Friday, July 31, 2015

Job Announcement: Wetland Ecology Research Associate

The Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) at Colorado State University (CSU) seeks one experienced Wetland Ecology Research Associate to work closely with CNHP’s Wetland Team on all aspects of wetland condition assessment projects in Colorado. Pre-field season activities includes logistics and planning, securing permission to access sites on public and private land, preparing field maps in ArcGIS, and preparing field supplies. During summer field seasons, the position acts as Field Crew Lead, coordinating the work of other field team members and communicating with the Wetland Team Leader, as well as actively collecting field data on wetland condition. Post-field season activities include quality control of field data, identifying collected plant specimens, entering field data or working with interns and work studies to enter data, and collaborating with the Wetland Team Leader on data analysis and report writing.

To apply and view a complete position description, please visit:   

Applications deadline is August 24, 2015. 

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.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Free Wetland Training in Colorado Springs, Sept 9-10, 2015

CNHP is excited to offer a free training on the Ecological Integrity Assessment (EIA) method for assessing wetland condition. The training will be limited to 20 participants. The course will be taught by CNHP wetland ecologists Joanna Lemly and Laurie Gilligan. The training will be help Sept 9-10, 2015 at Colorado Parks and Wildlife Regional Office in Colorado Springs. Training sessions will be held from 9am-4pm on both days. Day 1 will be in the classroom, Day 2 will be held at a nearby wetland. Please RSVP to Joanna Lemly or 970-491-2127) to reserve your spot. 

The EIA method for wetlands has been developed and refined over 10 years by NatureServe and Natural Heritage Programs across the county and adapted for use in Colorado by CNHP. In partnership with CPW, CNHP has used the method to assess the condition of over 500 wetlands and riparian area across Colorado. The EIA method places an emphasis on biotic integrity and combines quantitative vegetation metrics will qualitative metrics that evaluation landscape context, buffer, hydrology, soils, and water quality. For more information and background on the EIA method, please visit the EIA section of NatureServe’s website.

This free training has been funded by a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, Wetland Program Development Grant and Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

CNHP Staff Member Captures Images of the Rare Hops Blue Butterfly

CNHP Environmental Review Coordinator and photographer Michael Menefee recently captured photos of the rare hops blue butterfly (Celastrina humulus). Menefee took the photos for the Celastrina Project, a research effort led by CNHP zoologist Rob Schorr. The project funds CSU honor's students to conduct research on rare species like the hops blue.

Hops blue butterflies occur in a very narrow global range, found only in Colorado and Montana. Colorado's population are scattered along the Front Range from Larimer County south to El Paso County. This delicate butterfly relies on wild hops (Humulus lupulus var. neomexicana) to complete its life cycle. Along the Front Range, wild hops grow in cool, moist canyons.

A hops blue butterfly rests on poison ivy at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Photo by Michael Menefee.
The stunning image below, captured by Menefee, shows a female hops blue butterfly ovipositing her eggs into a small male wild hops flower.
A female hops blue butterfly ovipositing her eggs into a wild hops flower. Photo by Michael Menefee.
Menefee took the photos at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, while accompanying two CSU honor’s students: Alyssa Meier and Rachel Maison. The students have been conducting research this summer at the Air Force Academy on the resident population of hops blue butterflies.
A resting hops blue butterfly on a wild hop leaf. Photo by Michael Menefee.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Provide Your Comments for the Newly Updated Colorado Rare Plant Guide

By Susan Panjabi

The Colorado Rare Plant Guide now contains updated species profiles for rare plants listed as Candidate, Threatened, or Endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. CNHP botanist Susan Panjabi is accepting comment on these species profiles through July 31, 2015. The profiles contain new, beautiful artwork by the Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists, as well as photographs by local botanists. Mancos milkvetch (Astragalus humillimus) is an excellent example of an updated profile, with new photos from botanist Steve O'Kane, and artwork by Vanessa Martin (see drawing below). Mancos milkvetch is a federally listed Endangered plant known from a small area in southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico. Please contact Susan with edits, as well as any additional information, photographs or artwork related to these rare plant species.

A drawing of Mancos milkvetch (Astragalus humillimus) by Vanessa Martin. Martin is a member of the Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Report on Denver's Urban Wetlands Now Available

We are pleased to announce that our report on the condition of urban wetlands in Denver County is now available on the CNHP website. As part of this two year EPA-funded study, we assessed the condition of 46 urban wetlands in the Denver area, updated National Wetland Inventory maps for Denver County, and created a brochure highlighting high quality urban wetlands in Denver County. Special thanks to our partners Kelly Uhing and Alan Polonsky from the City and County of Denver for collaborating with us on the project!