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Jul 12 / BARD CEP

Workshop: Common reed (Phragmites) ecology and management – July 26,2013 Bard Ecology Field Station


Common reed (Phragmites) ecology and management: A workshop for professionals

The workshop will be held at the Bard College Field Station, Annandale-on-Hudson, Dutchess County, New York, Friday 26 July 2013 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

This is a workshop for professionals who are involved with the study and management of environmental weeds. The target audience includes consultants, researchers, college and graduate students, university and high school faculty, environmental professionals, agency regulators, policy-makers, preserve and park managers, ecological restorationists, and others.

Phragmites is one of the best studied marsh plants worldwide including in the U.S. but its ecological relationships are widely misunderstood. Although generally considered an invasive weed in North America, the nonnative (Old World) form provides food and habitat for many native animals and plants, as well as non-habitat ecosystem services including sediment stabilization in tidal wetlands, removal of nutrients and metals from surface waters, and carbon sequestration. Yet extensive dense stands of Phragmites may have unwanted effects on certain plants and animals. Understanding the potential detriments and benefits of Phragmites and the advantages and disadvantages of different management techniques, assessing the local situation, and setting realistic goals comprise the optimization process of scientific Phragmites management. This workshop will guide participants through a decision-making process applicable to individual management situations in the Northeast and beyond.

Participants in Hudsonia’s Phragmites workshop will:

  • REVIEW the ecological characteristics of Phragmites most relevant to biodiversity,
  • LEARN which habitats and species of organisms may be harmed or benefitted by Phragmites,
  • DISCOVER the results of published studies on Phragmites habitat functions, non-habitat ecosystem services, and management interventions,
  • DISCUSS the science, philosophy, and sociopolitics of Phragmites and other environmental weeds in the northeastern states.
  • SEE leading-edge results of Phragmites bioenergy research.

Instructor: Erik Kiviat, PhD is a conservation scientist, zoologist, and botanist, and a co-founder (1981) and the Executive Director of Hudsonia Ltd. Erik has been surveying biotas, studying wetlands, and analyzing land use impacts in the Northeast since the 1960s. He is author or coauthor of important papers on the relationships of Phragmites and other weeds to biodiversity, has presented workshops and seminars on this subject to a variety of audiences, and consulted for wetland managers and researchers. He is author of the Phragmites Management Sourcebook, and coauthor of the Biodiversity Assessment Manual for the Hudson River Estuary Corridor and the Biodiversity Assessment Handbook for New York City, and author or
coauthor of several studies of biodiversity in the urban-industrial New Jersey Meadowlands, and many other scientific papers, and technical and nontechnical articles and reports on other aspects of biodiversity, wetlands, rare species, urban environments, and ecological restoration.

Participation is limited and by application only, to ensure that the workshop is offered to conservationists, managers, regulators, policy-makers, and other professionals who can make the best use of the information (and to help Erik tailor the workshop to your interests). An application form is appended to this announcement.

Fee: $275 per person, payable in full by check or credit card by 18 July ($250 if paid by 5 July); a discount may be available to an individual or NGO who truly needs one. Fee includes lunch and other refreshments, course materials (reprints and handouts), and (on request) a certificate of participation. The provisional location at the Bard College Field Station is at the confluence of the Saw Kill and Tivoli South Bay of the Hudson River and accessible from the New York Thruway or Taconic State Parkway (or the Amtrak station at Rhinecliff plus a cab ride), and several motels and restaurants are nearby.

Questions, contact Erik Kiviat <kiviat[at]bard[dot]edu. >

Hudsonia, PO Box 5000, Annandale NY 12504 USA, 845-758-7053

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