Rangelands

SRM 2020 Annual Meeting Updates

Update on the SRM 2020 Annual Meeting, Technical Training and Trade Show Meeting Format

The Call for Proposals for the SRM 2020 Annual Meeting recently went out and the meeting is rapidly approaching. The 2020 Annual Meeting Planning Committee (AMPC) has been sharing the exciting changes we have planned for 2020 but, with the Call out, many folks are fully digesting it for the first time. As expected, we’ve gotten some questions about the changes and wanted to explain to everyone how we got to where we are.

What happened to the traditional SRM meeting format??

While changed up a bit, there will still be opportunity for some of our traditional meeting format. However, we’re hoping to build learning and engagement with lots of time for discussion and networking in the sessions, based on feedback we got from the membership. A lot of this format change comes from how they conducted the 10th International Rangeland Congress in Saskatoon, http://2016canada.rangelandcongress.org/program.html. As SRM member and Past President Mort Kothmann so aptly puts it “Adapt, evolve or become extinct.”

When did you ask for feedback??

We administered an informal, online pre-meeting questionnaire in 2017 to SRM members to inform our initial thoughts about the 2020 meeting program. A link to the online questionnaire was sent through the RangeFlash, newsletter, and through email networks to known SRM members March through May of 2017. A total of 88 members responded to the survey.

What was the feedback??

Survey respondents were quite adamant that they wanted to have a conversation instead of being talked to. More than two-thirds of participants wanted more opportunities for questions, interactive discussions and member participation in moderated scientific debate during sessions.

* The top priority was to give more time to “Outside perspectives on current topics in rangeland management” (84% of respondents).
* One in three wanted to see fewer concurrent sessions and fewer presentations on proposed or unfinished research.
* For more specific details, see the article on the 2020 website: http://www.srm2020.org/a-new-look.

But, my group had plans for a symposia/workshop with talks and times already scheduled.

We encourage you to think ‘out of the box’ of traditional symposia/workshop. How about breaking up your session into two separate days? What if the content and direction of the presentations and discussion were modified to reflect the theme change?  Could a more fruitful discussion be had, and new perspectives/solutions/alternatives discovered?  Would this result in attendees leaving with a deeper understanding of the topic?

Example: Foraging Behavior I – Translating Science into Practical Application and Foraging Behavior II – Transformation: Using Foraging Behavior to Improve Rangelands. 

We’re not totally rigid on the 3 speakers.  If you really need 4 speakers to cover the topic, that’s fine.  Just be sure you are leaving ample time for questions and discussion.

But what about Graduate Student Presentations??

We are not saying Grad Students cannot be one of the speakers in these sessions.  In fact, what better way to represent the spectrum of our membership than to include a graduate student in the speaker panel.

Better yet, how about organizing or participating in an Ignite Session on your research topic?  Job seekers are told to ‘know your elevator speech’.  This is a great opportunity to learn how to give that elevator speech and then have a for more in-depth discussion after you peek your listeners’ interest.

For more information on the different types of presentation formats we are proposing, and to ask us questions, please see the call for proposals page on the 2020 meeting website, http://www.srm2020.org/program.html.

You can also direct questions to Program Co-Chairs Justin Derner (justin.derner@ars.usda.gov) and Hailey Wilmer (hailey.wilmer@ars.usda.gov).

“Change, Mother Nature’s mighty law.”R. Burns

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