Newswise — GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- Protecting the water Floridians will need for the 15 million additional residents projected to live here 50 years from now means getting today’s 20 million Floridians to conserve water, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher says.

Michael Dukes, a UF/IFAS professor of agricultural and biological engineering, said water conservation will be one of many topics at this year’s UF/IFAS Urban Landscape Conference, scheduled for March 16-17 at the Straughn Center, 2142 Shealy Drive, Gainesville.

UF/IFAS experts will share information on landscaping and the issues that go along with it, such as water, horticulture and human behavior, said Dukes, who also works as director of the UF/IFAS Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology.The summit provides a forum for UF/IFAS faculty who work on landscapes to share information, Dukes said.

“This event provides a forum for all of us to learn the latest of what others are doing throughout the state,” he said. “Florida is a big state, and UF/IFAS is a broad organization. I don’t know of a better way to stay up on the latest information and science than to present and attend events like this.”

Jack Payne, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, will welcome everyone to the summit on the first day. Mark Clark, a UF/IFAS associate professor of soil and water sciences, will serve as the first days’ keynote speaker and will talk about water quality in urban areas. The next day, the keynote speakers will be the group that wrote the Florida 2070 report, They will talk about growth projections and water quantity issues.

“The Urban Landscape Summit provides a great opportunity for UF/IFAS faculty to collaboratively share their expertise on matters ranging from irrigation to nutrients,” said Nick Place, UF/IFAS dean for Extension. “Extension is all about outreach, and faculty who attend the summit will take away a great deal of new research, information and techniques to help UF/IFAS’ many stakeholders.”

Topics at the summit include water quality and quantity, irrigation, consumer preferences and behavior, Florida-Friendly Landscaping, turfgrasses, trees, roadside vegetation, urban pest issues and much more. For more information, click on


By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, [email protected]

The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS web site at and follow us on social media at @UF_IFAS.