Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Young Professionals Conclave at the Annual Meeting 2012

By Angie Reid, YPC

Hey Everyone!  This year the Young Professionals are gearing up for a busy 2012 Annual Meeting in Spokane, Washington!  The YPC will be helping out with the Career Development Workshops Sunday January 29, 2012 1-5 pm by providing information we learned as we entered into the field as well as tips and important information about professional relations and networking once hired into a position.

Monday January 30, 2012 from 7-9 pm we will be hosting our annual YPC Social at O’Doherty’s Irish Grille, located within walking distance of the meeting at 525 West Spokane Falls Boulevard, to get together in an informal setting and talk about our careers, meet other young professionals, and just get to know each other!  If you have never been to a YPC event and you are young in the career field please join us for the social and where you will be introduced to others in the same position.  Come enjoy good food and good people!

Tuesday January 31, 2012 from 10:30 am - 12:00 pm we will be having our annual YPC business meeting to give a summary of the year and in lieu of a speaker this year we will be working on a 5-year strategic plan for the YPC so make sure to come and provide your input.  So far we have determined four main points to be discussed, which include 1) increasing YPC involvement at the section level, 2) improving outreach and networking, 3) improving fundraising, and 4) defining and meeting YPC member expectations.  The overall goal of the strategic plan is to improve YPC involvement within the parent Society.  We would love to hear what you have to say so please join us at the meeting!

In an effort to become more visible within the parent Society and help recruitment of new young professionals, YPC representatives will be making brief appearances and announcements at several student events during the Annual Meeting.  We are looking for people to help out with this so please volunteer!

This year we will be having our first ever fundraising raffle!  We will have a table set up near registration Sunday-Tuesday for raffle ticket sales.  We know that a lot of our young professionals won’t get to come to the meeting this year so we need extra help with the raffle sales.  We need people to volunteer to sit at the table for a shift selling tickets or walk around the meeting selling tickets.  We will be raffling off a framed art print from Cabela’s, two hand-quilted wall hangings, handmade antler knife and lamp, and handmade fishing lures.  Our members have really stepped up to help provide the raffle items so please support our efforts!  To volunteer please contact Angie Reid at

Friday, December 16, 2011

Interagency Ecological Site Applications Workshop, Venus, Florida, November 15 - 17, 2011

The Society for Range Management and agency partners held the second regional Interagency Ecological Site Applications Workshop this past month as part of the Ecological Site Description (ESD) Workshop series.  The workshop took place at the beautiful Archbold Biological Station in Venus, Florida and spanned a total of three days.  There were 40 workshop participants representing 10 federal and state agencies and other organizations.  Organizations represented included: the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), U.S. Air Force (USAF), Agriculture Research Service (ARS), the National Park Service (NPS), the Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI), and others. This broad participation resulted in an effective series of discussions and field exercises.
Participants spent a considerable amount of time in the field over the course of the workshop and were able to get a great first-hand look at the local Florida landscape.  While the ESD workshop was field-focused, the first day was spent primarily in the classroom with a series of presentations.  First day content focused on the components of an ecological site description and the background for how ESDs are developed, with the intention helping users understand the process and ultimately, the application of ESDs.

The keynote presentation by Dr. Hilary Swain of the Archbold Biological Station provided a basis for understanding the presentations on soil landscapes and vegetation dynamics that followed.  Additionally, the presentation by Menges (fire ecology) greatly added to the workshop.

Presentations by Bestelmeyer (general concepts), Weber (soil processes), Cleland (land hierarchies), Shaver (state and transition models), Sanchez (ESD components), Brown (development process), Herrick (establishing reference state conditions) and Ellis and Hendricks (uses and applications) all set the stage for understanding ESDs and the field portions of the workshop.  Presentations by Wight (policy), Biggam (National Parks Service), Gulledge (FNAI) and Sanchez (accessing ESDs) provided context for ESD projects and the resources available professionals to work on and with ESDs.

The field portions of the workshop were critical to supplement classroom material for forming a working understanding of ecological sites on the ground.  The key elements in the field exercises were to:
  1.  Demonstrate how different vegetation (states) can occupy the same soil to illustrate the importance of a well-developed state and transition model
  2. Demonstrate how different soils can have similar states resulting from different use histories and requiring different management responses.
Each field site visit had different stations focused describing climate, soil properties, vegetation attributes and management at the site.  Participants moved from station to station and interacted with experts at each to get a better understanding of the different attributes associated with the ecological site.  Field portions of the workshop provided a good basis for the discussion of how differing management regimes can result in distinctly different states with differing values and management requirements.  Likewise, the contrast between soils and similar vegetation can be very powerful in illustrating the need for verifying the soil at the site.
The Venus, Florida ESD workshop built on evaluation form data and recommendations submitted at the Nunn, Colorado workshop as well as the Pilot ESD workshop in Las Cruces, New Mexico held in November 2010.  Future ESD workshops are in development for 2012 and 2013 and will continue to build on feedback from previous workshop to enhance the overall program and tailor workshops to each location.

There will be two ESD workshops at the SRM Annual Meeting in Spokane, Washington.  The next regional three day ESD workshop is scheduled for Reno, Nevada in June 2012.  Additional workshops are in the planning stages for 2012 and 2013.

SRM and the Training Coordination Committee would like to extend a huge thank you to local and national teams that have worked hard to make this workshop series a success.

*Photos courtesy of the USDA-NRCS, photographer: Gail Hendricks.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Native American Rangeland Workshop at the 2012 SRM Annual Meeting

Working Together to Develop Comprehensive and Long-term Strategies for Sustainable Tribal Rangelands

January 31 – February 1, 2011
Spokane, Washington
Part of the 65th Society forRange Management Annual Meeting

The United States Government holds almost 6 million acres of land in trust for Native Americans, much of which is considered to be rangeland.  These rangelands should be able to provide the foundational sustenance for Native Americans, habitat for native wildlife and livestock, and other resources needed for a high quality and healthy life.  Yet tribes are challenged to keep up with the complex task of managing these lands for their benefit and long-term sustainability.  Help is needed to assist with education programs that tie in to employment opportunities in natural resources, compliment tribal cultural and traditional teachings, and help prepare native youth for the task ahead. 

The Society for Range Management (SRM) has established the Native Range Initiative with the goal of helping America’s First Nations restore and manage their rangelands back to health.  During the upcoming 65th SRM Annual Meeting in Spokane, Washington, January 28 - February 2, 2012, a two-day session will be dedicated to the management of rangelands on tribal lands and the Native Range Initiative.

Tribal range managers, students, college natural resource faculty, and others dealing with native rangeland management are invited to attend.  Entire conference registration is available online here for the 2012 Annual Meeting.

Workshop Includes:

  • Native American Rangelands Brainstorming and Strategy Session
  • Programs that Work on Native American Rangelands
  • Feral Horses in Indian Country
  • Native Range Luncheon
  • Native Craft Fair
Workshop Fee:
  • $60/day or $100/both days if you register before December 18, 2011
  • $75/day or $125/both days if you register after December 19, 2011
For more information, contact:
Robert Compton, Colville Confederated Tribe
Phone: 509-634-2200

Other conference activities of interest:
  • Ecological Site Description Technical Workshop
  • Using Ecological Site Descriptions as a Decision-Making Tool
  • Rancher’s Forum
  • Many more - check out the conference website and program for more details
Download our PDF poster for your college or office here

Agency and tribal employees, please contact Diana Doan-Crider for travel approval letters of invitation.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Grazing Plan, by Stan Tixier

A rancher saved to help his son
Enroll in their State College,
He reckoned he could use some help
And educated knowledge
On how to utilize his range
And feed his cattle better,
And so he sent his boy to school
And then wrote him this letter:

"When you get home, I want you to
And calculate the way that we
Might run the most we can,
Our cow herd's looking sorta' poor,
I think they should be fatter,
So your assignment once you're back
Is figure what's the matter."

The lad came home, degree in hand,
Computer programs too,
It shouldn't take him very long
To ponder what to do.
He rode the range for several day
To see what he could see,
He left his saddle horse at home
And drove an ATV.

He drew a map that clearly showed
ONE wind-mill in the middle,
The grass was GONE for several miles
Around, it was a rideel
Just how those cows could find a thing
To eat, he wasn't sure,
Repulsive as it was, he saw
They grazed on -- horse manure.

It seemed the horses ranged beyond
The radius of cows,
To where the grass was tall and green,
So Son told Pappy how
"There's more than one way to resolve
This problem, several courses,
It's my professional advice,
We've got to get more horses!"

From the book:
A Good Lookin' Horse: Cowboy Poetry and Other Verse (1993) by Stan Tixier

Want more cowboy poetry?  Poetry books and CDs by Stan Tixier are available for purchase from Western Heritage Company, 1-800-303-5703.  And don't worry, Cowboy Poet's Corner will continue to post to the SRM blog in coming months.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

SRM Annual Meeting - Top Events You Don't Want to Miss

As you know, the SRM Annual Meeting is the Society's premier event each year.  The conference and meeting consists of a solid week of sessions, seminars, trainings and networking.  In particular, the upcoming 65th Annual Meeting in Spokane, Washington January 29 - February 3, 2012, is concentrated on providing training opportunities at the Meeting.

Below are some of the highlight events at the Annual Meeting.  Note that some of these require pre-registration, so sign up now.  Check them out and visit the Meeting website for many more events: and click HERE for a list of special sessions.

Click HERE to register for the Spokane Annual Meeting

Workshop: Ecological Site Description (ESD) and State-and-Transition Model (STM) Development Saturday, Jan. 28, 8:00am - 5:00pm.  Registration required.
  • Provide examples of both successful STM development using a variety of data sources, and practical management applications of ESDs and STMs. Offer training and tools necessary for accurate and accelerated ESD development.
  • Facilitate communication among professionals involved in ESD and STM development, and increase the accuracy and efficiency of ESDs by sharing ideas and building relationships.
Workshop: Using Ecological Site Descriptions (ESD) as a Decision Making Tool Monday & Wednesday Jan. 30 - Feb. 2, Monday & Wednesday 1:00pm - 5:00pm, Tuesday & Thursday 8:00am - 12:00pm.  Registration required.
  • Beginning ESD workshop targeting professionals with three to ten years experience, whose job responsibilities include identifying and using ESD to make management alternatives and/or decisions. The 4-session workshop will include basic concepts of ecological sites and identifying sites; what are ESDs and how are they developed; and using ESD as a decision-making tool, as a standard to evaluate status/success, and as a risk assessment tool.
Rancher's Forum Tuesday, Jan. 31, 8:45am - 4:50pm.
  • Keeping the Family Ranch in the Family
  • Crooked Calf Syndrome in the Channeled Scablands and Beyond
  • Sage Grouse: could this be the Ranchers’ “Spotted Owl”?
Workshop: Technical Service Provider Training (TSP) Tuesday, Jan. 31, 8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Provide required training and assistance in the registration process to become a certified NRCS Technical Service Provider. An agreement between SRM and NRCS allows TSP candidates who are SRM members to receive basic certification training. Workshop will include instruction for registration process, conservation planning training, TSP orientation, and Grazing Management and Fish and Wildlife Management Conservation Activity Plans. Completing this workshop, candidate applications are ready for certification review with NRCS. Prior to the session, interested participants must obtain an eAuth Level 2 account by visiting the NRCS booth at the trade show.
Forum: Native American Range: Tribal Perspectives and Native American Range Initiative
Tuesday, Jan. 31, 8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Provide interaction among the tribes to identify what does and does not work, and work to common solutions. One half day will present PNW local issues, and one half day will be breakout sessions to identify problems and solutions.
Workshop: Effective Communication for Rangeland Management and other Natural Resource Management Specialists Sunday, Jan. 29, 1:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Provide information to help all federal employees in the natural resource fields communicate more effectively with supervisors, co-workers and external customers, with the focus on BLM resource specialists.
  • Pre-register through DOI Learn. BLM participants will receive training credits for completing the course Topics: verbal and written communication with internal and external customers, including what livestock operators who graze on public lands expect when communicating with BLM employees.
Symposium: Climate Change and North American Rangelands: Evidence, Implications, and Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies
Thursday, Feb. 2, 8:00am - 12:00pm
  • Provide a clear, concise summary of the vast climate change literature that is of direct relevance to rangelands to inform management and policy decisions and guide future research programs. Specific objectives are to: 1) present evidence for recent and projected climatic change, 2) outline potential ecological consequences, and 3) identify probable mitigation and adaptation strategies.
Forum: Rangeland Collaboration: Ranch and Landscape Scale Tuesday, Jan. 31, 8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Demonstrate and discuss the benefits and challenges of working with multiple stakeholders and partners to improve rangeland management. Increasingly, rangeland decisions are being made by groups of stakeholders using a variety of processes to manage public land grazing allotments, an entire state or an ecosystem. Case studies will feature a variety of collaborative efforts and will highlight lessons learned from a variety of perspectives. Discuss benefits and challenges of working together to improve management and resolve thorny issues.
Symposium: Free Roaming Wild and Feral Horses: Current Knowledge in Ecology, Habitat Use, and Management Tuesday, Jan. 31, 8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Present current research, in a neutral and unbiased forum, on free roaming, wild, and feral horse ecology, including horse evolution and behavior, horse and wildlife interactions, impacts on vegetation, diet selection, population control, and habitat use and movement patterns.
  • This will be valuable for all rangeland professionals tasked with managing rangelands and the animals they support. In the United States, where the horses are federally protected, the BLM estimates over 38,000 horses and burros are roaming on BLM lands. Appropriate management levels are 26,582. Populations are estimated to double every four years. BLM states that, “the ecosystems of public rangelands are not able to withstand the impacts from overpopulated herds which include soil erosion, sedimentation of streams, and damage to wildlife habitat. These numbers do not include horses on state-owned or Native American lands, nor the domestic horses being released into the “wild” due to the current economic recession. Canadian feral horse populations, mostly concentrated in British Columbia and Alberta, have been increasing since the early 1900s. Though not protected by law, the management of the horses and their habitat is a sensitive and 28 SRM 65th Annual Meeting Spokane, Washington important issue. Australia has the largest population of feral horses (brumbies) in the world, estimated at over 400,000, increasing annually at about 20%. The brumbies have cultural and potential economic value, making their management a complex issue.
And many more!  Click here for a full list and visit the Annual Meeting website for other events and opportunities.

Click HERE to register for the Spokane Annual Meeting

Interested in becoming a sponsor or exhibitor at the Spokane Annual Meeting?  The Annual Meeting and Trade Show offers extensive opportunities to promote your organization and gain exposure to more than 2,000 rangeland professionals.  Click here to access the sponsorship prospectus and here for the exhibitor prospectus.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Current Issue of Rangelands: Preserving Rangeland Ecosystems Could Become a Profitable Enterprise

News Release
Preserving rangeland ecosystems could become a profitable enterprise

Rangelands – Sixty percent of the ecosystem services that all life depends on are being degraded and used in ways that cannot be sustained. This is the conclusion of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, a scientific report about human interaction with the lands and waters of our world. Fortunately, finding ways to incorporate ecosystem services into our world economies is also on the rise.

The current issue of the journal Rangelands offers several articles focusing on the intertwining of ecosystems and economies in the context of America’s rangelands. Authors discuss topics such as payment for ecosystem services, market-based approaches to climate change mitigation, and carbon offsets.

About 31 percent of the United States consists of public and private rangelands, providing an abundance of ecosystem opportunities. Ranchers are the primary stewards of large sections of the western U.S. landscape. Their businesses depend on clean water and abundant vegetation, and provide the public these benefits as well.

But with rising costs for land and production, public scrutiny, and other challenges, ranchers may turn to extractive uses of their land, such as housing development, to make a profit. While livestock sales currently provide a rancher’s income, payment for practicing good stewardship could provide income and ecosystem preservation at the same time.

Increased plant production and biological sequestration can increase carbon uptake, mitigating climate change. This can be accomplished by sustaining ranchlands against land conversion and promoting good land management. A carbon market could compensate ranchers for managing their lands in ways that sequester carbon and offset the emission of greenhouse gases in other places.

The 52,000-acre Trigg Ranch in New Mexico offers a case study in carbon sequestration. The Trigg family took part in the 2008 Chicago Climate Exchange program that allowed ranchers to generate and sell carbon credits. The family earned $90,000 by selling the carbon credits they generated to a Texas corporation.

The path of the Trigg Ranch illustrates how landowners might transition to carbon-oriented grazing management. The family has re-created their ranch as an enterprise that emphasizes continuity and sustainability rather than short-term profits.

Full text of “Rangelands and Ecosystem Services: Economic Wealth From Land Health?” and other articles in this issue of Rangelands, Vol. 33, No. 5, October 2011, are available at
About Rangelands

Rangelands is a full-color publication of the Society for Range Management published six times per year. Each issue of Rangelands features scientific articles, book reviews, and society news. Additionally, readers may find youth, technology, and policy departments. The journal provides a forum for readers to get scientifically correct information in a user friendly, non-technical format. Rangelands is intended for a wide range of individuals, including educators, students, rangeland owners and managers, researchers, and policy leaders. The journal is available online at To learn more about the society, please visit

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cowboy Poet's Corner: "Winter in Wyoming" by Stan Tixier

Winter in Wyoming
By Stan Tixier, SRM Utah Section Member

It was winter in Wyoming, it was thirty-five below,
The ground was white and frozen, it was way too cold to snow,
The wind had been a-blowin', clouds a-streakin' crost the sky,
With not a fence a-showin' 'cause the drifts were eight feet high.

There was precious little forage for the livestock or the game,
All the hay stacks near depleted and the silos much the same,
The water lines were frozen up, some busted clear apart,
The barn door wouldn't open and the pickup wouldn't start.

'Cause the diesel fuel was jelly, there was no way it could flow,
The wood pile was exhausted and the propane tank was low,
But cows had started calvin', as is normal in such years,
Most calves survived it somehow, but with little froze-off ears.

Conditions, very likely, was the same for miles around,
But I didn't know for certain, 'cause the phone lines all was down,
The radio would crackle every time I turned it on,
At last it went plum silent 'cause the batteries was gone.

Yeah, the barn door wouldn't open, and the corral gate, the same,
But it didn't really matter, 'cause my saddle horse was lame,
I'z hopin' that a warm Chinook might blow in from the east,
But the winter had to linger for a couple months at least.

I maybe had pneumonia, or perhaps it was the flu,
All I knew was, I felt rotten, and my nose was runnin' too,
I spent a lotta' time in bed, 'ain't sure exactly why,
The only place I could stay warm, and handy should I die.

But I vowed things would be different, and I'd not have to contend
With dreadful cold conditions, and near lose it all again,
I figured I'd just sell out, move to somplace that was hot,
Arizona, south of Tucson, where it doesn't snow a lot.

Well, I somehow did survive it, and I didn't lose a cow,
'Cause the spring arrived on schedule, and we all thawed out somehow,
But really was a cold one, I could feel it in my toes,
'Cause despite three pairs of stockin's, four or five of 'em was froze.

Well, I'm tellin' you my troubles 'bout the time I had last year,
When disaster come a-callin' and it passed by really near,
So I'm writin' now to tell ya, 'cause I thought you'd like to know
That it's winter in Wyoming, and it's thirty-five below!

From the book:
A Better Lookin' Horse: Cowboy Poetry and Other Verse (2003) by Stan Tixier

Want more cowboy poetry?  Poetry books and CDs by Stan Tixier are available for purchase from Western Heritage Company, 1-800-303-5703.  And don't worry, Cowboy Poet's Corner will continue to post to the SRM blog in coming months.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

ESD Florida Workshop - Registration Opens Monday, September 26, 2011!

The Ecological Site Applications Workshop
Lake Placid/Venus, Florida
November 15-17, 2011
Don't be late!  Registration for the upcoming Ecological Site Applications Workshop in Florida opens this MONDAY, September 26 at 8:00am MDT

The Interagency Ecological Site Applications Workshop will encompass three days (includes time in the field each day) with content tailored to take advantage of local conditions and issues.  The Workshop will focus on foundational knowledge, skills and understanding of Ecological Site Descriptions, state-and-transition models and interpretations; how to determine ecological sites and ecological states in the field; the utility of ESDs for conservation planning, assessment and monitoring; and the framework for understanding and participating in the move from first to second generation ESDs.  The agenda aims to establish a basis for collaboration among participants and introduce them to the local experts who will be able to assist them in the future when developing projects and working with ESDs.  Workshop content will illustrate the current state of ESD development and implementation in the local area as well as act as a launching pad for additional collaborative efforts. 

Workshop Objectives:
  • Enhance foundational knowledge, skills and understanding of Ecological Site Descriptions, state-and-transition models and their interpretations.
  • Provide the framework for moving from first to second generation Ecological Site Descriptions.
  • Showcase the utility of Ecological Site Descriptions as a working and dynamic tool used to document ecological knowledge and assist in applied conservation and management.
Workshop Details:
  • Workshop will be held at the Archbold Biological Station ( in Venus, Florida (just outside of Lake Placid, Florida).
  • Registration is open to anyone that is interested and will allow a maximum of 40 participants.
  • Encompasses 3 days (includes time in the field each day) with content tailored to take advantage of local conditions and issues.
  • Registration:
    • $150 for employees of sponsoring agencies (ARS, BLM, NRCS)
    • $150 for current Society for Range Management members
    • $250 for all others
    • Other sponsoring agencies/groups may be added in time, so please check the ESD website for current information prior to registering. Due to the remote location of this workshop, registration will include all training materials, field trip transportation and most meals including 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners.
  • Features KEYNOTE speaker Dr. Hilary Swain, Director of the Archbold Biological Station, on Ecosystems of Florida’s Lake Wales Ridge
  • Workshop instructors include some of the world’s leading experts on ESDs including: Dr. Brandon Bestelmeyer, Dr. Joel Brown, Greg Hendricks, Homer Sanchez, Pat Shaver, and others.
For questions about the workshop, please contact:
Aleta Rudeen
SRM Director of Outreach and Leadership Development
(303) 720-2715

 Registration and details about this workshop will be posted on the SRM ESD website:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Ecological Site Applications Workshop - Summary Report

Nunn, Colorado and Cheyenne, Wyoming
August 23 – 25, 2011

“[The workshop was] …very well done and it is among the best workshops I have ever attended on any topic.” – Rob Alexander, workshop participant

The first regional Ecological Site Applications workshop was held at the Shortgrass Steppe Research and Interpretation Center near Nunn, Colorado, and Cheyenne, Wyoming, August 23 – 25, 2011.  The workshop focused on how to use and interpret Ecological Site Descriptions (ESD) and also helped SRM and agency partners identify methods to successfully implement future ESD workshops and training.

The workshop hosted 40 registrants from a variety of organizations and a wide range of skills and experience with ESDs.  Workshop participants represented federal and state agencies and private organizations: NRCS (30%), BLM (25%), universities (17.5%), USFS (10%), ARS (5%), and other (12.5%) including BIA, NPS, county and state agencies and the private sector.

The first morning of the workshop was comprised of a series of informative presentations.  Dr. Bill Lauenroth provided an overview of the regional ecology, driving variables (temperature and precipitation) and the soil and plant responses to these in the Great Plains and specifically for the shortgrass steppe.  Dr. Brandon Bestelmeyer presented a comprehensive overview of Ecological Site history, basic concepts and status.  Finally, Rick Peterson presented a good description of the work underway in moving to the next generation of ESDs.
 The afternoon of the first day and the full second day of the workshop were spent in the field.  Field exercises focused on the principles of ecological site inventory, techniques for determining ecological sites and states, and the influence of management practices.  Of particular interest on the second day was a visit to the High Plains Grasslands Research Station, where Drs. Jack Morgan and Dana Blumenthal showcased the application of ESDs and influence of increasing atmospheric CO2 and climate change to conservation planning and assessment in the field for northern mixed grass prairie.  Other highlights included a trip to the Medicine Bow National Forest to demonstrate the principles of ESDs in forested ecotones.

Workshop participants enjoyed dinner and entertainment both Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.  Tuesday night, the Weld County Cattlewomen hosted a Cream Can Cookout in Slayton pasture, followed by Cowboy Poetry presented by Dick Hart.  Wednesday night, participants traveled to Bit-O-Wyo, The Horse Barn Dinner Show, for food and entertainment.  Evening dinner activities gave participants the opportunity to spend time networking and continue conversations from the day.  Additionally, breakfasts, lunches, and snacks were provided as part of the workshop.
In order to address lingering questions about ESDs and participant comments from the first two days of the workshop, organizers revamped the third day of the workshop to address remaining questions.  In the morning, SRM President Jack Alexander gave a thorough presentation of the components of a newly developed (second generation) ESD giving participants a better idea of the proposed ESD format.  Participants then broke into small groups for a field exercise designed to demonstrate site delineation.  During this field activity, participants identified soils and determined which site descriptions were applicable,  then proceeded to identify the state based on vegetation and existing ESDs provided.  During the final afternoon session, participants joined groups to discuss topics of interest that deviated from the overall workshop objectives, but were of significance to certain attendees (policy, current status, history).  Finally, participants reconvened for the final workshop synthesis before heading home.

The Ecological Site Applications workshop was very successful, though it was not without its surprises.  Since this workshop was the first of its kind, it was difficult for organizers to know in advance which areas would need more or less elaboration, and what order would best meet the learning objectives for the week.  In order to achieve the objectives of this first workshop, organizers paid close attention to comments on daily evaluation forms and redesigned portions of the workshop in order to address uncertainty and respond to outstanding questions.  Thus, future workshops will embrace participant feedback and comments about what was most effective for each day of the workshop.  Additionally, instructors have a better sense of what types of questions might arise during the training and how to most efficiently communicate ESDs to a diverse audience.

Ultimately, participants left the Ecological Site Applications workshop with a better understanding of how to interpret ESDs, the similarities and differences of first and second generation ESDs, and how to use ESDs in the field.  Participants also gained a better understanding of how ESDs intercept with their work and their relationship with existing classification systems and data.  Additionally, the flexible framework and adjustments to the workshop made it possible to tailor the workshop to the specific audience on-site.  Organizers intend to build this flexibility into future workshops to ensure success with all training groups.

The next ESD workshop will be held at the Archbold Biological Station in Lake Placid, Florida, November 15-17, 2011.  Registration information will be posted on the SRM website:  There will also be two ESD workshops at the SRM Annual Meeting in Spokane, Washington, January 29 – February 3, 2012.  Information about both of these workshops is available on the Annual Meeting website:  Future ESD workshops are also scheduled for Reno, Nevada in June 2012 and again in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Nunn, Colorado in August 2012.

Questions about this or future ESD workshops, please contact Aleta Rudeen: