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Extension, cooperators host invasive plant control conference


   

A woman is removing some invasive species. Controlling invasives is the topic of a Cooperative Extension conference Sept. 16-17, which is open to the public.


BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 12, 2010 – Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment and Virginia Cooperative Extension, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Forestry for the Bay, the Virginia Department of Forestry, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and other cooperators, will host a conference entitled Good Green, Bad Green: Invasive Plant Control for Habitat Restoration, in Front Royal, Va., Sept. 16-17.

Targeted to landowners, natural resource professionals, green industry workers, and volunteers, the conference will increase awareness of the destructive potential of non-native invasive plant species, both from an economic and biodiversity standpoint. The conference sessions and daily field tours, led by experts from a range of disciplines, will explore habitat restoration techniques in light of controlling invasive plants.

Lewis H. Ziska, a renowned plant physiologist currently with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, will give the evening keynote address, “Climate Change, CO2, and Invasive Plants.” He has published numerous papers on carbon dioxide and climate change impacts on agriculture, weed biology, and public heath. His research has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, and CNN Headline News. Ziska has appeared on ABC World News and with Charles Gibson and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, and was featured in the HBO documentary, “Too Hot Not to Handle.”

The conference will take place on Sept. 16 and 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, with the keynote address on Sept. 16 at 7 p.m., at the Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center, 600 4-H Center Drive, Front Royal, Va. Limited lodging is available onsite. Registration for the full two-day conference is $65, which includes dinner and evening lecture on Sept. 16, breakfast on Sept. 17, lunches, refreshments, materials, and transportation to the field sites. Registration options include the first day only ($40), the second day only ($35), or the evening lecture on Sept. 16 ($20). A limited number of partial scholarships are available to those who volunteer in natural resources management.

The College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech, which consistently ranks among the top three programs of its kind in the nation, advances the science of sustainability. Programs prepare the future generation of leaders to address the complex natural resources issues facing the planet. World-class faculty lead transformational research that complements the student learning experience and impacts citizens and communities across the globe on sustainability issues, especially as they pertain to water, climate, fisheries, wildlife, forestry, sustainable biomaterials, ecosystems, and geography. As a land-grant university, Virginia Tech serves the Commonwealth of Virginia in teaching, research, and Virginia Cooperative Extension.