The conference will include the following topics.
Most conference events will take place in the Indiana Memorial Union complex on the IU campus, which includes the historic Biddle Hotel.
We have a block of discounted rooms available for attendees at the Biddle, where all guest rooms were newly renovated in 2017. Registration for the conference does not include accommodations: rooms must be reserved by calling 800-209-8145 or 812-855-2536 BEFORE SEPTEMBER 22, 2018 and mentioning the Natural Areas Conference, or by going online and using the code NATURALAREAS18.
Prices for rooms will range from $134 to $174, depending on room type. A limited number of rooms are available at the government rate for those who qualify. Please inquire at time of reservation. Parking for hotel guests is free. Get additional information about the Biddle Hotel.
We also have a block of rooms reserved at the nearby Courtyard by Marriott. Rates here are $132 a night if you identify yourself as part of the Natural Areas Conference. Parking is free. Reserve your room by calling 812-335-8000 or 1-800-228-9290. Deadline is October 8, 2018.
NOTE: Accommodations for attendees on THURSDAY, October 25th are very limited at the Biddle. We recommend that those staying over Thursday evening who cannot reserve at the Biddle take advantage of our room block at the Courtyard by Marriott.
Opening Plenary - October 23, 9:30 a.m. - Noon
Professor Scott Russell Sanders, award-winning author of A Conservationist Manifesto and Stone Country: Then & Now, will be our keynote speaker. Dr. Heather Reynolds of Indiana University will appear as an opening plenary speaker. A plant ecologist, Heather heads the Reynolds Laboratory, which studies plant-environment interactions with a focus on native species, and restoration in the face of environmental change. Indiana Department of Natural Resources plant ecologist Mike Homoya will present on the natural features of Indiana. Mike is the author of Wildflowers and Ferns of Indiana Forests: A Field Guide. We will also have Arthur Pearson, author of a biography of NAA co-founder George Fell, speaking at the NAA Awards Banquet. Find out more details.
Closing Plenary - Thursday, Oct. 25, 3:30 - 5 p.m.
We are excited to be hosting former Director of the National Park Service, Jonathan Jarvis, and Dr. Gary E. Machlis, as our Closing Plenary Speakers. Former Director Jarvis and Dr. Machlis are the co-authors of The Future of Conservation in America: A Chart for Rough Water. The closing plenary for the conference will also will also be the Indiana University School of Public Health's Reynold E. Carlson Lecture 2018-2019.
Dr. Machlis and Mr. Jarvis will be signing copies of their book immediately after they speak at the plenary. Copies will be available at the NAA table throughout the conference, and at the signing.
Field Workshops demonstrate land management strategies through case studies and on-the-ground observation, and are a critical part of conference programming. Cost for the workshops is $65, except the Karst Caves, which is $70.
Beanblossom Bottoms Boardwalk: Successes and Challenges of a Wetland Preserve and Public Access Site - Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve ALMOST SOLD OUT
Tour the recently renovated 1.5-mile boardwalk at Sycamore Land Trust's 700-acre Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve, and discuss the successes and challenges of creating and maintaining this unique public access and educational feature along with the collaborative efforts to protect and restore the important wetland preserve where it is located.
Collaborative Conservation in Practice: The Hills of Gold - Laura Hare Preserve, Bob's Woods and Glacier's End Nature Preserve ALMOST SOLD OUT
We will explore two state dedicated nature preserves and a conservation easement to look at current and planned restoration activities that are funded through private and federal sources, including invasive species control, controlled burning, white-tailed deer management, restoring an agricultural field to hardwood forest, pollinator habitat and oak establishment in low-quality forest.
Exploring Unique Karst Features of the Lost River System on the Hoosier National Forest SOLD OUT
The Lost River is an 87-mile river, of which 23 miles flow underground in Orange County, Indiana. This unique subterranean system includes swallow holes, sinkholes and caves that provide for a rare and diverse ecosystem that supports federal and state listed species. Attendees will experience the river as boat passengers.
Indiana Karst Landforms and Their Communities: Sinkholes, Caves and Springs SOLD OUT
This field workshop will familiarize participants with prominent Indiana karst landforms and their communities: sinkholes, caves, and springs. The trip will include a short walk through old growth forest to discuss sinkholes as a unique ecotone, a boat trip to Upper Twin Cave, and a walk to Bronson Cave entrance. Both quantitative and qualitative methods for characterizing the fauna of these habitats will be demonstrated with opportunities for hands-on application. Cave trips will include overviews of cave communities, aquatic fauna censusing (macro-invertebrate and cavefish), as well as exotics control in karst environments.
Long-term and Landscape-level Effects of Forest Management: The Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment ALMOST SOLD OUT
Participants in the Hardwood Excosystem Experiment (HEE) Field Workshop will have an opportunity to visit HEE Research areas and learn about long-term research related to the management of oak-hickory forests in Indiana. Participants will be able to interact with HEE Researchers and hear about their work studying the effects of different forest management methods on a variety of plant and animal species and how their findings can be applied to the management of Natural Areas.
Scout Ridge Nature Preserve - Morgan - Monroe State Forest in Monroe County SOLD OUT
Indiana's second dedicated state nature preserve, Scout Ridge contains high quality mesic and dry-mesic upland forest with a diverse understory including a range of ferns.
Working Woodlands that Enhance Forest Health and Benefit Birds and Bats – Tulip Trace Forest ALMOST SOLD OUT
The Tulip Trace Forest Bank has been managed as a working woodlands to benefit migratory songbirds, bats and the restoration of declining forest community types. This field workshop will look at practical measures that have been completed and additional measures necessary to enhance habitat for forest dwelling birds and bats (to include state and federally listed species).
This year we are featuring six ID Workshops for conference attendees. Each has a nominal fee of $10. Sign up when you register for the conference!
Invasive Plant Identification SOLD OUT
This workshop will focus on educating conservation partners including students, landowners, land managers, educators, etc. about invasive plants impacting the Midwest by providing:
1. identification tips for about 20 invasive plants,
2. differences between each invasive plant and a native plant that resembles the invasive,
3. discuss current range of invasive plant,
4. present current knowledge about ecological impacts for each species presented,
5. if the invasive plant is available at retail markets,
6. native alternative(s).
Invasive Insect Identification
Learn about the biology of and how to identify invasive forest pests including emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle, hemlock woolly adelgid, and spotted lanternfly.
Digital Herbarium Tools
Learn how to use the Digital Herbarium (midwestherbaria.org) for accessing species information, area specific plant lists, field photos, plant ID tools, and much more.
Sedges Identification SOLD OUT
This workshop, suitable for beginners to more advanced learners, introduces basic vocabulary and identification tools related to the sedges (genus Carex), an important part of natural area plant diversity.
Midwestern Fern Identification SOLD OUT
This workshop, geared toward beginners, introduces basic vocabulary and field identification tools related to some common Midwestern ferns.
Grasses Identification SOLD OUT
After a short introduction/review of the floral and vegetative characteristics, as well as associated terminology, of grasses, an examination of the characteristics of various groups/genera of grasses (and to some species), such as Poa, Phalaris, Phragmites, Setaria, Elymus, etc. will be conducted.
Don't miss these! Each Workshop has a limited capacity, so register now to ensure your place!
Invest in the people who protect and manage our natural areas