Field Station Natural History Workshops -- Fall 2016

Unraveling the Mysteries of Bird Migration

September 16 & 17 (Friday & Saturday)

Hours:    7:00 am - 4:00 pm, Friday and Saturday

Instructors: Vicki Piaskowski is an ornithologist and the retired international coordinator of the Birds Without Borders-Aves Sin Fronteras© project of the Foundation for Wildlife Conservation, Inc and the Zoological Society of Milwaukee. She has conducted ornithological field research and training in the U.S. and in Belize, Central America. She will be assisted by Jennifer Callaghan, Research and Citizen Science Coordinator at the Urban Ecology Center. 

The Course: This course will be conducted during fall migration so that students can experience one of the most exciting aspects of the avian life cycle: migration. Students will have an opportunity to learn about bird banding techniques as well as other methods used to study bird migration. Mornings will consist of fieldwork, including the observation of mist netting and bird banding, and demonstration of aging and sexing techniques. Afternoons will consist of lectures that will provide students with basic information on bird banding, bird migration, and how research techniques are used to solve some of the mysteries of ornithology.

Workshop fee: $105.00. Available for 1.4 CEU or 1 college credit. There is an additional tuition fee for college credit. 

“Wisdom Sits in Places”: Creative Writing About the Natural World

October 14 & 15 (Friday & Saturday)

Instructor: Poet, photographer, and scholar, Kimberly Blaeser, is the Wisconsin Poet Laureate.  A Professor at UW—Milwaukee, she teaches Creative Writing, Native American Literature, and American Nature Writing. Her publications include three books of poetry: Trailing You, Absentee Indians and Other Poems, and Apprenticed to Justice. Her creative work in poetry, creative non-fiction, and short fiction, frequently arises from a relationship with the natural world and has been included in more than fifty volumes whose titles are as varied as The Colours of Nature, Sing: Poems from the Indigenous Americas, and Women on Hunting

The Course: Using the natural areas found at the UWM Field Station and inspired by both Native mythic accounts and the works of natural history writers and eco-poets, this course will invite participants to create works of poetry, creative non-fiction, and mixed-genre arising from their engagement with the natural world.  These writings will include haiku and other poetry, personal nature essays, and works combining artistic genres.  Class time will be divided between expeditions exploring the bogs, fields, forests, and ponds; sessions discussing sample readings and focusing on writing craft; and the process of writing, reflecting, and “translating” our nature experiences into creative works.  Students need no prior experience in ecology or writing to benefit from this course.  All levels of expertise are encouraged to enroll.

Workshop fee: $105.00. Available for 1.4 CEU or 1 college credit. There is an additional tuition fee for college credit. 

Invasive Plant Management Techniques

October 22 (Saturday), 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Instructor:  Dr. James Reinartz,   Director, UWM Field Station is a plant ecologist and evolutionary biologist. 

The Course: Many of us work to control invasive plants in the areas we care about.  Take this class to ensure that you are using the most appropriate, efficient, up-to-date, and least environmentally damaging methods in those efforts.  This is a hands-on class.  After an introduction to the general ecology of the five functional groups of invasive plants (Shrubs, Perennial forbs, Clonal Perennials, Grasses, and Annuals/Biennials), we will discuss, demonstrate and practice all applicable control methods (chemical and non-chemical) for these five plant types.  Topics will also include: 1) Identification of our common, and relatively new invaders, 2) Planning and strategy for an effective control program, 3) Use of hand tools and herbicide application methods, 4) Herbicide concentrations, mixing, and safety, 5) Restoration strategies for badly infested sites, and 6) Record keeping.  Safe chainsaw use for woody species will be demonstrated only.  Several handouts and reference materials will be provided.

Workshop fee: $60.00.  Discounted fee of $45 offered to SEWISC members - contact us for details.  Available for 0.8 CEU. Not offered for college credit.