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Student and early career botanists are invited to register for a botany workshop this spring at Licola, Victoria. The workshop offers a rare opportunity to work closely with a group of industry senior botanists who have extensive experience with the survey and identification of Victoria’s vascular and non-vascular flora. The workshop objective is to provide mentoring for developing botanists in the identification of Victoria’s flora.

Participants will:

  • gain skills in a range of field- and lab-based plant identification methods;
  • become familiar with identifying vegetation types and boundaries;
  • discuss ecological aspects of the region’s vegetation;
  • hear from experts on workshop focus areas in botany and ecology;  and
  • develop networks within the botanical industry.

Location: Licola Wilderness Village, Licola VIC

Dates: 27–30th October 2017

Places: 40 (20 full registrations, 20 tertiary-student registrations)

Cost*: $360 full, $295 student

Workshop facilitators

Clare Kenny
Clare has worked as a consultant ecologist for 13 years on a diverse array of energy and natural resource projects in Australia, Europe, and the USA. During her most recent five years living in Oregon, Clare specialised in Pacific Northwest wetland ecology. Workshop role: coordinator.

David Cameron
David specialises in rainforest ecology and management while working extensively in other areas of botany. He has been professionally employed as a botanist for 40 years during which time he has lead the assessment and review of the conservation status of Victorian plants. He is an expert on the vegetation of Gippsland and a leading authority on the flora of Victoria. David has also undertaken ethnobotanical studies in the Philippines. Workshop role: Leader.

Geoff Carr
Geoff is a taxonomist and plant ecologist with a consulting career spanning 40 years. He is an authority on the taxonomy of orchids, lilies (Dianella) and Correa amongst other plant groups. Geoff is also one of Victoria’s leading weed ecologists with an exhaustive knowledge on related matters. He has described and named a number of plant species, in particular species of Caladenia (spider-orchid). Workshop role: Leader.

Matt Dell
Matt has worked as a consultant botanist for 15 years with interests in other areas of botany prior to this. He completed PhD research on associations of vascular and non-vascular plants in north-eastern Tasmania. Matt has lead botanical surveys for several major projects in Victoria and undertaken surveys over most parts of the state, including remote areas of Gippsland. In addition to his consulting role, Matt is a higher degree research supervisor of plant ecology projects. Workshop role: Leader.

Steve Mueck
Steve has worked as a government and private sector consultant botanist for over 30 years. Over this time he has undertaking extensive surveys throughout south-eastern Australia, including detailed surveys in the Central Highlands of Victoria. Steve has undertaken research on age class structure of understorey shrubs and threatened plant ecology, amongst other studies. Steve is also an expert on grassland ecology and management. Workshop role: Leader.

Workshop format
The workshop will include two days of field surveys at 2–3 sites representing different vegetation types (sub-alpine and lowland). Participants will contribute to the collection of floristic data using a number of survey techniques while learning identification characters of different plant groups. There will be opportunity during evenings to use microscopes and reference material, to further skills in laboratory techniques. Workshop leaders will give short presentation, run focus activities with smaller groups and demonstrate methods in field botany. The workshop will predominantly deal with plant classification and identification with some additional content on ecology and vegetation classification. Day trips will depart around 8 am each day and return mid-afternoon. A timetable will be provided by email prior to the workshop.         

Conditions of registration

Equipment – a detailed list of equipment recommended for participants to bring will be provided upon registration.

Travel and access: Transport will be by minibus (departure location outer eastern Melbourne train station, supplied following registration). Fieldwork will be undertaken within a short walking distance of roads, on low to moderate difficulty walking trails. Some low difficulty off-trail access will be required for surveys.    

Luggage – There is a luggage limit of one large bag (e.g. large backpack) and one standard carry-on size bag (56cm x 36cm x 23cm). Participants can also bring a laptop, small backpack or similar to carry on the bus. A small backpack is recommended for day trips.

Food - The event is not catered (however tea and coffee provided) and participants are required to bring their own food. Plan for meals which can be easily prepared and eaten within 0.5 hr lunch and 1.5 hr dinner. Refrigerators will be available for drinks and some other items. Rooms have basic kitchenettes and there is a large communal kitchen for participant use. Participants should bring a container for cut-lunch and drink bottle to take into the field. Your food for 2.5 days will need to fit in your luggage limit.  

Accommodation - Cabins with shared bunk rooms; 2–4 people per room. Participants will need to bring a sleeping bag, pillow, additional blanket, and should consider bringing a mosquito net. Cabins are comfortable and weatherproof.   

Medical considerations: Participants must ensure that they bring their personal medication (e.g. asthma treatment) or other personal medical equipment needed for the duration of the workshop. Basic first aid kits will be held by the workshop at all times e.g. bandages, band aids. The workshop is several hours drive from hospital care and pharmacies.

Following registration, participants will be asked to share information with the workshop organiser about allergies or any other relevant medical condition which should be considered during the workshop. This will assist mitigating incidents (e.g. by separate food storage) and, if appropriate, communication to other workshop participants.

Workshop registrants must be at least 18 years of age. Alcohol is permitted at dinner and during evening activities. Intoxication or disorderly / offensive behaviour of any kind is not tolerated by camp management or workshop organisers. Complaints will be taken seriously and may result in perpetrators being evicted at their own expense.

Health and Safety: It is important that participants are aware of health and safety considerations for themselves and others.  All participants will undertake a short induction and comply with the terms of a safety plan presented at the start of the workshop.

Phone reception at the camp is limited - https://www.telstra.com.au/coverage-networks/our-coverage

*Payment must be made via Register Now payment options. Cost includes accommodation and return bus travel from Melbourne (Lilydale). Costs are not refundable within 10 business days prior to or following 27th Oct 2017. GST is not applicable.

Workshop contact: Clare - admin@vicbotany.com.au

The workshop is a non-profit event and workshop facilitators are volunteers.

Common questions  

Can I bring my own car?
Is it preferred that participants do not bring their car and travel to and from the workshop by bus provided. If there are exceptional circumstances (e.g. participant’s residence is near Licola, or on call for emergency work etc.) then registrants should contact the workshop coordinator prior to registration to discuss alternative arrangements. Participants will not be able to drive their car to field sites from the camp location.

Is there somewhere to leave my car at the bus departure point?
The bus will depart from within a short walk to a train station. This is intended to allow participants to organise public transport or to get a lift by car to the busses. Participants can choose to leave their car near the bus departure point at their own risk.

What if I need to leave early?
If there are unforeseen and exceptional circumstances (e.g. urgent family matter) then arrangements will be made so you can be picked up from the camp, or alternative transport to nearest public transport will be made. Participants should plan to avoid early departure under normal circumstances.

Can I have my own room?
Bunk room boarding arrangements will be organised between participants or into separate male and female rooms as required. If you would like your own room, you will need to contact Licola Wilderness Camp directly and organise your separate accommodation at your own cost.

Can I arrange to share a room with my friends? Yes. Rooms will have 2-4 participants in each. If you are registering alone, there will be opportunity to organise suitable boarding arrangements. Female only and male only rooms can be provided if required.  

What gear should I bring? A detailed list of recommended equipment / clothing will be provided following registration.     

Will there be transport to a town for additional supplies? Participants should be self-sufficient for 3 days as time will be limited for transport apart from field excursions.

What other facilities are available at the camp? See http://www.licola.org.au/ and contact the camp owner regarding use of facilities if you have any further questions. There will be limited time for non-workshop activities.

How fit do I need to be? Participants should be able to access survey sites on foot over moderately undulating ground e.g. amongst grass tussocks. Survey sites will be within 500 m of vehicles. A short guided walk will run on the third day (about 1 km). Day surveys will run for about six hours with a lunch break. Most of the survey activities will be within a localised area with opportunity to rest. Evening activities are mostly seated.  

Can I bring ID books? The workshop will use reference material for plant identification. You are able to bring your own references at your own risk and within your luggage limit.  

What time will the bus return to Melbourne?
It is intended that the bus will return to Melbourne public transport by 4pm.

What if the event is booked out?
If workshop registration is full, you can contact admin@vicbotany.com.au to go on a waiting list in case there is a cancellation. The waiting list will be made in order of enquiry.