Registration is now open for the 25th North American Prairie Conference: Healthy Prairies, Healthy Watersheds, June 2-5, 2019, to be held at the University of Houston – Clear Lake.
Water is life. This is nowhere truer than on our prairies. Prairie wetlands nourish colorful plants, serve as amphibian nurseries, provide feeding grounds for shorebirds, and quench thirst for countless upland prairie species. They also help staunch floodwaters and purify drinking water. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s damage to coastal Texas, prairies are in the spotlight for the stacked benefits they provide, including their ability to serve as living sponges. Conference attendees will explore the rich Coastal Prairies of Greater Houston-Galveston region of southeast Texas, which have been increasingly recognized for their ability to create healthier and more resilient watersheds.
This year’s conference will bring together the brightest minds in prairie conservation from across Texas, the Southeast, and the Midwest. These experts will explore practical methods to restore, conserve, manage, study, enjoy, and educate about our valuable and vulnerable prairies, savannahs, and meadows. The conference experience is designed for a broad audience: private landowners, natural resource professionals, governmental agencies, educators, landscape architects, master naturalists, volunteers, and others looking for real-world solutions.
Preliminary Conference Agenda:
Sunday, June 2
● Pre-conference field trip to Texas Institute for Coastal Prairie Research and Education
● Opening mixer at UHCL and welcome by Jaime Gonzalez; Houston Urban Conservation Programs Manager, The Nature Conservancy
Monday, June 3
● Monday highlights: Keynote speaker, Carol Davit; Director of the Missouri Prairie Foundation
● Invited speaker: Dr. John Jacobs from Texas A&M Agrilife Extension and Texas Community Watershed Partners
● Monday’s program will also feature several conference sessions on prairie restoration, prairie wildlife, management, monitoring, hydrology, and also give attendees an opportunity to participate in workshops including The Management of Belowground Ecosystems (Illinois State University), Seed Banking (Mercer Botanical Garden and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center) and the Graminoid diversity of Texas Gulf Coast
region (Resource Environmental Solutions, LLC)
● Evening banquet at UHCL with Featured Speaker Dr. Reed Noss; Chief Science Advisor, Southeastern Grasslands Initiative
Tuesday, June 4
● Multiple options for guided field trips to the lower Big Thicket area of East Texas, Southwest and West Houston prairies, and the coastal prairies of the barrier islands of the Gulf shores to urban sites within the city.
● Texas barbecue dinner at the Armand Bayou Nature Center, the largest urban wilderness preserve in the U.S., with Featured Speaker Dr. Dwayne Estes; Director of the Southeastern Grasslands Initiative.
Wednesday, June 5
● Monday highlights: Featured Speaker Chris Helzer; The Nature Conservancy – Nebraska and Invited speaker Dr. Kelly Kindscher; Senior Scientist, Kansas Biology Survey, University of Kansas.
● Wednesday’s program will additionally include sessions and workshops on prairie education, urban restoration projects, and community engagement.
Register before April 22 at northamericanprairie.org and receive the early registration rate of $260 for all conference activities!
The call for abstracts for oral presentations and posters is open, and may be submitted online until April 1, 2019.
Sponsorships are available, and fully tax-deductible. For more information and for the latest updates, visit northamericanprairie.org.
The 2019 North American Prairie Conference presented by the Coastal Prairie Partnership, Native Prairies Association of Texas, Katy Prairie Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy – Texas, and hosted by the Environmental Institute of Houston, University of Houston – Clear Lake.