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Invasive species threaten California’s plant ecosystems

What new invasive species threaten California’s plant ecosystems? How do you educate people and organizations about the threat of invasive species? And, how can you help detect and exclude them?

What new invasive species threaten California’s plant ecosystems? How do you educate people and organizations about the threat of invasive species? And, how can you help detect and exclude them?

An all-day conference on Tuesday, April 24 at the University of California, Davis will answer those questions. The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the UC Davis Conference Center, located at 550 Alumni Lane, across from the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.

Themed “Educating the Public about New Invasive Species Threatening California’s Plant Ecosystems,” the conference will include such topics as “New Pests Threatening California,” “Case Histories” and “Other Perspectives on Communication,” said coordinator Kris Godfrey, associate project scientist with the Contained Research Facility at UC Davis.

“The public needs to become more aware of the threat of invasive species,” said Godfrey, formerly with the California Department of Food and Agriculture. 
"The goal of this conference is to bring together biologists, social scientists, and communication experts to discuss how to educate all segments of society about the threat of invasive species and how to assist in their exclusion and detection.”

Conference attendees will learn about developing and delivering effective and consistent messages about invasive species to a variety of audiences, Godfrey said. They also will learn how to access the resources available to conduct effective outreach programs on invasive species.

Speakers will examine pest plants and plant pests that are likely to enter California in the near future, the pathways of introduction and likelihood of entry, and examples of successful outreach programs that resulted in changes in behavior by segments of society. “Methods to overcome barriers to communication with various segments of the population and possible new methods of communication” will also be discussed, Godfrey said.

Registration is free for UC personnel and $25 for non-UC personnel.

Among the invasive pests on the agenda are the golden spotted oak borer, Asian citrus psyllid, European grapevine moth, Japanese dodder, sudden oak death, and zebra and quagga mussels.

Among the topics and speakers:

  • "Predicting the Next Pest Invaders and How To Prevent Their Introduction," Joseph DiTomaso, UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences
  • “New Pest Plants,” Doug Johnson, California Invasive Plant Council, Berkeley
  • “New Arthropod Pests,” Kevin Hoffman, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento 

”New Plant Pathogens,” Richard Bostock, UC Davis Department of Plant Pathology
”Zebra and Quagga Mussels,” Ted Grosholz, UC Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy

  • “European Grapevine Moth,” Lucia Varela, UC Cooperative Extension, Sonoma County

”Asian Citrus Psyllid/Huanglongbing,” Beth Grafton-Cardwell, UC Riverside Department of Entomology
  • “Sudden Oak Death and Buy-Where-You-Burn Campaigns,” Janice Alexander, UC Cooperative Extension, Marin County, Novato.
  • “Japanese Dodder, “Ramona Saunders, Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office

  • “Newspaper Perspective,” Matt Weiser, Sacramento Bee

More information, including the full agenda and updates on the conference, is available at< Conference registration is online at For additional information, contact Kris Godfrey at or (530) 754 2104.

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