Texas Plant Conservation Program


The Botanical Research Institute of Texas and Fort Worth Botanic Garden are pleased to invite you to attend the 2018 biennial meeting of the Texas Plant Conservation Conference (TPCC) in Fort Worth, Texas. This year we will focus on COLLABORATIONS. The daunting task of protecting the native flora of Texas can only be achieved if we work together. The goal of this year’s conference is to foster communication among conservation organizations, agencies, academics, educators, and the public. Sessions will focus on increased participation and discussion, with ample opportunities to network with fellow conservationists. Bring your ideas, insights, and expertise as we tackle some of the greatest challenges facing plant conservation today.

Schedule Overview

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Regular Session
8:00 am                 Registration
8:30                       Welcome
9:00                       Keynote address by Jennifer Ceska, Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance
10:00                     Break
10:30                     Innovator talks
12:00 pm              Lunch
1:00                       Workshops
3:00                       Break
3:30                       Lightning talks

Poster Reception
5:00-8:00 pm          Poster session and awards dinner

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Regular Session
8:00 am                 Registration
8:30                       Innovator talks
10:00                     Break
10:30                     Innovator talks
11:00                     Tours
12:00 pm              Lunch
1:00                       Lightning talks
1:45                       Working Groups
3:00                       Break
3:30                       Working Groups
5:00                       Closing remarks

Friday, September 21, 2018

8 am-5 pm           IUCN Red List Assessment Training

View the full program and abstracts here.

Wednesday Evening Poster Reception

Unable to attend the whole conference but want an opportunity to network and share ideas? Join us on Wednesday, September 19th from 5 to 8 pm for the Poster Reception and Dinner. Share a poster on your latest project or just browse and mingle. Educators and students of all grade levels are invited to share their class projects to gain experience, feedback, and a resume boost. There is still time to submit abstracts for poster presentations. To register for just the poster reception, select the “Poster Reception Only” option on the registration page. Contact Kim Taylor (ktaylor@brit.org) if you would like to submit a poster abstract.

IUCN Red List Assessment Training 

Friday, 21 September 2018

This special session will be held Friday, 21 September 2018 from 8 am to 5 pm. Become an official Red List Assessor for your specialty region or taxonomic group! George E. Schatz of the Missouri Botanical Garden/IUCN Species Survival Commission will provide training, and participating botanists will evaluate several plant species for Red List submission. As botanists and conservationists, we can participate in an important global biodiversity initiative and contribute to international conservation goals by conducting Red List assessments of the species that we know best. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is important because it allows us to evaluate the risk of extinction for any given species, providing open-source data that can be used for research, funding, and conservation prioritization. The workshop will be a full day. Prior to the workshop, participants will be required to complete online training in Red List assessment methodology, and come prepared with data on their species, including occurrences, population size, and threats. The morning session will include a review of terms, categories, criteria, concepts, and some examples. In the afternoon session, participants will assess species on their own or in small groups with assistance from the workshop leader. By the end of the workshop, each participant should have a Red List assessment ready to submit to IUCN. 

Web Sites: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (http://www.iucnredlist.org/) Online IUCN Red List Training Course (http://www.iucnredlist.org/technical-documents/red-list-training/online-training)

List of Presentations

Opening & Keynote

Oral Presentations (alphabetical)

Lightning Talks (alphabetical)

Poster Presentations (alphabetical)


Workshops will occur during the Day 1 Regular Session (Wednesday, Sept. 19). These two-hour workshops will be focused on enhancing skills important for conservation. Attendees will have the opportunity to attend one of the workshops below.

1. The Armchair Botanist: Engaging the Online Community to Improve our Knowledge of the Texas Flora

Instructors: Jason Best (BRIT), Tiana Rehman (BRIT)

While more than 3 million botanical specimens exist in Texas herbaria, only a small fraction of these are digitally accessible for observation or inclusion in scientific studies. Producing images of these specimens is often the first step in liberating these data; the second step is engaging our citizen science community to help us extract the label information from these images. We’ll explore the different citizen science projects and platforms that are helping herbaria in Texas compile specimen data then we’ll dive in to the transcription process. We’ll model how you might lead your own transcription blitz, liberating your own specimens or those from any other herbarium. Bring your computer and join us as we extract data from historical Texas specimens and do some virtual botanizing!

2. Seven Stages for Banking Seeds of Native Texas Flora

Instructors: Minnette Marr (Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center), Anita Tiller (Mercer Botanic Gardens), Suzzanne Chapman (Mercer Botanic Gardens)

The Millennium Seedbank Project Standards and Center for Plant Conservation Ex Situ Plant Conservation Protocols offer guidance for long-term conservation of seeds. Workshop participants will learn how Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and Mercer Botanic Gardens address each of the seven stages of seed conservation. Following hands-on activities with wildflower seeds, we will compare protocols for collecting species of greatest conservation need to protocols for collecting ecotypes of workhorse species. Then we will review techniques for processing the accessions with the help of volunteers, preparing seeds for storage, monitoring viability of seeds, managing the data, and distributing seeds for restoration and research projects. The workshop will end with a discussion of assessing and mitigating risks associated with natural disasters. Handouts will include the MSBP Standards, the Seeds of Success Field Data Form, the Texas Natural Diversity Database Reporting Form, and the Uniform Biological Transfer Agreement. Participants are encouraged to bring a small pocket knife with scissors, a pint container with a tight lid and a smart phone or tablet.

3. Developing conservation banks for orchid mycorrhizae and seeds in Texas: concept and methods

Instructor: Dr. Jyotsna Sharma, Texas Tech University (TTU)

Orchids represent 10% of all angiosperm flora on the planet and are some of the most threatened plant species. Their unique biology and ecology demands equally unique and creative conservation measures. To safeguard the >50 species that occur in Texas, a partnership of Texas Tech University, BRIT, and NAOCC intends to establish mycorrhizal and seed banks to contribute to global and local biodiversity conservation. Workshop participants will be trained in sampling orchid root tissues and seeds by following protocols that ensure non-destructive, ethical, and timely collection. Instructions for sending materials to scientists at TTU and BRIT will be given, and other relevant topics will be discussed to help volunteers contribute to this mission.

4. Grass Identification

Instructors: Dr. Brooke Best (BRIT), Dan Caudle (BRIT)

Feeling “glumey” due to poor grass ID skills? Then join BRIT staff for a refresher course on grass anatomy and grass identification tips and tricks. Grasses are dominant species in many Texas ecoregions, and accurately identifying them is important to vegetation assessments and community analyses. How can we conserve Texas plants if we can’t properly describe and define the communities in which they are found? Workshop will include hands-on dissections and microscope work.

5. Herbarium and/or Library Access

The BRIT herbarium and library will be open for use by appointment only during the two-hour workshop time. If you would like to access either the library or herbarium during this period in place of a workshop please select this option. Space is very limited. To ensure your spot please email Kim Taylor at ktaylor@brit.org, indicate which facility you would like to access and your reason for access.

Working Groups

Working Groups will occur during the Day 2 Regular Session (Thursday, Sept. 20). Working groups will focus on addressing conservation issues within the indicated topic, with an emphasis on addressing targets within the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

1. Documenting Plant Diversity

This group will address Objective 1 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

Objective I: Plant diversity is well understood, documented and recognized

2. Ex Situ Conservation

This group will address targets 4, 5, 6 and 10 within Objective 2 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

Objective II: Plant diversity is urgently and effectively conserved

3. In Situ Conservation

This group will address targets 7 and 8 within Objective 2 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

Objective II: Plant diversity is urgently and effectively conserved

4. Sustainable Use of Wild Flora

This group will address target 9 within Objective 2 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, as well as targets 11-13 within Objective 3.

Objective II: Plant diversity is urgently and effectively conserved

Objective III: Plant diversity is used in a sustainable and equitable manner

5. Conservation Outreach and Capacity Building

This group will address Objectives 4 and 5 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

Objective IV: Education and awareness about plant diversity, its role in sustainable livelihoods and importance to all life on earth is promoted

Objective V: The capacities and public engagement necessary to implement the Strategy have been developed

Questions? Contact us at Conservation@BRIT.org

Past conferences:

Research Team