2020 National Meeting 2020-09-17T21:32:43+00:00

Dear CPC Colleagues,

Given the continued uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to hold our annual CPC National Meeting virtually this year to maximize participation and ensure the safety of our network. We thank our partners at Denver Botanic Gardens and National Laboratory for Genetic Resource Preservation for their help and flexibility in adjusting to our changing meeting plans – we hope to return to Colorado in the near future!

Best regards,
Joyce and the CPC National Office Team

Center for Plant Conservation – National Meeting 2020

You are invited to join the Center for Plant Conservation in our first ever Virtual National Meeting, October 8-9th, 2020 (Thursday-Friday).

Sessions will include updates on the “State of CPC”, as well as presentations from PI Conservation Officers and CPC network partners on plant conservation methods and success stories. Working sessions at this year’s meeting will engage the network in beta-testing and content creation for our IMLS funded plant conservation education platform, CPC Rare Plant Academy.

Once again, CPC’s Board of Trustees meeting will be the day before the National Meeting (October 7th, 2020). This will allow the Trustees to participate in all the National Meeting sessions.

Highlights for this year’s CPC National Meeting

Keynote Speaker

George D. Gann, Executive Director, Chief Conservation Strategist, Institute for Regional Conservation

Photo of George Gann, President & Chair of the Board, The Institute for Regional Conservation

George Gann, President & Chair of the Board, The Institute for Regional Conservation

George D. Gann has spent the last 40 years working on the conservation of rare plants, the restoration of ecosystems, and a variety of conservation and sustainability issues. A founder of the Institute for Regional Conservation, he is responsible for IRC’s core Regional Conservation Models program and contributes to national and international outreach. In 1984, George earned a B.A. with distinction in Environmental Conservation and International Affairs from the University of Colorado. That same year he co-founded IRC. Over the next 25 years, George completed more than 250 projects, including floristic inventories, rare species surveys, the preparation of management plans for public and private conservation areas, and the implementation of ecological restoration projects in the public and private sectors. During his tenure as Executive Director, President and Board Chair of IRC, he oversaw the completion of more than 100 IRC conservation projects, aimed at protecting and restoring rare species and ecosystems in South Florida and the West Indies. He has served on the boards of the Society for Ecological Restoration, the Tropical Audubon Society, and the Florida Native Plant Society. Gann has published more than 100 articles, technical reports, websites, and the acclaimed book Rare Plants of South Florida: Their History, Conservation, and Restoration (Gann, Bradley and Woodmansee, 2002) and he spearheaded the SER International Principles and Standards for Ecological Restoration. His awards include Chair Emeritus from the Society for Ecological Restoration, the Conservation Colleague Award from The Nature Conservancy, and the Board Appreciation Award from the Tropical Audubon Society. More information.

  • Registration for Abstracts for Oral & Poster Presentations will end September 1, 2020. Find requirements for abstracts here.
  • Pre-recorded content for Oral & Poster Presentations will be uploaded to conference platform or CPC shared folder by September 25, 2020. You will receive instructions for recording your talk after
  • Registration for non-presenting participants will close one week before the conference October 2, 2020.

Cancellation Policy

Contact CPC office: (760) 796-5686.


For agenda, presentations, videos details, contact Katie Heineman: kheineman@saveplants.org

Agenda OVERVIEW 2020 National Meeting of CPC

Thursday, October 8, 2020 – (Times listed in Pacific Daylight Time)

8:30 – 8:40 AM           Welcome Center for Plant Conservation, Lynde Uihlein, CPC Board Chair

8:40 – 9:00 AM           State of the CPC, Dr. Joyce Maschinski, President & CEO

9:00 – 9:15 AM              STAR AWARD Presentation

9:15 – 9:45 AM             Demonstration of Revamped Plant Profiles & Photo Contest Introduced – Dr. Katie Heineman, CPC

9:45 – 10:15 AM           PI Lighting Talk Session 1 (5 talks with a 5 min Q & A at end)

10:15 – 10:45 AM         PI Lighting Talk Session 2 (5 talks with a 5 min Q & A at end)

10:45 – 11:00 AM  Break

11:00 – 11:15 AM          The Future for CPC’s Applied Plant Conservation Course – Joyce Maschinski

11:15 – 11:30 AM         “How to make a video”  – Tips, ideas, options for creating instructional video content – Joe Davitt, San Diego Zoo

11:30- 12:15 PM            Break out group discussion: Groups break out by subject area to brainstorm most important videos content needed in that subject area for a course/rare plant academy

12:15-1:00  BREAK

1:00  –1:30 PM  PI Lighting Talk Session 3 (5 talks with a 5 min Q & A at end)

1:30  –2:00 PM  PI Lighting Talk Session 4 (5 talks with a 5 min Q & A at end)


Friday, October 9, 2020

8:30 – 8:45 AM  Welcoming Remarks & CPC Communications Update – Maureen Wilmot

8:45 – 9:30 AM  Keynote Address – George Gann

9:30 – 10:00 AM  Break out group presentations

10:00 – 10:15 AM  Break

10:15 – 10:45 AM  Demonstrate of Revamped CPC Rare Plant Academy – Katie Heineman

10:45 – 11:15 AM  PI Lighting Talk Session 5 (5 talks with a 5 min Q & A at end)

11:15 – 11:45 AM  PI Lighting Talk Session 6 (5 talks with a 5 min Q & A at end)

11:45-12:30 PM  BREAK

12:30  –1:00 PM  PI Lighting Talk Session 7 (5 talks with a 5 min Q & A at end)

1:00  –1:30 PM  PI Lighting Talk Session 8 (5 talks with a 5 min Q & A at end)


PI Presentations

Oral presentations will be self-recorded and uploaded to the conference platform no later than September 25, 2020. We will send you specific instructions for video recording after registration has been submitted – but we anticipate most videos feature the speaker’s face next to visual aid (such as a power point). If you wish to film yourself demonstrating a conservation activity in the field or lab — we encourage that as well!  Participants will be able to upload videos to conference platform or shared folder after registration has been submitted.

We will have to limit oral presentations to ONE per institution.

POSTERS: If you wish to describe a new program or general overview of your garden, a poster is the best place to do this. You may give a poster presentation in addition to an oral presentation if desired. These will be shared on our online conference platform and via social media.


PRESENTATION CONTENT:  For the past two years, CPC has recorded the proceedings of our National Meeting to support our web-based Best Plant Conservation Practices on CPC Rare Plant Academy (academy.saveplants.org) with video of conservationists speaking in their own words. These videos of oral presentations represent a great resource for the plant conservation community and help us meet our IMLS grant obligations. We ask that your oral presentations at the National Meeting entail a story that illustrates an aspect of plant conservation and coincides with the ideas described below. If none of these topics fit your expertise, you are welcome to present about a new research project, tell a conservation story about a single rare plant species in your care, or suggest an alternative topic you feel would support the Best Practice Guidelines. General garden or conservation program overviews are more appropriate for the poster session. Because our goal is to share these videos on our learning platform – please only include content you are comfortable being shared publicly.


Please remember to track the time it takes you to create these videos. Our generous IMLS Leadership Grant award required match from our conference attendees. We realize that you will not have travel and lodging expenses this year. Please track the time you spend for creating the videos as an alternative.

WE NEED HELP WITH THESE TOPICS!  Please join the fun!

  1. Seeds
    1. How can you determine whether seed is ready to collect? How do you evaluate seed quality in the field before you collect?  We would love to have examples from different plant families.
    2. Tell a story about how you had to mark flowering plants in preparation for seed collection because they are cryptic when the seed pods are mature. Examples from different plant families would be nice. A similar story could be told about bagging tasty fruits, dehiscing pods, etc.
    3. Describe a seed bulking practice.
    4. What can you do if you discover your seeds have insect damage once you have them in the lab?
    5. What can you do with small collections with few seeds?
    6. Give an example of extremely careful propagation/ transferring seedlings from germination trials.
  2. Exceptional Plants
    1. Tissue culture, Cryopreservation or Field Gene Banks – What species are you trying to conserve? What problems have you encountered? How have you resolved them?
  3. Genetics
    1. Are there particular concerns related to species with particular life histories?
    2. Give an example of using genetic information to inform reintroduction
    3. Give an example of resolving a genetic issue that has arisen for a species in a living display collection
  4. Horticulture and Propagating Rare Plants
    1. Illustrate the kinds of information you gather before you attempt to propagate a rare species.
    2. Illustrate how you have unlocked the secrets of how to grow species that was difficult.
  5. Technology
    1. Illustrate how you are using technology for plant conservation (gps, drones, phone apps, etc.)
  6. Reintroduction and Restoration Efforts
    1. Examples needed from many different life histories
    2. How did you design the reintroduction? What problems did you encounter? How did you solve the problem?
  7. Public Outreach
    1. How to communicate the importance of rare plants to the general public via social media
    2. How to engage garden visitors in volunteer-based conservation programs
    3. Additional suggestions welcome
  8. Data Sharing
    1. How to ensure your plant records follow DarwinCore data standards
    2. Germination tests: what to record and when to record it
    3. How to record/quantify/categorize the threats to a wild rare plant population
    4. Additional suggestions welcome


Please organize your presentation to encompass a beginning, middle, and end: 1) What you set out to accomplish; 2) What challenge(s) you faced; and 3) How you resolved the challenge. We look forward to seeing your great graphics and photos! Some expert tips for your lightning talks: Think about something you tried that didn’t work at first, how you altered your methods to make it finally work, and what someone else could take away from your experience. Start with an outline and write a script. Spend roughly 1/4 of the time in the beginning, 1/2 of the time in the middle, and 1/4 in the end.

Although everyone will be allotted 5 minutes for his/her presentation, if you are up to the challenge, try doing your presentation in less than 2 minutes while speaking at a normal pace: 0:30 – 0:45 beginning / 1:00 – 1:30 middle / 0:30 – 0:45 end. This might take some practice. The general rule is one/half page of text will be 2 minutes.