The 2024 Joint Annual Conference features a new venue and a fresh agenda with sessions and tours about Technology and Innovation in conservation and agriculture. Register by June 14 and save $40 on full registration! Click here to view the draft agenda.

Sessions and Tours

Wednesday, July 17 at 10:05 a.m.

Leveraging Technology to Conserve Biodiversity

Christina Grozinger, Ph.D., Director, Center for Pollinator Research and Technology for Living Systems Center, Penn State University

Learn how scientists at Penn State are using remote sensing, big data, computer vision, artificial intelligence, and engineering to develop tools that conservationists and homeowners can use to design strategies to improve land management and support biodiversity.

In particular, we will focus on the Beescape decision support tool, which allows users to map land use, habitat quality (including seasonal floral resources), weather parameters, and economic value from pollination services across the continental United States.

Visit the Center for Pollinator Research

Visit the Technologies for Agriculture & Living Systems Center

Wednesday, July 17 at 11:15 a.m.

Utility-Scale Solar in PA – The Approaching Wave

Tom Murphy, Senior Managing Director for Team Pennsylvania and Vice-Chair of the Lycoming County Conservation District

Utility-scale solar continues to advance in PA, driven by a variety of forces, and looks to continue advancing for the foreseeable future. What is causing the rapidly emerging large scale development of solar in PA? What are the impacts and implications to communities across the Commonwealth? What part does a county conservation district play in the review and planning process, and how is farmland uniquely impacted?

This presentation will cover key considerations in utility-scale solar in PA and how conservation districts may partner with municipalities as they review, and potentially issue permits, for this new energy infrastructure.

Wednesday, July 17 at 3:30 p.m.

Field Trips Hosted by Penn State

Participants can select one of two options for their field trip destination.

Option 1: Chestnut Restoration Research and Frost Entomology Museum Participants will take in two spots of interest on the campus of Penn State University Park. Visit the research site of the American Chestnut restoration project at the Arboretum and stop into the Frost Entomological Museum


Option 2: Rock Springs Research Farm and Ag Progress Days – Beginning with a bus tour of agricultural research plots at the Larson Research Farm at Rock Springs, participants will then stop at Ag Progress Days to see conservation practices implemented at the site, including the riparian buffer on Spruce Creek.

Wednesday, July 17 at 6:30 p.m.

Dinner with Entertainment by Van Wagner

Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. Musical performance to follow.

Van Wagner is an educator, forester and musical artist. In the classroom, he teaches Agriculture Science at Danville Area High School. 

Outside of the classroom he educates audiences with his music and programs on Pennsylvania History. His music has been featured on the History Channel, WVIA tv, Country Music Television (CMT), and in several film productions.

He has released 33 original albums and published a book entitled "Coal Dust, Rust, and Saw Dust." His music and programs not only entertain but inspire audiences to learn more. Click here to visit Van Wagner's website.

Visit the SWAG Bus

The Berks County Conservation District is bringing the SWAG—the SWAG bus, that is! The Soil, Water, and Agricultural (SWAG) Mobile Education Bus is coming to the conference. Stop by and see all of the hands-on educational displays designed to teach children and adults about conserving natural resources in Berks County. More details about when and where to visit the bus will be available onsite at the conference. Thanks to Berks for this opportunity!

Returning After Hiatus - The Silent Auction!

John Dryzal with the Cambira County Conservation District has generously offered to coordinate a silent auction for PACD this year. Interested in donating to the auction? Contact Molly Burns at PACD.

Our Conference Sponsors



BEG Group Logo


Hotel Information

Penn Stater Hotel & Conference Center

215 Innovation Boulevard

State College, PA 16803

(814) 863-5000

Reservation Deadline: June 14, 2024

Click here to reserve your room online

Room Rate: $129.00

Reservations: 814.863.5000

Room Block Code: PACD24A

The hotel cannot guarantee the conference rate of $129.00 after June 14. Be sure to make your overnight reservations before the deadline.

Hotel Policies to Note:

  • Check-in time is 4:00 p.m. and checkout is 11:00 a.m.
  • All individual reservation cancellations received within 24 hours of arrival date are subject to cancellation charges equivalent to a one-night stay.
  • Departures after 11:00 a.m. and prior to 4:00 p.m. will be charged a late departure fee of half the guest's confirmed guestroom rate.
  • Departures after 4:00 p.m. will be charged an additional full-night's confirmed guest room rate.

Things to Do in Happy Valley

Student Farm at Penn State

Learn how the Sustainable Food Systems Network provides diverse opportunities for engagement with sustainability challenges and solutions in food and agricultural systems.

The Arboretum at Penn State

The Arboretum at Penn State strives to be a place of beauty and renewal, a venue for the arts, and a pathway to discovery and enrichment. Be sure to visit the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens, the jewel of the Arboretum, featuring 10 acres of themed garden spaces and another 14 acres of rolling meadows and walking paths to explore. There is no charge for admission to the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens or the Arboretum land beyond the gardens.

Penn State Berkey Creamery

Stop by for a scoop and enjoy the self-guided video tour Cow to Cone, available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Penns Cave & Wildlife Park

Explore Penn's Cave, America's only all-water cavern.

Visit the Local Pool

William L. Welch Community Pool 

670 Westerly Parkway

State College Borough

Looking for more adventures? Visit the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau for more fun things to do in the area!

As of July 5, preregistration is closed

Walk-in registrations are available on a space-available basis at the conference.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be received by the PACD office no later than July 5. Full payment for all registered meals and activities is expected for any cancellations received after July 5.