Meetings

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 January 8, 2020, 2:00 - 4:00 pm ET.
Dr. Kirk Davies, Rangeland Scientist, USDA-ARS, Range and Meadow Forage Management Research - Hosted remotely  

The PCA welcomes Dr. Kirk W. Davies, Lead Rangeland Scientist at the USDA Agricultural Research Service Unit at the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center in Burns, OR., to present "Collaboration and precision restoration to improve native plant restoration in arid ecosystems" from 2:00-3:00 pm ET:
Native plant restoration is exceedingly difficult in arid ecosystems.  Most native perennial plants only establish sporadically, often in years with above average precipitation.  Thus, when we plant native species we are asking them to establish in that year, which often does not deliver the conditions necessary for their establishment.  Furthermore, vast changes in soils, climate, and atmospheric carbon dioxide have greatly altered the environment that native plants must establish in compared to historic conditions.  Invasive plants have made establishment of native vegetation even more challenging.  The USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Burns, OR and The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with private and public land managers, has developed precision restoration. The principal of precision restoration is to use a particular technology or strategy that mediates a specific barrier to native plant establishment.  We are identifying specific barriers to establishing native plants and developing technologies and strategies to mediate these barriers. In this presentation, I will discuss the framework for precision restoration and some of the technologies and strategies to limit the impact of specific barriers to native plant establishment.
Although the speaker will be remote, this meeting will be hosted at the Main Interior Building, 1849 C St NW, Washington, DC 20240 (Kiowa Room; MIB Basement, near the Bison Bistro) and we invite you to join us there if you are in the DC-area. **If you plan to attend this meeting in person, please RSVP to Michelle Turton (Michelle_Turton@fws.gov) by January 6.**  

Instructions to join the meeting remotely: Note that you need to call in for audio AND logon for video to this meeting.  The phone line and website will open about 15 minutes prior to the meeting.
1. Call 1-866-717-7470 Participant Passcode: 48890306
2. Connect online (click or copy and paste this link into your web browser): http://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join.php?sigKey=mymeetings&i=743158581&p=PC...
- Enter your name/affiliation
- Read and agree to the Privacy Policy
- Select Proceed

Future Meetings

Mark your calendars for future PCA meetings that are held the second Wednesday of the month in January, March, May, July, September, and November.  Details to follow.

March 11, 2020 - Dr. Peter Marra, Director, Georgetown Environmental Initiative; Laudato Si' Professor of Biology and the Environment; Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy.  Decline of North American avifauna and the role of native plants in protecting birds. (Remote)

May 12, 2020 - Deputy Prosecutor Katrina Outland, Skagit County, WA. Poaching and the Venus flytrap

July 8, 2020 - Regional Plant Collaborations

Mr. David Lincicome, Natural Heritage Program Manager, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Division of Natural Areas. A brief history of the Tennessee Plant Conservation Alliance and the Southeast plant conservation alliance coordinators conference calls and their role within regional plant conservation and networking efforts. (Remote)

Kristi Allen, Pennsylvania Plant Conservation Alliance. Pennsylvania Plant Conservation network: 2 years in - successes, challenges and lessons learned (Remote)

September 9, 2020 - Dr. Kayri Havens, Director of Plant Science and Conservation, Chicago Botanic Garden. Budburst - Get Involved! (Remote)

November 18, 2020 (Note this meeting date was moved to the third Wednesday to accommodate Veteran's Day holiday) - Ms. Alyssa Smoy, Bureau of Indian Affairs Tribal Resilience Program and Chippewa Cree Tribe Member. Native plant conservation and invasive plant impacts as an effect of climate change on Tribal Lands. (Remote)

Previous Meetings

November 13, 2019, Gerry Moore, the National Plant Data Team Lead for the US Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service, spoke about the genesis and future of the USDA PLANTS Database, which provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories, including a section on PLANTS T&E which provides access to state and federally protected plant information. Gerry discussed the variations in rare plant protection from state to state (with some states having full legal protections and others having no legal protections for plants) as well as the regulatory, management, and rangewide implications of state-level determinations of native or non-native status. Download the presentation, a recording of the presentation, and The PLANTS Database.

September 11, 2019, Kelly Rourke and Elizzabeth Kaufman of Pollinator Partnership discussed the Monarch Wings Across America Program, which 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.

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.