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Ozark Summit 2012

June 12-14, 2012
Missouri State University
Springfield, MO
more info...

Previous Ozark Summit Meetings:

2010 Living on Karst: Sustainable Management of Ozark Ecosystems

The 2010 Summit was held October, 2010, at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK. The Summit addressed sustainability, land management, public involvement, water quality, and caves and karst issues in the Ozark region.

2009: Energy Development, Climate Change and Ozark Biota

The 2nd Ozark Summit focused on Ozark natural resource management and research issues, including how climate change and America's energy needs may affect the Ozarks. Ozark Summit 2009 Breakout Session Notes

2008: Ozark Streams

The first Ozark Summit was held in 2008. The goal of the summit was to begin to build the framework for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of scientific investigations and resource management activities focused on Ozark Streams. On the Summit 2008 page you'll find links to State Agency Wildlife Action plans, The Nature Conservancy's Ozark Ecoregional Conservation Assessment, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Strategic Habitat Conservation Report.

The Ozarks

The Ozark region of the United States includes southern Missouri, northern Arkansas, and portions of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Illinois. It is one of the most biologically diverse landscapes on earth. Forests, glades, prairies, streams, caves, springs and fens harbor habitats and species found nowhere else on the planet.

photo of waterfall with ice
Winter waterfall at Paradise, AR, photo by Larry Chapman Kelly

Ozark biodiversity is due in part to the age of the landscape. Nearly a quarter billion years of erosion and weathering have resulted in a thoroughly dissected plateau of remarkable geologic, topographic and hydrologic diversity. Subterranean dissolution of carbonate bedrock has formed world-renowned karst features of springs, sinkholes and caves. The Ozarks have continuously supported plant and animal life for 225 million years; perhaps longer than any other region in the United States. No glaciers or oceans covered the Ozarks during this time, providing opportunity for species to diversify. During glacial maxima, the Ozarks provided refuge for plant and animal species displaced from more northern latitudes. Isolated populations of some of these species survive today in caves, springs and other isolated damp, cool areas. Over 200 species are largely restricted to the Ozarks; of these, approximately 160 species occur nowhere else in the world. Find out more about Ozark culture and environment here.

Ozark Partnership

The Ozark Partnership seeks to help sustain the biologically rich, nationally-significant natural resources of the Ozarks. Our aim is to improve effectiveness and efficiency of science and management through the cooperative work of State, Federal and nongovernmental organizations that conduct natural resource research and management in the Ozarks. We also welcome private citizens and landowners.

Steps are being taken to:

  • work cooperatively in geographic locations on topics of mutual interest
  • share research methods and monitoring protocols
  • expand applicability of results
  • share products, tools, and information

Join us/partcipate

The Ozark Highlands
A Distinctive Landscape

link to USGS Fact Sheet

image of USGS Ozark Highlands Fact Sheet
U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009–3065

Ozark endemic species

Ozark hellbender
Cryptobranchis_alleganiensisa

Ozark hellbender salamander
USGS Amphibian Research
and Monitoring Initiative

Dwarf spiderwort
Tradescantia longipes

Spiderwort flower
Matt Struckoff
U.S. Geological Survey

Woodland crayfish (juv.)
Orconectes hylas

Woodland crayfish (juvenile)
Doug Hardesty
U.S. Geological Survey

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Page Last Modified: Tuesday, 31-Dec-2013 10:20:58 EST
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