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Tahoe Science Conference highlights environment, economics, research


Summer recreation lovers paddling around Nevada's Sand Harbor State Park. Photo by Scott Hinton, University of Nevada, Reno.


Bi-annual Tahoe Science Consortium event held at Incline Village May 22-24

More than 350 scientists, environmental policy makers and economic stakeholders will discuss Lake Tahoe’s environmental and economic future at the annual Tahoe Science Conference “Environmental Restoration in a Changing Climate” May 22 to 24 at Incline Village.

The conference, this year being held at Sierra Nevada College, features a scientific poster session and the opening of “Visualizing Change, a photographic exhibition,” on Tuesday evening followed by two full days of seminars and workshops covering more than 20 topics in three main areas:

1. Mountain Ecosystem Science: From Alpine to Zooplankton

2. Environmental Management: Finding Solutions in Economically Stressed Times

3. Seeing is Understanding: Learning through Lens and Aperture

Researchers and managers from Lake Tahoe and the West will gather to discuss the challenge of protecting the environment in the face of a changing climate and economy. Topics include new approaches for using remote sensing technologies to study the environment, nearshore ecology and conservation, wildfire ecology and forest soil impacts, aquatic and terrestrial invasive species, stormwater pollution and water quality, atmospheric sciences and pollutant monitoring, understanding the impacts of climate change. The conference will conclude with an engaging panel discussion on transforming science to policy making.

A two-hour public policy forum with a panel of experts will address balancing science, environmental improvement, economic development and public policy in the Tahoe basin on Thursday morning. The panel will be moderated by South Lake Tahoe Mayor Claire Fortier and will include Leo Drozdoff, Secretary of Conservation and Natural Resources and a representative from the California Department of Natural Resources will participate in that discussion.

The plenary session “Change: The new normal in managing ecosystems in California” will be presented by Jeffrey Mount, a professor from the University of California, Davis, on Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the D.W. Reynolds Non-profit Center in Incline Village.

Conference participants will also get to experience Lake Tahoe in two 3-D movies, “Lake Tahoe in Depth” and “Mapping Change,” tour a LEED Platinum green building and take a walking tour of stream restoration and best management practices.

Presenters include top Tahoe scientists from the University of California, Davis, University of Nevada, Reno, the Desert Research Institute as well as agency managers, business representatives, and policy makers from around the region.

The conference has been organized by the Tahoe Science Consortium. The consortium member organizations are the University of Nevada, Reno; the Desert Research Institute; the University of California, Davis; the U.S. Geological Survey; and the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW). The Tahoe Science Consortium was formed in 2005 to promote scientific work in preserving and studying the Lake Tahoe Area.

The art exhibit “Visualizing Change,” is inspired by the initiative to encourage a convergence of science and the arts by photographer and Art Department Chair Peter Goin of the University of Nevada, Reno. He has collaborated with the Tahoe Science Consortium and a number of other noted Tahoe photographers for the exhibition, which was curated by Megan Berner of the University of Nevada, Reno. It is free and open to the public through July 27 in the Prim Library Research Gallery at Sierra Nevada College. The exhibition is a look at how photography acts as an agent of change, interpretation and revelation. The artist reception is Tuesday, May 22 from 5 to 8 p.m.

For more information about the conference and the Tahoe Science Consortium please visit www.tahoescience.org.

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