2006 Greater Everglades
Ecosystem Restoration Conference
Planning, Policy and Science

June 5-9, 2006 l Lake Buena Vista, FL

Hosted by:
The many Federal, State, Local and Tribal Partners
committed to the sustainable restoration of the Greater Everglades

Contributing Partners:


South Florida Water
Management District


CLICK HERE for information about the 2008 Meeting

Site Index

l Conference Purpose l Agenda-at-a-Glance l Greater Everglades Ecosystem
   Restoration Partners and Other
   Participating Organizations
l Who Should Attend? l Poster Directory (PDF format)
l Programmatic Topics l Poster Presentation
l Call for Abstracts l University of Florida
   Participating Organizations
l Call for Workshop Proposals l Registration Information
l Pre-Conference Workshop
   on Remote Sensing
l Exhibitor Information l Area Information
l Hotel & Meeting Site l For More Information



Conference Purpose

Sustainable restoration of the Greater Everglades requires effective integration of Planning, Policy and Science. The purpose of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration (GEER) Conference is to provide a forum for restoration practitioners – decision makers, engineers, planners, resource managers, scientists – to share their knowledge and challenges concerning restoration of this national treasure – the Greater Everglades. So, what is this vast and wonderful system we call the Greater Everglades? The Greater Everglades is an interlinked complex of natural and human ecosystems from the Kissimmee River at the top through Lake Okeechobee, the Loxahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries to the east and the Caloosahatchee Estuary to the west, southward to the Everglades and Florida Bay with the Keys at the bottom; and, from Biscayne Bay and other coastal systems on the east to Big Cypress, Ten Thousand Islands and other coastal systems on the west.

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Who Should Attend?

Participants will interact in an interdisciplinary setting to summarize and review state-of-the-art planning, management activities and science to formulate new concepts for integrating adaptive management into implementing Greater Everglades Restoration. This includes federal, state and local agency personnel, tribal governments, water resource engineers, water resource managers, water resource planners,  environmental policy makers, environmental consultants, ecological modelers and researchers, hydrologic modelers and researchers, academic researchers and students, and environmental interest groups.

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Programmatic Topics

Restoration Planning and Policy:

  • Setting objectives and defining success
  • Innovative cost-benefit analysis
  • Including partners
  • Sustaining the initiative
  • Integrating ‘risk and uncertainty’ into planning and implementation
  • Integrating adaptive management into project planning and implementation
  • Enhancing communication between planning, policy, science and partners

Hydrology & Hydrologic Modeling:

  • Hydrology of the pre-drainage Everglades
  • Integrating hydrology of the managed system with the needs of the natural system
  • Integrating ‘flow’ into “getting the water right” – ‘flow’ as a component driving depth, duration, timing and distribution
  • Advances in implementing hydrologic models – emerging new challenges

Ecology & Ecological Modeling:

  • Using and improving planning and evaluation ecological models
  • Moving towards the ‘new front’ for ecological models – assessment models
  • Integrating experimental, monitoring and modeling for adaptive management
  • New directions in ridge and slough landscapes
  • Improving the use of ecosystem history to guide the targets for restoration
  • Using interim goals and performance measures to set the target for successful ecosystem restoration
  • Understanding the integration of fire, hydrology and cyclical climatic patterns on landscape dynamics
  • Integrating biogeochemical (nutrients, contaminants, EPOC) dynamics into sustainable restoration

Compatibility with the Human Landscape:

  • Land use, economics and demographic trends
  • Planning and community involvement; consensus building
  • Ecosystem valuation modeling to integrate natural systems into community wealth

Information Systems:

  • Challenge of data accessibility and usability; data storage, management and archiving;
    real-time data access; data visualization; metadata
  • WEB access and retrieval; digital libraries
  • Decision support systems; Everglades Depth Estimation Network (EDEN)
  • Hierarchical approaches to information transfer in support of ecosystem restoration

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Call for Abstracts

All individuals involved in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration effort are strongly encouraged to submit an abstract for consideration as an oral or poster presentation. Special consideration will be given to work that synthesizes across disciplines. Abstract submissions will be used to select oral presentations, and ALL abstracts, both oral and poster, will be published in the conference book of abstracts. Abstracts will also be posted on the GEER website following the conference.

If you wish to make an oral presentation or present a poster, please submit an abstract no later than March 15, 2006. Abstracts MUST be submitted ONLINE via this web site.


Abstract Submission is Closed

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Call for Workshop Proposals

Members from all segments of Everglades’s restoration are invited to submit workshop proposals for review. Workshops will provide an informal setting where participants will have the opportunity to discuss technical topics in an atmosphere that fosters the active exchange of ideas. Example topics are those highlighted as conference topics but submitters should not feel limited to these areas as each proposal will be assessed according to individual content, proposed structure and overall relevance. Workshop organizers will be responsible for inviting speakers, ensuring their participation, ensuring submission of preliminary texts and structuring and leading the discussion sessions. Acceptance will be primarily based on an evaluation of the workshop's potential for generating useful results, relevance and expected level of interest in the topic, and the organizers' ability to lead a successful workshop.

Workshop Proposal Submission Deadline: The deadline to submit a workshop proposal is Wednesday, February 1, 2006. If you have questions about developing a presentation and programmatic format for the workshop, please contact Dr. G. Ronnie Best by telephone at: 954-577-6354 or by email at: Ronnie_Best@usgs.gov before submitting your proposal.

Workshop Time Allowance: There is limited time and meeting space available for workshops; therefore, the plan is to accept 3-5 proposed workshops on key topical issues/concepts. Sessions are scheduled for 1.5 hours. Therefore, workshops should be planned in 1.5 hour increments, ideally ranging from 1.5 hours to 4.5 hours. However, key topical workshops may be scheduled for sessions covering 1-2 days. Be sure to indicate the amount of time you think you will need to conduct the workshop when completing the online workshop proposal submission form. You will be notified of Workshop Proposal acceptance status by Wednesday, February 8.

If your workshop proposal is accepted, workshop presenters will be required to submit an abstract by the March 1 abstract submission deadline via the online submittal form.

Proposals MUST be submitted ONLINE via this web site.


Workshop Proposal Submission is Closed

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Pre-Conference Workshop

Monday & Tuesday, June 5 & 6, 2006

Applications of Remote Sensing Technologies for Adaptive Ecosystem Assessment: Monitoring System-Wide Change

NOTE: There is no fee to participate in this workshop. Please sign up in advance when registering online for the GEER conference.

Workshop Background:
The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) provides a framework and guide to restore, protect, and preserve the water resources of central and south Florida, including the Everglades. The goal of CERP is to redirect freshwater inflows for restoration of the Everglades ecosystem while still providing for critical regional water-related requirements, including water supply and flood protection. Monitoring the complex hydrologic, floral and faunal changes associated with restoration activities is an enormous task. Many physical, chemical and biological parameters have been identified as measures, or indicators, of overall performance of proposed restoration activities. Carefully designed and methodically implemented system-wide monitoring strategies are required to successfully quantify both short- and long-term changes within the interdependent landforms, vegetation assemblages and animal communities. Due to the vastness of the Greater Everglades, including the surrounding agricultural and urban environments, fixed monitoring stations (e.g., stage gages, water quality collection sites) and vegetation/soil field sampling schemes (e.g., points, transects) cannot yield the high density of sampling data needed to adequately characterize and model the diverse ecosystems. Remotely sensed data, which is able to cover large areas with uniformly distributed high density data points, has been and will continue to provide the essential synoptic view of restoration activities and their effects.

Workshop Objective:
The overall objective of the proposed workshop is to develop realistic and attainable strategies to expand the effective utilization of remotely sensed data for CERP system-wide adaptive monitoring and assessment. This must be accomplished through cooperative participation among the diverse teams of biologists, chemists, hydrologists and engineers that are responsible for quantifying landscape changes and teams of geospatially enabled scientists and engineers.

Technical presentations will focus on matching potential remote sensing technologies (sensors and analysis techniques) with the required monitoring data (i.e., performance measures). The characteristics that will determine the utility of each sensor include:

  • Passive vs. Active technologies,

  • Sensor Resolutions (spatial, spectral, radiometric, temporal), and

  • Direct vs. Indirect parameter measurement/estimation.

The adaptive monitoring requirements will be stratified within the following system-wide ecological topics:

  • Landscape Change (vegetation patterns, invasive species, habitat change),

  • Hydrology (stage, topography, hydroperiod), and

  • Environmental Quality (water quality, habitat suitability).

Who Should Attend:
The intended audience for this workshop includes scientists, engineers and program managers with an interest in ecosystem restoration monitoring and assessment. In particular, investigators responsible for the delineation and quantification of directly measurable surface features (e.g., vegetation types, vegetation spatial and seasonal variations, hydro patterns and dynamics) should be aware of the types of remotely sensed data currently available. Discussions will include project costs and the benefits of the utilization of remotely sensed imagery.


Workshop Agenda:

Monday, June 5, 2006
1:00pm Pre-Registration
1:30pm – 5:00pm Workshop Session I
3:00pm – 3:30pm Break


Tuesday, June 6, 2006
8:30am Pre-Registration
9:00am – 11:00am Workshop Session II
11:00am Workshop Concludes

For more information, contact the Workshop Organizer

Michael Campbell
Topographic Engineering Center
Engineer Research and Development Center
US Army Corps of Engineers
7701 Telegraph Road; Building 2592
Alexandria, Virginia 22315
Phone: 703-428-6538; FAX: 703-428-3732
Email: Michael.V.Campbell@erdc.usace.army.mil

Mr. Campbell is a member of the Remote Sensing Sub-team under the Restoration Coordination and Verification (RECOVER) Assessment Team. RECOVER is an arm of CERP responsible for linking science to a set of system-wide planning, evaluation and assessment tasks. RECOVER organizes and applies scientific and technical information to support the goals and objectives of CERP. The Remote Sensing Sub-team is responsible for investigating the use of remote sensing technologies to augment RECOVER monitoring and assessment activities.

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Monday, June 5, 2006

12noon – 4:00pm


1:00pm – 1:30pm

Registration Open for Pre-conference Workshop Attendees

1:30pm – 5:00pm

Pre-Conference Workshop:
Applications of Remote Sensing Technologies


Main Conference Registration Office Opens

Poster Presenters to Register and then set up Displays

5:00pm – 8:00pm

Early Bird Networking Social in Poster and Exhibit Display Area

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

7:30am – 8:30am

Early Morning Refreshments in Poster & Exhibit Display Area

8:30am – 12noon

Two Concurrent Pre-conference Workshops
Applications of Remote Sensing Technologies
Restoring Hydrology to Ten Thousand Islands and Florida
          Panther National Wildlife Refuges

12noon – 1:00pm

Lunch on Own

1:00pm – 5:00pm

Opening Conference Plenary

5:00pm – 8:00pm

NETWORKING RECEPTION: Poster Presentations and Topical Discussion in Poster and Exhibit Display Area

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

7:30am – 8:30am

Early Morning Refreshments in Poster & Exhibit Display Area

8:30am – 10:00am

Topical Plenary Session I – Adaptive Management

10:30am – 5:10pm

Concurrent Sessions and Topical Workshops

12noon – 1:30pm

Boxed Lunch Provided in Poster and Exhibit Display Area


Time for Ad Hoc Meetings of Independent Groups
(Remainder of evening on own)

Thursday, June 8, 2006

7:30am – 8:30am

Early Morning Refreshments in Poster & Exhibit Display Area

8:30am – 10:00am

Topical Plenary Session II – Defining Success

10:30am – 5:10pm

Concurrent Sessions and Topical Workshops

12noon – 1:30pm

Lunch on Own

5:00pm – 8:00pm

NETWORKING RECEPTION: Poster Presentations and Topical Discussion in Poster and Exhibit Display Area

Friday, June 9, 2006

7:30am – 8:30am

Early Morning Refreshments in Poster & Exhibit Display Area

8:30am – 12noon

Plenary and Topical Workshops – Summaries, Discussions and Recommendations



Poster Presenters Remove Displays

12noon – 3:00pm



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Poster Presentation Instructions


I.          Please plan to arrive in Orlando on Monday, June 5 in time to set-up your poster between 5pm – 8pm. A social with refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be conducted during that time.

II.         The open discussion session and poster presentations will be held during the reception on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. The purpose is to continue topical workshops and sessions by enhancing the interaction through poster presentations.

III.        Presenters are asked to stand at their poster displays during both sessions from
6pm – 7pm.

Poster Display Size

    Posters are limited to 4 feet high x 6 feet wide (1.22M high x 1.83M wide).

    Poster boards will be freestanding.

    Posters must be presented using the poster boards provided by the Conference. The poster boards are contiguous, and presenters may not use their own self-contained displays. Due to space constrictions, no tables will be provided.

    Poster boards are covered with fabric, and posters can be affixed using either Velcro or ¾” long push pins. Tape is not permitted. A limited supply of Velcro tape will be available for your use during mounting, but we recommend you bring a supply with you. Multiple strips two inches in length work best.

    Early morning, mid-day and afternoon refreshments will be served in the poster session room each day. In addition, there are two formal poster session receptions as indicated above.


Poster Removal: All posters must be removed by 12noon on Friday, June 9. (Please note: The poster display boards will be dismantled and removed by the vendor at 12:30pm on Friday, so please have your poster down by this time. Conference organizers are not responsible for lost or damaged posters removed by the display board vendor.)


* Be sure to grab a drink and plate of hors d’oeuvres as soon as the poster reception begins before you go to your poster.


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Registration Information

The registration fee allows each registrant to receive one copy of the abstract book, conference materials, and attendance at all sessions throughout the week. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be provided at Monday’s Early Bird Networking Social, and at the Tuesday & Thursday Poster Session Receptions. A boxed lunch will be provided on Wednesday afternoon and participants will enjoy early morning, mid-day and afternoon refreshment breaks throughout the week. Guest and child registration fees include attendance at the evening networking functions only.

Registration Fee Schedule
All figures are presented in US dollars ($).

Meeting Attendees

Early REDUCED Attendee $225 If register by April 21, 2006
Regular Attendee $275 If register by May 1, 2006
Late Attendee $325 If register after May 1, 2006


Early REDUCED Student $95 If register by April 21, 2006
Regular Student $145 If register by May 1, 2006
Late Student $195 If register after May 1, 2006

*Photocopy of student ID required.


Early Reduced Guest $125 If register by May 1, 2006
Regular & Late Guest $175 If register after May 1, 2006

Children (12 years and under)

Early Reduced Child $50 If register by May 1, 2006
Regular & Late Child $75  If register by May 1, 2006

Refund Policy: Requests for registration refunds will be honored if written notice of cancellation is received by the Office of Conferences and Institutes on or before Friday, May 12, 2006. A $75.00 processing fee will be deducted from all refunds. No refunds will be honored for cancellations after Friday, May 12, 2006.

Special Needs: Participants with special needs can be reasonably accommodated by contacting the Office of Conferences & Institutes at least 10 working days prior to the short course. We can be reached by phone at 1-352-392-5930, by FAX at 1-352-392-4044, or by calling 1-800-955-8771 (TDD). The TDD number can only be accessed from within the State of Florida.

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Exhibitor Information


Exhibit Set-up and Removal:

  • Exhibitor MOVE-IN: Monday, June 5; 12:00noon-4:00pm
  • Exhibit MOVE-OUT: Friday, June 9; 12:00noon-3:00pm.
  • NOTE: All displays must be accompanied by a fully paid conference registrant.



Monday, June 5 6:00pm-8:00pm
Tuesday, June 6 7:30am-8:00pm
Wednesday, June 7 7:30am-5:00pm
Thursday, June 8 7:30am-8:00pm
 Friday, June 9 7:30am-12:00noon

Exhibitors are not required to be stationed at their display during show hours and security is provided when the exhibit hall is closed. Morning, mid-day and afternoon refreshments breaks will be held in the Exhibit Hall as well as the Tuesday and Thursday evening poster session receptions.

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Hotel & Meeting Site Accommodations

Buena Vista Palace

  1900 Buena Vista Drive
  Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA 32830
  PHONE: 407-827-2727
  FAX: 407-827-6034
  WEB: buenavistapalace.com

The conference will be held at beautiful Buena Vista Palace located in the WALT DISNEY WORLD® Resort, just 18 miles from the Orlando International Airport. You and your family will enjoy complimentary lighted tennis courts, three swimming pools, a playground and children's activity programs. You'll also have access to five Disney championship golf courses, myriad restaurants and of course, personalized services at their famous spa facilities.

HOTEL RESERVATION DEADLINE HAS PASSED: The hotel reservation deadline has passed, however, the Buena Vista Palace is still accepting reservations for GEER conference participants at prevailing rates ranging from $119-$149 per night plus a $12 resort fee and applicable taxes. To make a reservation, contact the hotel directly at: 407-827-2727. You will still need to specify you are attending the GEER conference.

(To receive tax exempt status, payment must be made in the form of a government issued check, credit card or purchase order, and, be accompanied by a Florida sales tax exemption certificate presented at check-in.)

Special Instructions: A first night's room deposit must be made with a credit card, check or cash within 10 days of placing your reservation. For any reservations that "no show" or, are canceled within 72 hours of arrival, the deposit will not be refunded. Check-in time is after 4pm and check-out time is 11am. Should you arrive early or depart after these times, baggage storage areas are available for early arrivals and late departures.

- Adults are 18 years old and over. Children under 18 are free.
- Rollaway beds are available for $20 per day plus current taxes.

Walt Disney World Resorts Grosvenor Resort OrlandoIf you do not already have a reservation and wish to stay at a nearby property offering a lower rate, the Grosvenor Resort is offering GEER participants a discounted rate. The Grosvenor Resort is located at 1850 Hotel Plaza Blvd., just down the street from the Buena Vista Palace. The Grosvenor is offering a nightly rate of $84 plus a $9 resort fee and 11 percent tax, with one to four people in a room, for the nights of June 4 through 9.
TO MAKE RESERVATIONS: Contact the Grosvenor directly on its toll free number, 1-800-624-4109 or 407-828-4444. Be sure to specify you are attending the GEER Conference. All hotel reservations must be made by Friday, June 2. After this date, neither availability nor the discounted group rate is guaranteed. 


SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: A first night’s room guarantee must be made with a credit card when placing your reservation. For any reservations that “no show” or, are canceled within 72 hours of arrival, the deposit will not be refunded. Check-in time is after 3pm and check-out time is 11am. Should you arrive early or depart after these times, baggage storage areas are available for early arrivals and late departures. 

Click here for map and directions to the Grosvenor Resort from the Orlando International Airport. 

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Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration
Partners and Other Participating Organizations


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University of Florida Participating Organizations


Center for Wetlands

Soil and Water
Science Department
University of Florida
School of Natural Resources
and Environment

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Area Information


Orlando International Airport

Taxi Service

Discount Coupon available soon

Rental Car

Avis is offering special rental 
rates to conference 
attendees. Click here to 
make reservations

Click here to find driving directions to Orlando, FL from any address/destination in the USA by simply typing in the starting address and then the end destination address; very user friendly.

Map of Florida

Click here for a map of the state of Florida.

Mileage Chart

Click here for a chart that lists the mileage/distance
 from city to city in Florida.

Orlando Weather


Click here to see a detailed 7-day weather forecast for Orlando, FL.


Click here to explore Florida attractions, theme parks, and history by city.

Other Cities to Visit While in Florida

Florida Interactive maps – Click here

Clearwater, FL Click here to find information and links for the city of Clearwater. Daytona Beach, FL – Click here to find information and links for the Daytona Beach area – Big Beach, Big Fun!
Fort Lauderdale, FL Click here to find maps and information on the beaches, attractions, restaurants, and nightlife in sunny Ft. Lauderdale.

The Florida Everglades, Miami, FL Click here to find information on how to reach the Florida Everglades, where to stay and eat, transportation, and weather in the south Florida area.

St. Augustine, FL Click here to find information and links to Florida’s oldest city and the best it has to offer. Panama City Beach, FL Click here to find information about “the world’s most beautiful beaches” on over 27 miles of white sand.

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For More Information


G. Ronnie Best - Conference Chair
Coordinator, Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science
United States Geological Survey
c/o University of Florida/IFAS
Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center
3205 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7799
PHONE: 954-577-6354
FAX: 954-577-6347
PHONE (CELL): 954-658-4676
EMAIL: Ronnie_Best@usgs.gov
WEB SITE: SOFIA.usgs.gov

Beth Miller-Tipton - Conference Coordinator
University of Florida/IFAS
Office of Conferences and Institutes (OCI)
PO Box 110750
Gainesville, FL 32611 USA
PHONE: 352-392-5930
FAX: 352-392-4044
EMAIL: bmt@ufl.edu

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