Among Suburban Wildlife
There are hidden savannas, prairies, and forests in our backyards and parks. They are replete with predators and prey, herbivores and carnivores, parasites, and parasitoids in a network of life not unlike, in some ways, the savannas of Africa or the prairies of Yellowstone's Lamar Valley. But one has to look closely to find this diversity. This is a world dominated by humans that have destroyed or modified the habitats of a myriad of animals. Some disappeared under the onslaught of blacktop and manicured lawns, but others have adapted to our of backyards and parks and life there can be diverse. Gordon will share his adventures among that wildlife and the places that support them.
Gordon Dietzman grew up on a dairly farm in southwestern Wisconsin where he spent much time observing wildlife and creating wildlife habitat. He often ignored his farm chores to wander through the fields and woods of the Driftless Area. The love of the out of doors led him to a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in environmental interpretation. He has worked at the International Crane Foundation where he led education programming at ICF's headquarters in the Baraboo, Wisconsin area, but also worked on endangered species issues and preservation in Southeast Asia. He currently works as a park ranger with the National Parks Service, at least when he isn't wandering his backyard, area parks, (and national parks) photographing the wildlife with which we share our living spaces.
Earthworm Invasion in Northern Forest Ecosystems
The northern forests from Minnesota to New England have no native earthworms. European earthworms have invaded many of these forests, where they transform soil structure by consuming the organic horizon (aka duff layer) and compacting the A horizon. These changes in soil structure lead to alterations in nutrient and water cycles within the soil. There are many important ecological cascades emanating from these invasions, including concerns for conservation of native plant and wildlife species, losses of forest and crop productivity, facilitation of invasive plant species such as buckthorn and garlic mustard, and soil and water quality.
Lee E. Frelich is Director of the University of Minnesota Center for Forest Ecology. He received a Ph.D. in Forest Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1986. Frelich teaches courses in Forest Fire Ecology and Landscape Ecology on St.Paul Campus, and has advised 23 graduate students. Frelich has authored more than 110 publications with 90 coauthors from 14 countries, including major works for Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press. He is listed among the top 1% of all scientists in the world in the Thompson-Reuters Essential Science Indicators, Ecology and Environment Category. Current research interests include fire and wind in boreal forests, old-growth hemlock and maple forests, invasive earthworms in forests, deer and moose browsing, patterns of tree height, and impacts of climate change.
Still Searching for Minnesota’s Native Wildflowers, Even in our Own Backyards
Meet Phyllis Root and Kelly Povo, authors of Searching for Minnesota’s Native Wildflowers; A Guide for Beginners, Botanist and Everyone in Between.
Learn about why they are crazy about native wildflowers, where they search and (sometimes) find them, and why they are also planting them in their own backyards. You’ll learn where to look, when to go, and how to find some of Minnesota’s little-known native wildflower treasures. They will also share stories of their own adventures (and misadventures).
Phyllis Root is a writer, Kelly Povo is a photographer, and they love searching for, learning about, and finding Minnesota’s native flowers. Their first wildflower adventure together was over ten years ago, to Big Bog State Recreation Area, where they walked on the boardwalk a mile into the bog and saw plants they had never seen before. Since then, they have waded rivers, slipped down snowy hillsides, and visited more places than they can remember.
Phyllis, an award-winning author, has written many picture books about Minnesota, including Big Belching Bog, Plant a Pocket of Prairie, One North Star, and most recently, The Lost Forest, all published by the University of Minnesota Press. Kelly, a professional photographer for over thirty years, has exhibited in galleries and art shows across the country. Her photographs have been published on posters, calendars, note cards, and in books. They have collaborated on several books, including Girlfriend Gumbo and Gladys on the Go. Whatever they are doing, Phyllis and Kelly laugh—a lot.