Invasive Species Conferences

2014 Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference

Commander Ben prepares for his invasive species presentation for scientists at the Texas conference

Commander Ben prepares for his invasive species presentation for scientists at the Texas conference

I had such a great time at the 2014 Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Council (TIPPC) conference that was held last month at the UT Austin Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas. I gave my invasive species presentation in the institute’s auditorium, talked with lots of scientists, and received such a great surprise!

My presentation at this year’s conference was entitled, “Adventures with Invasive Species and the Invasive Hunter Academy”. I talked about how I use social media and my many science videos to educate kids about invasive species. With each of my Battles with Invasive Species videos, I created a character and focused on a specific invasive species that kids could learn from and remember.

I fielded many great questions from the audience, including how my videos can be used in school science classrooms. (Please feel free to use them to help kids learn more about invasive species!)

It was also great seeing many of the scientists that I have had the honor of getting to know over the past few years. Their presentations are always interesting and it’s also just great to have a chance to catch-up together. I always especially enjoy seeing my mentor, Dr. Damon Waitt, Senior Director and Botanist, at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Dr. Damon Waitt and Commander Ben catch a moment together at the Invasive Plant and Pest Conference

Dr. Damon Waitt and Commander Ben catch a moment together at the Invasive Plant and Pest Conference

Oh!  And that surprise, I mentioned…

I received such a wonderful surprise at Thursday night’s conference dinner! In addition to receiving a presentation award, the Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Council presented me with the 2014 Outstanding Citizen Scientist of the Year award!

Commander Ben thanks the Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Council for his Outstanding Citizen Scientist award

Commander Ben thanks the Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Council for his Outstanding Citizen Scientist award

Wow! I was so honored to receive this award and for all the kind words. It was so heartwarming to hear from a scientist that I was “one of the team!”

Commander Ben receives the 2014 Outstanding Citizen Scientist of the Year award

Commander Ben receives the 2014 Outstanding Citizen Scientist of the Year award

Read more about the 2014 Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference

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2011 Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference

Photo credit: 2011 Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference group photo from texasinvasives.org

Photo credit: 2011 Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference group photo from texasinvasives.org

The 2011 Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas, was fantastic!  I enjoyed learning about many new invasive species, and I had a great time giving my presentation to an enthusiastic group of scientists and citizen scientists.

I’m excited to talk about and lead the fight against invasives anytime!

Here’s a summary of my posts and videos before and during the conference.

Pre-conference

Conference presentation

Conference video interviews

Commander Ben signing off…

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