Get ready for the 2015 symposium and Annual Meeting to be held in Austin on October 15-18.
Registration for the symposium will begin in July. To keep up with the latest news about break-out sessions, field trips, speakers and upcoming programs, check regularly at the 2015 symposium website – npsot.org/symposium2015/.
The symposium will be held at the Hilton Austin Airport Hotel (9515 Hotel Drive). The Hilton Airport is in a great location away from downtown congestion. It is a beautiful hotel on property that was originally the headquarters for the Bergstrom Airforce Base that served as a strategic air command center during the Vietnam War and the Persian Gulf War. It was rescued from demolition and converted to a hotel and convention center and opened in 2001.
The theme of the symposium is “Capit-O-lize on Natives: Contributions, Challenges, Conservation” and will concentrate on the four ecoregions that surround the capital and how these ecoregions have influenced adaptation and variance in plants and plant communities as well as human interaction with the landscape.
We are preparing a great lineup of speakers and are very fortunate to have a plethora of wonderful talent both in Austin and nearby. We will have five plenary speakers:
- Dr Andrew Sansom (Executive Director of The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, San Marcos)
- Bob Ayres (History of conservation and management of the largest family-owned ranch in Travis County)
- Bill Carr (Botanist extraordinaire of all of Texas, owner Acme Botanical Services)
- Dr. Norma Fowler (Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas – Austin)
- Dr. George Diggs (Professor of Biology, Austin College in Sherman, TX and Research Associate of Botanical Research Institute of Texas)
On Saturday our break-out sessions will have twenty speakers that will include The Nature Conservancy’s programs, the history of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, Texas ecoregions and drought issues. Restoration efforts of several local tracts of land will be discussed, including the Bastrop area, Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park, Vireo Nature Preserve and Spicewood Ranch. Speakers will also discuss edible and useful plants of Texas, discussions about pollinators and a workshop on eradication of invasive plants.
Some of our field trips will be to the Bastrop area, the private Halifax Ranch, Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, and on the west side of Austin and Travis County the Shield and Spicewood Ranches. We are rounding up respected botanists and experts to lead field trips to these amazing sites, such as Bill Carr, Jason Singhurst, Chuck Sexton and Joan Mukherjee. We’ll keep you posted on the symposium webpage as we add more experts to the roster.
Additional highlights of the 2015 symposium include a silent auction and a photo contest. The silent auction benefits the Kate Hillhouse Scholarship Fund and the Ann Miller Gonzales Graduate Research Grants. This year our photo contest is going all digital, making it easier than ever to participate. No need to print and frame your photos.
Thursday evening’s reception will be at the beautiful Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
If you are interested in attending as a vendor or exhibitor, contact Paul Waller at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you (or someone you know) would like to support the symposium with a donation or be an event sponsor, please contact Jane Tillman at email@example.com.
We look forward to seeing you at the symposium!