The annual UF/IFAS Aquatic Weed Control Short Course was held May 7 through 10 at the Coral Springs Marriott. This extremely popular, well-attended event is one of the largest extension programs in the country, and this year we welcomed a near-record crowd of more than 430 people from Florida, Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin .
Participants attended traditional seminars on invasive plant biology and control in
aquatic, right-of-way, and natural areas and took part in interactive learning experiences as well, such as plant identification sessions and calibration and computation workshops. Up to 20 continuing education units (CEUs) were granted to licensed pesticide applicators in a number of categories, including Core, Aquatics, Natural Areas, and Right-of-Way. Special training sessions were also available to prepare new applicators to take Core and Category certification exams, which were administered on-site by FDACS and IFAS personnel at the conclusion of the Short Course.
Short Course speakers included nationally and internationally known experts in weed biology and control and represented university and extension faculty, graduate students, industry researchers, and federal and state managers. Exhibitors included industry sponsors and representatives, professional associations, and University groups such the UF/IFAS Bookstore, the UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center and the UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.
Networking opportunities, such as the Industry Social and Welcome Reception and catered breaks between sessions, were plentiful and many attendees took advantage of these chances to make new contacts. Eighty-eight percent of participants that completed post-course surveys indicated that their overall rating of the Short Course was excellent or very good; in addition, three-quarters said that they plan to attend next year’s program.
The 2013 Aquatic Weed Control Short Course will take place May 6 through 9 and will once again be held at the Coral Springs Marriott. Make plans today to attend the 2013 Aquatic Weed Control Short Course in Coral Springs to learn the latest techniques and developments in aquatic, right-of-way, and natural areas weed control! For more information, please visit the Short Course website at www.conference.ifas.ufl.edu/aw or contact Lyn Gettys at firstname.lastname@example.org.