International Oak Symposium
October 7-10, 2024 – Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

The University of Tennessee’s School of Natural Resources is proud to host an International Oak Symposium in 2024 to provide a platform to exchange information and build collaborations around the best available science and technology on oak ecology and management for a global audience. The meeting will provide innovative and progressive formats to deliver and exchange information and foster collaborations between researchers and practitioners. Field trip(s) will be offered that showcase multi-disciplinary research of the USDA Forest Service and other partners.

Two people standing in field of oak seedlings
Credit: Stacy L. Clark, USDA Forest Service

The overall goal of this symposium is to cultivate and promote synergy among natural resource managers and researchers working towards practical applications to sustain or restore oak ecosystems around the world. The symposium will address the most current issues and complexities related to science-based management of oak species and forests at global, regional, and local scales. The four-day program seeks to engage a diverse audience of managers and scientists in a forum that fosters innovation in silviculture and management for sustainability of oak forests.

Our specific objectives are to provide platforms, products, and opportunities for:

  1. technology transfer and dialogue between researchers and managers 
  2. scientific exchanges among researchers
  3. fostering collaborations between managers and researchers
  4. production of peer-reviewed research papers
  5. Contribute towards professional development of students and early-career scientists
Mature white oak grows under partly cloudy sky.
Credit: Stacy L. Clark, USDA Forest Service

Oak (Quercus) trees and forests have provided a myriad of wood resources and ecosystem services for millennia. Oaks are considered a keystone species in many regions of the world but are increasingly threatened by deforestation, nonnative invasive pests and pathogens, climate change, altered disturbance regimes, and gaps in critical knowledge for silviculture and management. Despite commonalities of these threats across many oak ecosystems around the globe, general applications of solutions are often elusive and difficult to develop. Rural and urban communities will continue to lose vital ecosystem services and values provided by oak trees and forests without further development and application of practical science-based silviculture and management at stand and landscape levels. 

Substantial progress has been made in research and science delivery for oak ecology, silviculture, and management since the mid-20th century. International meetings have been hosted and sponsored in part by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) Research Groups or Working Parties, particularly Unit 1.01.06, Ecology and Silviculture of Oaks: In 2000, the “IUFRO International conference ‘Oak 2000 – improvement of wood quality and genetic diversity of oaks‘” was held in Zagreb, Croatia.Several regional symposia have been held in the Central Hardwood Region of eastern North America to synthesize the state of the knowledge and provide opportunities for exchanges among researchers and practitioners: A 1992 symposium, “Oak Regeneration: Serious Problems, Practical Recommendations” was held in Knoxville, Tennessee; In 2002, “Upland Oak Ecology Symposium: History, Current Conditions, and Sustainability” was held in Fayetteville, Arkansas; “Oak symposium: sustaining oak forests in the 21st century through science-based management” was held in Knoxville, Tennessee in 2017. A series of western regional meetings have been held as part of the California Oak Symposium, from 1979 to 2022 focusing primarily on oak conservation in northern and southern California.

Trees stand on flooded land.
Credit: Emile Gardiner, USDA Forest Service

Call for Abstracts is now closed

  • Acceptance notices will be announced by March 15, 2024.
  • Registration will be open prior to notification of acceptance of the submitted paper or poster abstract. Once accepted, presenters should register for the conference within 30 days to acknowledge their participation.
  • Proceedings: All oral presenters will be asked to submit a short paper (~1000 words), which will be published in the conference proceedings that will be available at the Symposium.
    • Poster presenters may also submit a short paper or modify their previously submitted poster abstract.
    • Short papers should be submitted by July 19, 2024.
    • Instructions for short papers will be provided at the time of notification of oral or poster presentation acceptance for the concurrent sessions.
  • Special Issue: presenters (oral and poster) will have the opportunity to submit a full-length manuscript to a special journal issue that highlights prominent work delivered at the Symposium. More information will be provided at a later date.

For more information about the abstract submission process, please contact Stacy Clark (stacy.l.clark@usda.gov) or Callie Schweitzer (callie.schweitzer@usda.gov).

We ask that all oral and poster presenters submit an extended abstract for the proceedings by July 5, 2024. A special issue will be offered as an additional outlet for publications related to the Symposium (details to be determined). The goal of the proceedings is to provide synthesized information to practitioners; please be brief.

  • Do not include information in the extended abstract that would preclude publication in a scientific journal.
  • The proceedings will be published as a General Technical Report by the Southern Research Station of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
  • The proceedings will be available in hardcopy for attendees at the International Oak Symposium on October 7, 2024, and will be available in electronic format following the meeting.

Please download the ‘Oak Symposium Abstract Submission Template – Instructions.pdf’ and the ‘Extended Abstract Example – 2024 Oak Symposium‘ to assist you in developing your extended abstracts.

For questions, please email:
Christine Martens, Science Delivery Specialist, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service
Christine.martens@usda.gov

Group of people stand in tree stand.
Credit: Stacy L. Clark, USDA Forest Service

Conference Co-Chairs:

Woman wearing baseball cap and sunglasses smiles.

Stacy L. Clark, Research Forester, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Knoxville, Tennessee (USA); stacy.l.clark@usda.gov

Woman gestures with both hands while wearing hard hat with people around her.

Callie Schweitzer, Research Forester, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Huntsville, Alabama (USA); callie.schweitzer@usda.gov

Program Committee:

Man smiles

David Buckley, School of Natural Resources, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee (USA); dbuckley@utk.edu 

Man smiles with building behind him.

Dan Dey, Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Columbia, Missouri (USA); daniel.c.dey@usda.gov

Man holds limb of tree.

Emile Gardiner, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Stoneville, Mississippi (USA); emile.gardiner@usda.gov

Man

Magnus Löf, Head of Department & Professor, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, Lomma (Sweden); Magnus.Lof@slu.se

Woman smiles while holding bird.

Christine Martens, Science Delivery Specialist, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service (USA); christine.martens@usda.gov

Man smiles.

Stephen Peairs, Assistant Professor, School of Natural Resources, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee (USA); speairs@tennessee.edu

Woman smiles.

Yana Valachovic, University of California Cooperative Extension, Eureka, California (USA);  yvala@ucanr.edu

Student Activity Committee Chair

Woman wearing black jacket smiles in front of a grayish, brown background.

Tara Skiba, PhD candidate, School of Natural Resources, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee (USA); tskiba@vols.utk.edu

The schedule is subject to change, and activities will be updated as the Symposium program is being developed.

Sunday, October 6, 2024 – Registration opens (evening)

Monday, October 7, 2024 – Registration, Plenary Session, Concurrent Sessions

Tuesday, October 8, 2024 – Plenary Session, Concurrent Sessions, Panel Discussions, Poster Session

Wednesday, October 9, 2024 – Field trips (TBA)

Thursday, October 10, 2024 – Plenary Session, Panel Discussions, Concurrent Sessions

Other activities will include: Social event, Student and early career professional workshop/social, and plenty of opportunities for networking!

Woman smiles while digging in hole.
Credit: Mark Miller, USDA Forest Service

The Symposium will be held at the Hilton Knoxville (501 W Church Ave, Knoxville, TN 37902, USA) in the heart of downtown. We have secured a block of rooms at a rate of $113 per night until September 15th, 2024 by 1700 EST. The hotel prefers for you to use a direct online link to reserve your room. If you need to call to make the reservation, please call 1 (800) 774-1500 and use the group name ‘Oak 24.’

Parking is available adjacent to the Hilton Hotel in a privately owned garage for a discounted fee for registrants (registrants will be charged approximately $20-$30 per day). To save time, please take a photo of your license plate before you park! Your license plate number is required to get the discounted rate for parking at the Hilton.

The closest airport to the Symposium is the Knoxville McGee-Tyson Airport (Airport code TYS), which is approximately 14 miles (26 kilometers) from downtown Knoxville. 

For tips on fun things to do around the area, we encourage you to visit https://www.visitknoxville.com/. The conference hotel is in the heart of downtown and only about a 5-minute walk from a variety of unique entertainment, local shopping, and dining options!

Close up of tree leaves and acorns
Credit: Emile Gardiner, USDA Forest Service

Registration will open in April 2024.

If you are interested in sponsoring the 2024 International Oak Symposium, click here for sponsorship packages.

The Conference Planning Committee thanks the following sponsors!

USDA and U.S. Forest Service logos
Logo for School of Natural Resources
University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture logo
Logo
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency 75 Years Logo
National Resources Webinar Series Alabama Extension logo
Tennessee Forestry Association logo
International Oak Society logo
National Hardwood Lumber Association logo
Brown-Forman logo
East TN Wood Products Co., Inc. logo