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17th Annual Meeting of the Society for Conservation Biology to be Held in Duluth, MN, June 28–July 2

March 4, 2003

Coastal pollution, loss of coral reefs, the struggle to maintain biodiversity – these challenging natural resource issues and many others faced across the world today are strongly linked to the interaction between land and water. The management and understanding of land, freshwater, and marine systems are essential to effectively deal with these problems. These situations, in addition to current estimates that by 2005, two-thirds of the world’s population will be living with serious water shortages or almost no water at all, led the United Nations to designate 2003 as the International Year of Fresh Water.

An international gathering of more than 1,200 biologists will convene this summer in Duluth, MN, to discuss interactions between land and water for the 17th Annual Society for Conservation Biology Meeting. The event will run from June 28 through July 2, and is hosted by the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Natural Resources Research Institute and Continuing Education Program, and the University of Minnesota’s Sea Grant Program and Conservation Biology Graduate Program.

“It’s fitting to host this meeting on the coast of Lake Superior,” said Carl Richards, director for Minnesota Sea Grant. “It’s one of the largest lakes in the world in a region with an extremely high density of inland lakes, rivers, and wetlands next to urban, agricultural, and forested areas. The areas where land meets water are dynamic. Most are home to unique species and are exposed to many human and natural disturbances. Through this meeting, we will encourage dialogue on land-water interactions as well as a host of other conservation biology topics,” Richards said.

Plenary presentations will be given by Michael Dombeck, Pioneer Professor of Global Environmental Management at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and former director of the U.S. Forest Service; Jane Lubchenco, Valley Professor of Marine Biology and Distinguished Professor of Zoology at Oregon State University; David Schindler, Killam Memorial Professor of Ecology at the University of Alberta; and Joy Zedler, Aldo Leopold Professor of Restoration Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The scientific program will include 15 symposia focusing on a wide variety of conservation issues, including coastal wetlands, climate change, wide-ranging species, land-use planning, and marine reserves. Over 700 abstracts have been reviewed for presentation at the meeting, and several workshops and organized discussions are planned.

The public is invited to be involved in the conference by visiting several local art galleries, which are adopting the conference theme of land and water interactions in gallery shows.

The meeting will be held at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. The early registration fee (deadline May 1) is $200 for Society members, and $300 for nonmembers ($100 for students). Meals, field trips, and entertainment are extra.

For more information, you can access the conference Web site or contact the conference administrator, Kris Lund at (218) 726-7810 or 2003@conbio.org.

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