Field Station Natural History Workshops
Summer & Fall 2013
Wildlife Inventory and Monitoring
May 31 & June 1 (Friday & Saturday)
Instructor: Dr. Gary Casper is a regional herpetologist and past collections manager at the Milwaukee Public Museum. He conducts herp research throughout the western Great Lakes with an emphasis on inventory and monitoring, and is an Associate Scientist with the UWM Field Station, where he manages the Wisconsin Herp Atlas.
The Course: : This course will give students a sound background in the theory and practice of wildlife inventory and monitoring (I&M), with an emphasis on (but not limited to) Wisconsin amphibians and reptiles, and regional programs. A field sampling component will provide experience in collecting data. The course will review the essentials of sampling design, study planning and data collection, standard techniques for I&M, analysis of data, and the importance and value of I&M. Students will learn how to design I&M programs specific to various objectives, and understand the differences between inventory and monitoring. Common techniques for I&M will be demonstrated in the field. The course is appropriate for researchers involved in wildlife sampling, persons performing inventories (such as for environmental consulting or preserve management), and persons involved in adaptive management for ecological restoration projects. Students will have the option of a Friday night frog calling survey.
Breeding Birds of Wisconsin
June 1 - June 8 (Saturday - Saturday)
Instructors: William Mueller is the staff ornithologist for the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, and Project Coordinator for the Milwaukee BIOME Project. Dr. Owen Boyle is the state coordinator for the Wisconsin Citizen-based Monitoring Network and an ecologist with WDNR. Jennifer Callaghan coordinates Research and Citizen Science at Milwaukee’s Urban Ecology Center, and is a federally licensed bird bander.
Schedule: : This course is a week-long field trip that visits important breeding bird areas of Wisconsin. The course begins at 9:00 am Saturday, 6/1, and finishes by mid afternoon Saturday, 6/8. Some days require a very early start (~4:20 am) to be in the field for the peak of bird song. A few evening sessions will allow us to study nocturnal bird species. We will also conduct several early morning bird banding demonstrations. Travel by van to each subsequent day’s location will take place in the late afternoon and early evening.
The Course: : This course is a broad, field-based survey of the breeding birds of Wisconsin and the habitats in which they are found. We will study breeding birds and their habitats in wetlands, grasslands, and forests in state natural areas, state and federal wildlife areas, and major plant communities throughout Wisconsin. Our objective is to find the majority of Wisconsin’s breeding bird species and learn about their ecology, distribution, behavior, and conservation. We will also demonstrate field research and monitoring techniques. Participants will learn the basics of birds’ plant community associations which is key to understanding where bird species are found during the breeding season and how to assess their habitat needs for effective conservation and management. The course fee covers all transportation costs, lodging, and some meals.
Vegetation of Wisconsin
June 17 - 22 (Monday - Saturday)
Instructor: Dr. James Reinartz, Director, UWM Field Station is a plant ecologist and evolutionary biologist.
Schedule: : This course will be a week-long field trip throughout Wisconsin. We will meet at 9:00 am Monday, return to the Field Station Friday night, and finish by mid afternoon Saturday.
The Course: : Following "The Vegetation of Wisconsin" by John Curtis (1959), we will visit and study all of the major vegetation types in the state. In addition to study of the ecology, development, and dynamics of the original vegetation types of Wisconsin, we will explore plant communities which have developed as the result of disturbance, and the challenges associated with management of natural areas representing pre-settlement vegetation types. This will be a week of good old-fashioned ecology and botany. The course fee covers all transportation costs and lodging.
June 28 & 29 (Friday & Saturday)
Instructors: Dr.Gretchen Meyer, Senior Scientist and Manager of the UWM Field Station, is an ecologist and entomologist who studies the interactions between plants and insects. She has long been interested in aquatic invertebrates. Robert Clare holds a Master's degree in ecology from UWM, and teaches ecology, botany and biology classes at UWM and MATC.
The Course: : This course will introduce participants to the diversity of aquatic invertebrates inhabiting Wisconsin's waters. After an introduction to the ecology and taxonomy of major groups of aquatic invertebrates, we will visit a variety of field sites to collect and identify invertebrates. Topics to be covered in the workshop include the challenges of living in water, sampling methods for aquatic invertebrates, use of keys and other resources for identification, and aquatic invertebrates as bioindicators. This course is appropriate for anyone who would like to learn more about aquatic invertebrates and their role in freshwater systems.
July 8 - 12 (Monday - Friday)
Instructor: Dr. Roger Kuhns is a geologist, environmental scientist and sustainable practices expert managing his own firm SustainAudit.net. He has worked globally on environmental protection, sustainable practices, water and mineral resource assessment, and natural resource management. He currently is focused on sustainable practices for businesses and governments, water and ecology in the Great Lakes region, Niagara Escarpment and coastal water issues, the use of ecological geology in land and water use planning, renewable energy, and ecosystem restoration from mining projects.
Schedule: : Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Course: : This class will introduce participants to the interrelationship between geologic features and the health and sustainability of ecosystems in the context of the Cedarburg Bog, its surrounding environments, and the Great Lakes region. Geologic features and their variations will be examined, including bedrock types, compositions and structures, glacial till and outwash deposits, and soils. We will take auger samples from the Bog and surrounding areas and reconstruct the geologic and ecological natural history of the area. The importance of wetland geomorphology and chemistry will be discussed as part of the larger understanding of hydrology, geology and ecology. We will study how these features govern the flow rates, quality, and recharge ability of aquifers and how they define the geometry and surface-groundwater interactions in watersheds. The impacts of human land and water use will be discussed in the context of a carbon sequestration exercise, resource consumption, and conservation practices. This course is a practical applications course where participants will learn field methods and assessment techniques useful in a wide range of field investigations and environmental studies.
Grasses: Identification and Ecology
July 26 & 27 (Friday & Saturday)
Instructor: Dr. Robert Freckmann, Professor Emeritus of Biology at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, has primary interests in the grass flora of Wisconsin and in the evolution of the genera Panicum and Dichanthelium.
The Course: : We will survey the evolution and diversity of the grass family, emphasizing grasses of the local area and reviewing grass structures, terminology, and differences between grasses, sedges, and rushes. Field and microscopic identification, use of keys, characteristics of tribes, and ecology of grasses will be covered.
Common Algae of the North Kettle Moraine
August 16 & 17 (Friday & Saturday)
Instructor: Paul Engevold, Associate Lecturer of Biological Sciences, UWM, and Adjunct Associate Professor, MIAD, specializes in aquatic ecology. He instructs courses in plant diversity, aquatic invertebrates, and plankton.
The Course: : This course will introduce students to the diversity and ecology of freshwater algae with an emphasis on summer "nuisance" forms in the lakes and streams of the North Kettle Moraine. Students will be introduced to sampling techniques and learn identifying characteristics using live material obtained from field collections. We will compare algal assemblages from different types of habitats as a basis for discussing algal "survival strategies". We will also discuss the interactions and implications between eutrophication, algal nuisance blooms and the fish structure of lakes. The course is divided into three components: lectures, getting wet and muddy in the field, and video microscope observations in the lab.
Lichens: Charismatic Cryptogams
September 6 & 7 (Friday & Saturday)
Instructor: Dr. Suzanne Joneson is an Assistant Professor of Biology at UW – Waukesha, where she teaches Botany and Microbiology. She earned her M.S. in Botany from the University of Washington where she worked on the floristics of Ramalina in the Russian Far East. She earned her Ph.D. at Duke University, where she studied the molecular biology of lichen symbiosis. Suzanne finds lichens fascinating at every level.
The Course: : This weekend workshop will introduce you to the symbiotic union of fungi and algae known as lichens. The course is designed for both beginners and those who are already familiar with lichens. Over the course of this workshop you will learn basic lichen identification, collection and curation, and natural history. We will use a combination of lectures, field-work, and in-laboratory identification in order to learn about the basic lichen biology of the area.