UMISC plenary sessions bring all attendees together to showcase national and international leaders in invasive species management, policy, and research. This year's plenary sessions will include leaders at the highest level of U.S. government, International research, and citizen engagement.
Monday, October 15, 2018: 9:30 am -11:30 am
Invasive Species Collaboration - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Role
Samantha Simon, Invasive Species Coordinator, United States Department of Agriculture
More than 4,500 invasive pests damage crops, costing U.S. agricultural producers an estimated $30 billion in crop losses and control treatments annually. Greater global travel and trade means that an increasing number of new invasive pests are entering the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – in close cooperation with its partners – is committed to combating destructive invasive species as an essential part of its mission to protect U.S. agricultural health. This presentation will provide an overview of recent improvements in the invasive species coordination within USDA; describe some of USDA’s many federal-state-local partnerships through highlighting success stories; and discuss USDA’s collaboration efforts within the U.S. government to prevent, manage, and eradicate invasive species. It is USDA’s vision to provide economic opportunity through innovation, helping rural America to thrive; to promote agriculture production that better nourishes Americans while also helping feed others throughout the world; and to preserve our Nation's natural resources through conservation, restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands.
Samantha Simon is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Senior Invasive Species Coordinator. In this role, Ms. Simon coordinates Department-wide activities affecting the development and implementation of effective agency responses to invasive species. She works collaboratively with USDA Agency invasive species coordinators and serves as a resource to the internal and external partners and stakeholders to accomplish key initiatives designed to eliminate the risks that invasive species pose to American agriculture, forests, and grasslands. Ms. Simon has worked for USDA since 1995 serving in a variety of positions within the USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP). She is a native of Iowa and a graduate from Iowa State University.
Citizen Science: The Benefits and Challenges of Using Volunteers for Invasive Species Monitoring and Management
Alicia Crall, Educator and Program Evaluator, National Ecological Observatory Network
Citizen science, engagement of the public in the scientific process, has been widely adopted as a tool for invasive species monitoring and management. Its adoption provides two primary benefits. Citizen science projects typically include an education component that includes invasive species content and skills training. Participation in these projects can result in impacts on these participants that include increases in knowledge of invasive species, changes in attitudes, and changes in behavior. In addition, citizen science projects generate datasets not attainable using traditional data collection approaches. With more eyes and boots on the ground, we can increase our knowledge of existing species distributions and better predict future spread. In this presentation, we will explore growth in the citizen science field over the past decade and resources available to stay engaged in it. Findings from research studies will be used to demonstrate the benefits of using volunteers but also the challenges that still remain, including issues associated with data quality.
Alycia received her PhD in Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010. For her dissertation research, she developed and evaluated a national invasive species citizen science program. During this time, she worked with colleagues to develop an online data sharing platform (CitSci.org) and protocols that were tested in the field for comparisons between volunteers and professionals. From 2012-2015, Alycia served as the Director of the Virginia Master Naturalist program and as an Extension faculty member within the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech. In this role, she trained and engaged volunteers in citizen science, environmental education, and stewardship projects throughout Virginia. She now serves as an educator and program evaluator for the National Ecological Observatory Network’s education and public engagement program and as a contractor for various citizen science research initiatives.
Using the Grass Carp Ecological Risk Assessment to Inform Management Actions in Canada
Becky Cudmore, Regional Manager, Aquatic Invasive Species Program Fisheries and Oceans Canada/Pêches et Océans Canada
The Binational Ecological Risk Assessment for Grass Carp in the Great Lakes was released in 2017. The risk assessment looked at the likelihood of arrival, survival, establishment and spread of Grass Carp in the Great Lakes, and the predicted ecological consequences of any populations. The results of this risk assessment provide key science advice for management agencies to take action with respect to this species. Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Asian Carp Program used the Binational Ecological Risk Assessment to guide outreach and education activities in the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes. The risk assessment also identified key research gaps for studies that are now underway. The early warning surveillance, response and management activities are also informed by the science-based advice provided in the risk assessment. Examples of these actions will be provided as well and a look at where the program is going in terms of further risk assessment and other AIS work.
Becky Cudmore is the Regional Manager for Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Aquatic Invasive Species Program for the department’s Central and Arctic Region (Ontario, Prairies and the Arctic). This program includes the Asian Carp Program for the Great Lakes. Becky has a post-graduate degree in Zoology from the University of Toronto and a joint undergraduate degree in Biology and Environmental Science from Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario. Becky has worked on aquatic invasive species in the international Great Lakes for almost 20 years and was the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee award for her contributions and efforts to protect the Great Lakes from aquatic invasive species.
Tuesday Luncheon Plenary
October 16, 2018 - 12:30 pm -1:30 pm
Protecting Hawaii’s Watersheds, One Incipient Miconia Plant at a Time with Extreme Prejudice
Associate Research and Extension Specialist, University of Hawaii
Hawaii is a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, located over 3,000 kilometers from the nearest continental land mass. It took 5 million years to evolve 1,400 endemic plant species, found nowhere else in the world. However, in less than 2,000 years since first human contact, ~10,000 exotic plants have inundated Hawaii with over 200 of these species considered to be highly invasive. Today, a majority of Hawaii’s landscapes are impacted by these invasive plant species. Managing invasive weeds in Hawaii is daunted not only by the aggressive biology of the non-native species, but also by the extreme topography impeding accessibility and protection of our most important natural areas. Invasive species management requires significant investments in surveillance and treatment with a trade-off dilemma of how to balance these actions against a limited resource budget. Herbicide Ballistic Technology (HBT) was developed at the University of Hawaii with the capability to surgically deliver lethal aliquots to individual, incipient plant targets with long-range precision and accuracy. In collaboration with the Maui Invasive Species Committee (MISC) and the National Park Service Exotic Plant Management Team (EPMT), a breakthrough utility was realized with HBT complementing helicopter surveillance operations adding the capability to eliminate incipient miconia (Miconia calvescens) targets in the most extreme topography in the East Maui Watershed (EMW), thus, removing the trade-off dilemma and further encouraging a greater investment in surveillance of critical remote areas. Herein, we’ll describe concepts in landscape-level protection resulting from the elimination of incipient plant targets based on empirical data from over 600 hours of helicopter HBT operations, eliminating over 25K incipient miconia targets.
Dr. James Leary is Associate Research and Extension Specialist with the University of Hawaii, stationed on the beautiful island of Maui. He was born and raised in Michigan, earning a BS degree in Horticulture and Chemistry at Michigan State University. He relocated to Hawaii, earning his MS and PhD degrees in Horticulture and Molecular Ecology, respectively, at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His original fascination with Hawaii was how food could be grown year-round in a tropical island environment. Within his first weeks after arrival, he soon realized…WEEDS DO TOO! He has 20 years of weed science experience in Hawaii and his mission is to extend knowledge and technology contributing to efficient and effective invasive plant species management in natural and managed landscapes. His current claim to infamy, is the development of Herbicide Ballistic Technology (HBT) for surgically eliminating invasive species targets from helicopter platforms. To that end, he enjoys collaborations with a wide range of disciplines in biology, engineering, economics, and GIS supporting tactical and strategic management decision making.
Tuesday Evening Plenary
October 16, 2018 - 5:30 pm - 6:45 pm
Invasive Species Management and Policy Cooperation Across Borders
A reception starting at 5pm will invite all attendees to relax and rewind, followed by an exciting evening plenary session, new for UMISC and NAISMA. This plenary session will showcase invasive species management and policy leaders at the federal, regional, state, and local level. Presenters will discuss how their organization or agency fosters cooperation on invasive species management and policy across their borders, what is working well, and will identify opportunities for future improvements in cooperation and collaboration. Audience Q&A at the end of this session will allow for conference attendees to share questions and ideas for better cooperation across borders.
Being A Good Neighbor: Working Across Jurisdictional Boundaries to Strengthen Invasive Species Management
Scott Cameron, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management, and Budget
U.S. Department of the Interior
The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) is the steward of 20 percent of the Nation’s lands, including national parks, national wildlife refuges, and other public lands. DOI manages resources that supply 30 percent of the Nation’s energy; supplies and manages waters in 17 western states; and supplies 15 percent of the Nation’s hydropower energy. DOI also upholds federal trust responsibilities to 576 federally recognized Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages, and affiliated island communities. To effectively address these responsibilities, it is critical to strengthen partnerships across all levels of government and with all of DOI’s partners. This presentation will describe DOI’s approach to working with state, tribal, and local governments when addressing invasive species, including efforts to streamline invasive species management. Remarks also will highlight policy perspectives from working on invasive species issues in Washington, D.C., and how lessons learned could help inform future invasive species management, research, or policy initiatives across multiple scales.
Scott J. Cameron has 39 years of experience working inside and around the federal government. He worked on the Transition Team for President Trump as part of the Landing Team and then the Beachhead Team for the Department of the Interior. He subsequently served as the Department of the Interior’s Acting Assistant Secretary for Water and Science. His current position at Interior is Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management, and Budget, where he is serving as acting assistant secretary.
Scott has worked in both houses of Congress, in the Executive Office of the President, as a career civil servant, and as a political appointee in two administrations. He has worked deep in the bureaucracy and now twice in the Office of the Secretary of a cabinet department. He has consulted with federal agencies on management issues working for both large and small businesses, and served the State of California as Washington Representative for former governor Pete Wilson. Scott has also worked as a corporate government relations executive, and as an executive in non-profit organizations. In November 2015, he became a local government elected official, being elected as a Director of the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, serving Fairfax County’s 1.2 million people. In 2014, he founded the Reduce Risks from Invasive Species Coalition, a 501(c)(3) charity that educates the public and government on the economic, ecological, and public health impacts of invasive species.
In his most recent prior federal service, Scott was a Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of the Interior. There he served as Chief Human Capital Officer, E-Government Executive, had the lead on strategic planning and performance management, and was a member of the Executive Committee of the interagency Chief Acquisition Officers Council. Earlier, Scott was Deputy Chief of the Interior Branch at OMB. In that capacity he also served as the program examiner for the US Geological Survey and US Fish and Wildlife Service. Earlier at OMB, he oversaw the EPA’s Office of Water and the Office of Research and Development. From 1985 to 1989, Scott worked as a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Chic Hecht (R NV), handling all the energy, environmental, and natural resource issues for the Senator. Scott began his career as a Presidential Management Intern in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, after earning a BA in biology from Dartmouth College, and an MBA from Cornell University. He is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.
Additional Speakers TBA
Wednesday Lunch Plenary
October 17, 2018: 12:15 pm - 12:45 pm
Attendees will enjoy a buffet lunch starting at 12:00 pm followed by the Plenary Presentation at 12:15 pm. NAISMA's Annual General Meeting will follow from 12:45 pm - 1:30 pm.
Classical Weed Biocontrol: a Lost Case or the Only Way Forward?
Hariet L. Hinz, Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) Switzerland
Two recent reviews showed that across all countries and regions, two thirds of the weeds targeted for classical biological control (CBC) experienced some level of control and that almost a quarter of all biocontrol agent releases that established caused heavy impact. In addition, cost : benefit ratios of up to 1 : 1675 have been reported. On the other hand, of all 457 agents intentionally released, one out of eight caused some kind of non-target attack in the field. However, there are only two intentionally released agents (< 1%), and one agent which spread unintentionally, which have been documented to cause negative non-target attack at a population level. Overall, it therefore appears that CBC of weeds is a quite successful, environmentally safe and cost-effective method to control alien invasive plants, especially in extensively managed, natural or remote areas. Nevertheless, CBC of weeds has become under increasing scrutiny since the late 1990s due to potential direct and indirect non-target impacts, leading to a significant decline in agents being released in the U.S. and other countries. I will give an outlook of the future of weed biocontrol in the U.S. and globally, highlighting the main challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
Hariet's training is in horticulture, pest management, applied entomology and ecology, which provides an ideal background for her main research interest, classical biological weed control. Hariet has 25 years of experience in this area, including studies on the biology, host specificity and impact of herbivorous insects, the population biology of plants, and mechanisms underlying the host-finding and host-choice behaviour of insects. She is also interested in potential invasion mechanisms of invasive plants and has supervised several graduate projects on this subject. Since 2002, Hariet has been an Affiliated Professor at the University of Idaho.
For the last 12 years, Hariet has been the Leader of the Biological Weed Control Programme at CABI in Switzerland. This role involves managing 15 ongoing weed biological control projects for the USA and Canada, developing new projects to ensure the financial sustainability of the Programme as well as coordinating a team of five project scientists and several support staff. In 2015, Hariet was appointed Country Director Switzerland, which allows her to be involved in CABI’s overall operations and cross-Centre collaborations.