This will mark the first time the conference will take place in Indiana since 1992. The conference will take place at the Indiana Memorial Union, on the campus of Indiana University, in the university town of Bloomington – one of the most beautiful college campuses in the U.S. One feature that sets Indiana apart as a destination for the Natural Areas Conference is that it has such a wide variety of natural areas–from oak-hickory hardwood forests to songbird habit in the Brown County Hills, to Karst topography and cave systems in limestone country, from the Kankakee prairies to Lake Michigan dunes, to the wetlands and natural lakes in the northern part of the state.
The Indiana Memorial Union has been the heart of Indiana University Bloomington for more than 100 years. Since its earliest days, the IMU has served as the hub of the campus, providing a welcoming place for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors to connect with each other and the campus as they eat, relax, study, play, or celebrate.
Environmental change is dramatically impacting the resilience of natural areas and their ability to rebound from disturbance while maintaining biologically important features, & continuing to provide fundamental support to human health. The future depends on intentional consideration and efforts to not only preserve and protect, but connect, rebuild, and restore to bolster natural areas’ resilience. Regardless of region or type, the hope for natural areas rests on planned actions that promote resilient systems in the face of daunting environmental change.
Sessions will focus on a variety of regions and climates—but will also offer strategies appropriate for Indiana’s varied natural areas and land management challenges, such as fragmented landscapes, the legacy of decades of logging & farming, and the role of private land conservation.