The Society for Ethnobotany

Fostering research and education on the past, present, and future uses of plants by people.

Economic Botany 2016


Schedule at a Glance
Conference Program



The 2016 meeting of the Society for Economic Botany will be held in beautiful Pine Mountain Settlement School, located in the rural mountains of Harlan County, Kentucky from June 5-9th, 2016!

Society for Economic Botany’s 57th Annual Meeting, Pine Mountain, Kentucky, USA

June 3-9, 2016

Pine Mountain Settlement School in located in the rural mountains of Harlan County, Kentucky.  The 100-year old Settlement School transitioned into an Environmental Education Center in the 1970s. The school was an early source of education for the mountain youth of the area, offering a hands-on approach to education that continues to be a model for today's schools. The school's programs have evolved to meet the changing needs of the community and region.

Pine Mountain is in the heart of the southern Appalachians in rural Southeastern Kentucky, USA. It is located 2 hours away from the Tri-Cities Airport in Johnson City, Tennessee (TRI).  Shuttles are available for an additional fee. High-speed internet will be available during the conference.

The conference theme is Resilience in the Face of Resource Extraction: Ethnobotany and Exploitation. This conference will discuss approaches to protecting biodiversity and cultural traditions in times of economic transition. The coalfields of southern Appalachia embody the tensions between economic and environmental sustainability. Traditional Appalachian culture is deeply connected to the native flora and fauna, yet resource extraction continues to shape the geography and economic future of the region.

In the center of this region is Pine Mountain Settlement School, a historic school campus that currently provides environmental education programs in a setting devoted to preserving native species and habitats. In this beautiful site, participants can immerse themselves in the reality of the conference themes as they move from sessions to lodging to social activities. They can walk out the door of their lodging and onto trails that will allow unparalleled exploration of biodiversity, or listen to some of the best authentic bluegrass of the region; at the same time, they can observe the impact of coal mining on the region and interact with local residents and staff dedicated to a new future for Appalachia. This unusual site will make an unforgettable conference experience.

The school campus is known for its historic beauty, as well as the riches of the mixed mesophitic forest that surrounds the campus. Three streams come together at the campus, and it is surrounded by hiking trails that offer both great vistas and the quiet calm of old-growth forest. In addition to the natural forest and meadows, the campus also holds a farm. The main campus is located on 625 acres on the north side of Pine Mountain, the most imposing geological feature of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Isaac’s Creek, which runs through the campus, is the dividing line between the Appalachian Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau. The forested slopes of Pine Mountain’s property are home to an impressive number of plants and animals, some of which are exclusive to the campus. Pine Mountain’s property includes the 348-acre James E. Bickford State Nature Preserve. Several old-growth forests in the area include Bad Branch State Nature Preserve, Lilley Cornett Woods, Blanton Forest State Nature Preserve, Pine Mountain Trail State Park Nature Preserve and Black Mountain, the tallest peak in Kentucky.

Once on campus, there is no need for cars, as all buildings are within short walking distance of each other along accessible paths. Laurel House is a dining and conference center. The West Wind dormitory will be available for people to stay. Rooms are 2 to 4 person suites with microfridges and conveniently located baths. The dorm is located within close walking proximity to all official meeting venues. Camping is available onsite with ample bathrooms and showers for campers. Hotels are available within a 30-minute drive in the town of Harlan with additional lodging 45 minutes away in Whitesburg.

The average high temperature in June is 26°C (80°F) with a low of 26°C (55°F). A light jacket is recommended for cool mountain nights. 

Friday and Saturday before the conference, June 3-4, is Seedtime on the Cumberland—an annual summer festival celebrating Appalachian people, music, arts, and culture,  The 2016 Festival will be held in downtown Whitesburg, KY with lodging and travel available at Pine Mountain Settlement School, a 45-minute drive away. Seedtime is a project of Appalshop, a non-profit, multimedia arts center located in Whitesburg, Ky.  Appalshop is dedicated to documenting, preserving and perpetuating the life and culture of Appalachia, and since 1969 has endeavored to give the people of Appalachia the means to tell their own stories and solve their own problems through the production of original films, radio, theater, recordings, photography, and books, as well as through the training of local youth in various forms of media production,

Seedtime is broadcast annually on WMMT 88.7 FM, Mountain Community Radio.  Launched by the Appalshop in 1985, WMMT’s mission is to be a 24-hour voice of mountain people’s music, culture, and social issues; to provide broadcast space for creative expression and community involvement in making radio, and to be an active participant in discussion of public policy that will benefit coalfield communities and the Appalachian region as a whole.  Powered by 50-some volunteer DJs and a small, but dedicated staff, WMMT is grandparents and grandchildren; experts in old-time music and bluegrass nuts; hardcore/metal connoisseurs and kids talking about pet fish; self-produced radio documentaries about economic and social issues facing our region and profiles of Old-time Kentucky Fiddling legends.  We are dedicated to serving as a voice for each and every segment of our community, from those families who have called these hills home for generations to those from afar incarcerated in our region’s massive prison population.  We truly are “Real People Radio,” and we invite you to join us for Seedtime or anytime at 88.7 on Appalachia’s radio dial or streaming live online at



Conference occurs from June 5th-9th, 2016

Conference Registration:   Early Registration   Late Registration
SEB Members:   $360   $410
SEB Non Members   $420   $470
Students    $290   $340
Students Non Members   $320   $370
Companions    $290   $340
Registration cost includes all meals Monday morning-Thursday lunch and coffee breaks


Sunday night BBQ fundraiser for Kentucky Natural Lands Trust: $25

Monday night United Plant Savers Student Social: $5 students, $10 non-students

OSN Teaching Tuesday Workshops: $30 for most workshops

Tuesday Night OSN Folk Dance: members $10 (including workshop attendees), non-members $25

Thursday night: Distinguish Economic Botanist Banquet $50

Kids Nature and Arts Camp Monday-Thursday 9am-3pm: $200/child, $25 discount for multiple children, camp attendees do not need to be registered as companions. Cost includes all meals, supplies, and activities


Conference Lodging at Pine Mountain:
Camping: $12/night/per tent
Westwind Dorm: $50/night/per person
Sunday-Thursday night (available to check each night)
Lodging at Pine Mountain is available in the Westwind Dorm requires sharing of rooms with single beds and bunk beds. 

For conference lodging at Pine Mountain Settlement School, please contact us directly to make reservations. To reserve lodging at Pine Mountain, please call 606-558-3571, email, or visit:

Society for Economic Botany 2016 Conference

Tuesday, June 5-9, 2016


Pre-Conference Event

Appalshop’s Seedtime in the Cumberland’s Festival:

This festival occurs from on Friday June 3rd from 2pm-11pm and Saturday, June 4th from 10am-11pm

Registration Only: $20 no meals included

Package Rate: Includes lodging at Pine Mountain the night of Thursday June 2nd-the morning of Sunday June 5th, breakfast Friday-Sunday, and lunch on Friday.

  • Select Lodging Type:
    • Camping Rate: $100
    • Dorm Rate: requires sharing of rooms with single and bunk beds:$200
  • Shuttle to and from the festival on both Friday and Saturday: $40

shuttle leaves Pine Mountain at 12:30pm on Friday and at 8:30am on Saturday and leaves Appalshop at 11pm for 12:30am arrival at Pine Mountain.

To reserve lodging at Pine Mountain, please call 606-558-3571, email, or visit:


Post-Conference Event

In the Footsteps of Lucy Braun 

This event occurs from on Friday June 10th from 9am-6pm and Saturday, June 11th from 9am-6pm, interpretive hikes to old-growth forest with expert regional botanists.

Registration Only: $175 includes hikes and meals

Package Rate: Includes lodging at Pine Mountain the night of Friday June 10th-the morning of Sunday June 12th, breakfast Friday-Sunday, a packed lunch on Friday and Saturday, and dinner Friday and Saturday night.

  • Select Lodging Type:
    • Camping Rate: $200
    • Dorm Rate: requires sharing of rooms with single and bunk beds:$275

To reserve lodging at Pine Mountain, please call us at 606-558-3571, email, or visit:

Workshops (Tuesday morning, 9am-noon) no other events will be held during this time period

$30 fee unless otherwise noted:

  • Laboratory or Investigator Websites, presented by Andrew Semotiuk, limit 20, People often do not have, or have a very poorly up-kept lab or personal website. So the workshop would and should provide very simple steps to create a website that is quickly manageable where the investigator can promote themselves or their lab.
  • Nature Journaling, presented by Sky Marietta, limit 10, Grab your sketch book and head outside to do some observation-based nature journaling. Participants will document the small treasures on the forest floor as well as capturing the landscape.
  • Taste, smell, touch & sound for Plant Identification, presented by Susanne Masters, limit 30, Exploring different groups of plants and algae using non-visual characteristics to differentiate between different species. Looking at plants and algae in different ways draws attention to the properties that they are valued for. Using other features is also an important way of recognising different species in situations from market stalls to customs border check points where visual characteristics are not available for example when plants are in trade having been processed.
  • Implementing problem-based learning in the classroom through interactive case studies, Ryan Huish, no limit, Participants will learn of pedagogical resources and objectives for implementing case studies in the classroom. Principles of problem-based learning will be illustrated during an interactive case study on a rare, culturally and economically valuable sandalwood species in the South Pacific.
  • Knowing Nature: Classroom Observations, Gail Wagner, limit 30, Participants explore ways to incorporate phenological observations into classroom assignments, including NPN, Project Budburst, and recording herbarium specimens. Learn how to record results through time via scatter plots, and make a Videolicious movie.
  • Wood Turning Demonstration, Dan Moerman, limit 15, Participants will watch a demonstration where Dan will make a small wooden vase.
  • Weaving Together Ethnobotany, Sunshine Brosi, limit 15, Participants will learn to weave on a 4 or 6-harness loom and will bring home a small woven end table cover and hear stories about growing up in Kentucky.
  • Corn shuck flowers, Susan Brown, limit 15, Participants will make a botanically accurate corn shuck flower.
  • The science of Ethnobotany: moving past the “awkward teenager” stage? Nanci J. Ross and Hank Stevens, no limit, reduced cost just $5, This workshop will tackle a central issue in ethnobotany: a conceptual theoretical framework for this highly interdisciplinary science (ex., McClatchey 2006, Albuquerque and Hanazaki 2009, Ramos et al. 2012). Philosopher Thomas Kuhn described an immature science as one that lacks such a guiding framework, thus making collective progress in our science and education difficult. Does ethnobotany have one? Should it strive for one? Workshop participants will work together to take a first step in identifying key theories, approaches, and exemplars in Ethnobotany.
  • Student Involvement in the Society, presented by John de la Parra, no limit, no fee, Students will learn how to engage with the Society and learn about awards given by the Society and benefits of student membership.


Pine Mountain Settlement School

36 Highway 510

Bledsoe, KY 40810 

Pine Mountain is in the heart of the southern Appalachians in rural Southeastern Kentucky, USA. It is located 2 hours away from the Tri-Cities Airport in Johnson City, Tennessee (TRI).   REMEMBER:  The travel time between Pine Mountain Settlement School and the Tri-City airport is @ 2 hours.  Upon your return after the conference, please make sure that you allow enough time to arrive at the airport for check-in so that you are not rushing to your gate at the last minute.

Shuttle from Tri-City Airport:
SEB has arranged for a shuttle leaving from the Tri-City airport on Saturday, June 4 at 6:00 pm and one on Sunday, June 5 at 2:00 pm so you can plan your flight arrival times accordingly. For the return shuttle at the end of the meeting, there will be one that leaves Friday, June 10 at 8 am and one that leaves on Sunday, June 12 at 8 am for those who wish to stay for a couple of days after the meeting. The cost for the shuttle each way will be $50.  The shuttle arrangement is only to and from Tri-City Airport and must be paid for 2 weeks in advance during your meeting registration.

Carpooling/Car rental:
Car rental from the Tri-City airport is very reasonable.  Regardless whether you arrive at the Tri-City airport or those at Lexington or Knoxville, the best option would be to carpool in a rental car or van.  Check the Ride Share notice board to find others who want to share a vehicle.

Driving from the Airport:
When driving from the airport please make sure you have these directions printed out.  Cellular wireless signals cannot be relied upon in this rural area.
Directions For Driving to The Pine Mountain Settlement School
36 Highway 510
Bledsoe, KY

Lexington, Kentucky Blue Grass Airport (LEX):  
Follow KY-4 S/US-60 E/New Circle Rd to I-75.  Follow I-75 south from Lexington, Kentucky to Corbin, Kentucky (98 miles). At Corbin, take exit 29 to U.S. 25E. Continue to Pineville. In Pineville, turn left at the second traffic light onto KY 66/221. Follow KY 66/221 out of Pineville about 1.5 miles. Turn right onto U.S. 221 and proceed approximately 24 miles, to the intersection with U.S. 421. (This intersection is in a curve.) Stay on KY 221 by bearing to the left. After the intersection, go 9/10 of a mile to the intersection of U.S. 421 and KY 221. Make a sharp right turn onto KY 221. Proceed 10 miles to the junction of KY 221 and KY 510. Bear right onto KY 510. The entrance to Pine Mountain Settlement School is on the right.

Johnson City, Tennessee Tri-Cities Regional Airport (TRI):  
Exit airport and turn right toward TN-357 N/Airport Pkwy.  Continue on TN-357 N/Airport Pkwy for 2.5 miles.  Turn left to merge onto I-81 South toward Knoxville.  Continue on I-81 South for 5.8 miles.  Take exit 57B to merge onto I-26 W/US-23 N toward Kingsport.  Continue on U.S. 23 North to Duffield, Virginia (about 25 miles).  At Duffield, turn left onto U.S. 421/58. Continue approximately 15 miles to Pennington Gap, Virginia. Continue on U.S. 421 to Harlan, Kentucky.  In Harlan, U.S.119 converges with U.S. 421. About two miles beyond Harlan, take the U.S. 421 exit to the left. (Be on the lookout; this turn is easy to miss.) Continue on U.S. 421 across Pine Mountain. At the foot of the mountain, bear right and continue approximately .9 of a mile to the junction of U.S. 421 and KY 221. Turn right onto KY 221 and continue about 10 miles to the junction of KY 221 and KY 510. Bear right onto KY 510. The entrance to Pine Mountain Settlement School is on the right.

Knoxville, Tennessee McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS):  
Exit airport and merge onto US-129 North.  Continue on US-129 for 11.5 miles.  Keep right at the fork, follow signs for Asheville/Lexington and merge onto I-40 East.  Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 387A for I-275 North toward Lexington.  Continue onto I-275 North for 3.1 miles.  Then, continue onto I-75 North for about 27 miles.  Take exit 134 for US-25W N/Tennessee 63 toward Caryville/Jacksboro/La Follette.  Turn right onto US-25W N (signs for Tennessee 63 E/Jacksboro La Follette/Cove Lake State Park/Cumberland Gap Park).  After about 8 miles continue straight onto TN-63 E/E Central Ave.  Stay on TN-63 for 30 miles.  Turn left onto US-25E N/Cumberland Gap Pkwy.  After 16 miles, turn right onto KY-66 N/Pine St in Pineville.  In 1.6 miles turn right onto KY-221.  Turn right onto KY 221 and continue 24 miles to the intersection of KY 221 and KY 421. (This intersection has a large curve to the right. Stay to the left.) After the intersection, go .9 mile , to a sharp right turn onto KY 221. Go 10 miles to the junction of KY 221 and KY 510. Bear right onto KY 510. The entrance to Pine Mountain Settlement School is on the right.