Forming Our Mosaic through Hundreds of Science and Technical Sessions

August 17, 2022
Written by Nan Pond

Exchanging knowledge during science and technical session is one of the best parts of SAF Convention each year. Forestry and natural resource management encompasses a huge range of practice from scientific study to management practices. These concurrent sessions give an opportunity for each convention attendee to learn something new. Our scientific and technical program currently includes over 250 scheduled sessions. This year’s speakers come from colleges and universities around the country, and those who work in consulting, industry, government, and the non-profit sector.

A highlight of the Convention is always the strong contribution by undergraduate and graduate students presenting the newest research. SAF members tend to be a very encouraging audience – knowledgeable and curious – making convention a great place to showcase new progress to those of us who haven’t been in a classroom in a while. This year in Baltimore, we will have over 60 student presenters. Additionally, 44% of our speakers are first-time convention speakers! 

In an earlier blog post, I highlighted our four convention subthemes under the banner of Our Working Mosaic. The concurrent sessions are oriented by the theme and subthemes. We have 83 presentations classified as addressing the Art of Collaborate Engagement, 21 presentations relating to Environmental Justice and Access, 39 presentations focusing on Nature-Based Climate Solutions, and 24 presentations touching on Many Hands: Diversity in Forestry Careers. The sheer number of presentations under each of these subthemes highlight the breadth and shared applicability of each subtheme to the work we do, and the diversity in professional research and engagement that comes together to form our Mosaic.

Many of our SAF Working Groups play an active role in planning and designing sponsored sessions. Working Groups also played a huge part by encouraging members of many disciplines to contribute to this year’s program. Four Working Groups are hosting sessions:

  • International Forestry (B3) and Forest Health and Genetics (D1) Joint Session on “Global Forest Health: Connecting Plants and People” is on Wednesday, September 21;
  • Recreation and Wilderness Management (F2) organized session highlighting “Forest Recreation Planning in the Working Mosaic: Understanding Recreation’s Role in Dynamic Landscapes” is scheduled for Thursday, September 22;
  • An Agroforestry (B4) session, “Managing Silvopastures for Ecosystem Services: From Fuels Reduction to Carbon Storage, is on Thursday, September 22;
  • Forest Health and Genetics (D1) session on “Emerald Ash Borer and Integrated Forest Management Strategies in the Northeastern United States” will be on Friday, September 23.

Officers from nine different Working Groups are also presenting during the technical program.

These concurrent sessions will begin after the opening plenary, on Wednesday, September 21, and are scheduled through Friday, September 23. Each session includes a diverse set of topics, themes, tracks, and presentation styles and should appeal to the many attendee interests and disciplines in our field and industry. In addition to our four 2022 subthemes, there are a range of scientific and technical sessions covering topics including forest ecology, forest production, silviculture, economics, bioenergy, human dimensions, business, technology, and wildlife. Our Working Mosaic will be diversely showcased through these sessions – a great opportunity to learn and grow our profession together!

Nan Pond is the chair of the 2022 SAF Committee on National Convention Programs. She can be reached at [email protected].