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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Extension’s early detection and management of forest invasive species program shared at an international conference


By Angela Gupta
2017 Scholarship Recipient


Trip to Freiburg, Germany IUFRO (International Union of Forest Research Organizations) 125th Anniversary Congress was wonderful! One of my goals was to better understand how the UMN Extension's nationally recognized programming related to volunteers, citizen science and invasive species ranks at a world level. During the conference, I realized we are a world leader! Further, I have already brought some of the ideas and goals issued at the IUFRO back to Extension's Fall Conference, and the Extension Invasive Species Community of Practice. I've followed-up with two other IUFRO presenters that will hopefully lead to additional work (hopefully an academic paper published together and a new 3D printed model of a new invasive species.)

The challenge to the presenters and the audience in my session was to work on invasive species at a global level. Invasive species impact the whole world. I think UMN Extension is well positioned to take leadership at an international level. I hope to work towards that goal; which should ultimately reduce the introduction, spread and negative impacts of invasive species to ecosystems and human health.

During this trip and IUFRO conference I gave an oral presentation titled: Empowering volunteers in early detection and management of forest invasive species using 3D printed models, online tracking systems and UAVs. That led to a networking dinner with the other session speakers; follow-up contacts that are already talking about jointly publishing this work and our ideas; and I've incorporated the global impact model that was presented into UMN Extension's conversations about invasives at the 2017 UMN Extension Fall Conference in Brooklyn Park.

In addition, I visited several of Freiburg's green and sustainable projects and neighborhoods for ideas that could be incorporated into Rochester’s growth and development. I met with Rochester's Sustainability Coordinator on 10-16-17 during which we talked about Freiburg's efforts and how some of those ideas could be used in Rochester.


It was great trip and conference! Thank you for helping me to make it happen!

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