Tallgrass Prairie Center


Grass Identification & Ecology Workshop

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 - 9:30am to Thursday, August 15, 2019 - 2:30pm
Kent Park, 2048 US-6, Oxford, IA 52322

Grass Identification & Ecology Workshop


August 13-15, 2019

Dr. Tom Rosburg, instructor

Kent Park, Johnson County Conservation

2048 US-6, Oxford, IA 52322;   (319) 645-2315

Cost $125 (before August 5); $150 starting August 6; $50 for students


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, Professor of Biology at Drake University, is offering a three-day grass identification workshop on Iowa and Midwestern Poaceae.  The course offers an advanced curriculum for professional conservationists (CCB, DNR, 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, their ability to successfully key grass species and conduct field assessments, and their understanding of ecological relationships among grass species.


The workshop will combine class time and hands-on exercises with field work and observation.  Participants will use dissecting scopes to examine grass morphology and key specimens. Workshop materials include color handouts of the presentations used and floristic keys to identify grasses.


Field work will investigate the grasses found in several plant associations including wetlands, oak savanna, upland and floodplain forest, and prairie communities. Potential field sites include Williams Prairie State Preserve, Hawkeye Wildlife Area, Ciha Fen Preserve and the Amana Colony’s Forestry Reserve.


Pre-registration is required. Contact Brad Freidhof, Conservation Program Manager with the Johnson County Conservation Board at (319) 645-2315 or email bfreidhof@co.johnson.ia.us to register or for additional course information. The cost of the workshop is $125 (before August 5); $150 (after August 5) and $50 for students.  This fee includes workshop materials and lunch for the three days.  Breakfast and supper are on your own. Registration is payable to Friends of Johnson County Conservation.  Many options for lodging are available within 10 miles at North Liberty, Coralville and the I-80 and 151 intersection.  Camp sites with 50 amp electrical hook-ups are available at F.W. Kent Park for $20 per site/per night. Please be prepared for outdoor weather conditions as the class will be held rain or shine.  Cancellations must be made by August 5 in order to receive a refund.


The workshop will begin August 13 at 9:30 a.m. and finish on August 15 at 2:30 p.m. The workshop will be held at the Conservation Education Center at F.W. Kent Park, 2048 Highway 6 NW, Oxford, Iowa 52322.