FRAMINGHAM, MA — Native Plant Trust, the nation’s first plant conservation organization and the only one solely focused on New England’s native plants, announces a virtual symposium on the changing climate and its effects on the region’s flora. The program will address methods for building climate resilience and how key players can support this process. The event will take place online Fri., October 29, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. To register, visit www.NativePlantTrust.org.
The virtual symposium will feature distinguished experts in the fields of ecology, climate adaptation, and conservation biology. The event will include a keynote address by Dr. Jacquelyn Gill, Associate Professor of Paleoecology and Plant Ecology at the University of Maine. The symposium also includes a workshop on climate adaptation networks, and a panel highlighting current climate change patterns, their implications for the future of New England’s plant diversity, and the path toward climate resilience.
Dr. Jacquelyn Gill, Associate Professor of Paleoecology & Plant Ecology at the University of Maine, will present the keynote on native plants and climate resilience in long timescales. Gill is a paleoecologist, biogeographer, and science communicator. Her research focuses on the influences of space and time on questions in ecology and global change science.
Melissa Ocana, Climate Adaptation Coordinator at University of Massachusetts Amherst, will lead a workshop on networking communities for conservation practice. Ocana coordinates partnerships and builds capacity for climate adaptation and natural resources. Her expertise includes climate adaptation networks and collaboratives, peer-to-peer learning, ecosystem resilience/transformation, and wildlife conservation.
Dr. Christopher Neill, Senior Scientist at Woodwell Climate Research Center, studies ecosystems around the globe, always with a local focus. He is interested broadly in how changes in land use affect ecosystem function, and in our ability to restore impaired systems. In Massachusetts, he studies how the choices we make along our coasts and in our own backyards affect biodiversity.
Dr. Angelica Patterson is the Master Science Educator at Black Rock Forest in Cornwall, New York. Inspired by the mechanisms behind climate-induced tree migration and plant community shifts, she examines the physiological responses of northeastern US trees to increasing atmospheric temperatures. At Black Rock Forest, Dr. Patterson works with educators to develop innovative, data-driven curricula and inclusive teaching practices, and she directs summer science experiences for underserved students. She is a strong advocate and frequent public speaker for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the environmental sciences.
Aaron Marcus is the Assistant Botanist for Vermont Fish & Wildlife, with further expertise in conservation biology, native plants, and plant education. Marcus manages the endangered and rare plant data for Vermont and makes the data available in the Agency of Natural Resources’ Natural Resources Atlas, which makes possible plant diversity tracking and conservation planning.
For more information and to register for the symposium, please visit www.NativePlantTrust.org.