Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Wildlife Society Chapter Service Award

Earlier this month, Rob Schorr, CNHP Zoologist, was awarded the Colorado Chapter of The Wildlife Society's (CCTWS) Chapter Service Award during the 2012 CCTWS Annual Meeting in Grand Junction, Colorado. This is an annual award given to one member who displays exceptional initiative in service to the chapter.

Rob earned the award for serving on the CCTWS Board for 7 years, fulfilling the positions as President, President-elect, Past-President, Secretary, Northeast Representative, and At-Large Member (whew!). Also, Rob was instrumental in developing the CCTWS Travel Grant award, which provides funds for travel to professional meetings and training, and the CCTWS Certification Facilitation Program, which helps members become Certified Wildlife Biologists.

Rob Schorr (right) receives the Chapter Service Award from Bob Davies of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Picture courtesy of CCTWS.

Congratulations Rob!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Botany A to Z: Draba

By Karin Decker

is for Draba

Drabas belong to the Mustard family (Brassicaceae), and in fact, Draba is the largest genus in the family, both worldwide and in North America.  There are currently 121 recognized Draba species in the Flora of North America, with the greatest concentration of species in the western United States. Most species of Draba are found at high elevations or high latitudes, and endemism in local mountain ranges is frequent in the genus.
High elevation habitat beloved by Draba crassa and D. streptobrachia.

 Draba graminea in tough habitat - small but durable!
The original Greek name was applied to a type of cress. The common name of whitlow-grass apparently got attached to Draba verna because it was a plant believed to cure whitlows (look it up - eew!).

Are Drabas drab? Not when they are flowering - look at Draba borealis!

Oh, well, Draba fladnazensis is a little shy and retiring.

As a genus, Draba hasn't really settled on a single reproductive method – different species may reproduce via apomixis (various forms of asexual reproduction), autogamy (self-pollination), or outcrossing (exchanging pollen with other individuals). All of this can make taxonomic classification of the various species difficult to work out, since the plants don’t easily fit into the biological species concept, where the units of classification are interbreeding populations.
There are more than 2 dozen species of Draba reported from Colorado, and seven of them are endemic to the state. CNHP tracks 16 species:
Documented locations of rare Draba species in Colorado. Endemic species are colored and labeled, non-endemic are gray.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Job Opening: Wetland Ecology Field Technicians

We have seasonal job openings for 4 to 6 Wetland Ecology Field Technicians to work throughout the lower South Platte River Basin this summer.

All positions require field botany or ecology skills. Knowledge of plant taxonomy and species identification is required, and experience in wetland or riparian ecology, knowledge of local flora, and field work experience involving camping and backpacking is desired. Standard duties will involve driving and hiking to field sites, in-field plant identification and in-office plant identification with a microscope, detailed completion of field survey forms, and interaction with landowners.

First consideration of applicants will begin February 19, 2012. Applications will continue to be accepted until all positions are filled. For more information on the position and how to apply, see the full announcement on our Employment and Volunteering page.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

2011 Adopt-a-Rare-Plant Awards

The 2011 Adopt-a-Rare-Plant session wrapped up last month at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Accomplishments of the program in 2011 include:
  • Trained over 30 volunteers
  • Visited more than 25 sites
  • Relocated 15 occurrences that were previously ranked "historical"
  • Volunteers contributed 275+ hours to the program
Three volunteers were recognized for their efforts:

Ann Henson - Joint award (Adopt-a-Rare-Plant and Rare Plant Monitoring Stewards
Ann adopted the Cathedral Bluffs meadow rue (Thalictrum heliophilum). She visited and updated two occurrences in the Cathedral Bluffs area, and collected seed for the Center for Plant Conservation. Ann was also instrumental in revitalizing the program for the benefit of Colorado Native Plant Society members, spending 50 hours on program activities.

Brad Klafehn  
Brad adopted Rothrock's Townsend daisy (Townsendia rothrockii) and visited all three of his adopted occurrences, spending 45 hours on program activities.

 Rothrock's Townsend daisy
Suzanne Wuerthele 
Suzanne adopted the Hoosier Pass ipomopsis (Ipomopsis globularis), and visited all three of her adopted occurrences. In addition to spending more than 30 hours on program activities, she was the first volunteer to submit her data!!

Suzanne in Hoosier Pass ipomopsis habitat (not exactly at Hoosier Pass)

Hoosier Pass ipomopsis closeup.

Thanks to all the volunteers!
For information about the 2012 session, check our post from last week.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

National Wetlands Condition Assessment video

The Environmental Protection Agency has produced a short video about their National Wetland Condition Assessment project:

CNHP has been a partner in this project for several years now. We conducted all of the sampling in Colorado and Wyoming for this project and, for the three years leading up to this past summer's field work, CNHP Wetland Ecologist Joanna Lemly was a part of the team in charge of testing and refining sampling protocols.

Alas, none of us appear in the video above, but it gives a nice overview of the project and what they hope to accomplish.

Past blog posts regarding this project: