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The USGS' Science Analytics and Synthesis Program is hiring a full time GS-15 Supervisory Research Biologist/Ecologist to be based in Denver. 

Applications close July 17th.

Major duties highlighted in the announcement include:

  • Develop new biological synthesis, new theories, concepts, principles, standards, and methods to plan and execute long-range research programs and projects of national and international significance.
  • Identify the most promising new research directions to determine lines of attack and develop plans for research projects that will move the science forward.
  • Keep the supervisor informed of progress and future plans through periodic discussions.
  • Discover complex theory or methodology to develop new theory or methodology to supplant or add new dimensions to a previous framework to deliver that markedly influence the scientific field or society.
  • Research biological data with multi-scale sensor, observations, and other collection methods in support of species characterization, threats, and habitats.

 

For more information, please see:

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/572237300

June 12,2020

Although not specifically mentioned in this announcement, NASA affirmed that invasive species-related proposals are appropriate:

ROSES-20 Amendment 32: A.41 Citizen Science for Earth Systems Program Final Text and Due Dates Released 

The primary goal of the Citizen Science for Earth Systems Program (CSESP) is to develop and implement capabilities to augment and enhance NASA scientific data and capacity through voluntary observations, interpretations, or other direct participation by members of the general public to advance understanding of the Earth as a system. The program complements NASA's capability of observing Earth globally from space, air, land, and water by engaging the public in NASA's strategic goals in Earth Science (see https://science.nasa.gov/about-us/science-strategy).

ROSES-2020 Amendment 32 releases final text and due dates for A.41 Citizen Science for Earth Systems Program. Mandatory Notices of Intent are due August 4, 2020, and proposals are due September 11, 2020.

On or about June 12, 2020, this Amendment to the NASA Research Announcement "Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2020" (NNH20ZDA001N) will be posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at http://solicitation.nasaprs.com/ROSES2020 and will appear on SARA's ROSES blog at: https://science.nasa.gov/researchers/sara/grant-solicitations/roses-2020/.

Questions concerning Citizen Science for Earth Systems Program may be directed to Kevin Murphywho may be reached at kevin.j.murphy@nasa.gov and Gerald "Stinger" Gualawho may be reached at gerald.f.guala@nasa.gov.


This summer the USACE Invasive Species Leadership Team is hosting weekly invasive species webinars on Wednesdays at 1:00 CDT in partnership with the University of Florida Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (UF/IFAS) Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.

You are cordially invited the next Weed Webinar, a double presentation, to be hosted by the Army Corps of Engineers on June 17th, 2020 at 2 PM ET.

TITLE: Mechanical Harvesting – Large-scale field trials

PRESENTER: Dr. James Leary - University of Florida/Institute for Food and Agricultural Services Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

TITLE: University of Florida Aquatic Weed Control: Myths and Misconceptions

PRESENTER: Dr. Ben Sperry - University of Florida/Institute for Food and Agricultural Services Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

TO JOIN: 

https://usace.webex.com/meet/courtney.e.chambers

Or, join by phone:
1-888-2733658 Call-in toll-free number (ATT Audio Conference)
1-213-2702124 Call-in number (ATT Audio Conference)
206 9467 Access Code

USDA Announces New SECURE Rule on the Plant Protection Act's Biotechnology Regulations


To take place on May 18, 2020

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced a final rule updating and modernizing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) biotechnology regulations under the Plant Protection Act. The Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible, Efficient (SECURE) rule will bring USDA’s plant biotechnology regulations into the 21st century by removing duplicative and antiquated processes in order to facilitate the development and availability of these technologies through a transparent, consistent, science-based, and risk-proportionate regulatory system. This new rule will help provide America’s farmers access to these critical tools to help increase agricultural productivity and sustainability, improve the nutritional value and quality of crops, combat pests and diseases, and enhance food safety.

USDA’s previous regulations focused on whether a plant pest was used in the development of a plant using genetic engineering and required a lengthy deregulation process for those plants that did not pose increased pest risk. After 30 years of experience, USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regulatory scientists know that simply using a plant pest in the development of a plant does not necessarily cause the plant to pose a risk to plant health. Thus, the final rule puts in place a more efficient process to identify plants that would be subject to regulation, focusing on the properties of the plant rather than on its method of production.  APHIS will evaluate plants developed using genetic engineering for plant pest risk under a new process called a regulatory status review, regulating only those that plausibly pose an increased plant pest risk. This updated process aligns with the President’s Executive Order for Modernizing Biotechnology and the Coordinated Framework for Biotechnology, and will ensure the regulations keep pace with the latest science and technological advances, reduce regulatory burdens for developers of plants developed using genetic engineering that are unlikely to pose plant pest risks, and ensure that Agency resources are better focused on the prevention of plant pest risk. 

USDA undertook an extensive outreach effort in developing the proposed rule, traveling the nation and meeting with the public, members of academia, state departments of agriculture, grower and commodity-related organizations, and non-governmental organizations.  The Agency also considered comments received during public scoping and comment periods related to the 2008 and 2017 proposed rules, which were later withdrawn; comments on a 2018 Notice of Intent (NOI) to conduct a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS); comments on the proposed rule and the draft PEIS; certain provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill; and recommendations from the 2015 USDA Office of Inspector General (OIG) report on genetically engineered organisms.  The Agency also met with foreign regulators and international stakeholders. In issuing the final SECURE rule, APHIS carefully considered each of the thousands of comments received in response to proposed rule.  

The rule will publish in the Federal Register on May 18, and will be final that day.  The new rule’s provisions become effective on key dates over the next 18 months.  You can find a complete overview of the effective dates for the provisions in the final rule and a description of the implementation process on APHIS’ website.  


Questions and Answers on the Final Rule


SECURE Biotechnology Website




NISAW Part II: Webinar -- Public Gardens as Sentinels Against Invasive Plants


May 20th  1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Central Time

 

Presented by Kurt Dreiselker, Morton Arboretum


Public gardens can fulfill an important role in society by acting as sentinels for new invasive plants, particularly since many invasive plants originate from horticulture. This can be accomplished by collecting, synthesizing, and sharing data about how taxa spread from their original sites of cultivation into adjacent areas of their property. These data can be much more impactful if collected, structured, and shared using a common methodology. To this end, the Public Gardens as Sentinels against Invasive Plants working group has developed recommended guidelines to help gardens organize and share their data from their collections to characterize when plants escape from cultivation. PGSIP has also developed a database for gardens to upload and access information about plants spreading from cultivation. By collecting data from gardens across North America, PGSIP hopes to be able to provide a clear picture about plants escaping cultivation and potentially becoming problematic before large-scale invasions occur and before commercial adoption of these taxa into the broader horticulture industry.


Click here to register





NISAW Part II: Successful Aquatic Plant Management Strategies Across the United States


May 21st, 2020    1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Central Time


Presented by Robert J. Richardson, North Carolina State University


Invasive aquatic plants can have numerous negative impacts to waterbodies across the US. Frequently, management is needed in order to mitigate these impacts. Major management techniques include biological controls, cultural practices, herbicides, mechanical tools, nutrient management, prevention, and others. None of these techniques fit every site or every invasive aquatic plant. Specific tools must be selected to provide the best control of the target weed, while limiting impact to non-target organisms and protected the intended uses of the waterbody. This presentation will review some successful management strategies and discuss how the specific management techniques were selected and implemented as well as outcomes of the full management program.

Rob Richardson conducts research and extension related to aquatic plant management at North Carolina State University. He is a Past President of the Aquatic Plant Management Society and Past Editor of the Journal of Aquatic Plant Management. He currently serves as a Board of Directors Member for the Weed Science Society of America and serves as a subject matter expert to U.S. EPA on aquatic plant management.


Click here to register




Western Governors' Association Webinar: COVID-19 Impacts to Natural Resource Management


May 22, 2020    10-11 AM Mountain Time


The Western Governors will host a conversation on COVID-19 Impacts to Natural Resource Management: Panelists will highlight challenges facing natural resource management professionals as a result of the pandemic, including wildfire mitigation, invasive species management and more. (10-11 a.m. MT on May 22)


Click here to register



May 19: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. CST (2 PM ET)

Presented by Angela Gupta, University of Minnesota – Extension

The University of Minnesota Extension is delighted to offer the newly revised and nationally piloted EmpowerU! Advocating Invasive Species or Natural Resource Management program content for free to institutions interested in delivering this flipped classroom and in-person material. This presentation will outline two new curricula that offer leadership and advocacy skills to Extension volunteer and landowner audiences. EmpowerU is a newly developed curriculum to enable master volunteers, citizen scientists, landowners and others interested in natural resources to effectively engage decision makers at all levels. Do you have passionate program participants who are frustrated with adjacent landowners, township, county or state officials and don’t know how to initiate meaningful policy change? If so, this curriculum might be a great advanced training for your audience. 

After one year of revision and pilot implementation in seven states, we know from evaluation data that participants are extremely satisfied and find value in both the online and in-person activities. One participant said it “changed my life,” another felt “much more qualified to build and present a strong case for advocacy around environmental concerns”, and one reported on a later follow-up evaluation that she was able to work across property lines to manage a healthy stand of invasive crown vetch next to a newly-planted prairie after completing the course.

Angela Gupta is a University of Minnesota Extension Professor of Forestry in Rochester, MN. Angela’s been with UMN Extension for 15 years as a traditional forestry education and has focused on invasive species for the last 11 years. She leads the UMN Extension Invasive Species Community of Practice, EmpowerU and the Forest Pest First Detector program. Angela has a BS in Forestry from the University of Kentucky and a MA in Organizational Management from Spring Arbor University. Before joining Extension she worked as a District Forester for Louisiana-Pacific in Alpena, Minnesota, and was a US Peace Corps Agroforestry Extensionist in Kenya, East Africa.

Click here to register.

From the Intermountain West Joint Venture, here is Up in Smoke: Fire and Invasives on Western Rangelands - a 5-minute film that introduces the colossal conservation challenge of invasive annual grasses in sagebrush habitats and the rangeland fire it can facilitate. Check out this video to learn about the scale and gravity of the fire and invasive species cycle, hear from people fighting these weeds and their impact every day, and access the calls-to-action that different viewers can select to learn more. Visit www.partnersinthesage.com/take-action to watch and engage.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is taking on “The Cheater” (cheatgrass) in the past issue of Wyoming Wildlife magazine. To disseminate through your networks, visit the Wyoming Game and Fish Department Facebook page for a post you can easily share. 


To join the SageWest listserv, follow the link on this page: https://listserv.gsa.gov/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A0=SAGEWEST

Monday, May 18, 2 PM Eastern Time

Join us in the celebration of National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) Part II.

Belle Bergner and Krista Lutzke - North American Invasive Species Management Association

Tim Campbell - University of Wisconsin-Sea Grant

Leigh Greenwood - The Nature Conservancy

Do you run an invasive species prevention or education program - or are looking to start one? Are you confused about the many existing brands, logos, and messages and how you can most effectively use them? This webinar will teach you the the behavior change foundations and strategy behind the leading invasive species prevention campaigns including PlayCleanGo, Don’tMoveFirewood, and StopAquaticHitchhikers; show you how the brands can be used together to enhance the likelihood of achieving behavior change; describe how each major campaign interfaces with national and international efforts; and how you can customize FREE, turnkey outreach materials with your organization’s logo and messaging.

Click here to register.

Other NISAW information:

Toolkit

Resources


Fifty years ago today, the U.S. celebrated its first EARTH DAY, an event "to increase public awareness of the world's environmental problems." While we have come a long way in many respects during these past 50 years, there is still much to be done. Here is an image from a university rally held on April 22, 1970:

Earth Day 1970, at the University of Michigan

Did we really look like this back then?

Today we can't form crowds like this and still "flatten the curve" of the coronavirus, but we can meet like this, virtually, and still be effective in our planning and providing weed control ideas:

Visualization of a Virtual Network, with 15 icons of people, connected by intersecting lines.

Also, going out into nature to pull weeds and heal the Earth locally (as long as physical distancing is observed) is a wonderful way to celebrate today:

Pulling Weeds in Hawaii, while maintaining a safe pandemic distance.

Let's get to it! Stay well!





The Weeds at the Early Stage of Invasion (WESI) team in Australia have shifted much of their focus for the rest of this financial year to bushfire recovery in relation to post-fire weed management.

They want to know what appetite there is for online forums and what you want in relation to environmental weed management after fire.

If you look after an area for biodiversity could you please complete the 5 minute survey in the attached link by the 22 April 2020?: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/S7FH27F

The North American Invasive Species Management Association is offering a series of free webinars during the month of April.  These are all invasive species related and open to the public.  More information can be found at https://www.naisma.org/programs/professional-development/webinars/#earth-month (scroll down until you find the Earth Month Webinar section)

April 1: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. CST

The Green Pathway to Invasive: Ornamental Invasive Plants -  Chris Evans, University of Illinois

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4131615458282918667

 

April 8: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. CST

What's That Smell? The Curious Case of the Callery Pear - Dr. Dave Coyle, Clemson University

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6444408480495842827

 

April 15: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. CST

Invasive Bark and Ambrosia Beetles: Their Impacts and Detection - Bob Rabaglia, USDA – Forest Service

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/724674224207728909

 

April 22: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. CST

EDDMapS 2020: Integrated Platform and Program for Tracking Invasive Species Management in North America - Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4981060758507420427

 

April 29: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. CST

Eyes in the Sky: Leveraging New Remote Sensing Technologies to Detect Invasion at a Distance - Dan Tekiela, University of Wyoming

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4981060758507420427

From Wildlife Forever; Contact: Julia Luger JLuger@WildlifeForever.org

White Bear Lake, MN – Wildlife Forever, along with a growing coalition of government organizations, lake associations and industry supporters, are proud to release the 2019 Clean Drain Dry Initiative™ annual accomplishment report.  Through media, communications marketing and outreach, the public awareness and service campaign has generated over 102 million Clean Drain Dry impressions in 2019.  Invasive species threaten fishing, boating and the outdoor industry. Integrating and applying consistent best management practices empowers users to help prevent the spread.

“Investing in education and outreach is of the utmost importance to prevent new infestations and protect our outdoor traditions,” said Pat Conzemius, President and CEO of Wildlife Forever.
 
New for 2019 was the development of educational tools for the wake boat industry that included how-to videos and handouts.

Targeted marketing is a key element to ensure Clean Drain Dry outreach is relevant to stakeholders. Wildlife Forever, the Bureau of Land Management, USDA Forest Service and multiple state agencies collaborated to reach 43 million people using Clean Drain Dry campaign media outreach. By pooling funds and coordinating cost-saving services Wildlife Forever leveraged over $357,000 of in-kind contributions. 

“It cannot be stressed enough the importance of partnerships in our ability to deliver the prevention campaign across the country.  The value of consistent messaging is attracting more and more resource managers to actively invest in this important campaign,” said Dane Huinker, Conservation Program Manager of Wildlife Forever.

View the Report Here: https://bit.ly/2wEW6af

The Wildlife Forever Clean Drain Dry Initiative is the national campaign to educate outdoor recreational users on how to prevent the spread of invasive species. Strategic communications, marketing, outreach and educational services provide access to consistent messaging and tailored AIS prevention planning. To learn about services, contact Dane Huinker: DHuinker@WildlifeForever.org or visit www.CleanDrainDry.org
 
About Wildlife Forever: Our mission is to conserve America's wildlife heritage through conservation education, preservation of habitat and management of fish and wildlife. Wildlife Forever is a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to investing resources on the ground.   www.WildlifeForever.org

The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management has published a report on their aquatic invasive species program's accomplishments for fiscal year 2018-2019. Although it does not deal only with plant species, there are many invasive plant accomplishments in this 18-page publication.

You can view the report here (18MB pdf format):    .

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is establishing an exception to the Lacey Act import declaration requirements for products containing a minimal, or “de minimis,” amount of plant material. The Lacey Act—which combats trafficking in illegally taken wildlife, fish, or plants—requires importers to prepare an import declaration for certain plants and plant products. The import declaration must include the scientific name of the plant, value of the importation, quantity of the plant, and name of the country where the plant was harvested. However, the Lacey Act does not address whether declaration requirements are necessary for otherwise non-plant products that contain a minimal amount of plant material, such as wooden buttons on a shirt.

APHIS decided to adopt an option for a "de minimis" exception as follows: products that contain a threshold of no more than 5 percent of the total weight of the individual product unit, provided that the total weight of the plant material in a product does not exceed 2.9 kilograms. This exception ensures that the declaration requirement fulfills the intent of the Lacey Act while reducing the regulatory burden on importers. The exception will not apply to protected plant species.   

You can view the final rule here https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=APHIS-2013-0055-0014 . The rule becomes effective on April 1, 2020. 

Check out the available activities online: https://www.nisaw.org/nisaw-2020/ 
And FYI, NISAW Part 2 takes place May 16-23.
https://www.nisaw.org


From the Western Weed Coordinating Committee's (WWCC) website:

"The Western Invasive Plant Management: A Strategic Action Plan for the Sagebrush Biome represents the culmination of an unprecedented four-year collaboration among state and federal agencies investigating the threats of invasive plants to the sagebrush biome. The strategic plan identifies opportunities to overcome these threats through messaging, collaboration, prioritization, data sharing and increasing capacity to effectively implement cutting-edge, scientifically based management approaches across the Western landscape...

...in the coming months the WWCC and its Western Weed Strategic Action Plan Working Group will be working to develop a more extensive webpage dedicated to making the Strategic Action Plan a “living document” through tracking its implementation and accomplishments."

Access the plan here (pdf).