Upcoming Workshop: Vegetation Databases and the Development of the National Vegetation Classification

Panel Member Dave Roberts has organized a workshop on the NVC and Vegetation Databases at this year’s ESA meeting in Minneapolis, MN.  The workshop will be held on Sunday, August 4, 2013: 8:00 AM-5:00 PM.  The registration fee is $25, and workshop participants should meet at the convention center at 7:15 am. Co-organizers include:
Daniel S. Wovcha , Norman E. Aaseng , Michael Lee , Tom Philippi and Scott R. Abella
The official workshop description is below, and there is still space available!  We hope to see you there…..

The National Vegetation Classification (NVC) is an hierarchical classification system of all natural or semi-natural vegetation in the United States widely used by federal and state conservation agencies, NGOs, and practicing vegetation ecologists. The NVC is a process standard, as opposed to a content standard, and employs a peer-review system for development and modification. All proposed additions or modifications require the submission of a monograph with vegetation analyses on publicly available vegetation data. These data currently reside in a multitude of dispersed databases hosted by state and federal agencies, NGOs, and universities. In this workshop participants will learn the skills necessary to (1) query vegetation data from multiple sources, (2) reconcile the synonymy of species identifications in the data into a single commonly accepted system, (3) combine data from multiple strata or ecologically equivalent species, (4) reconcile and standardize environmental data, and (5) prepare the data for analysis in PC-Ord or R. Participants will work hands-on with multiple vegetation data sets selected for this exercise, and learn how to use R, Excel, or Access to reformat, reclassify, and structure the data into files suitable for analysis. We will address ecological issues of plot data quality, variable plot sizes, variability in taxonomic resolution, differing species abundance codes, different systems of landforms, topographic position, and soil properties, among others. Participants will leave the workshop with a full understanding of both the ecological and technical details necessary to work with publicly available data in support of the NVC.

Panel Activities at the ESA Portland Meeting

The ESA Panel was very active at the ESA meeting in Portland, OR (August 5-10, 2012).  Below are some links to the various activities and sessions that the Vegetation Classification Panel organized, including a workshop, field trip, symposium, and exhibit hall booth:

WK 4 – Vegetation Sample Allocation: A Half-Day Overview

This workshop addressed different techniques of sample allocation and covered the process and strategy for implementing a vegetation sampling strategy using the National Vegetation Classification.

 FT 5 – Allocating Vegetation Sample Plots: A Demonstration of Effective Field Sampling Design in the Oregon Cascades

This field trip addressed effective methods of selecting vegetation sampling locations in a natural landscape. It accompanied the half day workshop on vegetation sample allocation above, and was very well-attended.   The workshop achieved its objective to demonstrate the interaction of existing field data, GIS-based allocation, and follow-up opportunistic sampling to develop a representative landscape-level approach to sampling vegetation in a natural landscape.

SYMP 1 – Frontiers In Measuring and Projecting Long-Lived Vegetation Dynamics

This symposium was very popular at the meeting and brought together scholars who confront a wide range of data showing change in vegetation.

Booth on the NVC and Vegbank in the Exhibit Hall

Panel members staffed the booth, where attendees were able to learn more about the NVC and get help with adding their data to VegBank.