Managing Agricultural Landscapes
A workshop organized by the Soil and Water Conservation Society
October 11-13, 2006
Program • Poster Info • Presentations
Download a copy of the onsite program...
The program/abstract book, concurrent presentations, and poster presentations from the workshop are now available online. CLICK HERE TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD.
As previously stated, attendance greatly exceeded our expectations. Workshop numbers: There were 370 attendees, 69 posters presented, and 135 speakers at plenary sessions and oral presentations.
We are committed to publishing a book based on the discussions and presentations at the plenary sessions. The book will also contain syntheses from oral presentation sessions as sidebars to the presentations by lead authors and "perspective" presenters. Each attendee will receive one copy of this book.
If you did not attend the conference and would like a copy or if you would like to purchase extra copies of the book, please contact SWCS.
The primary objective of this workshop is to bring together individuals in the technical and scientific communities who are working to quantify the environmental benefits of conservation practices on agricultural land at landscape and/or watershed scales. Environmental benefits include soil, water, and air quality; water conservation; and aquatic and terrestrialhabitats. The workshop will be multidisciplinary, involving agronomists, soil scientists, biologists, ecologists, hydrologists, economists, sociologists, engineers, and others working to improve our ability to quantify the effects of conservation practices on soil, water, air, and habitats at landscape or watershed scales. Participants will share their research findings and lessons learned and discuss key issues regarding work at landscape or watershed scales.
Secondary but critical objectives of the workshop will be to (1) expose the scientific community to the needs and expectations of practitioners and policymakers struggling to account for the environmental benefits of projects intended to enhance soil, water, air, and habitats at landscape or watershed scales and (2) characterize the implications for policy and practice from what research results have shown at landscape or watershed scales. The first of these secondary objectives will be accomplished through two plenary sessions and associated discussions during the workshop. The other secondary objective will be accomplished through analysis of the papers presented and discussions held during the workshop.
The workshop is part of ongoing activities organized by the Society in support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s CEAP (Conservation Effects Assessment Project) initiative.
Download the Program... including the list of invited presentations and posters
WORKSHOP PLAN AND OUTCOMES
Concurrent, poster, and plenary sessions will be organized around four key workshop topics. Concurrent sessions will be designed to facilitate multidisciplinary content and discussion. Session co-chairs will be responsible for writing a synthesis of the presentations and discussion in each concurrent session. Papers will be commissioned for presentation during the plenary sessions, and respondents will be identified to stimulate discussion among participants. Poster sessions will focus on research and experience with conservation efforts on agricultural land at landscape or watershed scales. Evening roundtables will foster dialogue between workshop participants and those individuals making plenary presentations on the four key workshop topics.
Workshop products will include:
1. A book of abstracts (to be distributed at the workshop).
2. A website with abstracts of all oral and poster papers.
3. A workshop report containing plenary session papers, synopses of
concurrent sessions, and summaries of the roundtable dialogues.
4. Authors of oral and poster papers may have their papers considered for
publication in the Society’s Journal of Soil and Water Conservation.
What should we measure, and how, to account for environmental effects?
Papers are solicited that examine questions surrounding indicators and methods to detect, simulate, or monitor the effects of conservation efforts at landscape/watershed scales. These papers might include reports of research or practical experience addressing the following:
• What indicators to measure.
• How to simulate or monitor changes in those indicators.
• New or improved models for environmental assessment.
• Interfaces among sociological, economic, and environmental assessment models.
• Models versus monitoring.
• Workable monitoring methods.
• Indicators of environmental quality.
• Valuing environmental services.
• Tradeoffs among environmental outcomes.
• Data and integrated data system requirements for planning.
• Examples of measured responses to conservation practices.
• Related topics.
Methods for environmental management research at landscape and/or watershed scales
Papers are sought that explore approaches to conducting research at
landscape and watershed scales. These papers might include reports of research or practical experience addressing the following:
• Limitations of landscape- or watershed-level research.
• Sociological and economic research at landscape or watershed scales.
• Translating field-scale research to landscapes or watersheds.
• Fate and transport of agricultural chemicals, pathogens, and hormones.
• Understanding stream dynamics, stream discharge estimation techniques, and updated flood
frequency and rainfall analyses.
• Scale suitability and applicability of major models.
• Application of methods to quantify effects of conservation practices.
• Related topics.
Targeting within landscapes and/or watersheds to improve conservation effectiveness
Research suggests that environmental effects are often disproportionately associated with sensitive portions of agricultural landscapes and/or particular management decisions by producers. Papers are solicited that explore approaches to identifying and targeting
conservation efforts at such areas or behaviors. These papers might report research and practical experience addressing the following:
• Strategic placement of conservation using voluntary, regulatory, or market-based approaches.
• Approaches to meshing market-based, voluntary, and regulatory programs.
• Knowledge and tools required to make adaptive management work.
• Tools for pinpointing pollution sources, hydrologically sensitive areas, critical habitats, and other high-risk areas within agricultural landscapes.
• Tools to pinpoint high-risk producer behavior.
• Interaction between high-risk producer behavior and environmentally sensitive areas.
• Tools for predicting effects of alternative conservation practices and systems on environmental outcomes.
• Selecting cost-effective practices and systems that work in specific physical, hydrological, and ecological settings.
• Related topics.
Realistic expectations for measurable change in environmental quality
Papers are sought—particularly from long-term research and/or monitoring efforts—that examine questions regarding geographic scale and the period of time over which environmental effects of conservation practices are likely to be detected. These papers might report on research or practical experience addressing the following:
• Factors that explain time lags between application of conservation practices and systems and measured environmental effects.
• Effects of interaction among weather, landscape features, and producer behavior.
• Successes and failures in ecological and/or hydrologic restoration efforts.
• Measuring cumulative environmental, sociological, and economic effects.
• Performance of conservation practices and systems over time.
• Accounting for effects of land tenure, commodity markets, public policy, and programs.
• Related topics.