National Leaders Convene to Discuss Opportunities for Invasive Species Control and Management

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The Fifth Biennial Upper Midwest Invasive Species Conference will be one of the largest conferences on invasive species ever to be held in the US with an expected attendance of 650.

"Whether someone is an occasional hiker, avid outdoorsperson, boater, or citizen scientist, UMISC will have something for everyone about stopping the spread of invasive species," said Mark Renz, University of Wisconsin- Madison Extension Specialist.

UMISC 2016 will teach participants how to detect, identify, prevent and control the spread of nonnative harmful plants, animals and fish.

New and old invaders such as wild parsnip, emerald ash borer, invasive carp, starry stonewort, and zebra mussels are among the dozens of organisms to be highlighted at the conference.

"Invasive species cause environmental damage, economic loss in the billions and harm to human health," said Doug Jensen, aquatic invasive species program coordinator at Minnesota Sea Grant and conference co-chair. "This conference brings together national and international experts and resources to offer basic information and discuss strategies to reduce the negative effects of invasive species."

The conference will include more than 250 presentations, several field trips, two plenary sessions, over 45 exhibitors and ample networking opportunities.

"Whether someone is an occasional hiker, avid outdoorsperson, boater, or citizen scientist, UMISC will have something for everyone to learn about stopping the spread of invasive species," said Mark Renz, University of Wisconsin- Madison Extension Weed Specialist.

Several field trips on October 17 will tour scenic areas around La Crosse to showcase successful invasive species management and research in action.

The Monday morning plenary, October 17, 2016 from 9:30am – 11:30am will feature:

  • Matt Miller, Director of Science Communications, The Nature Conservancy, presenting Tell Me a Story: Communicating About Invasives in the Information Age
  • Iris Caldwell, Research Engineer, Energy Resources Center, University of Illinois at Chicago will present: Finding Opportunities for Native Habitat along Rights-of-Way. Ms. Caldwell will make a business case for habitat programs, changing management practices, and controlling for invasive species in rights of way landscapes.
  • Anthony Ricciardi, Professor, Redpath Museum and School of Environment, McGill University will present: Why Biological Invasions Matter. Biological invasions can cause extinctions, disrupt ecosystems, alter natural resources, threaten human health, and even pose national security problems. For over 20 years, his research has examined the causes and consequences of biological invasions in aquatic ecosystems.

The Tuesday Lunch Plenary on October 18 from 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm will feature:

  • Roger Fish, a Motivational Speaker from La Crosse, Wisconsin. It's Your Attitude, It's Your Day, Make It a Good One Mr. Fish will discuss with humor the importance of your attitude at work, how your eyes, voice tone, and body language enhance or diminish your ability to convey your thoughts and lead a group to consensus or a decision
  • Hilary Smith, the Invasive Species Coordinator of the Office of Policy Analysis, United States Department of the Interior, will provide an overview of the Department and the importance of minimizing the risk and impacts of invasive species including novel approaches for prevention, detection, and control; and, policy and planning actions. The Department manages one-fifth of the country’s land area, 135,000 miles of coastline, 476 dams and 348 reservoirs, and 1.76 billion acres of the Outer Continental Shelf. It upholds the federal government’s trust responsibilities to 567 Indian tribes, supplies water to more than 30 million people, protects the icons of the country’s national heritage, and conserves fish, wildlife, and their habitats.

Registration is still available including single-day rates, reduced rates for students, and press passes are available.

Additional Contacts:
Doug Jensen, conference co-chair and invasive species program coordinator, Minnesota Sea Grant, (218) 726-8712
Mark Renz, conference co-chair, extension weed specialist and assistant professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 608) 263-7437
Media Contact:
Belle Bergner, Conference Administrator, UMISC, (414) 967-1350

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Belle Bergner
Upper Midwest Invasive Species Conference
since: 08/2012
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