The Plant Conservation Alliance (PCA) holds Bi-Monthly Meetings that are an open forum for anyone interested or working in plant conservation. Meetings are held every other month in the Washington DC metropolitan area, with an option to join online.
Each meeting features a speaker from the plant conservation community. In addition, there is a roundtable for attendees to share relevant events, as well as updates from each of the PCA working groups and committees. Regular attendees include representatives from the PCA Federal agencies and from Cooperating organizations; however anyone is welcome to attend this meeting.
NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, September 11, 2019, from 2-4pm Eastern. We welcome guest speakers from Pollinator Partnership, who will discuss Pollinator Partnership: Spreading Wings and Seeds Across America.
***This meeting will be held remotely. Stay tuned here for webinar and call-in details to be posted about two weeks before the meeting.***
About the presentation:
Pollinator Partnership’s Monarch Wings Across America began in Ohio in 2015 and has since grown into a 9-state monarch and imperiled pollinator conservation effort. MWAA is currently operating in AR, CA, IL, IN, MI, MO, OH, PA, and WI. Through first an ecoregional approach (Monarch Wings Across the Eastern Broadleaf Forest) followed by state-based boundaries (Project Wingspan), this program has engaged NGO and Federal partners, along with private volunteers, to rapidly increase habitat, native plant materials, and preferred land management practices for pollinators. So far, these collective efforts have impacted over 30,000 acres of pollinator habitat in the target areas. Learn more athttps://www.pollinator.org/monarch/mwaa.
About the speakers:
Kelly Rourke is DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS AND OPERATIONS for Pollinator Partnership. Kelly holds an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Anthropology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She has also received a Master’s of Science in Environmental Management (Ecology Concentration) from the University of San Francisco. Her background in ecology, conservation, and culture has propelled her career in the non-profit sector. Prior to Pollinator Partnership (P2), Kelly worked at another bay area-based environmental non-profit called Conservacion Patagonica (CP). CP’s mission is to establish national parks in Chile and Argentina where there is not only fragile ecosystems, but also, complex cultural and societal struggles. Kelly manages the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC), National Pollinator Week, www.pollinator.org, and P2 grants and scholarships.
Elizzabeth Kaufman’s, passionate interests in native pollinator conservation and habitat restoration led her to join Pollinator Partnership in 2018, serving as PLANT ECOLOGIST. Prior to working with P2, Elizzabeth worked throughout the Midwest, Intermountain West, and Southwest with the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Plant Science Center, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, and in the horticultural arts and sciences specializing in the design of novel ecosystems and the restoration of native eco-scapes. Elizzabeth earned her BA in Human Ecology from Prescott College and MSc in Plant Biology and Conservation from Northwestern University and Chicago Botanic Garden.
Mark your calendars for future PCA meetings that are held the second Wednesday of the month in January, March, May, July, September, and November.
November 14, 2019: Gerry Moore, Botanist, USDA-NRCS, National Plant Data Team
January 8, 2020: Kirk Davies, Rangeland Scientist, USDA-ARS, Range and Meadow Forage Management Research
July 10, 2019 - There was no speaker for this meeting and discussions centered on new efforts to develop a better mechanism for the National Seed Strategy progress-reporting and initial thoughts to revise the National Seed Strategy (post-2020), in addition to forging connections with the UN Decade of Restoration (that will launch in June 2021), updates on the Plant Performance Data Integration Project, and 2020 PCA speaker planning. The Oak Conservation Alliance and the National Academies of Sciences' Assessment of Native Seed Needs and Capacities were announced.
May 21, 2019 - Javier Robayo spoke about Foundacion EcoMinga and the facinating botanical diversity of Ecuador. ABSTRACT: Fundacion EcoMinga (EcoMinga Foundation in English) is an Ecuadorian foundation with international sponsors, dedicated to the conservation of the unique foothill forests, cloud forests, and alpine grasslands (“paramo”) of the Andes, especially those on the edge of the Amazon basin in east-central Ecuador and those on the super-wet western Andean slopes of the Choco region in northwest Ecuador. The foundation was established in Ecuador in 2006, under the statutes and supervision of the Ecuadorian Ministerio del Ambiente.
March 13, 2019 - Chris Martine (Bucknell University) presented Plants are Cool, Too: #SciComm, media relations, and a botanist on Mars. ABSTRACT: Using case studies based on recent attempts to promote new scientific findings through multiple types/tiers of media, this talk will present strategies that any biodiversity professional might employ when hoping to spread the word about (and engage the public in) their research outcomes. While taking on the job of promoting your own work might seem like a daunting (or even painful) task, the payoffs ideally include: a) Increased reads and/or citations; b) Expanding the reach and impact of your work; and d) Building public enthusiasm for biodiversity science/protection/conservation.
November 14, 2018 - the PCA welcomed Doug Tallamy, Mary Phillips, John Rowden, and Judy Venonsky as panelists (Moderated by Casey Sclar) on “Identifying and addressing information gaps in plant databases to support emerging planting design technologies promoting biodiversity and ecological benefits”. ABSTRACT: Technological advancements, including databases, websites, and intuitive parametric design apps, show great promise to assist landscape professionals and home gardeners alike with simplifying the planting design process. However, information gaps need to be addressed in order to optimize the emerging data tools, particularly when it comes to selecting the most useful and available plants to enhance ecosystem services and sustainable design. Much great work has already been achieved through development of the national databases of the Biota of North America Project (BONAP), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) PLANTS, NatureServe, and the Ecoregional Revegetation Application (ERA). This panel discussion will address the current plant databases available to algorithms and applications and what efforts are needed to ensure consistent and vetted data on ecologically beneficial plants is readily accessible to emerging technologies and the general public. See the presentation associated with this meeting here.
September 12, 2018 - Abby Meyer, Executive Director, Botanic Gardens Conservation International U.S., spoke about leveraging the garden community to complement and backup collections within and among institutions to close gaps and secure plant diversity for the future. This talk also discussed implementing The North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Plant Conservation and the ways garden staff can use information available to them to assess gaps and priorities for their own collections. Specific information about time and location of the talk will be posted at the end of August.
March 14, 2018 - Margaret O'Gorman - President of the Wildlife Habitat Council
January 10, 2018 - Jeannette Whitton, Director University of British Columbia Herbarium, Canada's SARA & COSEWIC
November 8, 2017 - Emily Sessa, University of Florida, Fern Conservation.
September 13, 2017 - Dwayne Estes, Director of the Southeastern Grasslands Initiative. You can find a copy of Dwayne's talk here.