Tuesday, May 24, 2016

COMaP Launches Interactive Map

COMaP is the most comprehensive map of protected lands in the state. CNHP is proud to announce the newly revised version of COMaP. The new COMaP, version 10, has significantly updated federal and state lands (which make up almost half of the state) and an additional 355,000 acres of lands conserved under easements, compared to version 9. It also contains interactive maps that can be used to explore and download data without GIS software.

The ongoing updates and services to this database will be supported with subscriptions. If you’re interested in a subscription, visit the COMaP website for more details. Consider subscribing for these benefits:
  • Access to the latest protected lands data through an online map
  • Ability to use the interactive map to view and identify protected lands, query the map and   download spreadsheets, overlay your own files (kml or shp) or add comments and draw polygons. This is especially useful for non-GIS users
  • Access to a suite of data files from the data download center
  • Ability to download the geodatabase and layer files to perform geospatial analysis, build your own custom maps, or serve COMaP map service from your website. This is especially useful for GIS users. 
The new website was built by CNHP with support from a Conservation Excellence grant from Great Outdoors Colorado. The Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts and CSU's Geospatial Centroid partnered with CNHP on the grant. More information can be found in the recent CSU Source article.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Snaketail Ale Brewed for Virginia Natural Heritage Program's 30th Anniversary

You might remember that a few years back CNHP developed a novel collaboration with Odell Brewing Company to conserve the hops blue butterfly (Celastrina humulus). The hops blue butterfly is a rare butterfly in Colorado whose host plant is wild hops (Humulus lupulus). The fruition of that collaboration was Celastrina Saison (pictured below), which produced a $1/bottle donation from Odell Brewing Company to fund studies of the hops blue butterfly.
  Our friend Jason Bulluck at the Virginia Natural Heritage Program (VNHP) liked the idea of partnering with breweries for conservation, and took the idea for Snaketail Ale to Triple Crossing Brewing Company in Richmond, VA, and they loved it! This beer celebrates the St. Croix snaketail, a rare dragonfly known from the Richmond area, and commemorates the VNHP’s 30th anniversary. Snaketail Ale is a heavily dry-hopped session ale that can be found on tap at Triple Crossing Brewery, Richmond, Virginia. Cold 32oz “crowler” cans of Snaketail Ale can be purchased at the brewery's tasting room. Raise a glass and toast to conservation!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Job Announcement: Conservation Planning Coordinator

The Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) of Colorado State University is seeking a Conservation Planning Coordinator. The Coordinator will be part of a team that currently includes a Conservation Planner, a Conservation Ecologist, a GIS analyst/Landscape Ecologist, and the Team Leader/Ecologist. The Coordinator will work on existing Conservation Planning projects in addition to writing proposals for new or on-going work. Key duties and responsibilities include:
  • working with the Conservation Planning team and other Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) staff to identify and secure sources of funds, projects, and collaborative opportunities and participate in proposal development
  • incorporating best available science and biodiversity information into conservation action plans, partnership initiatives, and other planning and implementation efforts
  • working closely with CNHP staff to support programmatic data, communication, planning, and partnership building goals associated with the strategic plan
  • developing and revising project workflow timelines, managing budgets, collaborating with other project staff to ensure timely delivery of quality products.
For the full position description and instruction on how to apply, click here.

Monday, April 18, 2016

CNHP Helps CSU Students Build Field Sampling Skills

Last week CNHP staff members, along with CSU professors Tara Teel and Terra Sampson, spent a day in the field with graduate students from the Conservation Leadership Through Learning Program (CLTL). The CLTL is an innovative graduate program that teaches students how to confront conservation challenges and sustainability from a variety of perspectives. This year’s student cohorts are wrapping up their second semester at CSU, and will spend the last two semesters of their graduate work in places like Kenya, Peru and Namibia.

Pam Smith, CNHP Botanist (right), shows a CLTL student (left) how to identify the rare plant Bell's twinpod (Physaria bellii).
CNHP staff members Pam Smith, Jeremy Siemers and Susan Panjabi, along with Director Dave Anderson and Crystal Strouse from the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department, taught CLTL students basic field survey methods and resource management skills at Coyote Ridge Natural Areas in Fort Collins. The students learned about resource management challenges and successes from Crystal Strouse, City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department Botanist. CNHP staff discussed issues with prairie dog management and rare plant management in public parks. The students got hands on training collecting qualitative and quantitative field data using different kinds of sampling plots and photo monitoring points. The CLTL students can use these field skills to design similar studies as they head out to their study sites across the world.

CLTL graduate students learn to sample vegetation plots at Coyote Ridge Natural Area, Fort Collins.
CLTL students preparing to go out in the field at Coyote Ridge Natural Area after an introduction from Crystal Strouse (left), City of Fort Collins.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Colorado Wetlands App Now Available for Android and iPhones

Just in time for field season, the Colorado Natural Heritage Program is pleased to announce the release of the Colorado Wetlands Mobile App! The App is available for FREE at both the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store.

The Colorado Wetland Mobile App contains three main sections:

Wetland Plants: Detailed descriptions and photos of 711 plant species found in Colorado’s wetland and riparian areas. The plants are searchable through many different search criteria and filters.

Wetland Maps: Access to digital National Wetland Inventory (NWI) maps. The App shows NWI maps for the entire state of Colorado and can use location information from the device to show mapped wetland where the user is located. The Maps screen can also be used to search for wetland plants potentially found at the user’s location.

Wetland Types: Brief description of the most common wetland and   riparian types found in Colorado.
Wetland types can also be used as a filter for searching plant species.

For more information, see the user's manual online.

CNHP welcomes your feedback! Comments and questions can be addressed to Denise Culver or Joanna Lemly.

Monday, February 29, 2016

CNHP Staff Mentor Future Conservation Biologists

CNHP continues to take a lead role in developing the future conservation biologists in Colorado. Annually, CNHP mentors honors undergraduate students as they tackle research on rare species of Colorado. The most-recent graduate is Rachel Maison. Rachel is an honors student in the Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology Department. She conducted independent research on the occupancy and habitat associations of the hops blue butterfly (Celastrina humulus). She continued the research begun by Callie Puntenney in 2014, which was recently accepted as a publication in the Journal of Insect Conservation. Rachel’s research discovered that hops blue butterflies are prevalent on the U.S. Air Force Academy where there are large expanses of wild hops (Humulus lupulus). Wild hops is the host plant of the hops blue butterfly. Additionally, she found that hops blue butterflies are prevalent in areas where ant nests are abundant. Because many of the members of the blue butterfly family (Family: Lycaenidae) have larva that are tended by ants, Rachel incorporated ant-nest searches into her research project.

CNHP zoologist Rob Schorr (left) served as a mentor to CSU student Rachel Maison (right), helping her design and complete an independent research project on occupancy and habitat associations of hops blue butterfly (Celastrina humulus).

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

CNHP Internship Positions Available for Summer 2016

CNHP is looking for six Colorado State University students interested in expanding their knowledge and experience in conservation science. Interns will build skills in plant identification, vegetation sampling, animal monitoring and surveys, monitoring protocols, data collection, and describing conservation values. Interns will be paid $12/hr, with per diem provided for overnight field trips. Program begins May 23, 2016 and ends August 5, 2016. Applications are due by March 31, 2016. For more information read the full announcement on our website.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Job Announcement: Database and Web Developer

The Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) of Colorado State University seeks up to two Database and Web Developers to design and support natural resource-based databases for CNHP clients, assist in the administration and maintenance of existing online databases, and work closely with others at CNHP to develop data products and improve data services. The position(s) will play a pivotal role in expanding CNHP’s data delivery tools through emerging technologies like web-based mapping and data delivery systems, and mobile applications. These are full-time positions. The incumbent(s) will have the opportunity to collaborate with CNHP staff and partners to develop proposals for grants and projects to ensure continued funding of their position(s).

The incumbent(s) must be able to work independently and with the team. A commitment to conservation and familiarity with environmental datasets is necessary to thrive at this position. CNHP provides a flexible work environment and excellent benefits.

To apply and view a complete position description, please visit: https://jobs.colostate.edu/postings/30429

Applications deadline is February 15, 2016.
Reflecting departmental and institutional values, candidates are expected to have the ability to advance the Department's commitment to diversity and inclusion.

CSU is an EO/EA/AA employer and conducts background checks on all final candidates.