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February 18, 2010

‘Conservation Colloquium’ planned March 3

UW students using marginal urban land to grow vegetables, a class helping re-prioritize conservation sites on the Columbia River Plateau and a project drawing on indigenous people’s knowledge to manage the threat of wildfires are among the topics during a “Conservation Colloquium” March 3. Nearly 20 focused talks — most lasting only five minutes — and 17 mini posters are planned during the event.

The colloquium theme is “Conservation in Practice.”

“While acknowledging the conservation-related problems we face, our intent here is to move beyond them to highlight practical solutions locally, regionally and internationally,” says Jon Bakker, assistant professor of forest resources and chair of the colloquium steering committee.

The colloquium Web site has links to the full schedule and presentation abstracts. The event will be in the HUB ballroom from 1 to 6:30 p.m. Following an introduction by Provost Phyllis Wise, the afternoon will involve a dozen individual presentations of 5 minutes each and seven in-depth group presentations. Seventeen mini posters will be displayed during an afternoon break and at a reception for participants from 5:15 to 6:30.

Admission is free but those wishing to attend are asked to pre-register here.

Among the talks planned:

  • The presentation “Growing Sustainability at the UW Farm” will look at how urban dwellers participate in local food systems by using marginal urban spaces to grow vegetables. Biology graduate student Elizabeth Wheat, who has been involved with the UW student farm located near the botany greenhouse on campus, is the presenter.
  • “Conservation Planning in Practice” is about the efforts of 13 UW graduate students to update a conservation plan for the Columbia Plateau ecoregion. The course led by Josh Lawler, assistant professor of forest resources, was done in cooperation with the Nature Conservancy. Four of the students will talk about how they integrated data such as projected climate impacts, land-cost models and species distribution to produce a portfolio of conservation sites prioritized for purchase, possible easements and/or restoration.
  • “Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Wildland Fire Science” is about exploring ways to build lasting partnerships between Native American tribes, academic institutions and land management agencies. Presenting will be faculty and staff from forest resources, the Yakama Nation and the Intertribal Timber Council.

The colloquium is sponsored by the College of the Environment and made possible by funding from Harriet Bullitt, a long-time supporter of the arts and environment in the Pacific Northwest. The event’s steering committee includes faculty and staff from forest resources, aquatic and fishery sciences, family medicine, anthropology and the Program on the Environment. Contact with questions.