CONFERENCE TOPICS

The main theme of the “Life with bears – 26th International Conference on Bear Research and Management” is human-bear coexistence in human dominated and politically fragmented landscapes. Specific conference topics are designed in a way to welcome recent research results, technical advances, and case studies on a wide spectrum of issues relevant to ensuring a long-term coexistence of bears and humans. We invite you to contribute to achieving this overarching goal by sharing your research or management story at the conference.
 
Bear physiology
Bear physiology, including metabolism, endocrinology and reproduction physiology, especially related to stress stimuli and hibernation.
Bear ecology and behaviour
Bear ecology and behaviour, including intraspecific and interspecific interactions, bears’ role in ecosystems, scent marking, foraging behaviour, and activity patterns. Studies of human impact on bear ecology and behaviour will be especially welcomed. Studies on bear habitat use and demographic aspects should be submitted under “Spatial requirements…” topic.
Spatial requirements and demographic characteristics of bear populations
Bear species spatial requirements and habitat use, especially those highlighting solutions for improving functional connectivity among populations. Recent research findings on demographic characteristics of bear populations, especially those that increase our understanding of how humans indirectly impact bear population demographics. Studies on bear hunting should be submitted under “Bear hunting…” topic.
Bear hunting
Direct and indirect effects of bear hunting on bear demography, life history traits, habitat selection and behaviour, and also on acceptance of bears among hunters. Studies that increase our understanding of cons and pros of bear hunting for long-term conservation of bears in human dominated landscapes will be especially welcomed.
Molecular genetics in bear conservation and management
Findings and technical advances in molecular genetics, relevant for understanding biology and improving conservation and management of bears. The emphasis will be on new approaches, “thinking out of the box” and state-of-the-art methods and developments, but also on best practice examples and reports from understudied populations.
Human-Bear Interactions and conflict management including problem bear management
Session welcomes studies on conflicts and other human-bear interactions, including livestock depredations, crop damage and human safety issues. Results reporting and evaluating the effectiveness of various conflict prevention measures will be especially welcomed. Studies on bear diversionary feeding should be submitted under “Cons and pros of artificial feeding & …” topic.
Cons and pros of artificial feeding & impacts of other anthropogenic food sources on bears
Various direct and indirect impacts of artificial feeding of wildlife on bears, their behaviour, importance for bear monitoring and management, as well as on acceptance of bears among hunters and other stakeholder groups. Studies that are increasing our knowledge on cons and pros of artificial feeding on bear conservation in human dominated landscapes will be especially welcomed. Recent studies of impacts of other anthropogenic food sources on bears and their behaviour.
Public outreach, communication, and community-based conservation of bears
The session will explore current research findings and relevant case studies focused on public outreach and general communication strategies involving bear conservation and management. This session will also explore the theme of communication and decision-making (governance) processes as it relates to community-based conservation of bears. Additionally, this session will entertain submissions that investigate baseline studies of public values and knowledge and acceptance levels of bears that help Improve communication practices for innovative approaches, management, or projects focused on bear conservation.
Working with people to achieve bear conservation goals
Effectively listening to people, understanding their beliefs, attitudes, values, behavioural intentions and behaviours is essential for bear management. We welcome research and applied studies that involve interest groups in decision-making, explore the social and  economic complexity of human-bear interactions, involve volunteers and citizen science to aid in better bear management, and works that illustrate how better understanding the human dimensions of bear management contributes to better bear conservation.
Use of bears in ecotourism
Findings and case studies on how increasing trend of non-consumptive use of bears in ecotourism is impacting bear conservation and management, both in positive and negative ways, is it a threat or an opportunity for conservation? We also welcome experiences of measures used to mitigate negative effects of bear-watching and other bear-related ecotourism.
Ex situ conservation
Ex situ bear conservation, including the implications for conservation and research of bear populations “in situ”.
Bears and climate change
Impacts of climate change for all bear species conservation including the impacts of climate change on bear habitats, food sources and behaviour as well as the role of polar bears as a flagship species for the impacts of climate change on biodiversity conservation.
Other
Recent research findings and managerial case studies relevant to conservation and management of bears and not covered by the above topics.

GUIDELINES FOR PRESENTERS

Please note: all presenters must be registered for the conference. All accepted abstracts will be published in the Book of abstracts.

Oral presentation guidelines

Oral presentations should last no more than 10 minutes. Additional 5 minutes are planned for questions and change-over. Session chairs will be very strict with the time schedule. Presentation slides should be preferably in PowerPoint – if you need another software for your presentation you should contact us as soon as possible. All presentations should be in Windows/PC environment. Mac equipment will NOT be available. The file name of the presentation should adhere to the following standards: IBA_Ljubljana_Unique Identifier. For instance: IBA_Ljubljana_65. You will be notified about your presentation Unique Identifier. You must hand your presentation to the technical assistant at least 24 hours before your scheduled slot.

Speed talk guidelines

Speed talk should last no more than 7 minutes. Additional 3 minutes are planned for questions and change-over. Session chairs will be very strict with the time schedule. Presentation slides should be preferably in PowerPoint – if you need another software for your presentation you should contact us as soon as possible. All presentations should be in Windows/PC environment. Mac equipment will NOT be available. The file name of the presentation should adhere to the following standards: IBA_Ljubljana_Unique Identifier. For instance: IBA_Ljubljana_65. You will be notified about your presentation Unique Identifier. You must hand your presentation to the technical assistant at least 24 hours before your scheduled slot.

Poster presentation guidelines

  • Maximum allowed width of the poster is 90 cm. Portrait (vertical) orientation is recommended.
  • Important information should be readable from about 3 meters away
  • Title should be short and draw interest
  • Word count of about 300 to 800 words
  • Text should be clear and to the point
  • Use of bullets, numbering, and headlines makes it easy to read
  • Effective use of graphics, color and fonts
  • Acknowledgments, your name and institutional affiliation should be included

WORKSHOPS

Workshops at the 26th IBA conference “Life with bears” are aimed at encouraging interaction and discussions among participants, transposing of new (or wrapping up old) ideas, views and topics, relevant for either research or management of bears.

The main theme of the Ljubljana IBA conference is human-bear coexistence in human dominated and politically fragmented landscapes, therefore the topics of the workshop that are directly or indirectly related with this main theme.

Note that workshops are available only to the registered conference participants. You can register here for the conference.

Conference participants can register for up to two (out of four) workshops as they are organized in two parallel sessions.

Workshop session no. 1 – Monday, Sep. 17th 2018, 7:00 pm – 09:10 pm

1. Joining forces - how to make ex situ research more available and beneficial for in situ conservation of brown bears
Host: Lydia Kolter

The main goal of this workshop is to establish a closer connection between ex situ and in situ bear research communities. The specific goal is to establish an outline for a communication and collaboration structure for research on bears in captivity as well as to prepare a list of relevant research topics.

Keynote speakers: Lydia Kolter, Jose Kok, Andreas Zedrosser

Abstract:

Studies in captive brown bears have occasionally been carried out to answer questions relevant for conservation of wild populations. However, such research efforts have not been very common, partially because finding appropriate partners can be difficult and often rely on incidental relationships/acquaintance between the researcher(s) and zoo(s). The recently developed long-term management plan for brown bears kept in the range of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) aims at facilitating and intensifying research on captive brown bears for conservation. A systematic approach is necessary to identify relevant research topics in captive bears, identify appropriate institutions, streamline communication and information flow, and properly plan research projects. The EAZA studbook keeper will present an overview of the geographic distribution, as well as the numbers and age structure of the brown bear population in European institutions. Examples of successful (published) research projects carried out in captivity and some preliminary ideas on research topics will be provided to trigger input from the invited colleagues of the in situ and ex situ community. This brainstorming session will be followed by a discussion on possibilities, constraints and organizational pre-requisites necessary for ex situ research. The goals of this workshop are to prepare a list of relevant research topics as well as to propose a communication and collaboration structure. To guarantee efficiency, the group will have to be restricted to maximum 30 participants.

2. Developing guidelines for monitoring bears in the human-dominated and politically fragmented landscapes of Southeast Asia
Host: Brian Crudge

Main objective: To further the development of guidelines for monitoring bears in Southeast Asia

Specific objectives: To review and discuss a proposed framework for monitoring guidelines; Discuss monitoring methods, requirements, strengths and weaknesses; Identify individuals interested in further input to monitoring guidelines.

Abstract:

Southeast Asia contains some of the highest density human populations on the planet. Sun bear (Helartcos malayanus) and Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) populations are declining throughout the region due to habitat loss and hunting. Remaining populations exists in increasing fragmented forest habitats surrounded by human dominated landscapes. Conservation of bears in Southeast Asia will require action at every level – from site-specific interventions, to national action planning and range-wide strategies. Baseline population assessments and subsequent monitoring of bear populations is essential for assessing the impact of threats and evaluating the success of conservation interventions. This workshop will build upon the results of a previous stakeholder consultation workshop which proposed a framework for monitoring guidelines which would be of use to field biologists, protected area managers, government and non-governmental organisations working in bear habitat throughout the Southeast Asia. The framework agreed upon will be in the form of a decision tree leading from survey objective, through resources required to achieve minimum and gold standards, through to survey method and data analysis. The framework will identify the most appropriate monitoring method based on the objectives and resources of individual stakeholders. In this follow-up workshop participants will be asked to provide feedback on the proposed framework, provide information on current methods used to survey bear populations worldwide and provide details on survey design, field methods, data analysis and reporting. The workshop participants will discuss which survey approaches are appropriate for each situation and which inter-survey intervals would allow a monitoring programme to detect changes in bear populations. The strengths and weaknesses of various monitoring methods will be discussed. The expected outcome of the workshop session will be to contribute to the production of guidelines for monitoring bear populations in Southeast Asia and to identify individuals interested in providing further input.

Workshop session no. 2 – Friday, Sep. 21st 2018, 3:50 pm – 5:50 pm

1. Bear personalities – Implications of among-individual behavioral variation and how to quantify them
Host: Anne G. Hertel

Objectives of the workshop are to present and discuss:

– The concept of animal personalities in behavioural ecology
– Case studies why animal personalities can be important for wildlife research and management
– Introducing data sources that can be used for quantifying animal personalities in wildlife
– R-workshop on how to statistically quantify animal personalities

Abstract:

Repeatable among-individual variation in the behaviour of animals, better known as animal personality, is a well-established concept in behavioural ecology though it is often overlooked in more applied wildlife research and management. This workshop will communicate the theoretical concept of animal personality research and present examples from other wildlife species illustrating why we should consider animal personalities in research and management. Highlighted topics will include how repeatable among-individual variation in behavioural characteristics can lead to i) nuisance behaviour, conflicts, but also coexistence with humans, ii) adaptability to climate change, iii) population connectivity, iv) harvest selectivity. We will introduce study designs and data requirements to assess animal personalities and discuss which sources of data can be used to inform on animal personality differences. The workshop will conclude with an R session on how to quantify and interpret among-individual variation repeatability from mixed models. We are seeking an active participation and open dialogue with the workshop participants to exchange ideas and experiences with the goal to generate novel directions how to integrate bear personality assessment as a tool for bear research and management. We particularly encourage the participation of students at all stages.

2. Implementing robust and cost-effective genetic monitoring of brown bear population size
Host: Tomaž Skrbinšek, LIFE DINALP BEAR project

The main goal of the workshop is to discuss the state of the art in genetic monitoring of brown bear population size.

Specific goals are:
1) to discuss available laboratory and data analysis methods and their relative advantages/disadvantages,
2) to share ideas and experiences in study design and organization of fieldwork, and
3) discuss specific issues / ideas that participants have for similar studies they might be planning.
We will 4) summarize the conclusions in Recommendations for genetic monitoring of brown bear population size.

Keynote speakers: Tomaž Skrbinšek and Marta De Barba

Abstract:

Noninvasive genetic sampling paired with mark-recapture modelling has proven several times to be currently the best available method for estimating the size of bear populations in the wild. In recent years, huge strides in DNA sequencing techniques opened new and exciting opportunities also in the field of wildlife monitoring and noninvasive genetic sampling. Extensive development is also ongoing in the field of mark-recapture analysis, enabling increasingly robust data analysis. However, such studies remain difficult to implement in practice, and there are many pitfalls that a researcher should be aware of. The workshop will cover the state of the art in laboratory and data analysis methods, and look into the critical issues that need to be considered in study design and organization of fieldwork so that data/samples are collected in a manner that facilitates further analyses. We will also “dissect” a recent large-scale study of brown bears that used these methods, discuss study design and genotyping issues, and work through parts of the data analysis. We will wrap-up with a discussion on practical application for specific situations, where two or three participants that are considering such studies will be encouraged to present the specifics for discussion in a wider forum. The idea is to provide an understanding of the critical issues involved in such studies, and for researchers to share the ideas and experiences in a larger forum. The conclusions will be summarized in Recommendations for genetic monitoring of brown bear population size.

  • Submission period opens: 1. 12. 2017
  • Submission closes: 15.3. 2018
  • EXTENDED DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACT SUBMISSION: 15.4.2018!
  • Acceptance letter: 1. -15. 5. 2018
  • Early registration deadline: 10. 7. 2018
  • Conference dates: 16. 9. – 21. 9. 2018
 

INVITED SPEAKERS

Andrés Ordiz

Andrés Ordiz

Andrés Ordiz is a biologist born in Asturias, northern Spain. Since 1997, he has worked with large carnivores, mainly brown bears and wolves, in southern and northern Europe. He completed his PhD in Conservation Biology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and the University of León (Spain), working with the Scandinavian Brown Bear Research Project. Andrés’ has focused his work in the last decade on brown bear behavioural reactions to human activities and on inter-specific interactions between apex predators (bears and wolves). He hopes that scientifically-sound research will be the base for conservation-oriented management of large carnivores, both in areas where their populations are currently increasing and where they are still in the brink of extinction.
Djuro Huber

Djuro Huber

Since 1981 Djuro Huber is conducting a brown bear study in Croatia, which in 1996 expanded to the “Study of large carnivores in Croatia” and included bear, wolf and lynx. In addition to radio-telemetry, many morphological, physiological, nutritional and genetic aspects are included in the research. So far he was conducting 18 different projects and published 165 scientific papers. He is member of all relevant national and international professional organizations like IUCN SSGs for Bears, Canids, and Veterinary Medicine, International Association for Bear Research and Management, Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe, Wildlife Disease Association. Djuro Huber is currently professor emeritus at Biology Department of the Veterinary Faculty in Zagreb.
John Linnell

John Linnell

John Linnell is a senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, based in Trondheim, Norway. His research focus adopts multiple disciplinary approaches to understand the complex relationships between humans and wildlife, with a special focus on large carnivores and large herbivores. He has worked on research and conservation projects in many parts of Europe, including Scandinavia, the Baltic States and the western Balkans, as well as south America (Brazil), and central (Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan) and southern Asia (India and Myanmar). His research focus is currently moving from the study of human wildlife conflicts to the study of human wildlife coexistence, with a focus on exploring the ecological, institutional and social factors that allow wildlife and humans to share space in multi-use landscapes.
Tom S. Smith

Tom S. Smith

Dr. Tom S. Smith began a career in bear biology in 1992 when hired as a research ecologist for Katmai National Park, Alaska. Research topics at the time included brown bear ecology, human-bear interactions and bear safety research. Working jointly with Dr. Stephen Herrero, Smith has co-authored papers on human-bear conflict including the efficacy of bear deterrents and histories of bear conflict in North America. In the early 2000s, as a USGS research scientist, Smith began work with polar bears, focusing on denning ecology and human-bear interactions on Alaska’s North Slope. Working closely with Polar Bears International, his studies of denned polar bears continues to present. Most recently, he has been studying sloth bear-human conflict in India with colleagues at India’s Wildlife SOS. Smith currently serves as a member of the Polar Bear Conflict Work Group and as a professor of wildlife at Brigham Young University, Utah.
Valeria Salvatori

Valeria Salvatori

Wildlife conservation, applied research and management are the main interests of Valeria Salvatori. She has worked in international environments collaborating with foreign research institutes since 1992, gathering working experience in South America, Africa, Central and Western Europe. Spatial analyses of environmental processes, mainly wildlife management, policies and conflicts between wildlife and local communities are the subjects of her latest working activities. She has extensive experience in evaluating, elaborating and managing LIFE projects on large carnivores. She acted as project coordinator for the following LIFE projects: LIFE COEX, LIFE ARCTOS, LIFE IBRIWOLF, LIFE MEDWOLF and provided consultancy for LIFE WOLFALPS. Her current position at Istituto di Ecologia Applicata in Rome, Italy is project responsible for the service contract with the EU for establishing local stakeholder platforms for promoting coexistence with large carnivores.
Rachel Hoffmann

Rachel Hoffmann

Rachel is the Director of Conservation Outcomes with the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC). She has been working with the SSC for over 9 years, managing this unique and exceptional network (of approx. 7,000 volunteer experts) to reduce the loss of biodiversity on earth and prevent species extinctions. The extraordinary potential of the SSC to have a significant impact on species conservation at the global scale is often mooted, but has never been measured or evaluated. For example, would bear conservation be any different if the Bear Specialist Group had never been established? With these questions in mind, the SSC is now looking to better evaluate its effectiveness, not only to better celebrate successes but to create a more positive vision to drive our conservation efforts in the future.

CALL FOR WORKSHOP PROPOSALS

Call for proposals for workshops! The Scientific Committee of the 26th IBA Conference “Life with bears”, which will be held this year (2018) in Ljubljana (Slovenia) is soliciting proposals for workshops. Workshops are aimed at encouraging interaction and discussion among participants, transposing of new (or wrapping up old) ideas, views and topics, relevant for either research or management of ursids. The main theme of the Ljubljana IBA conference will be human-bear coexistence in human dominated and politically fragmented landscapes, therefore we encourage the topics of the workshop that are directly or indirectly related with this main theme. If you would like to organize a workshop, please submit your proposal with the following content up to the June 1st 2018 :

  • Title of the workshop
  • Contact person of the group of organizers of workshop (including his/her email address and telephone number)
  • Main and specific goals of the proposed workshop
  • (Optionally) A list of the proposed keynote speaker(s), including name and affiliation
  • Abstract of the workshop clearly describing the content
  • Expected duration of the workshop (in minutes)

Please note that you will be able to edit your submission up until the deadline date (June 1st 2018). The deadline will not be extended. All proposals of the workshops will be evaluated by Congress Scientific Committee. Organizing Committee of IBA Conference will inform all organizers of workshops if their topics was selected or not by June 15th . SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL HERE!

CONFERENCE COMMITTEES

Local organizing committee

  • Chair person: Aleksandra Majić Skrbinšek, researcher at Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana
  • Co-chair: Urška Marinko, researcher at Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana
  • Co-chair: Rok Černe, project coordinator and senior advisor at Slovenia Forest Service
  • Co-chair: Klemen Jerina, professor at Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana
  • Ivan Kos, professor at Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana
  • Franc Kljun, technician at Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana
  • Hubert Potočnik, researcher at Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana
  • Maja Jelenčič, researcher at Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana
  • Tomaž Skrbinšek, assistant professor at Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana
  • Irena Kavčič, researcher at Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana
  • Miha Krofel, assistant professor at Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana
  • Danijel Borkovič, technician at Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana
  • Tomaž Berce, independent advisor at Slovenia Forest Service
  • Matej Bartol, advisor at Slovenia Forest Service
  • Matija Stergar, senior advisor at Slovenia Forest Service
  • Marko Jonozovič: head of department at Slovenia Forest Service

Scientific programme committee

  • Committee coordinator: Aleksandra Majić Skrbinšek, University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Biology Department, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Alexandros A. Karamanlidis, ARCTUROS, Civil Society for the Protection and Management of Wildlife and the Natural Environment, Aetos, Greece & Rewilding Europe, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  • Anja Molinari Jobin, Italian Lynx Project, Tarvisio, Italy
  • Claudio Groff, Servizio Foreste e Fauna – Provincia Autonoma di Trento, Italy
  • Đuro Huber, Biology Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia
  • Frank T. van Manen, U.S. Geological Survey, Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, Bozeman, Montana, USA
  • Ivan Kos, University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Biology Department, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Georg Rauer, Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Austria
  • Klemen Jerina, University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Forestry Department, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Marta De Barba, Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Univ. Savoie Mont Blanc, CNRS, LECA, 38000 Grenoble, France
  • Martyn Obbard, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
  • Miha Krofel, University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Forestry Department, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Seth Wilson, W.A. Franke College of Forestry & Conservation – University of Montana, Missoula, MT, USA and Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative, Jackson, WY, USA
  • Slaven Reljić, Biology Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia
  • Rok Černe, Slovenia Forest Service, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Tomaž Skrbinšek, University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Biology Department, Ljubljana, Slovenia

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

Sunday, September 16, 2018 (Pre-conference day)
Pre-conference day:

  • IBA board meeting
  • Evening welcome reception – Icebreaker
Monday, September 17, 2018
  • Opening scientific sessions
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
  • Scietific sessions
  • Student’s Forum
  • Public presentation in the evening
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
  • Conference excursions
Thursday, September 20, 2018
  • Scientific sessions
  • Gala dinner event
Friday, September 21, 2018
  • Scientific sessions
  • Closing of the conference
 

CONFERENCE VENUE

Venue of the 26the IBA conference “Life with bears” will be The Grand Hotel Union in Ljubljana. Set in a privileged central location close to the Old Town, it is the largest convention hotel in Ljubljana. Built in 1905 in the Art Nouveau style, it combines elegance and a long-term tradition in hosting successful events and prominent guests. With an exclusive location in the heart of the city is overlooking the central Prešeren Square, the Triple Bridge and eying the Ljubljana Castle. The Hotel is easily accessible from all major highways, the railway station, the main bus station and the Ljubljana Airport. The hotel has 21 conference halls and salons, with capacity starting from 10 to up to 850 participants. It also offers a secured parking garage with 120 parking spaces.

SOCIAL PROGRAMME 

ICEBREAKER – 16th September

The first opening event of 26th IBA conference “Life with bears” will be Icebreaker hosted by Švicarija located in the main Ljubljana Park Tivoli. Švicarija is described as a place with soul and a rich history that goes back to the year 1835, so we are very pleased to present it to our conference participants and their accompanying persons. Recently the house of Švicarija was renovated and therefore revived. It offers excellent coffee and delicious bread, music and dance events in the immediate vicinity of the centre of Ljubljana, in the park Tivoli, overlooking towards Ljubljana Castle.

The event will start at 6 p.m. on Sunday 16th September 2018

BEAR-FRIENDLY MARKET – 18th September

Bear friendly label was designed within LIFE DINALP BEAR project to award practices that use appropriate conflict mitigation measures and promote coexistence between bears and humans. Bear friendly practices include effective protection of livestock, beehives and orchards or active promotion of bear conservation with different bear souvenirs. Bear friendly market provides conference participants with an opportunity to meet bear friendly ambassadors and support their contribution to bear conservation by purchasing local bear friendly products.

Market will open at 5 p.m. on Thursday 18th September 2018 in Grand Foyer of The Grand Hotel Union.

PUBLIC PRESENTATION  – 18th September

The topic will be announced soon.

Public presentation will start at 8 p.m. on Thursday 18th September 2018 in the Union Hall of the Grand Hotel Union.

GALA DINNER – 20th September

The main social event of IBA conferences is Gala dinner which will be hosted by Grand Hotel Union, Hotel & Conference Centre. The hotel build in Art Noveau style, first opened its doors in 1905 as a first modern hotel in Ljubljana at the time. Today, this 4-star hotel and conference centre offers an exclusive accommodation in the heart of the city centre, overlooking Prešeren Square, the Triple Bridge and the Ljubljana Castle. Gala dinner will be prepared by the team of the hotel’s Head Chef, Janez Dolšak. Their culinary story is built by using local and fresh ingredients, combining them to create a unique gourmet experience. The unique culinary delight is wrapped up with a variety of Slovenian wines and beautifully presented desserts, made in the hotel confectionery.

Cultural program of this event should remain a secret until the dinner…

The gala dinner event will start at 7.30 p.m. on Thursday 20th September 2018 in the Union Hall of The Grand Hotel Union.

SILENT AUCTION – 20th September

During the conference IBA students raise money for student conference activities via a Silent Auction.

So, as you are packing for the IBA conference please remember to bring an item for the Silent Auction. Items that are unique and/or locally made in your country/region are usually the most coveted items by bidders. Items tend to be bear-related but outdoor gear, services, and other items are also welcome.
Please do not bring bear parts and check to make sure item/contents is not banned from import/export (e.g. wood, rock, alcohol) before bringing them.
Also don’t forget to bring some money to bid on items to support the students

The Silent auction will be organized during Gala dinner on 20th September 2018 in the Union Hall of The Grand Hotel Union

How to get to Ljubljana castle

Funicular Railway
Nearest bus stop: Krekov trg, Zmajski most Bus no. 2, 13, 20. The most comfortable and picturesque route to the Ljubljana Castle is a ride in the funicular railway. It is just a few steps from the bus stop to the funicular. Walk past the Puppet Theatre in Krek Square (Krekov trg) and you will find yourself in the lower funicular station. From there to the castle a short but scenic ride with stunning views awaits you.
Walking paths
Via the path Študentovska pot Nearest bus stop: Krekov trg, Zmajski most Bus no. 2, 13, 20 Walk to the Central Ljubljana Market in Vodnik Square (Vodnikov trg), and from there take the path Študentovska pot, which will take you up to the Castle Hill. It is a pleasant ten minute walk to the castle, during which you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the beautiful streets, houses and markets of the Old Town. Via the alley ulica Reber Nearest bus stop: Gornji trg Bus no. 2, 3, 3B, 3G, 11, 27 From the bus stop in the Upper Square (Gornji trg), head in the direction of the Old Square (Stari trg) and cross Levstik Square (Levstikov trg). After 150 metres, turn into a narrow alley called ulica Reber, whose steps wind there way between the houses, gradually ascending towards the castle. After another 150 metres, turn left into the path Mačja steza, which will take you to the walls of the Ljubljana Castle in just a few minutes. Via the street Ulica na grad Nearest bus stop: Gornji trg Bus no. 2, 3, 3B, 3G, 11, 27 From the bus stop in the Upper Square (Gornji trg), head across Levstik Square (Levstikov trg) to the street Rožna ulica, and from there past the Church of St Florian, straight towards the street Ulica na grad. After 100 metres, turn right onto the street Osojna pot or the path Osojna steza, and with just 10 minutes of moderate walking in the shade of the trees you will reach the castle entrance. Past the Stolba Nearest bus stop: Krekov trg, Zmajski most Bus no. 2, 13, 20 From the bus stop, head towards the street Streliška ulica. After 100 metres, turn right into the street Lončarska steza and just a few metres on turn right sharply again into the alley ulica Na Stolbi. At this point, it is only a ten minute walk through the forest to the Castle Courtyard.

CONFERENCE EXCURSIONS   

Both conference delegates and accompanying persons appreciate having the chance to get to know the conference host city or country better, especially if visiting for the first time. Please check out for the CONFERENCE TOURS tailored for conference participants and accompanying persons. Accompanying persons are the people who accompany the participants at the conference. Accompanying persons do not follow the technical program of the conference and they will be offered their own daily program from Pre and Post Conference tours .
LJUBLJANA - WALKING TOUR AND BOAT RIDE
The old city centre has a unique architectural appearance, particularly due a felicitous combination of Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture and masterful creations by the 20th century architect Jože Plečnik. A tourist boat, departing from one of the city centre piers, takes you on a ride under several of Ljubljana’s famous bridges. * In case of adverse river conditions, the boat ride is cancelled and the tour is conducted entirely on foot. Duration: 2 hours including a half an hour boat ride. Included: Guide, boat ride along the Ljubljanica River. Specials: camera, walking shoes. Price: ?; valid for a minimum of 35 persons, included in the accompanying person registration fee.
BLED - BOHINJ
Two exquisite glacier lakes glitter in the green valleys of the Slovenian Alps. We will visit Bled, mundane resort with an eminent medieval castle and a romantic island in the lake. Lake Bohinj lies in a tranquil and pristine valley in the Triglav National Park. A pleasant walk to the Savica Waterfall completes our memorable day. An ‘Image of Paradise’, as it is often described, Bled has been attracting visitors with its breathtaking beauty for centuries. The calm and inviting waters of its lake spurred the tradition of making the typical ‘pletna’ boats back in the 12th century. We will board one of these wooden beauties to reach the island, with its romantic church and mysterious wishing bell. Sightseeing in Bled continues with a visit to the impressive castle, perched on a cliff high above the lake. We will roll back time in its museum, and enjoy the unforgettable view of the surroundings. Surrounded by alluring summits, the Bohinj Valley charms visitors with its inspiring scenery, crystal clear lake waters and the harmonious coexistence of man and nature. The picturesque lakeside boasts the frescoes of Church of St. John the Baptist. You will have time to discover the legend of Zlatorog (Goldhorn), enjoy a stunning view over Mount Triglav and try the hearty local cuisine. To experience a bit of trekking, we end the day with an enjoyable 20-minute hike to the beautiful Savica Waterfall, thundering from a high rocky cliff, and enjoy a rewarding view of the Lake. Duration: Full day Included: Transport, guide, admission to Bled Castle and Savica Waterfall, ‘pletna’ ride to the island, admission to the church on Bled Island, lunch and glass of wine or soft drink Specials: camera, walking shoes. Price: 60 – 70 EUR; valid for a minimum of 35 persons.
UNESCO HERITAGE AND LIPIZZAN HORSES
In the southwestern part of Slovenia lies a unique area called Kras (Karst). We will visit the surprisingly beautiful Škocjan Caves, and fnish our journey in Lipica – home of the (world’s) famous white Lipizzan horses. Lipica Stud Farm is the cradle of the Lipizzaners, the noble white horses. Breeding began 400 years ago to meet the exclusive needs and demands of the Habsburgs. A local guide will show you around the estate; you will see the whole array of magnificent animals – uncertain dark foals, gentle mares, and proud stallions capable of performing the most amazing fgures of the Spanish Riding School. The excellence of the Lipizzaners can be admired at their show, in which they astonish the audience with a sophisticated performance accompanied by classical music. Škocjan Caves Park includes a characteristic and unique karst region where the one-stop shop of karst features. Together with a system of caves, collapsed dolines and individual cultural monuments Park makes up a typical karst “architecture”. Special climatic conditions in the valleys and at the entrances of caves as a conduit and intertwining of both Alpine and Mediterranean flora. Unique plant and animal species cohabiting in an extremely small space, giving this area a significant biodiversity. An experienced guide will take you through the caves, which are decorated with stalactites Radiant. Duration: Full day Included: Transport, guide, admission to stud farm, entrance to Škocjan Caves, lunch and glass of wine or soft drink Specials: camera, walking shoes Price: ?
CERKNICA LAKE AND KRIŽNA CAVE
Cerknica Lake has no surface outflow; all the water seeps underground and surfaces as the Rak River in the Rakov Škocjan Valley. Cerknica Lake is a part of the karst river system of the Ljubljanica River – a river that bears seven different names altogether. After visiting Museum of Lake Cerknica you will take a ride to the Lake by typical carriage – “lojtrnik”. Križna Cave is one of the most interesting caves in the world. It lies in the east of the park and it has 22 underground lakes through which the waters from the Bloke Plateau flow. This cave is famous for its unique cave fauna and as an archaeological site where cave bear remains have been found. Its features are underground lakes with sinter’s barriers and an extremely interesting site with bines of bears, along with the naturally preserved environment for animals. The length of all passages is over 8 km (6 miles). Air temperature inside the cave is constant through the whole year +80C. The cave ranks as the fourth in the world by the number of genuine cave animal species (44 different species). Duration: Full day Included: Transport, guide, admission to Museum of Lake Cerknica, drive with a “lojtrnik”, entrance to Križna cave, lunch and glass of wine or soft drink Specials: camera, walking shoes, jacket Price: ?