Urban Ecology and Conservation Symposium

The annual Urban Ecology and Conservation Symposium is a project of the Urban Ecosystem Research Consortium (UERC) of Portland/Vancouver. It takes place each year in January/February.

Urban Ecology & Conservation Symposium 2017
Monday, February 6, 2017
8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Portland State University, Smith Center Ballroom
1825 SW Broadway, Portland

 The symposium was created to provide a means for agencies, nonprofits, universities and other educational institutions, and others to share their urban ecological and other natural resource and conservation research with one another. The symposium also provides a forum where individuals can network and share their work on an informal basis. It focuses on urban environmental issues and the practical application of related ecological and social science research in the Portland/Vancouver region.  Symposium features:
a). Brief presentations and a poster session to give a taste of what’s happening in the region
b). Inspiring keynotes from noted researchers and practitioners
c). Networking opportunities throughout the day
d). Lunchtime discussion groups providing opportunities to exchange information and ideas
UERC is a consortium of people from various educational institutions, state and federal agencies, local governments, non-profit organizations and businesses, as well as independent professionals and students, interested in supporting urban ecosystem research and creating an information sharing network of people that collect and use ecological data in the Portland/Vancouver area.
The mission of UERC is to advance the state of the science of urban ecosystems and improve our understanding of them, with a focus on the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan region, by fostering communication and collaboration among researchers, managers and citizens at academic institutions, public agencies, local governments, non-profit organizations, and other interested groups.
The role of UERC is not to provide a political or advocacy platform, but rather to offer a forum for professionals to exchange and discuss information regarding urban ecology and its application to relevant fields.

First Friday Series

This series allows for more in-depth coverage of topics that were highlighted at the most recent Urban Ecology and Conservation Symposium.  

New for 2016: The UERC First Friday series now includes Forums in the Field in addition to UERC Brown Bags. Brown bags are always held at the same time and place (Metro starting at 12:15 p.m.). Times and locations for Forums in the Field vary and the number of participants may be limited, so please note the details. The current schedule and up-to-date information is available at UERCPortland.org.    

June 3, 2016: Forum in the Field

The Effect of Greenroof Design on Beetle Community Composition

Presenter: Sydney Gonsalves, Portland State University

Location: Multnomah County Building, 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Space for this event is limited. Please pre-register here:  http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0449afa72ea1f85-forum 
(20 person cap.)

Time: 1 to 3 p.m.

Greenroofs have been shown to support a surprising diversity of invertebrates, including rare and endangered species, that perform services such as pollination, decomposition, and pest control in the urban area. The habitat diversity hypothesis suggests that “biodiverse” roofs—those intentionally designed with varied substrate depth, greater plant diversity, or added elements such as logs or stones—will support greater number and diversity invertebrates, but there is currently minimal peer reviewed data to support this.  To address this question, Gonsalves surveyed three roofs designed primarily for stormwater management, three biodiverse roofs, and five ground-level green spaces, from March until September of 2014 in the Portland metropolitan area. Beetles (Coleoptera) were sampled bi-weekly as representatives of total species diversity. Biodiverse roofs had greater richness, abundance, and diversity of beetle species compared to stormwater roofs, but were not more diverse than ground sites. Both biodiverse roofs and ground sites had approximately 20% native beetle species while stormwater roofs had only 5%. Functional diversity was also higher on biodiverse roofs with an average of 7 trophic groups represented, while stormwater roofs averaged only three. Ground sites, biodiverse roofs, and stormwater roofs each grouped distinctively in terms of beetle community composition and biodiverse roof communities were found to be positively correlated with roof age, percent plant cover, average plant height, and plant species richness. These results support the findings of previous studies on the importance of local variables in structuring urban invertebrate communities and suggest that biodiverse design can reliably increase greenroof diversity, with the caution that they remain no replacement for ground level habitat.

About the Presenter: Sydney Gonsalves will be graduating in spring 2016 from Portland State University with a master’s degree in Environmental Science & Management. She focused her research on urban ecology and also earned a graduate certificate in hydrology. Before returning to school, Sydney spent seven years working as a mechanical engineer in the medical device industry. In her free time, Sydney is an avid reader and soccer player.

July 1, 2016:  No event planned. Happy 4th of July!

August 5, 2016:  Forum in the Field

Crouching damsel, hidden dragon – the Odonata of Westmoreland Park

Presenters:  Celeste Searles Mazzacano, CASM Environmental, LLC, and representatives of the Crystal Springs Partnership

Location:  Westmoreland Park. Exact meeting site TBD.  

Time: 1 to 3 p.m.

More details to come.

September 2, 2016:  Brown Bag

Root-enhanced infiltration within stormwater bioretention facilities in Portland, OR

with Ted Hart, Portland State University

Location: Metro, 600 NE Grand Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97232 in room 370.  

Time: 12:15 to 1:00 p.m., with continued discussion until 1:30 if participants are interested in staying longer.

More details to come.

October 7, 2016: TBD

November 4, 2016: Forum in the Field

Oak-associated avian species 

with Mary Bushman, City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services

More details to come.