Pre-convention Workshops Offer Opportunities to Build Skills and Knowledge

July 20, 2022
Written by Matt Kelly 

With the SAF national conference right around the corner, we’d like to take a moment to highlight the pre-convention workshops scheduled for this year. But first, let’s talk about how workshops differ from technical sessions, Thursday Think Tanks, and plenary sessions, and why you should consider participating in one.

First, workshops provide a deeper dive into a specific topic area. Simply put, workshops allow much more time for presenters and participants to explore a topic, which can result in more in-depth and nuanced understanding of a particular subject matter. Second, workshops are designed to provide hands-on learning and typically involve lots of discussion, allowing participants to gain practical skills and to learn from others’ experiences and perspectives.  Finally, workshops are a great way to meet new people with shared interests and expand your professional network, which is especially important for students and early-career professionals. 

This year, three pre-convention workshops are scheduled for Tuesday, September 20. Topics include data science for forestry, NCX’s forest carbon credit program, and strategies to protect trees and forests from invasive pests. Below you’ll find additional details about each workshop. 

NCX's Harvest Risk Assessment Process and Resources for Foresters 

Tuesday, September 20 | 8:30am-Noon | $39
Forest carbon markets are becoming more accessible to small-acreage landowners. This provides greater options to landowners and has the potential to transform the forestry sector. Therefore, it’s important that foresters stay informed on the options available to their clients, the terms and conditions associated with participation in carbon credit programs, and how the forest carbon industry will change in the coming years. Participants will learn about publicly available datasets that can be utilized to predict landowner behavior, how that behavior can impact eligibility to enroll in the NCX program, and how the Natural Capital Exchange is designed. 

Data Science for Forestry Applications 

Tuesday, September 20 | 1:00pm-4:30pm | $39
This workshop is back by popular demand! Data science is increasingly important for foresters, natural resource professionals, and researchers. Participants will learn how to use open-source software (specifically R) to work quickly and efficiently with forestry data, focusing on large datasets such as Forest Inventory and Analysis data. This workshop is perfect for graduate students and professionals who want to learn more about how to use R to analyze their data. It will be especially valuable to graduate students who are at an early stage in their programs or undergraduates planning to go on to graduate school.

Protecting Trees and Forests and Invasive Pests Through Collaborative Solutions 

Tuesday, September 20 | 9:00am-4:30pm | $49
The threat of invasive pests to trees and forests is a perpetual issue that requires collaboration across government agencies, academia, and urban and rural foresters. Specialists from the forest health and entomological communities will discuss collaboration strategies. The goal of this workshop is to identify new and innovative approaches, as well as existing unmet needs and opportunities, and formulate action plans to address the most promising or urgent issues that arise in the session.

Last thing – be sure to register for the convention if you haven’t already.  It’s a great way to connect with others and learn about important topics impacting the profession! Click here to register.

Matt Kelly is a University of New Hampshire Extension Forester in Cheshire County and serves on the SAF2022 National Convention Program Planning Committee. He can be reached at [email protected]