Panel Meeting, May 2019

ESA’s Vegetation Panel held their annual meeting May 22-23, 2019 at the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Fort Collins, Colorado. 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Vegetation Panel, so much of the meeting focused on how to best prepare the panel’s activities for the future. Here is a recap of the agenda:

  • Review of Peer Review Tool- currently in development, the Panel is working on developing a tool for use by the US National Vegetation Classification (USNVC) Review Board. The Review Board, made up of Editor-in-Chief Don Faber-Langendoen and 14 Regional Editors helps authors prepare and submit their submissions for publication, as well as work through the process of updating the USNVC.
  • Reviewing Regional Editor Meetings- this year, the USNVC Review Board held 3 meetings of Regional Editors to promote the need for, and improve, the review process.
    • Great Plains- February 27-28, Noble Research Institute, Ardmore, Oklahoma
      • Focus: Southern Great Plains Alliances and Groups
    • Eastern- March 14-15, North Carolina Botanical Gardens, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
      • Focus: Appalachian Forests
    • Western- May 20-21, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins, Colorado
      • Current ongoing analysis from Washington Natural Heritage Program
        • 5,000 plots clustered around 3 National Parks
  • Planning future Education and Outreach initiatives- this spring, the Education and Outreach subcommittee of the panel designed and presented two educational webinars about the USNVC:
    • Introduction to the USNVC , presented by Patrick Comer, Chief Ecologist, NatureServe, was designed for ecology students and vegetation scientists to introduce the value of vegetation classification and learn how the USNVC can be applied to decision making. The recording of the webinar can be accessed:
    • Using Concepts and Products of the USNVC to Address Agency-Wide Business Needs, presented by Todd Keeler-Wolf, Lead Vegetation Ecologist, CA Department of Fish and Wildlife, was designed for practitioners of the USNVC to address how the classification is used to conduct natural resource assessment by presenting various examples of on-the-ground projects recently or currently being conducted. The recording of the webinar can be accessed:
  • Discussing development of a broad communication strategy: Experts from the National Park Service joined the Panel to begin brainstorming a communication strategy to better reach current and future users of the USNVC, as well as potential funders.

The panel wrapped up their meeting with a field trip to the Pawnee National Grasslands, where Panel member Scott Franklin has recently produced a set of USNVC descriptions.

Upcoming Panel Events: