Tag: Center for Biodiversity

Master’s thesis by Biodiversity’s Giese leads to ‘Ecosphere’ article

Cofrin Center for Biodiversity Data Specialist Erin Giese, along with UW-Green Bay faculty members Bob Howe and Amy Wolf, graduate student Nick Walton, and Nature Conservancy biologist Nick Miller, have published a paper in the Ecological Society of America’s new online journal Ecosphere. The paper, titled “Sensitivity of breeding birds to the ‘human footprint’ in western Great Lakes forest landscapes,” documents how bird populations respond to human activities like road-building, logging, and housing density in the northwoods of Wisconsin and nearby states. The paper is an outgrowth of Giese’s master’s thesis in the UW-Green Bay Environmental Science and Policy program and has become the basis for an ongoing effort (www.uwgb.edu/biodiversity/forest-index/iec.asp) to measure forest health in the western Great Lakes based on birds. Howe says online scientific journals such as Ecosphere seem to be the wave of the future. Check out the article (for free) at: http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/ES14-00414.1
 

Les Raduenz Woods dedicated in campus arboretum

Raduenz-WoodsEditor’s note:  For an enlarged version  — which shows  a current day aerial of campus and the Les Raduenz Woods (outlined in green) with inset images from 1960 (pre-campus and mostly farm fields) and 1992 (transitional stage of arboretum development) — click on image above.

A ceremony was held Friday (May 15) to dedicate “Les Raduenz Woods,” a 22-acre forest/woodland south of Circle Drive across from the Office of Facilities Management. Raduenz was a central figure in development of the Cofrin Arboretum and UW-Green Bay campus for 35 years. He retired in 2006 as director of Facilities Management, a position he held for 12 years. Raduenz took a special interest in this area, overseeing a tree planting program that has led to its conversion into an early successional woodland and, eventually, an extension of Mahon Woods, one of the Arboretum’s most important natural features. Others who contributed significantly to the development of Les Raduenz Woods included faculty members Dr. Keith White, Dr. Paul Sager, and founding Chancellor Edward Weidner; Facilities Management staff members Mike Vanlanen, Lylas Dequaine, Dennis Nellis, Jim Stiefvater, and Paul Pinkston; and students like Neil Diboll, who eventually became a pioneer in ecological restoration through the establishment of his company, Prairie Nursery, located near Westfield, Wis.

Student research contributes to conservation efforts at UW-Green Bay natural areas

Six University of Wisconsin-Green Bay students will report on research conducted at three 
UW-Green Bay natural areas at the 26th annual Cofrin Student Symposium from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, in the Christie Theatre in the University Union. More than 150 students over nearly three decades have received funding through the program made possible by an endowment established by the Cofrin family. The program also will include recognition of the recipient of the Paul and Thea Sager Scholarship for excellence in scientific writing. The event is free and open to the public.

Students in the program carry out research projects related to UW-Green Bay’s Cofrin Memorial Arboretum and other University-managed natural areas in Northeastern Wisconsin. Funding is provided by a student research grant endowment established by the families of the late Dr. David A. Cofrin and the late John Cofrin. The Land Trust Grant was established by Michael Draney and Vicki Medland of the UW-Green Bay faculty/staff to support student research at other natural areas in Northeast Wisconsin. Between the two programs, grants of up to $1,000 are awarded competitively based on student proposals and are open to all students at UW-Green Bay. Projects, carried out in collaboration with faculty members, must contribute to improving understanding of the ecology, history, and appreciation of the selected natural area(s), and help land managers in conservation and restoration efforts. The projects also give students experience in properly designing and carrying out research.

Students interested in applying for grants for the upcoming year should call Vicki Medland at 920-465-2342 or visit www.uwgb.edu/biodiversity/ for application guidelines. Applications are due April 13, 2015.

Among the six students presenting their results at the Cofrin Student Symposium on March 3, two will highlight the importance of invertebrates in forest ecology. Amber Konrad, Sturgeon Bay, used her grant to survey and create a GIS map of the distribution of ant mounds in the Cofrin Arboretum to better understand how the location of these important “soil engineers” may affect the distributions of other species and the ecology of the landscape. Linda Vang, Green Bay, will discuss the results of a project she began in 2013 examining the relationships between invertebrates and wildflower seeds. In 2013 she documented the presence of harvestmen (opiliones, sometimes incorrectly called “daddy longlegs”) on and near the wildflower seeds she was observing. She designed her second study to determine if harvestmen are predators of spring wildflower seeds and to assess the role of these arachnids in seed dispersal.

Lindsay Hansen, Kiel, conducted bird surveys at the University-managed Kingfisher Farm natural area in Manitowoc County. Her goals were to provide a detailed list and description of the migratory birds using the Lake Michigan shoreline and river mouth habitats at Kingfisher Farm and nearby conservation areas in order to provide land managers with information about the use of shoreline habitats by migratory bird species.

As part of a restoration effort in the wetlands at Point au Sable Nature Preserve, Cassondra Kollatz, Burlington, collected, counted and identified zooplankton she collected in a bayshore lagoon and in the bay of Green Bay. The goal was to provide baseline data for an ongoing restoration effort by informing ecologists about how changing water levels and future controlled burning of invasive plants may affect the zooplankton communities that form the basis of the food chain in the ecosystem.

Students at UW-Green Bay have been conducting snake surveys on the Cofrin Arboretum for several years, providing a unique opportunity to continue examining snake populations, distribution and movement. Students Jacqueline Corrigan and Tessa Moeller, Seymour, compared data from previous surveys to the data they collected last summer and fall to examine the effectiveness of sampling methods and to determine what impact the harsh winter of 2013-2014 might have had on the survivorship and distribution of snakes in the Arboretum.

As part of the symposium program, this year’s Sager Scholarship for Undergraduate Scientific Writing will be presented to Christa Kananen, Sobieski, for her paper titled “Drawdown of the Potentiometric Surface of the Cambrian-Ordovician Aquifer in Marinette County, Wisconsin.” Prof. Robert Howe, director of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity at UW-Green Bay will introduce and moderate the March 3 program.

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Wolf and Howe: Back from China and NSF event


Profs. Amy Wolf and Bob Howe of Biology and Natural and Applied Sciences participated in the fourth Diversity and Forest Chance Workshop at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden in southern Yunnan Province, China, from July 28 to Aug 8. The event, funded by the National Science Foundation and Chinese Academy of Sciences, brought together 48 field ecologists from 16 countries to share information and ideas from large forest research plots in the Smithsonian Institution’s “ForestGEO” network including the UW-Green Bay Cofrin Center for Biodiversity’s Wabikon Forest Dynamics Plot near Crandon. In addition to giving a research presentation, Wolf and Howe worked with colleagues from other plots on collaborative research papers. After the workshop, they visited the Danum Valley Conservation Area in eastern Borneo (Sabah, Malaysia), location of a ForestGEO plot established in 2010.

Toft documentary wins another award for ETP-NEW

Educational Television Productions of Northeast Wisconsin’s (ETP-NEW), located on the UW-Green Bay campus, is proud to announce that its latest documentary has been honored with a Telly Award. Robert Howe and Gary Fewless of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity are among those featured in interviews in the “Emma Toft: One with Nature” documentary. The program was a silver winner in the 35th Annual Telly Awards, which attracted 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries. The documentary highlights Emma Toft, described as Wisconsin’s First Lady of Conservation, and tells how she and her family saved one of the most pristine areas of Wisconsin from development. Her work helped Door County’s Toft Point, near Baileys Harbor, remain a haven for wildflowers, birds, animals and white pine to this day under the management of UW-Green Bay. “The positive feedback we have received from people all over Wisconsin about our documentary has been truly overwhelming,” said Dean Leisgang, documentary producer. “Now, to learn that our work has been honored on a national stage is a true source of pride for all involved.” For the full news release and specifics on the award.

Heirloom plant pre-sale is later this week

The popular NAS and Cofrin Biodiversity Center Heirloom Plant Sale returns this weekend. (The faculty/staff “pre-sale” — as always, shhhhhhhh — runs from noon to 5 p.m. this Friday, May 16, in the LAS greenhouse. It’s a rare and much-appreciated perk for on-campus employees, so keep it quiet, and use it, don’t abuse it.) The main public sale is Saturday, May 17. Read more.

Spring has sprung! Heirloom sale releases 2014 tomato roster

The annual NAS Heirloom Plant Sale will take place two weeks from now on Saturday, May 17 at the Lab Sciences greenhouse. Sale organizers have posted summaries of all the different tomato, pepper, flower and vegetable varieties that will be available. Plan your garden; plan your sale weekend buying. More details.
 

Details of Friday’s Fewless reception: You’re invited

A celebration of the distinguished career of Gary Fewless and the renaming of the University Herbarium in his honor will take place at 5:30 p.m. this Friday (May 2) at Lambeau Cottage on the campus bayshore. Students, former students, faculty, staff and other well-wishers are invited to take part and congratulate Gary on his retirement and the renaming honor. The event is free and open to all, but with the need to plan for food and refreshments, reception organizers ask you to send a note, if you plan to attend, to Cofrin Center for Biodiversity Program Associate Kim Mckeefry.

UW-Green Bay Wabikon project contributes to global carbon mapping

Over the past half dozen years, faculty, staff and students from UW-Green Bay’s Cofrin Center for Biodiversity have been busy measuring (and re-measuring) more than 50,000 trees at the Wabikon Forest Dynamics Plot near Crandon. The project is led by Profs. Amy Wolf and Bob Howe of Natural and Applied Sciences, and Gary Fewless, curator of the UW-Green Bay Herbarium. This week, a publication in the online journal Biogeosciences demonstrates how results from this work and similar studies at 29 other permanent forest plots around the world can be used to refine satellite estimates of the global carbon distribution in forests. Read the article, written by French ecologist Maxime Réjou-Méchain and co-authors including Wolf and Howe.
 

Heir(loom) time: Plant sale, Medland featured on “Good Day Wisconsin”

The UW-Green Bay Heirloom Plant sale and gardener extraordinaire Vicki Medland got some great airtime Wednesday (April 23) on Fox 11’s “Good Day Wisconsin.” In four live segments at the Lab Sciences Greenhouse, Medland, associate director of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity, spoke with reporter Emily Deem about what’s on tap for this year’s sale. Medland talked types of tomatoes, tips for planting and much more during the segments, one of which also featured grad student and heirloom grant recipient Matt Peter. This year’s plant sale is Saturday, May 17 (also graduation day). You can check out the “Good Day Wisconsin” segments, below:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xy8YAYEBuDs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9TC1hzA_O4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAZpcnR2RQM&list=UU72xzKVi3b_2oed6zQ8KKQg&feature=share&index=3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAYKgi6aQjw