2022 Natural Areas Conference

*All programming subject to change.  Please refresh the page for the most up-to-date information.  Check in frequently for updates. 

Call for Proposals is Open 

Deadline: March 1, 2022

September 6-8, 2022 - Duluth, MN

The Natural Areas Conference will be coming to Duluth, Minnesota in 2022. Duluth is located right on the shore of Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes. The northeast area of Minnesota is renowned for its natural areas, offering boreal and hardwood forest, extensive lakes, bogs and wetlands, as well as savanna and upland prairie. 

Photo credit: Dale Kakkak
Plenary Speaker: Robin Wall Kimmerer 
SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Speaker Bio:

Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, which has earned Kimmerer wide acclaim. Her first book, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing, and her other work has appeared in Orion, Whole Terrain, and numerous scientific journals. She tours widely and has been featured on NPR‘s On Being with Krista Tippett and in 2015 addressed the general assembly of the United Nations on the topic of Healing Our Relationship with Nature. Kimmerer lives in Syracuse, New York, where she is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability.

As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. She holds a BS in Botany from SUNY ESF, an MS and PhD in Botany from the University of Wisconsin and is the author of numerous scientific papers on plant ecology, bryophyte ecology, traditional knowledge, and restoration ecology. She lives on an old farm in upstate New York, tending gardens both cultivated and wild.

Conference Topics:

  • Ecological monitoring: effective/sustainable long-term status and trends 

  • Ecological monitoring: data management, storage, accessibility and use 

  • Outreach: cutting edge education, volunteer stewardship, citizen science and social media 

  • Outreach: involving arts, literature and photography 

  • Developing technologies and apps: what to consider in creating or using 

  • Protecting and managing natural areas for climate resilience 

  • Innovative management techniques, equipment and labor 

  • Rare species/pollinator best management practices 

  • Prescribed disturbance: haying, grazing, fire, logging 

  • Public perception and attitude towards natural areas 

  • Making connections with new audiences 

  • Flourishing habitats: how they got that way 

  • Ecosystem services: what is the true value of natural areas? 

  • Native plant materials in restoration/rehabilitation 

  • Visitor use: compatible vs non-compatible 

  • Invasive species: threats, prevention and management 

  • Slowing environmental degradation and resource depletion 

  • Conservation partnerships

*all conference programming and dates are subject to change. 

We can't wait to see you there!

Duluth in fall

Superior National Forest

Duluth waterfont 

Arial view of mille lacs lake from a distance

*All programming subject to change.  Please refresh the page for the most up-to-date information.  Check in frequently for updates. 


Join the people who protect and manage our natural areas.