March 2-6, 2009 | Doubletree Hotel — Lloyd Center | Portland, Oregon
Co-sponsors: National Park Service, Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Program
U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resource Discipline

Supporter: HDR, Inc.

Please note: The GWS office will be closed February 24 through March 9 while we travel to and from Portland for the conference. For last-minute inquiries prior to the conference, call 1-906-487-9722 for recorded instructions.

On-line registration has closed, but you can still register in person
The last day to register on-line was February 20 ... if you still haven't registered for the conference, you can do so on-site. To save time in line in Portland, we urge you to download the 1-page GWS2009 On-Site Registration Form and fill it out beforehand. Do NOT mail it or fax it to the GWS office -- please bring it with you to Portland.

Click the Register>Fees tab above for an explanation of the registration fees. The Registration Desk will be open from 3:00-10:00 pm on Sunday, March 1 ... and if at all possible, we strongly urge you to register on Sunday ... Monday morning will be hectic!

Note: If you want to go to the GWS/NPS Awards Banquet on Thursday evening (cost = $45), and you haven't already signed up, you MUST sign up no later than 10:30 am Monday morning ... after that we have to give final numbers of the caterer and we will not be able to sell additional tickets.

New speaker for Tuesday plenary session
In early February we learned that Billy Frank, Jr., who was to have been a featured speaker in Plenary Session III on Tuesday, March 3, was obliged to withdraw due to an unavoidable conflict. In his place we are delighted to have Gerard A. Baker, one of the most respected leaders in the National Park Service, who will join Jon Jarvis in addressing "Thinking Like a Mountain: Effective Collaboration in the Management of Protected Areas." More

Welcome to GWS2009!

We invite you to join us for Rethinking Protected Areas in a Changing World, the biennial George Wright Society Conference on Parks, Protected Areas, and Cultural Sites. GWS2009 will be a week of reflection, reconnection, and renewal in Portland, Oregon — one of America’s loveliest, greenest cities.

Every two years, the George Wright Society organizes Rethinking Protected Areas in a Changing World, the USA’s premier interdisciplinary professional meeting on parks, protected areas, and cultural sites. By these three overlapping terms we mean a broad array of places, both “cultural” and “natural,” managed by different entities under a variety of designations: parks at all levels; historic, archaeological, and other cultural sites; cultural landscapes; research areas and designated wilderness within national and state forests, grasslands, wildlife refuges, and other protected public lands; tribal reserves; marine, estuarine, freshwater, and other aquatic sanctuaries; private land-trust reserves; and similarly designated areas. The GWS Conference also encompasses disciplines and activities that support the work of parks, protected areas, and cultural sites, such as ethnography, GIS, and museum work.

The GWS is unique among professional organizations because our mission is to encourage dialogue and information exchange among all the people needed for protected area conservation. In recent years, 800–900 people have attended. Typically, about 60% are from the U.S. National Park Service and the conference program reflects this; in fact, the conference serves as a top-level meeting for many NPS resource professionals. However, as noted above, the scope of the conference goes well beyond the U.S. National Park System to include other federal agencies, tribes, state agencies, NGOs, academic concerns, and park systems and organizations outside the USA.

GWS2009 is your chance to catch up with old friends and colleagues, make important new contacts, get up-to-date on the latest innovations in park management, and stay current with research findings in your field. With our broad range of program offerings — including thought-provoking keynotes, wide-ranging paper and panel presentations, focused side meetings, and field trips — the GWS biennial conferences aim to be the park profession’s best all-around training value.

GWS2009 will be the 15th in this series of conferences, which date back to 1976. Past conferences have been recognized as official training opportunities by various U.S. federal agencies.

We're working hard to minimize the environmental impacts of a meeting of this size and complexity. As a start, we'll be meeting at one of the very few hotels in the US to have received Green Seal's certification for lodging properties. To find out what we're doing, click the "Green meeting" tab above.

We've created this website to answer your questions about the conference. But if anything isn't clear, don't hesitate to contact us — we are always glad to help. We look forward to seeing you in beautiful Portland.

Dave Harmon
GWS Executive Director

Emily Dekker-Fiala
GWS Conference Coordinator

GWS2009 Conference Committee
Stephanie Toothman, chair
Brad Barr
Rebecca Conard
Rolf Diamant
Melia Lane-Kamahele
John Waithaka
Rebecca Stanfield McCown
Abby Miller
Stephen Woodley
George Wright Society Board of Directors
Rolf Diamant, president
Stephanie Toothman, vice president
David Graber, secretary
Rebecca Conard, treasurer
Brad Barr
Melia Lane-Kamahele
Suzette Kimball
Suzanne Lewis
Brent Mitchell
John Waithaka
Robert Winfree

Rebecca Stanfield McCown, graduate student representative
George Melendez Wright Student Travel Scholarship Program
Gillian Bowser, chair
Suzette Kimball
Rebecca Stanfield McCown
Native Participant Travel Grant Program
Sharon Franklet, chair
Melia Lane-Kamahele
Scenes from GWS2007, St. Paul, Minnesota
Photos courtesy Charles D. Rafkind Photography

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