The Preserve is proud to announce Thursday Night Nature, a new lecture series starting June 4. In the same vein as our popular Winter Lecture Series, the Preserve will host a guest lecturer every Thursday night 7-8 pm for eight weeks. Via easy-to-use Zoom video conferencing, these virtual lectures will feature an impressive list of experts from across the country. Lecturers will discuss a wide range of flora and fauna topics. So, kick back, relax and join the Preserve from the comfort of your couch and turn your screen green with Thursday Night Nature.
Wetlands are an often overlooked and underappreciated ecosystem, which is unfortunate because they are incredibly beautiful, rich in biodiversity, and have many ecological benefits! Jessica Schmit is a research assistant at the Winous Point Marsh Conservancy in northwestern Ohio. She will share the many benefits of wetlands, a glimpse into their wild inhabitant, and the importance of native species for biodiversity.
Jessica Schmit is a New Jersey native and Delaware Valley University graduate who talks way too fast, especially when it’s about something she loves, like wetlands! She is most comfortable in waders and feels a little weird when she wears normal pants. Jess has worked on research projects all over the U.S. in different wetland habitats, from the Florida Everglades to the swamps of southern Illinois, the California Delta and in the marshes of Ohio. Working in these unique habitats has given her a great appreciation for the animal and plant life that can be discovered there. She is passionate about protecting these special places and sharing that love with others. Jess has an unhealthy obsession with birds and making terrible puns.
Many plants depend on the assistance of a third party, usually an animal, to help them successfully achieve pollination. How do plants entice visitors to their flowers and manipulate them to carry pollen to another plant of the same species? We’ll learn about some of the many potential pollinators of native plants, including bees, flies, wasps, beetles and birds, and the strategies plants have evolved to achieve successful pollination by taking advantage of these flower visitors.
Mary Anne Borge is a naturalist, photographer, author and educator. A naturalist at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve since 2006, she is a Pennsylvania Master Naturalist and the associate editor of Butterfly Gardener magazine. She is the team leader for Lambertville Goes Wild, a volunteer group that successfully led the City of Lambertville to certification by the National Wildlife Federation as a community wildlife habitat. At her blog, the-natural-web.org, Mary Anne writes about and illustrates with her photography the importance of native plants to all life.
Millions of birds move back and forth each year from tropical America to or through the temperate habitats of the mid-Atlantic states. Each depends on certain plant communities to provide the necessary habitat. Garland will take a look at some of these long-distance migrants and the plants that support them while they are here.
Mark S. Garland is a naturalist who has been sharing his enthusiasm for nature with others professionally for over 40 years. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Maryland’s College of Agriculture. His work experience includes six years as a ranger/naturalist with the National Park Service, 17 years with the Audubon Naturalist Society (based in the Washington, DC, area), and four years with New Jersey Audubon Society’s Cape May Bird Observatory. He is the author of the book “Watching Nature: A Mid-Atlantic Natural History,” published by the Smithsonian Press in 1997, and of the chapter “Canal Walk” in the “Anthology of City Birding,” published by Stackpole Books in 2003. He founded the Cape Charles, Virginia, Monarch butterfly research project in 1995, and in 2015 became the director of the New Jersey Audubon Cape May Bird Observatory monarch monitoring project He has co-authored three scientific papers on the Cape Charles monarch migration project.
Reptiles and amphibians are mysterious creatures, beloved by some, feared by others, and, for a small segment of the population known as herpetologists, absolutely fascinating to study. Reptiles and amphibians play critical ecological roles that are often overlooked due to their exceptional abilities of avoiding detection. Unfortunately, these creatures are also very sensitive to human disturbance and exotic diseases, and many populations are in grave danger of extinction. Join herpetologist Kevin Shoemakeron a whirlwind tour of amphibian and reptile diversity and the reasons for their decline, and a discussion of how we can conserve these fascinating creatures and their key ecological roles.
Kevin Shoemaker, Ph.D., is currently an assistant professor of wildlife ecology and conservation at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), where he serves as director of the Applied Population Ecology lab. Shoemaker’s research at UNR covers a wide range of species from tortoises to prairie dogs to bats, but always focuses on questions directly relevant to wildlife conservation and management. Shoemaker received his master’s and doctoral degrees at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, where his dissertation research on the population ecology of bog turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) helped to clarify the conservation status of small freshwater turtle populations. Originally from eastern Massachusetts, Kevin has always been particularly fascinated with reptiles and amphibians—especially turtles!
Birds need food, shelter, nesting sites and nesting materials in order to survive. Learn how to make simple changes in your garden that will transform it into a year-round haven for birds by providing these essential elements.
Mary Anne Borge is a naturalist, photographer, author and educator. A naturalist at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve since 2006, she is a Pennsylvania Master Naturalist and the associate editor of Butterfly Gardener magazine. She is the team leader for Lambertville Goes Wild, a volunteer group that successfully led the City of Lambertville to certification by the National Wildlife Federation as a community wildlife habitat. At her blog, the-natural-web.org, Mary Anne writes about, and illustrates with her photography, the importance of native plants to all life.
Washington State has successfully eradicated the citrus longhorned beetle and multiple introductions of Asian and European gypsy moths. The state has kept out Japanese beetles and are now gearing up to win the fight against the Asian giant hornet. Learn the secrets to the state’s success from Sven-Erik Spichiger, the state Department of Agriculture’s managing entomologist.
Sven-Erik Spichiger is the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s managing entomologist. He earned a B.S. degree in entomology from Penn State University and a M.S. degree in entomology from Clemson University. Prior to assuming his current job two years ago, he worked for 18 years for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania—first in the state Department of Enviornmental Protection’s West Nile Virus Mosquito Lab; then as a forest entomologist for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; and, for 11 years, as the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture state entomologist.
Bats are the second-most diverse group of mammals, with a little over 1,300 known species. By eating insect pests, dispersing seeds and pollinating flowers, bats provide essential services to humanity while often going unnoticed in the nighttime skies above us. Join our virtual meeting to learn about the biology and ecology of these amazing creatures—from their ability to navigate using sound, to their feeding and roosting habits, as well as the threats they face from human activity and a rapidly spreading fungal disease.
Matthew Wund, professor of biology at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), earned his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology in 2005 from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. There he studied the echolocation behavior of bats, as well as the impacts bats have on mosquitoes. He subsequently held a postdoctoral research fellowship at Clark University, in Worcester, MA, where he investigated the evolution of behavior and morphology in threespine stickleback fish. He has continued this line of research since joining the TCNJ faculty in 2009.
National Moth Week, July 18-26, is a global citizen science project focused on documenting biodiversity and distributions of moths. This year’s NMW theme is Backyard Mothing! Join NMW co-founder Elena Tartaglia, Ph.D., via Zoom for a program highlighting the essential roles moths play in ecosystems and conservation threats facing nocturnal biodiversity. Learn various ways to attract and observe these organisms in your own outdoor space via equipment and plants, as well as how to identify moths and contribute data to the project using the iNaturalist app.
Elena Tartaglia earned her Ph.D. in ecology from Rutgers University and is currently a professor at Bergen Community College. Elena is an expert on moths of the family Sphingidae and has studied various aspects of their ecology and behavior in urban ecosystems. She is a co-founder of National Moth Week, a global-scale citizen science project focused on nocturnal insect biodiversity. Elena has worked in public outreach and environmental education since 2005 and is a former intern of Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve.