IRC 2016 Email SignUp


spacerPlenary Speaker Profiles
Listed in order of appearance

Monday, July 18


State of Global & Canadian Rangeland and Pasture Resources

Canada’s rangeland and pasture resources
Ed Bork, Professor & Mattheis Chair, Rangeland Research Institute, University of Alberta

Ed BorkDr. Edward Bork is currently the Mattheis Chair in Rangeland Ecology and Management, and the Director of the Rangeland Research Institute at the University of Alberta. He has been teaching and conducting rangeland research since 1991 on a wide range of basic and applied topics such as integrated weed control in pasture, grazing systems, fire ecology, forage and legume production dynamics, landscape and disturbance ecology, and more recently, on the importance of grasslands in providing environmental goods and services such as carbon storage. Dr. Bork’s work has had a strong focus on addressing practical problems of high relevance to practitioners.

Global range resources
Yingjun Zhang, Professor & Chief Scientist, China Agricultural University

ZhangDr. Yingjun Zhang is a professor at the China Agricultural University where he conducts research into grassland restoration, grazing management, forage development and utilization. He has made major contributions in plant community productivity, soil carbon sequestration mechanism and animal production under grazing conditions. He clarified the mechanism of defoliation, trampling and excreta return on soil carbon sequestration and showed that moderate grazing pressure is key in sustainable development of the steppe. He and his research team are currently focusing on improving grassland productivity by reseeding legumes and applying fertilizer, thus promoting the development of the forage industry in China.

>>Back to Program

horizontal rule


Ecological Goods & Services of Rangelands & Pasturelands

What are ecological goods & services?
David Briske, Professor, Rangeland Ecology, Texas A&M University

BriskeDr. Briske is a Professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Texas A&M University. His research interests include physiological plant ecology, ecosystem science, and global change biology. The broad goals of his research program are to 1) develop plant-level information to promote a greater understanding of ecosystem function in response to natural and anthropogenic disturbances, including climate change, and 2) promote resilience-based management and monitoring of rangeland ecosystems by linking ecological theory with management protocols. Dr. Briske has served as academic coordinator for the Conservation Effects Assessment Program of the USDA-NRCS Resource Inventory and Assessment Division. He is editor of the journal Rangeland Ecology and Management.

>>Back to Program


What is the role of society in protecting and providing EG&S?
Don Gayton, Ecologist & Writer, Summerland, British Columbia

GaytonDon Gayton has a lifelong association with grasslands, in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Washington State. Starting off as a young hired man on cattle ranches, he went on to complete a B.Sc in Agronomy at Washington State University, and an M.Sc in Plant Ecology at the University of Saskatchewan. Don’s specialties are grassland vegetation monitoring, fire ecology, ecosystem restoration and science extension. Gayton has published on the impacts of climate change on biodiversity in British Columbia and has co-authored several award-winning books including: The Wheatgrass Mechanism, Man Facing West, and Landscapes of the Interior. More on Don at www.dongayton.ca.

>>Back to Program


Tuesday, July 19

The People of the Grasslands

Pastoralists of the world
Ann Waters-Bayer, Senior Associate, Prolinnova International Support Team, Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), Germany

Waters-BayerDr. Ann Waters-Bayer specialises in socio-institutional aspects of agricultural research and development that enhance local capacity to adapt to change. She researched gender and land issues among Fulani pastoralists in Nigeria and has worked for 25 years with ETC Foundation, advising organisations in sub-Saharan Africa, Tibetan Plateau, and Mongolia in pastoral/livestock systems development and participatory research and extension. She is now Senior Associate with the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT). She has worked with several international organizations in promoting ecologically oriented agriculture and natural resource management in developing countries. She has authored several books and articles on pastoralist development and on innovation by smallholder farmers and pastoralists. She is part of the executive team of the Coalition of European Lobbies on Eastern African Pastoralism (www.celep.info).

>>Back to Program


Canadian Indigenous Peoples and Arctic/Grassland Use
Ryan Brook, Assistant Professor, Department of Animal & Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan; Indigenous Land Management Institute

Dr. Ryan BrookDr. Ryan Brook is an assistant professor in the Indigenous Land Management Institute at the University of Saskatchewan. He conducts research on wildlife in southern grassland and northern boreal and arctic ecosystems and the habitats that they utilize. Species studied include caribou and polar bears in the north to feral pigs, elk, white-tailed deer, and moose farther south. This work involves habitat monitoring and monitoring wildlife movements and interactions with livestock. His research also addresses the disconnect that can exist between biophysical researchers and stakeholders and the general public by developing ways of incorporating local knowledge and community-based monitoring.


Plenary Session 4

Multiple Use of Rangelands

Resource extraction impacts in Asia
Purevsuren, Director, Nature Conservation Fund, Ministry of Nature and Green Development, Mongolia

PurevsurenDr. Purevsuren is president of Green Cross, an NGO in Mongolia. He has expertise in agriculture and the environment and has worked in combating ecological disasters through public awareness, training and extension. He specializes in soil fertility management and combating desertification with a focus on soil mapping, land use, environmental impact assessment, and rural community development. Dr. Purevsuren has made 3 documentary films, published 20 books and more than 100 articles in newspapers and journals. He works for the Geographic Institute of the Academy of Sciences and provides consultation to the Minister of Environment of Mongolia on environmental issues.

>>Back to Program


Evaluating Energy Development Effects on North American Rangelands
Urs Kreuter, Professor, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Texas A&M University, Texas, USA

KreuterUrs Kreuter was born and grew up in East and Southern Africa where he became fascinated by savanna ecosystems. He obtained his BS and MS degree in Agriculture from the University of KwaZulu Natal. After working as a research scientist for the South Africa Department of Agriculture and as lecturer for the University of KwaZulu Natal, he moved to the USA to obtain a PhD with emphasis in rangeland economics from Utah State University. Subsequently, he worked as a post doctor research scientist in the Department of Rangeland Ecology and Management (now Ecosystem Science and Management) at Texas A&M University and in 1998 he was hired in the same Department as Assistant Professor, was promoted to Associate Professor in 2004 and to Professor in 2010. Dr. Kreuter teaches courses in Ecosystem Management, Biodiversity Conservation and Eco-tourism in Southern Africa and Ecological Economics. Dr. Kreuter's research program focuses on the Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Management and aims to enhance positive incentive structures for the sustainable management of rangeland ecosystems under changing environmental and social conditions.

>>Back to Program


Thursday, July 21


Range and Forage of High Latitudes & Altitudes

Arctic and Subarctic North America & Europe
Dave Downing, Vegetation Ecologist, Alberta, Canada

DowningDave Downing has been working for nearly forty years as a plant ecologist throughout western and northern Canada. He has worked with government and industry colleagues throughout the boreal, montane, parkland and grassland landscapes. He spent nine years helping to conduct an ecological survey of the entire Northwest Territories where he became immersed in its diverse landscapes and acquainted with an equally diverse population of wild ungulates, small mammals, birds and their predators that range throughout the Subarctic and Arctic. Dave will discuss the ecology of Subarctic/Arctic rangelands and different approaches to their management in North America and Europe.

>>Back to Program


Range/Forage environment of the Tibetan Plateau
Marc Foggin, Acting Director/Scientist, Mountain Societies Research Institute

FogginDr. Marc Foggin has lived and worked in mountain areas of Asia since 1996 as a conservation biologist and ecologist. He has directed the work of Plateau Perspectives for more than 15 years with projects that protect the natural environment of the Tibetan Plateau region through initiatives that protect wildlife and enhance the welfare of herders by introducing novel ‘co-management approaches’ within protected areas. He has long recognized the value of incorporating indigenous knowledge and culture into sustainability programs. Dr. Foggin is currently acting director of the Mountain Societies Research Institute at the University of Central Asia.

>>Back to Program



Climate Change in Rangelands


Climate of the Canadian Prairies: Past, Present, Future
Dave Sauchyn, Professor, University of Regina; Research Coordinator, Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative, Regina, Saskatchewan, CANADA

SauchynDr. Dave Sauchyn is Research Professor at the Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative (PARC) at the University of Regina. His research expertise is the climate and hydrology of the past millennium in Canada’s western interior and how knowledge of the past can inform scenarios of future climate and water supplies. Dave is currently co-directing a five-year study of vulnerability to climate extremes in Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil and the Canadian Prairies. A focus of this study is the vulnerability of rural agricultural and indigenous communities to the impacts of climate change on ecological goods and services.

>>Back to Program


Climate Change in Global Rangelands: A Dryland Ecologist's Perspective on Trends in Forage Quantity and Quality
Jan C. Ruppert, Assistant Professor, Institute of Evolution and Ecology, University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, GERMANY

RuppertDr. Jan C. Ruppert is a vegetation ecologist at the University of Tuebingen, Germany. His research focuses on determinants and dynamics of dryland primary production and its stability towards extreme events and disturbances. He has taken various perspectives ranging from global meta-analyses of dryland primary production, down to field-scale analyses of functional traits. He has a strong focus on grasslands and savannas of Southern Africa and has acquired experience in several dryland biomes globally. Currently he coordinates the Drought-Act Experiment near Polokwane, South Africa, studying the impacts of likely climate scenarios as well as potential management schemes on rangeland vegetation.

>>Back to Program


Friday, July 22

Grazing Land Assessment & Management in a High-Tech World

Evolution of modeling approaches to grazing land assessment
Barry Adams, Rangeland Extension Specialist, Lethbridge, Alberta, CANADA

AdamsBarry Adams is a range management specialist and has recently retired from after a 38 year career as the Provincial Rangeland Specialist for Grasslands and the Head of Rangeland Resource Management. A focus of his work has been to assist ranchers apply the principles and practices of range management to promote healthy range and sustainable livestock operations. He was instrumental in developing Alberta’s rangeland health assessment protocol which has found wide acceptance and application to public lands, wildlife habitat management and grassland reclamation. Barry continues to be engaged in producer education, vegetation inventory and development of improved restoration practices for Alberta grasslands.

>>Back to Program


Impact of communication technologies on pastoralist societies
Ed Charmley, Program Leader, Livestock Environmental System, Australian Tropical Sciences and Innovation Precinct, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, AUSTRALIA

CharmleyDr. Charmley comes from a farming background in the UK and received a PhD from the Grassland Research Institute near Reading. For the last 10 years he has worked for CSIRO in northern Australia where he manages a broad portfolio of livestock research that focusses on beef production in extensive, sub-tropical rangelands. His current research lies in the use of technology to record animal and environmental variables in the field. New digital technologies are beginning to be employed to improve profitability and sustainability under variable weather conditions. His work focusses on matching the technology to the needs of industry through participatory research.

>>Back to Program



Land Manager's Forum

Duane Thompson, Tee Two Land & Cattle Company, Kelliher, Saskatchewan, CANADA

Duane ThompsonAfter graduating from the University of Saskatchewan in 1987 with a Diploma in Agriculture, Duane did some travelling before returning home to work his way into his parents' operation in the Parkland Region south of Kelliher, SK. Duane and his wife Paula now own and operate, Tee Two Land and Cattle Co, along with their four children and several employees. The business has always been a mixed operation - cow/calf, feedlot, forages, grain, pulses and oilseeds, with the forage component occupying half the 7,000 ac land base. Duane believes firmly in the mixed enterprise concept. While it makes for a 365-day a year job, the synergy of the various enterprises working together continues to be more and more evident each year.

>>Back to Program


Leanne Thompson, Living Sky Beef, Ceylon, Saskatchewan, CANADA

Leanne ThompsonLeanne graduated with a B.Sc. in Agriculture and M.Sc. in Animal Science from the University of Saskatchewan. The focus of her Master's project was on forage and grazing and work in this area has become central to her career in agriculture. Leanne has her own consulting firm, managing projects and doing communications work for a variety of agricultural organizations including the Saskatchewan Forage Council where from 2012 to 2015 she was the Executive Director. Leanne and her husband Ryan and their two young children own and operate Living Sky Beef near Ceylon, SK.


>>Back to Program

Closing Session and Summary

Summary of the seven preceding sessions of the Congress
Speaker TBA

Synthesis of the IRC themes of Ecology, Management, and Policy
Speaker TBA



Top of page topofpage


Gold Sponsors

US Forest Service
SK Ministry of AgriculturespacerEnvironment Canada

Joint Sponsor


Silver Sponsors

US Dept of the Interior - Bureau of Land Management

US Dept of the Interior - US Geological Survey

Utah State - Reed Funk
Reed Funk Fund

Bronze Sponsors

U of S College of Agriculture & BioresourcesspacerWestern Beef Development Centre



University of Saskatchewan

Chadron State College

SK Forage Council

Australian Rangeland Society

Tourism Saskatoon


Sponsor X IRC 2016



© X International Rangeland Congress 2015. All rights reserved.