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Awards &Conferences &News dgregg on 13 Mar 2012

2012 RI Distinguished Naturalist Award to Peter Lord

RINHS is pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has selected Peter Lord as recipient of the 2012 Rhode Island Distinguished Naturalist Award.

The Rhode Island Natural History Survey will award its 2012 Rhode Island Distinguished Naturalist Award to Providence Journal environmental reporter Peter Lord, who also serves as the journalism co-director of the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting at the University of Rhode Island. The award presentation will be part of the Natural History Survey’s 16th annual Ecology of Rhode Island conference, Trends in Human – Wildlife Interaction, on Thursday, March 29 at the Quonset O Club in North Kingstown.
The Rhode Island Distinguished Naturalist Award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the scientific knowledge of Rhode Island’s environment and organisms, is recognized as an outstanding teacher and educator about the natural world, and/or has significantly enhanced public awareness of the importance of understanding Rhode Island’s ecosystems. Previous recipients include Dave Emerson, Frank Golet, Grace Klein-MacPhee, Douglas Kraus, Prentice Stout, Irene Stuckey, Hugh Willoughby, Roger Goos, Richard Enser, Lisa Lofland Gould, Douglass H. Morse, and Al Hawkes, with posthumous awards going to Elizabeth Dickens, Harold Gibbs, Mark Gould, Harry Hathaway, C. Robert Shoop, Les Sirkin, Elmer Palmatier, William Drury.

A resident of South Kingstown, Lord will be recognized for his significant contributions to public education and outreach through his reporting on environmental issues and by preparing the next generation of environmental journalists through his teaching and leadership at the Metcalf Institute.

Lord has been a Providence Journal reporter since 1979 and the paper’s award-winning environmental reporter since 1981, when he began covering such topics as water pollution, hazardous waste, suburban sprawl and declining biodiversity. He has reported on every major environmental story in Rhode Island in recent decades, and he regularly reports on a wide range of natural history topics. With his experience and connections, Lord was a perfectly authoritative choice to write the Rhode Island chapter in Charles H.W. Foster’s book, “Twentieth-Century New England Land Conservation: A Heritage of Civic Engagement,” which was published in 2009.

Lord has traveled to northern Alaska to write about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to the Shetland Islands to cover an oil spill, and to Belize, Guatemala and Costa Rica to write about development pressures on forests. In 2002 the U.S. State Department invited Lord to take part in a two-week tour of Brazil, lecturing to journalists and journalism students about environmental journalism.

“Peter’s contributions to improving public understanding of environmental issues in Rhode Island cannot be overstated,” said Sunshine Menezes, executive director of Metcalf Institute. “He is very deserving of this recognition.”

The award will be presented during the opening of the Natural History Survey’s annual conference, which this year focuses on trends in human-wildlife interactions, a topic that Lord has reported on extensively. Pre-registration for the conference is required. The fee, which includes lunch, is $35 for RINHS members, $55 for non-members, $20 for students and seniors. To register, call the RINHS office (401) 874-5800 or visit www.rinhs.org/conference. Note – the deadline for registration is Friday, March 23.

Conferences &Events &News &Uncategorized dgregg on 31 Mar 2011

Conference Speakers Announced

The full program of presenters for RINHS’s 2011 Ecology of Rhode Island Conference, “Science and Management of Salt Ponds and Coastal Lagoons,” is now available. Please visit the conference page of this website. Registration for the conference is now open. Download a registration form.

Awards &Conferences &Exec's Blog &News dgregg on 26 Jan 2011

Nominations Sought for 2011 Distinguished Naturalist Award

Nominations Sought for 2011 Rhode Island Distinguished Naturalist Award

Once a year the Directors of the Rhode Island Natural History Survey seek nominations for the Rhode Island Distinguished Naturalist Award, an honor presented to one or more people annually by the Rhode Island Natural History Survey.

Over the years this award has become an expression of the deep and abiding respect our community holds for individuals who excel in their studies of Rhode Island ecosystems and in their ability to communicate the knowledge and understanding thus gained to others.

Consider the individuals who fired your interest in the natural world, served as role models for your own accomplishments in natural history, or contributed to the knowledge and protection of the organisms, geology, and ecosystems that you now enjoy. Please take a moment to nominate for this award those whom you respect and would wish to recognize.

A Distinguished Naturalist is someone who has excelled in one or more of the following categories:

• Significantly advanced scientific knowledge of Rhode Island’s organisms, geology, and ecosystems as evidenced by published books, scientific papers, and monographs;

• Is recognized as an outstanding teacher and educator to students and the public on the form, functions, and ecological significance of Rhode Island’s plants, animals, geology and natural systems;

• Contributed considerably to enhancing public awareness of the importance of understanding the natural history of Rhode Island’s ecosystems.

Currently serving RINHS staff and directors are not eligible for the award.

To learn more about past Distinguished Naturalist Award recipients, visit the DNA page of the website.

Submit nominations describing how your candidate fits these criteria by email to programadmin@rinhs.org or by mail to P.O. Box 1858, Kingston, RI 02881.
Deadline is Tuesday, March 1, 2011.

Past nominations are kept and reconsidered every year, so if you’ve nominated someone in the past who did not win, you aren’t required to re-nominate them. You may wish to provide additional information if you feel it would help the committee.

Nominations will be reviewed by the RINHS Board of Directors and
the recipient(s) will be announced in April and recognized at the RINHS annual conference April 28.

Conferences &Events &Natural History &News dgregg on 14 Jan 2011

2011 RINHS Conference April 28, on Salt Ponds

This year, RINHS’s annual ecology conference focuses on southern New
England’s salt ponds and coastal lagoons. These special landscapes
help characterize coastal Rhode Island and other parts of southern New
England. They form a complex boundary between sea and land and are
loci of dynamic natural processes, diverse habitats, and intense
pressure from human activity.

In southern New England, salt ponds and coastal lagoons serve valuable
and unique functions for a variety of stakeholders in tourism and
recreation, environmental sustainability, and resource-extractive
industries such as fisheries. Yet many elements of these systems are
undergoing historic changes due to climate and sea-level change, land
conversion, surface water and groundwater contamination, invasive
species, restoration projects, and new aquaculture practices. The
difference between good and bad management could have a dramatic
effect on the future viability of salt ponds and coastal lagoons,
therefore the need for sound scientific understanding of the processes
and functions of these valuable yet fragile ecosystems has never been
greater.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Judith S. Weis, Professor of Biological Sciences, Rutgers University, an environmental toxicologist, and author of the 2009 book, Salt Marshes: A Natural and Unnatural History. Other confirmed speakers include Dr. Jennifer Bowen, Assistant Professor of Biology, UMass. Boston, speaking on microbial biodiversity and Dr. Kevin Kroeger, US Geological Survey, Woods Hole, speaking on groundwater inflow and nitrogen. Other speakers will be announced. In addition to the keynote, the program will feature topical sessions, a panel discussion, and presentation of annual RINHS awards, and be concluded with a social hour.

The 2011 conference is sponsored by the Rhode Island Natural
History Survey and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Rhode Island
Refuge Complex. Display space and additional sponsorship opportunities
are available, contact RINHS for more information.

RINHS conferences are widely regarded for convening a broad spectrum
of people sharing a curiosity about southern New England’s animals,
plants, geology, and ecosystems. They are excellent venues for
researchers and organizations to showcase what they do in a collegial
environment. For more information on RINHS conferences, visit
www.rinhs.org/what-we-do/conference.

RINHS is seeking contributed papers for the program from anyone working on a subject relevant to the science and management of salt ponds/coastal lagoons. See the conference page for complete information on submitting an abstract.

A preliminary program with abstracts of accepted papers and posters and the 2011 REGISTRATION FORM will be available around March 15.

Conferences &Invasives &Plants dgregg on 25 Oct 2010

Stiltgrass Symposium Available Online

If you were investing in invasive plants then you’d put a “strong buy” recommendation on Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum). This is a species that is already present in Rhode Island at a number of localities and that is proving difficult to combat. So to get all the latest information on a plant we’re probably going to be getting to know well, we’re super lucky that the the presentations from a Japanese stiltgrass conference, hosted by Illinois-based River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area, are available on line. Check them out at:
Stiltgrass Conference

Animals &Conferences &Events &News dgregg on 31 Mar 2010

Register Now for April 9 Amphibian Conference

Registration for the 14th annual Ecology of Rhode Island Conference, to be held April 9 at the Quonset O Club in North Kingstown, is open NOW. This year’s subject is Emerging Threats to Amphibians. The conference will examine a range of factors affecting the survival of this delightful group of organisms, and will concentrate on two diseases newly detected in Rhode Island–ranavirus and chytrid fungus. Panamanian amphibian conservation expert Edgardo Griffith is the keynote speaker. Griffith has been on the front line of the battle to save rain forest frogs from chytrid fungus. Other speakers include biologists and veterinarians expert in amphibian rearing. There will be a discussion session to address the management of ponds and wetlands in light of amphibian diseases.  Posters, displays, and good company will round out the day. There is a lot to learn from a frog and, as usual, people with diverse backgrounds and expertise will get a lot out of the RINHS annual conference. It should be of interest to amateur naturalists, conservationists, pet amphibian fanciers, and land managers, as well as vets and researchers. Please plan on coming. Registration closes soon. For registration materials and more details on the program, visit the CONFERENCE PAGE. The program for the day is available HERE.

Animals &Conferences &Events &News &Research dgregg on 08 Mar 2010

2010 Conference Registration OPEN

2010 Conference Registration is NOW OPEN
Emerging Threats to Amphibian Conservation in New England with Attention to Chytrid & Ranavirus
Friday, April 9, 2010 ~ 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Quonset O Club, North Kingston

TO REGISTER, DOWNLOAD THIS FORM AND RETURN IT TO RINHS OR CALL 401-874-5800

For the 2010 RINHS conference, experts in chytrid fungus and ranavirus have been invited to discuss the biology and potential ecological impact of these water-borne pathogens, monitoring strategies, and potential management responses, on amphibian populations. At the end of the conference, a moderated discussion will focus on ways to continue the investigation of the situation in Rhode Island and on possible management responses.

Invited speakers:
Edgardo Griffith, El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center, Panama. Keynote.
Tim Georoff, Roger Williams Park Zoo, Itraconazole Bath Treatment of Potential Carriers.
Carlos Rodriguez, Wildlife Conservation Society, Captive Surveillance with Necropcsy
Eric Baitchman, Zoo New England, Probiotic Treatment and Pathophysiology in Panama
David Skelly, Yale University, Discussion Moderator – ongoing investigation & management possibilities in RI
Additional talks on the Rhode Island chytrid study, ranavirus in RI wetlands & New York State, historical presence, origin & evolution of chytrid in New England, chytrid prevalence in Honduras, posters & displays.

The 2010 RI Distinguished Naturalist Award presentations will be held at 8:30 a.m. Watch this space for an announcement of the winner(s).

This year’s conference is sponsored by:
EPA Region 1
Roger Williams Park Zoo
American Association of Zoo Keepers
Zoo New England–Franklin Park Zoo/Stone Zoo

For more information on RINHS conferences, including details of past conferences, please visit the Conference Page of our website.

Animals &Conferences &Events dgregg on 08 Jan 2010

Amphibian Conservation Conference, April 9, 2010

Emerging Threats to Amphibian Conservation in New England, with Special Attention to Chytrid and Ranavirus

Friday, April 9, 2010
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Quonset O Club, North Kingstown, RI

This year, the Rhode Island Natural History Survey’s annual ecology conference is focused on emerging threats to amphibians in New England and potential management responses. Experts in chytrid fungus and ranavirus have been invited to discuss the biology and potential ecological impact of these water-borne pathogens, monitoring strategies, and potential management responses. At the end of the conference, a moderated discussion will focus on ways to continue the investigation of the situation in Rhode Island and on possible management responses.

The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has caused population declines and extinctions of amphibian species in western North America, Central America, South America, eastern Australia, and the Caribbean. Preliminary results of a recent chytrid fungus survey in Rhode Island, sponsored by Roger Williams Park Zoo, documented a widespread, uneven distribution of this globally significant pathogen. Ranavirus, another emerging infectious disease, is also present in isolated wetlands throughout New England and has been implicated in recent catastrophic mortality events.

Keynote Speaker: Edgardo Griffith, Herpetologist and Director of the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center, Panama. No one is more experienced with the chytrid devastation or responded to it better than Griffith. His initiatives have been featured in National Geographic and promoted by David Attenborough and Jane Goodall, among others.

Researchers and wildlife managers working on threats to amphibians in New England including pathogens, polluted run-off, habitat loss/fragmentation, and climate change are invited to offer papers for presentation in oral or poster form. The organizers are particularly interested in hearing from researchers working on chytrid, ranavirus, or other pathologies or able to place emerging pathogens among other threats to amphibian conservation in southern New England. Student submissions are encouraged.

Abstracts should be less than 200 words, text only (no tables/graphs), left justified, arranged as follows:
Author(s), Affiliation(s), address, e-mail, phone number
(Skip a line)
Body of abstract

Submit abstracts electronically, attached as a Word file to: abstract@rinhs.org with preference for an “oral presentation” or “poster presentation” indicated in the subject field.

The submission deadline is 5 p.m., Monday, March 1, 2010. All submitted abstracts will be reviewed by the RINHS Program Committee. If more oral presentations are requested than the schedule allows, the committee may ask presenters to consider poster presentations instead. All presenters must register for the conference.

The conference is sponsored by Rhode Island Natural History Survey, Roger Williams Park Zoo, University of Rhode Island Department of Natural Resources Science, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Display space and additional sponsorship opportunities are available, contact RINHS.

RINHS conferences are widely regarded for convening a broad spectrum of people sharing a curiosity about southern New England’s animals, plants, geology, and ecosystems. They are excellent venues for researchers and organizations to showcase what they do in a collegial environment. For information on past RINHS conferences, including abstracts, visit our conference page.

Conferences &Events &News dgregg on 20 Mar 2009

RINHS Conference to be on Marine Ecosystems and Off-Shore Development

RINHS will host its conference on marine ecosystems and off-shore development on Thursday, April 23, at the Quonset ‘O’ Club, North Kingstown, RI.

For full details of this day-long event, including the speakers, registration information, and directions, visit the Conference 2009 webpage.

Conferences &Events &News dgregg on 29 Jan 2009

Call for Abstracts for 2009 Conference

Talks and Posters Sought for 2009 RINHS Conference:

Rhode Island’s Off-Shore Marine Ecosystem and the Potential Impacts of Alternative Energy Development

To be held Thursday, April 23, 2009
Quonset “O” Club, North Kingstown

The conference, sponsored by RINHS, Ocean SAMP, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, will engage scientists, organizations, and citizens in an investigation of ocean development impacts on marine ecosystems and resources. Rhode Island researchers and resource managers will be joined by speakers from Europe and elsewhere with experience of off-shore wind energy development. In addition to the scientific sessions, there will be organizational displays and presentation of the 2009 Distinguished Naturalist Awards.

RINHS invites submission of abstracts for poster and oral presentations for the conference. Reports of scientific investigations into Rhode Island’s off-shore marine ecosystem and the potential impacts of alternative energy development are especially encouraged, as are submissions by students. All submitted abstracts will be reviewed by the RINHS Program Committee. If more oral presentations are requested than the schedule allows, the committee may ask presenters to consider poster presentations instead. All presenters must register for the conference.

RINHS invites submission of abstracts for poster and oral presentations for the conference. Reports of scientific investigations into Rhode Island’s off-shore marine ecosystem and/or the potential impacts of alternative energy development are especially encouraged, as are submissions by students. All submitted abstracts will be reviewed by the RINHS Program Committee. If more oral presentations are requested than the schedule allows, the committee may ask presenters to consider poster presentations instead. All presenters must register for the conference. The submission deadline is Monday, March 2, 2009.

Instructions:
Abstracts should be < 200 words, text only (no tables/graphs), left justified, in the following format:
Author(s), Affiliation(s), address, e-mail, phone number
(Skip a line)
Body of abstract

Submit abstracts electronically, attached as a Word file to: abstract@rinhs.org, with preference for an “oral presentation” or “poster presentation” indicated in the subject field

The submission deadline is end of the business day on Monday, March 2, 2009.

RINHS conferences are widely regarded for convening a broad spectrum of people sharing a curiosity about Rhode Island’s animals, plants, geology, and ecosystem. They are an excellent venue for students to gain experience and for researchers and organizations to showcase what they do in a collegial environment.

For more information contact the RINHS office: contacts

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