Next week UF/IFAS state specialists, researchers, and graduate students are converging on the UF campus in Gainesville for the 2nd Urban Landscape Summit. The summit promises two days of presentations on new landscape-related research from both faculty and students. There will also be plenty of opportunities to meet presenters and think about how new findings might be applicable to your local program. IrriGator spoke with Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology Director Michael Dukes for an insider perspective on the event. We end with a closer look at several of the many presentations slated for March 16th & 17th.
IG: This is the second year for the Urban Landscape Summit. How is this year different?
MD: This year is different because people now know what it’s about. Thematically, we have quite a bit of water topics this year. Part of the reason for that is because we’ve invited our new water cohort faculty – Drs. Bean and Barrera - to present at the summit, as well as the new regional specialized agents in water, most of them will be there presenting. In landscapes it’s always a heavy water focus, whether it be water quality or water quantity. So while some things are the same, the new faces that we’ll have there this year, that will be a difference.
IG: Is there some aspect of the summit you’re most looking forward to this year?
MD: I’m excited about our two keynotes. First we have Dr. Mark Clark, who is a water quality specialist and he’ll be talking about urban water quality. He’s a really good speaker and he has a strong background in water quality. On the second day we have a keynote group – the Water 2070 team. They are going to be talking about the report that was released last year on projected water consumption and the impact of land development on water resources in Florida.
The new faculty session is also noteworthy. These are four new faculty. Three are on board and we’re in the final stages of negotiating with the fourth. Dr. Eban Bean is an urban water resources engineer. Dr. Basil Iannone is a geospatial analytics specialist. And Dr. Jorge Barrera is a utility analytics specialist. The fourth is an urban water quality person. We wanted them at the summit because they are going to get a really great chance to network with a lot of our other specialists and county faculty working in these areas. Both groups need to know each other.
IG: For anyone on the fence, why attend the summit?
MD: The primary purpose of the landscape summit right now is to facilitate communication with our own organization. We’re big. There are a lot of people going in different directions doing great things in Florida, but you just don’t really learn what people are doing unless you attend an event like this. It’s not the same to get an email update on something or read a newsletter. You’ll have a chance to interact with experts in different areas personally. Ask questions. I think that is the unique part about the summit. We will have stakeholders there as well. Our advisory board is composed of external stakeholders. Why should you attend? To learn. To learn who is who and who is doing what.
|Stuart, FL: What are the nutrient drivers of algae blooms? (via AP)|
- When addressing water quality issues in Florida urban water bodies, is there a mismatch between policy and science? Dr. Gurpal Toor presents on data looking at the sources, origin, and speciation of nitrogen (N) to better understand the science of N transport from urban land to water bodies. 3/16 @ 1PM EST
- Expectations are high about the potential benefits of using data sciences (especially on big data sets) to solve or at least help in the solution of complex environmental issues. Dr. Jorge Barrera presents on the definition of Big Data and ongoing projects that address environmental problems from a data sciences perspective. 3/16 @ 3PM EST
|The Summit features talks on efficient water-use, smart irrigation, and pressure-regulated sprinklers!|
- How do you save 6 million gallons of water in Miami-Dade County? Easy! Develop a water conservation program that attracts high profile, high water-users looking to benefit from water efficient recommendations based on UF/IFAS research and free EPA WaterSense-certified smart irrigation controllers. Laura Vasquez presents the success story on 3/17 @ 11AM EST
- Is knowledge gained an adequate indicator of behavior change? PhD candidate Taylor Clem presents a study applying Paul Stern’s Values-Beliefs-Norms (VBN) theory as an evaluation model to better anticipate behavior change and other long-term changes from extension programs. 3/16 @ 10:45AM EST
You can register for the Urban Landscape Summit here.
- Last year the release of the Florida 2070 and Water 2070 Project reports served as a clarion call across the state. Are we doing enough to insure a sustainable future? What can be improved? Margaret H. Carr and Dr. Paul D. Zwick of UF’s College of Design, Construction and Planning present on project methodology, results and recommendations. 3/17 @ 8:15AM EST