9th International Oak Society Conference 2018

Event Date: 
Monday, 22 October 2018 to Wednesday, 24 October 2018


We are delighted to announce that the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden will host the next International Oak Society Conference on the University of California, Davis campus. The Conference Committee is planning a full slate of field trips, engaging speakers, hands-on workshops, a massive seed exchange, and Pre- and Post-Conference Tours to California’s most magnificent oak landscapes.

Conference registration will be limited to 240 attendees, and Pre- and Post-Conference Tours will have limited seating. Registration will open on April 1. The conference is expected to sell out, so don't delay in registering!

Conference Theme

“Adapting to Climate Change – Oak Landscapes of the Future” will be the theme of the Conference. The global issue of climate change has hit home in California as we have endured extreme heat, historic drought, and record rainfall over the last decade. These climate conditions have significantly impacted natural and cultivated 

Cork oak (Quercus suber) avenue at UC Davis © UC Regents

oak landscapes in our region and forced us to reconsider strategies for how we approach urban forestry, natural areas management, biodiversity conservation, and sustaining our culture and values. The Conference Program will span these broad topic areas as well as how research into climate models, oak evolution, and oak natural history can give us fresh insights into how we can learn from the past to prepare for the future.

Conference Program

The Conference Program will include a mix of oral presentations, poster presentations, lightning talks, and hands-on workshops. We are introducing lightning talks for the first time this year as a fast, fun way to hear and share a diversity of ideas. These strictly timed five-minute talks consist of 15 slides that advance automatically every 20 seconds. The Call for Session Proposals closed on December 1, 2017, and the Conference Committee will be reviewing submissions this winter. Presenters will be notified by March 15, 2018 at the latest about the acceptance of their proposal, and the full Conference Schedule will be released in spring of 2018.

Conference Tours

Two sequential Pre-Conference Tours, an assortment of Pre-Conference Day Trips, and two sequential Post-Conference Tours are being planned to allow options for varying travel schedules and budgets. Tour destinations will include a variety of wild and cultivated oak destinations in California’s diverse and spectacular landscapes. Tours have been scheduled for the following dates and destinations. Tour locations are subject to change, and more details on tour itineraries and costs will be posted on the IOS website as they are finalized.

  • October 15-18 - Sierra Nevada Pre-Conference Tour: This tour will focus on wildland species in the Central Valley, Sierra Foothills, High Sierra, Eastern Sierra, and White Mountains. Highlights will include fall color and the world-famous Yosemite Valley.
  • October 19-20 - Cascade-Siskiyou Pre-Conference Tour: This tour will focus on the diversity of species growing in the northwestern part of the state, including the unique Quercus sadleriana. A visit to Mount Shasta and Quercus garryana var. breweri in fall color will also be on the itinerary.
  • October 21 - Pre-Conference Day Trips: Multiple tour options are being planned in Northern California's beautiful wine country and Interior Coast Range.
  • October 25-26 - San Francisco Bay Area Post-Conference Tour: This tour will include a variety of urban landscapes, botanical collections, and open space lands in the East Bay and South Bay.
  • October 27-29 - South Coast Post-Conference Tour: This tour will include a mix of urban and wild destinations in Santa Cruz, Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles. Highlights will include giant heritage oaks, elfin coastal oaks, and the rare Quercus engelmannii.

Pre-Conference Events

Plan on arriving before the Conference begins to enjoy Oak Discovery Day in Shields Oak Grove at the UC Davis Arboretum and an evening welcome reception on Sunday, October 21. Oak Discovery Day, a free public outreach event, will include Native Californian acorn grinding and food preparation demonstrations, self-guided tours, and a variety of oak activities for visitors of all ages. The event will be organized by UC Davis students in the Learning by Leading Program, a model environmental leadership program developed by the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden.

Seed Exchange

A seed exchange will be held on the last day of the Conference (October 24). Please plan ahead and collect acorns this summer and fall to bring along. For international attendees, this is also the time to review American seed importation permit requirements. For guidelines on acorn collecting, storage, and international importation, click here.

About the Conference Host

The University of California, Davis is a public land-grant university with top-ranked research programs in agricultural and environmental sciences. The UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden encompasses the landscape of the full 5,300-acre campus, including a 100-acre arboretum, an urban campus core, natural areas, and agricultural lands. In-Conference field trips will explore the management of oaks in these diverse settings, ranging from wild populations along Putah Creek to urban street trees on the campus core to the research and conservation collections in the Arboretum. Oaks figure prominently across these campus landscapes and have shown resilience in our changing climate. The crown jewel of the campus oak collection is located in the Arboretum’s Peter J. Shields Oak Grove, where over 100 species and hybrids grow in a grove of mature trees started in 1962.

About the Conference Venue

The Conference will be held at the Conference Center on the University of California, Davis campus. Lodging will be available within walking distance of the Conference Center at Hyatt Place Hotel and the Hallmark Inn.

Davis, California is a small city of 70,000 residents with a friendly, walkable downtown and growing art, music, and food scenes. A true college town, Davis life revolves around the university, but the community is also known for its year-round Farmers Market, bicycle-friendly culture, and extensive parks and greenbelts. Davis is centrally located in California near the Sacramento International Airport and is also within easy driving distance of the Napa Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Conference Committee

Committee members include Emily Griswold, Shannon Still, Stewart Winchester, David Muffly, Zarah Wyly, Rachel Davis, Abbey Hart, and Melissa Cruz. Questions about the Conference may be sent to conference2018@internationaloaksociety.org

UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden
448 La Rue Rd Davis, CA 95616, USA
United States
38° 32' 2.5368" N, 121° 45' 11.88" W
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