Celebrate the Diversity of the Piedmont
VNPS Annual Meeting & Conference
September 27-29, 2019
Front Royal, VA
Shenandoah River State Park - Photo by Karen Hendershot
Members of the VNPS Piedmont Chapter are looking forward to hosting the 2019 VNPS Annual Meeting on September 27–29 in Front Royal. We will meet at the Holiday Inn Blue Ridge Shadows, about five miles north of Front Royal, allowing us to showcase the diversity of our region.
The environmental resources of our largely rural area have attracted a rich scientific community. Just south of Front Royal lies the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, while to the north is the Blandy Experimental Farm, which includes the State Arboretum of Virginia.
Experts passionate about understanding our natural world will guide our walks. They will also lead art classes and photography workshops and give presentations on such topics as edible plants, nectar plants, and propagation.
Plan now to join us in September and Celebrate the Diversity of the Piedmont.
The Conference opens Friday evening with a presentation by Dr. T’ai Roulston, Curator of the State Arboretum of Virginia and Research Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia. Dr. Roulston's primary research area is plant-pollinator interactions, which he studies through field and laboratory approaches. These include studies of pollen chemistry, particularly protein, to characterize the diversity of pollen nutrient rewards and their effects on pollinator host plant choice and larval development. His research also includes specialization/generalization in plant-pollinator interactions, endangered species conservation, habitat fragmentation, foraging behavior and nestmate recognition in social Hymenoptera, and the impact of exotic species on native organisms.
Saturday evening's keynote speaker is Dr. Woody Bousquet, Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology at Shenandoah University and President of the Virginia Academy of Science. Dr. Bousquet's research and expertise include environmental education, science education, environmental protection at the community level, and Appalachian geography. He and his students investigate wetlands, evaluate water quality, and document the ecology of natural areas, particularly in and around the Shenandoah Valley region. Dr. Bousquet and environmental studies undergraduates received the Joe Penfold Memorial Award for Grassroots Conservation. Presented by the Mason-Dixon Outdoor Writers Association, the award recognized 15 years of effort to preserve, study and promote the Abrams Creek Wetlands in Winchester and Frederick County, Virginia.