Missouri to host national natural areas conference Oct. 26-29

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OSAGE BEACH Mo — Amateur and professional naturalists alike will find a wealth of fascinating information at the 37th Natural Areas Conference Oct. 26 through 29 at Marriott’s Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach.

The Conference theme, “Connecting for the Future Across Generations and Disciplines,” brings together natural resource professionals, students and volunteers in a forum that provides practical land-management information through symposia, workshops, field trips, paper sessions, posters, round tables and opportunities for social networking.

Featured speakers for the event include:

• Bob Priddy, news director for Missourinet, who will provide a historical context for conservation in Missouri.

• Doug Ladd, director of conservation science for the Missouri Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, who will speak about Missouri’s natural and cultural history.

• Randy Heidorn of the Illinois Natural Preserves Commission, who will provide a historical perspective on the natural-areas movement and its role as an incubator for natural resource conservation trends.

• Peter Colverson, of Pandion Systems, Inc. (which specializes in environmental science, research, training and education), who will speak about how natural-area managers should be trained.

Topics of informational sessions include:  big-river ecology, cave ecology and protection, prairie management, woodland restoration, patterns of aquatic species diversity, prescribed fire in landscape management, invasive species, plant identification, dendrochronology, conservation easements, pollinators on natural areas, reptile and amphibian management and molecular genetic techniques and the use of genetic surveys in conservation biology.

Pre- and mid-conference field trips will parallel the indoor sessions and will include tours of the Missouri River, Ozark Highlands, White River Hills, Osage Plains, Kansas City urban wildlands and caves and other karst features.

The Natural Areas Conference draws land managers, university faculty and students, researchers, planners and administrators from throughout the nation.

Registration includes the plenary and informational sessions, workshops and choice of a mid-conference field trip. Cost for Natural Areas Association members is $295 or $345 after Aug. 16. Nonmember registration is $375 or $425 after Aug. 16.  The student rate is $145 or $175 after Aug. 16. The daily registration fee is $130 or $80 for students.

For details about conference programs and registration, visit: http://www.naturalarea.org/10conference or contact Mike Leahy at 573-522.4115, ext. 3192, or mike.leahy@mdc.mo.gov.