunds are subject to a $30 processing fee. Please reach out to email@example.com for more information.
Thanks to our generous sponsors for supporting our past conferences! Interested in becoming a partner? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.