Minnesota Master Naturalist

Annual Conference

A collaboration of University of Minnesota Extension Aquatic Invasive Species, Forestry and Minnesota Master Naturalist programs

May 18-20, 2018

Cragun's Resort, Brainerd, MN

Reserve your lodging early.  Lodging for 2 nights is $99 per night plus 7.375% sales tax for a total of $106.31 per night. 

Book your room before March 31, 2018 to received the reduced rate. 

Rooms will be released after March 31, with the rate going back to the normal rate of 169.00 -179.00 per night.  The golf courses will be open so the rooms WILL fill.



Keynote speakers:  


Dan Molloy, Research Scientist - State University of New York Great Lakes Center

Principal and Managing Director - Molloy & Associates, LLC

An expert in aquatic invasive species and the diseases of aquatic invertebrates, Dan's research has focused on developing ecologically-sound, biocontrol methods for managing aquatic invasive species ‒ in particular, fouling invasive dreissenids(zebra/quagga mussels) ‒ and other nuisance aquatic invertebrate pests, such as biting black flies and mosquitoes.  He is a Research Scientist/Adjunct Professor at the State University of New York Great Lakes Center at Buffalo and also maintains affiliations with the State University of New York at Albany and the University of Illinois Natural History Survey at Urbana-Champaign.  In addition, he directs Molloy & Associates, LLC – a firm specializing in developing credible prevention, detection, rapid response, and eradication/control programs for zebra/quagga mussels and other aquatic invasivespecies. Marked by a passion for environmental protection, his international research activities have resulted in a variety of scientific contributions as evidenced by his publications, presentations, patents, and biological control agent commercialization successes.

Keynote address Friday May 18, 2018

Needle in a Haystack Research Projects for Environmental Protection: Two Down and One to Go

With an insatiable attraction to what many consider intractable, needle-in-a-haystack research challenges, Dan Molloy and his research teams have dealt knockout blows to two pest critters by developing environmentally-safe biological control agents.  The first target was black flies – those clouds of tiny gnats that can torment folks by their hovering and biting, and the second was zebra mussels – the poster child of aquatic invasive species – those tiny fingernail-sized bivalves that by the millions foul water pipes and disrupt ecosystems.  But both latter commercialized biocontrol agents require reapplications to continually knock down the next pest generation.  That’s why his next project will be ever the more challenging – developing a biocontrol agent which may never need to be reapplied – a project that will require more persistence, creativity and luck than he and his band of research colleagues have ever mustered before.



Scott St. George, Associate Professor of Geography, Environment and Society, and Institute on the

Environment Fellow at the University of Minnesota. Humboldt Research Fellow at the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany) and an Adjunct, Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at Queen’s University (Canada).
Keynote address Sunday May 20, 2018
As an earth scientist trained in paleoclimatology, I use evidence preserved in geological or biological archives to understand how and why our environment has changed during the last several hundred or thousands of years. By extending our perspective beyond the most recent century, my research provides a long-term benchmark to test ideas about the underlying causes of environmental change and the likely future trajectories of critical environmental systems, particularly those aspects related to forests, climate change, and surface hydrology.
My research team has produced new paleoclimate records from Minnesota, California, and Oregon, and has combined empirical and modeling approaches to map the influence of climate on tree growth in forests across the Northern Hemisphere, and evaluate how trees respond to (or ignore) the influence of particular climatic and non- climatic factors. My colleagues and I have identified regions where decadal and multidecadal behavior within the climate system is particularly important, used proxy networks to estimate its progression during the past several centuries, and critically assessed the ability of current-generation climate models to simulate this particular ‘flavor’ of climate change. Overall, this research has produced new insights into how atmospheric, ecological, and geological systems act and interact, and has made communities more resilient to the impactsof climate change and natural hazards.

Tentative Timeline (subject to change):

Anytime:  Solicit Silent Auction Donations

November 3:  Request for Presentations open

January 16:  Request for Presentations must be submitted

February 20:  Conference Sponsorships due

March 1:  Conference Early Bird Registration opens and Vendor/Exhibitor Registration opens

March 31:  Vendor/Exhibitor Registration closes

May 1:  Conference Registration closes



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