Overview: The 2009 FLEPPC symposium promises to be another blockbuster meeting with the latest information on a variety of topics related to invasive species in Florida. Here’s a preview of what you can look forward to at the Symposium:
- Many presentations on the latest technology in invasive species control;
- Information on new worrisome weeds to watch out for;
- Updates on biological control research for Florida invasive plant species;
- The latest on Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CWMAs) throughout Florida;
- Hands-on workshops related to invasive plant control and monitoring
- Field trips to Yamato Scrub, Loxahatchee NWR, Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, and Delray Oaks Natural Area to evaluate invasive plant management programs, herbicide demonstration plots, and the use of GPS.
- CEUs will be offered
- …and much more.
Theme: This year’s theme is “The Weeds of Wrath,” a reference to John Steinbeck’s landmark novel, “The Grapes of Wrath,” which reminds us to continue our struggle to save Florida’s natural areas from pest plants, even during difficult economic times. As weed control budgets shrink and policy makers reconsider priorities, it is more imperative than ever to stay connected, cooperative, and supportive of one another. We hope to see you in Delray Beach.
Joe DiTomaso, Ph.D., Weed Specialist, University of California, Davis
This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Joseph DiTomaso, a non-crop weed specialist at University of California, Davis and Director of the UC Weed Research and Information Center. Dr. DiTomaso is a distinguished researcher who has focused on understanding invasive plant biology and ecology in order to develop effective control strategies. He has published over 80 refereed manuscripts or book chapters, 160 additional extension papers, and has co-authored five books on Weed Science and invasive plant related topics.
Dr. DiTomaso’s keynote presentation will explore the intersection of the biofuel industry and biological invasions. The need for viable alternative energy technologies has increased interest in large-scale production of biofuel crops. Many of the characteristics of potential biofuel species—high productivity, perennial, high-density growth, drought resistance, few major pests—are also typical of invasive plants infesting Florida’s natural areas. Dr. DiTomaso will share his experiences with biofuels in California and make the case for rigorous risk assessments of candidate biofuel species.