2017 Conference

Invasion Biology: Paths to Conservation and Restoration Success

The 2017 conference of the Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council,
co-hosted by the Society for Ecological Restoration, Mid-Atlantic Chapter.

Monday, July 31 – Wednesday, August 2, 2017
at Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA

Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Douglas Tallamy, Professor of Entomology, University of Delaware

MAIPC and SER-Mid Atlantic have joined forces to present a two-day conference at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.  The biology and ecology of invasive plants are a driving factor in their impacts on natural areas, while past disturbance, land use, soils and other factors can strongly influence the success of restoration efforts.  We will explore a variety of topics relating to invasion biology and restoration: impacts of invasive plants on whole ecosystems, invasive plant management partnerships at multiple spatial scales, the news in latest biocontrol, and melding restoration with working landscapes.  Additionally, we will present two rapid-fire sessions of short, 7-minute talks, an evening poster pub, and field trips to local restoration sites. Plenty of time will be available for questions, discussion, and networking with speakers and attendees. We invite you to join us for this 9th Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council Conference. It will be an exciting and informative two-day meeting.

Plus: Monday, July 31 | 7:00pm Screening of Hometown Habitat
This is a 90-minute environmental, education documentary focused on showing how and why native plants are critical to the survival and vitality of local ecosystems. Entomologist Doug Tallamy, whose research, books and lectures, on the misuse of non-native plants in landscaping, sound the alarm about habitat and species loss provides the narrative thread throughout Hometown Habitat.

List of Speakers


A J Ewing is senior horticulturist at the Pittsburgh Botanical Garden. AJ received his bachelor’s degree in botany and ecology from Juniata College, and his master’s in landscape design and development from Chatham University. His role at the botanic garden is to create ecological aesthetics and engage the public by interpreting the landscape. The mission of the Pittsburgh Botanical Garden is to reclaim land from Pittsburgh’s gritty, industrial past and bring it back to life with healthy trees, inviting trails, forested slopes and open meadows.
Beth Ginter, MPSLD, CBLP is coordinator of the Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional (CBLP) Program. She is responsible for overseeing all aspects this new program that aims to ensure consistent training and practice standards for landscape professionals working in the fields of sustainable design, installation, and maintenance across the Chesapeake Bay region. Ms. Ginter founded a landscape consulting and design firm, The Honeybee Group, in 2005 to provide sustainable design solutions for residential clients and schools in the Washington, DC area. Ms. She holds a Master’s degree in Sustainable Landscape Design from The George Washington University and served on the Board of the Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council and is currently an advisor to Urban Ecosystem Restorations. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Dr. Judy Hough-Goldstein recently retired from the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where she taught pest management and biological control, mentored undergraduate and graduate students, and conducting research on insect-plant interactions. Work in her laboratory led to release of the Asian mile-a-minute weevil in North America, where it has helped to reduce populations of the invasive weed Persicaria perfoliata.
Dr. William McShea is a wildlife ecologist for the Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute at Front Royal, Virginia and received his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He is co-chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Deer Specialist Group, which is responsible for setting endangerment levels for deer species worldwide. He has edited four volumes on wildlife management (deer, oak forests, Asian wildlife, and giant pandas) and co-authored a book on deer ecology. When not in Virginia, Bill works in Southeast Asia, Borneo, and China. Bill’s research focuses on the management and diversity of wildlife populations and much of this work involves mammal surveys using camera traps. Bill is a founding member of eMammal (www.emammal.org), which facilitates citizen science projects using camera traps and displays wildlife data and images through the website.
Mike Powell is a native West Virginian and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from West Virginia University. As stewardship director for the Nature Conservancy in West Virginia Mike manages field crews that emphasize on non-native invasive species management and red spruce restoration. He also manages the network of conserved lands in West Virginia including 15 public nature preserves and numerous conservation easements on private lands.
Rod Simmons is a plant ecologist, with a background in biology and geology, who has extensively surveyed the flora and natural communities of the mid-Atlantic region, especially the inner Coastal Plain and Piedmont of the greater Washington, D.C. area. He is a Research Associate with the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution; a member of the Virginia Botanical Associates; and works closely with the Virginia and Maryland natural heritage programs. He is a member and a past president of the Botanical Society of Washington and past president of the Maryland Native Plant Society. He is the Natural Resource Manager and Plant Ecologist for the City of Alexandria, Virginia.
Dr. Douglas Tallamy is a professor of the entomology in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware. He received his Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Maryland. Dr. Tallamy’s research interests are varied and include behavioral ecology of insects, conservation of biodiversity, impact of alien plants on native ecosystems, and plant-insect interactions. Dr.Tallamy is the author of Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens.
Conference Agenda

Opening Night, July 31

7:00pm – Neff Lecture Hall, William J. von Liebig Center for Science building — Screening of Hometown Habitat

This is a 90-minute environmental, education documentary focused on showing how and why native plants are critical to the survival and vitality of local ecosystems. Entomologist Doug Tallamy, whose research, books and lectures, on the misuse of non-native plants in landscaping, sound the alarm about habitat and species loss provides the narrative thread throughout Hometown Habitat.

Day One, August 1
Brumbaugh Academic Center (Alumni Hall), Room A-100

8:00am Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:10am Welcome from Mid Atlantic Invasive Plant Council and the Society for Ecological Restoration

9:20am Keynote Speaker: Are “Alien” Plants “Bad”? — Dr. Douglas Tallamy
The expense of fighting introduced plant invasions and the unpopularity of restricting sales of ornamental invasives have motivated several public figures to question the wisdom of continuing to battle invasive plants. After all, they argue, if an introduced plant helps a particular butterfly, bird, or bee, why not embrace it? Using data from several studies, Dr. Tallamy answers this and related questions, showing that we can determine the overall impact of introduced plants on our ecosystems only by comparing what is gained from their use with what is lost when they replace native plant communities.  Introduced plants are not the ecological equivalents of the native plants they displace because they do not support the diverse and stable food webs that run our ecosystems.

10:20am Break

10:45am Biological control of invasive weeds in the eastern U.S. — Dr. Judy Hough-Goldstein
Biological control of weeds involves the deliberate use of living organisms such as insects, mites, nematodes, and fungi to reduce the abundance of a target weed. Typically host-specific natural enemies from the weed’s native range are reunited with the target weed in its introduced range. This talk will review invasive weeds in eastern North America for which there are at least some biocontrol agents established and/or available, and ongoing research that may yield new agents in the future.

11:15am From Brownfield to Botanic Garden -AJ Ewing
This talk will describe the process of turning a strip-mined brownfield into a living and thriving botanic garden. Restoration efforts and invasive species management will be discussed.

11:45am —Beth Ginter—Advisor, Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council
The Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional (CBLP) is a new, voluntary certification program. Through regional collaboration with watershed groups, non-profits, local government, landscape trade organizations, education/training partners, and businesses, CBLP is building a network of professionals to design, install, and maintain sustainable landscapes and stormwater practices throughout the Bay region. Because landscape professionals impact thousands of acres in the Bay watershed, they have a unique opportunity to effect positive change. The certification program includes foundational instruction on conservation practices that incorporate native species, promote biodiversity, and aim to reduce the negative impacts of invasive plants, all in an effort to create landscapes that mimic and support natural systems.

12:15pm Lunch

1:30pm TED Talks Session I (Theme: Restoration)

  • Adam Mitchell; A restructuring of arthropod communities following plant invasion in the Mid-Atlantic: Evidence for “Green-to-Brown” shift in food webs.
  • Arthur F. Link III; Management of Berberis thunbergii: Effects of Removing a Non-native on Forest Plant Communities and Soil Conditions
  • Jessica Arcate Schuler; Restoring an Old Growth Urban Forest in the Heart of the New York Botanical Garden.
  • Ann Aldrich; Dumbarton Oaks Park, a living landscape: Dumbarton Oaks Park Revealed
  • Bill Young; Creation of a Wetland Mitigation Bank for Riparian Habitat in Northwestern New Jersey
  • Donna Marie Foster; Restoring a Blue Heron Rookery on Lower Black River, Ohio

2:15pm Panel with TED Talk Speakers

3:00pm Break

3:20pm  Red Spruce Restoration in West Virginia: Successful Partnerships and Successful Projects — Mike Powell, Land Manager, The Nature Conservancy
Successful partnerships have led to successful implementation of projects in West Virginia related to restoration of the red spruce ecosystem. As a member of CASRI (Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative), The Nature Conservancy in West Virginia is implementing a wide variety of restoration projects by planting trees, thinning hardwood stands for releasing spruce, conserving high priority lands and other strategies to restore and protect this important landscape.

3:50pm The Limits of RestorationRod Simmons—City of Alexandria, VA
Rod will focus on natural resource management and protection with the practices of “do no harm” and keeping areas natural through Best Management Practices as the overarching goals.  The merits of the often related practices of stream bank restoration and mitigation banking; removal and control of non-native invasive species; and pressures to plant after invasive plants are removed will be discussed and qualified.  Best Management Practices will also be suggested.

4:30pm Adjourn for Reception

Day Two, August 2
Brumbaugh Academic Center (Alumni Hall), Room A-100

9:00am Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council Business Meeting & SER Business Meeting

10:00am Role of Deer in Expansion of Exotic Plant Species in Eastern Forests -Dr. William J. McShea
White-tailed deer are keystone species that shape forest ecosystems through their selective herbivory and the indirect effects of their behavior across trophic levels (e.g. migratory birds, small mammals, and insects). With the rapid spread of exotic plant species within many eastern deciduous forests there is the strong potential for deer to contribute significantly to the pattern and rate of that spread. Dr. McShea will summarize several recent studies on how deer might facilitate the spread of exotic species in mature deciduous forests of Virginia and Maryland, mostly through the experimental removal of deer or invasive plants.

10:30am Break

10:45am Ted Talks II (Theme: Invasive Plant Management)

  • Janet A. Morrison; The roles of white-tailed deer and invasive plants in suburban forest ecology and management
  • Art Gover; A Simple Prioritization Process Allows PA State Parks to Manage Invasive Species with Limited Resources
  • Christina Andruk; A new invasive threat: the distribution and habitat requirements of Corydalis incisa along the Bronx River in Westchester County NY
  • Erynn Maynard; Novel leaf phenology of invasive shrubs across eastern U.S. forests
  • Kimberly Bohn; Choosing the right scale for your CWMA: one size does not fit all
  • Mark Frey; Invader Detectives: leveraging citizen science for EDRR

11:25am Panel with TED Talk Speakers

12:15pm Lunch

1:45pm Field Session
Invasive Plant Control, Inc. (IPC) will lead a demonstration of tools, equipment and treatment methods for common invasive plants, and participants may also tour a riparian restoration site with the local watershed conservation district manager.  The site includes invasive plant management in a wetland area, restoration with native plants, and significant tree canopy loss due to the emerald ash borer. Norris Muth, Professor at Juniata College, will also discuss his research on Ailanthus wilt bio-control.

4:00pm Adjourn

Registration & Fees
$210 per person
$100 for Students with ID
*Registration will be refunded only if notification is received no later than seven (7) working days prior to the event less a $15 processing fee.

Registration includes continental breakfast and lunch on Aug 1 & 2, coffee at break times, and appetizers during the poster session.

Register Online Now

Who Should Attend
Managers of parks, preserves, conservation districts and other natural areas, invasive plant management and restoration specialists, researchers, students, gardeners, landscape architects, managers of botanical gardens and nurseries, extension agents, environmental educators, garden writers, recreational land managers, and others interested in learning more about invasive plants, biodiversity and habitat restoration.

A limited number of scholarships are available for students to offset the cost of the conference (but not travel and lodging). Students can apply for scholarships by filling out this form.  Scholarships are sponsored by Invasive Plant Control Inc., and Pepco.

Note: We are working on securing credits from ASLA, and ISA, and have applied for pesticide licensing CEUs from all states in the mid-Atlantic.

Overnight Accommodations
A limited number of overnight accommodations are available in the Juniata College dormitories. Click here for reservations »

Click here for a list of area hotels »