National Parks Traveler – Birding in Katahdin Woods and Waters Podcast

Utah State University wildlife researcher Dr. Dan MacNulty discusses wolves, bears, elk and other prey and predators in Yellowstone National Park in this week’s episode, while Erika Zambello (me!) talks birding in Katadhin Woods and Waters National Monument with Doug Hitchcox of Maine Audubon. Host Kurt Repanshek wraps up the episode with a look at…

National Parks Traveler – Sign My Name To Freedom

Betty Reid Soskin is the oldest ranger in the National Park System, currently serving at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park in California. At 97, she gives presentations to visitors describing her own experiences during WWII serving as a clerk in a Jim Crow union hall, as well as her memories of both…

LTER Road Trip – Conservation, Agriculture, and Michigan Farmers

Puffy clouds skirt the late summer sky, occasionally dumping a shower on our heads while Dr. Doug Landis and I walked between the crop rows at the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) in Michigan. Breezes ruffled the soybean leaves like waves, but few insects or birds zipped through the sky above the crops. Near the corn…

LTER Road Trip – How Soil Crusts Impact the Landscape

Blue grama grass, golden stems meeting dead undergrowth beneath, completely surrounded Dr. Jen Rudgers in the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). The meadow stretched as far as the eye could see, eventually meeting a dense slope of creosote shrubland, surrounded by bronze mountains in central New Mexico. The cool of early morning had already given…

LTER Road Trip – Plight of the Lady Beetles

Dr. Doug Landis waded into a soybean field in Michigan’s Kellogg Biological Station LTER Site. Bending down in the September heat, he carefully turned over leaf after leaf. After a few seconds he stopped, “Here they are!” I crouched down to my heels, bringing my face close to the rough underside of the leaf. Dr. Landis…

10000 Birds – Birding or Birdwatching?

Sliding the glass door to my Florida backyard, I shuffled my slipper-clad feet and closed the opening behind me. The sun had broken through an early morning haze, warming my backyard to over 70 degrees F – a bright spot in what had been a generally gloomy February. Plopping myself down on a bright blue…

LTER Road Trip – Gaining a New Perspective

Even on quiet days, HJ Andrews Experimental Forest Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site is usually bustling with activity. The busiest field season was still a few weeks away, but researchers and scientists peppered the forest, collecting data, giving tours, and checking in on their projects. During my visit to the LTER I was not…

LTER Road Trip – Searching for Skunks

Marie Tosa pulled into the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest parking lot with a white, mud splattered truck. Arranging dozens of metal cages for cleaning on the damp grass, she readied her gear to take me on a unique search: for skunks. Tosa grew up in Boston, receiving her Bachelor’s of Arts in Biology and Environmental…