Tallgrass Prairie Center

Grass Identification & Ecology Workshop

Tuesday, August 7, 2018 - 9:30am to Thursday, August 9, 2018 - 2:30pm
Whiterock Conservancy, 1436 Hwy 141, Coon Rapids, IA 50058

Grass Identification & Ecology Workshop

Grasses, in the family Poaceae, are arguably the most important plant family, due to their evolution (5th largest family), their ecology (dominance and function in the world’s ecosystems), and their ethnobotany (use as food, forage and fiber by humans).


Tom Rosburg, Drake University, is offering a three day grass identification workshop on Iowa and Midwestern Poaceae. The workshop includes fieldwork throughout the Middle Raccoon River Valley at Whiterock Conservancy near Coon Rapids, IA and guided species identification.


The course offers an advanced curriculum for professional conservationists (NRCS, FWS, NPS, ACE), graduate students, and avid amateurs. The hands-on workshop will enhance participants’ field recognition of grass species, their understanding of grass morphology and terminology, the ability to successfully key grass species and conduct field assessments, and their understanding of ecological relationships among grass species. Field work will investigate the grasses in several plant associations including wetlands, oak savanna and forest, and prairie communities.


Participants will use dissecting scopes to learn grass morphology and key specimens. Workshop materials include handouts of the presentations used and floristic keys to identify grasses.

Contact Rob Davis at Whiterock Conservancy, phone number 712-790-8221 ext. 4 or email <landmanager@whiterockconservancy.org>, to register or for additional course information. The cost of the workshop is $200 and includes workshop materials, two nights of lodging, and meals. Registration is payable to Whiterock Conservancy.

The workshop will begin August 7 at 9:30 a.m. and finish on August 9 at 2:30 p.m. The workshop  will be held at the Bur Oak Visitor Center located 1 mile east of Coon Rapids on Highway 141.