Washington, DC – January 12, 2023 – At the Weed Science Society of America’s (WSSA) joint annual meeting with the Northeastern Weed Science Society (NEWSS), a symposium boasting unprecedented representation from over a dozen federal agencies is scheduled for Wednesday, February 1 in Arlington, Virginia.
The organizers of the symposium entitled, “WSSA Research Priorities Survey Results: 13 Federal Agency-Perspectives and -Funding Opportunities” are anticipating wide-spread interest as panelists will be discussing federal weed science research and management. Federal Agencies that will be represented include:
· Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
· Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
· National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
· USDA Office of Pest Management Policy (OPMP)
· Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
· US Forest Service (USFS)
· Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
· US Geological Survey (USGS)
· National Park Service (NPS)
· US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
· Department of Defense (DOD)
· Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE)
· National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
· National Science Foundation (NSF)
These agencies support weed science research or invasive plant management, or both, through grant funding, technical assistance, and scientific studies. They represent a diversity of stakeholders who may be separated geographically yet have a common focus on weeds and invasive plants in crop, terrestrial, and aquatic systems.
The WSSA Research Priorities Committee conducted a survey of priorities for weed science research in 2022. Insight from this survey will be shared at the symposium and facilitate a discussion on the future of weed science in terms of research needs, program support, and national initiatives. “We haven’t had this type of feedback before and discussing the survey in an open forum will help bring new insight and advance the field,” said Steve Young, a symposium co-organizer and national program leader with USDA-ARS.
With a panel of thought leaders from federal agencies and engagement from participants at the symposium, ideas will emerge on how best to use this information in the development of a national roadmap for weed science. This symposium will provide an opportunity for a productive dialogue among federal agency leaders and WSSA members. By focusing on research needs, program support, and national initiatives in weed science, new relationships will be developed, and current ones will be strengthened.
Young and co-organizer, Jim Kells, professor of weed science at Michigan State University, think that the 2023 meeting is ideal for this symposium since the high-level topic (weed research and management and a road map) is paramount to key federal agency personnel in the National Capital Region and surrounding areas.
About the Weed Science Society of America
The Weed Science Society of America, a nonprofit scientific society, was founded in 1956 to encourage and promote the development of knowledge concerning weeds and their impact on the environment. The Society promotes research, education and extension outreach activities related to weeds, provides science-based information to the public and policy makers, fosters awareness of weeds and their impact on managed and natural ecosystems, and promotes cooperation among weed science organizations across the nation and around the world. For more information, visit www.wssa.net.
Lee Van Wychen, Executive Director of Science Policy
National & Regional Weed Science Societies Lee.VanWychen@ wssa.net, 202-746-4686