The SRM Annual Meeting is a legendary opportunity to see old friends and meet new colleagues. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has made us rethink how we share information and connect with colleagues. Who knows what travel and gatherings will look like in February 2021? To instill some certainty to this uncertain world, the SRM 2021 Annual Meeting is going virtual. That’s right, SRM 2021 will occur over internet connections across the globe, not in Boise, ID. Don’t worry. We will return to our standard meeting format in Albuquerque in 2022 and are looking at options for 2023 and beyond, which will include a return to Boise and face-to-face meetings with a chance to tell stories and rub elbows.
Imagine the great opportunities this digital alternative may offer to gather people from everywhere who love rangelands to learn about stewardship of these amazing landscapes. Start thinking about how to show others what you and your organization are doing on the ground. Get out that video camera, take some great pictures, record some conversations and start rethinking approaches. Sure, there will be some zoom meetings, and webinars, but let’s get creative. What about virtual field tours, documentaries, videos of live panel discussions, or story maps?
We don’t know what this will look like yet, but we are still planning for a meeting in early February 2021. Consider helping to rethink the Annual Meeting in a digital world by joining the 2021 Planning Committee. Karen Launchbaugh, Kelly Fogarty, Jason Karl, Barry Irving, and Matt Germino are starting to amass a committee of creative and digitally-talented people to serve on the Planning Committee. Send ideas, concerns, or willingness to join the planning effort to KarenL@rangelands.org or firstname.lastname@example.org. Watch the SRM Website (www.rangelands.org) and RangeFlashes for details as they become available.