NAU To Host Conference of Science & Management on the Colorado Plateau

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The12th Biennial Conference of Science and Management on the Colorado Plateau will be held at Northern Arizona University (NAU) September 16-19, 2013. This forum brings together resource managers and research scientists to discuss findings and management needs associated with the natural and cultural resources of the Colorado Plateau. The theme this year is “Effects of Rapid Climatic, Social, and Technological Changes on the Colorado Plateau.”  

Climate change, energy development, and human population growth on the Colorado Plateau affect water availability, natural systems, and the social character of the plateau. The conference will focus on these agents of change, identifying resource responses to change and opportunities to discuss approaches to ameliorate or reduce negative impacts to the Colorado Plateau’s natural and cultural landscape. The conference will include plenary speakers, symposia, and contributed paper sessions, as well as a poster session.

The conference accepted nearly 300 abstracts for its special and contributed paper sessions and poster session. Monday, September 16, is Clients' Day, which presents an opportunity for groups to meet, host workshops and short courses, or participate in field trips. Participants are invited to attend either of two free workshops.       

“The conference provides an exciting opportunity not only for scientists, land managers, and students to share information and build relationships but also to highlight the exceptional quality of the research taking place at NAU,” said Bill Grabe, NAU Vice President for Research. “The conference has received support from a wide range of NAU departments and federal land-management agencies, which underscores the value of the conference.”

On Monday evening, the conference officially begins with an opening reception and keynote address, which is free and open to the public. The keynote speaker is David S. Wilcove, Professor of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Prior to joining the faculty of Princeton University, he was senior ecologist at the Environmental Defense Fund in Washington, DC, where he developed science-based strategies to protect endangered species. He is the author of No Way Home: The Decline of the World’s Great Animal Migrations (2008), The Condor’s Shadow: The Loss and Recovery of Wildlife in America (1999), and numerous technical and popular articles in the fields of conservation biology, ornithology, and endangered species protection.

According to conference coordinator Lara Schmit, Director of Communication for the Merriam-Powell Center, “The conference organizers have been delighted by the tremendous interest in the conference by scientists, land managers, and students throughout the Colorado Plateau. We are looking forward to a great event and deeply appreciate the support provided by NAU and federal land-management agencies.” 

For additional conference information and the conference agenda, visit Registration forms are on-line at