This month’s speaker is Romey Swanson, who will discuss federal legislature that was submitted during last years session called H.R. 5650 or “Restoring America’s Wildlife Act”. The talk will review the history of the movement aimed at permanently funding management and restoration of non-game and imperiled species throughout America and how it got to the current point. We’ll discuss why now is an excellent opportunity to get this sort of funding approved. We’ll also review how Texas Parks and Wildlife Department would administer the funding and how we might expect it to benefit the conservation community as a whole.

Romey Swanson is the Conservation Project Manager at Hill Country Conservancy where he promotes land conservation with private landowners, public officials, and organizational leaders. Romey graduated from Texas State University – San Marcos with a B.S. in wildlife biology (2007) and an M.S. in wildlife ecology (2009). He is active with the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Conservation Affairs Committee. He also serves on the board of directors for Hill Country Land Trust where he Co-Chairs the Lands and Easements Committee. During his free time, Romey continues to travel and study the natural history of Texas’ plants and animals while contributing to popular and scientific publications including his blog, www.moderntexasnaturalist.com.
The meeting is at 7:00 p.m.in the administration building of Tarrytown United Methodist Church, 2531 Exposition Blvd., Austin. Arrive at 6:30 for snacks and seed exchange.

Don’t miss this next opportunity!

NLCP Level1

Start the year with right by de-cluttering those invasive plants from the yard and wild areas! This month’s speaker is Dr. Hans Landel, of the Wildflower Center who will discuss his latest work at the center, combating invasive plant species in our region.

Dr. Landel joined the Wildflower Center in 2015, and has over a decade of experience in field research, including studies of endangered wildlife species. Dr. Landel previously spent more than 20 years teaching college courses ranging from basic biology and wildlife management to natural history, marine biology and fieldwork. He received a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of California – Davis and a doctorate in biology from Purdue University.

The meeting is at 7:00 p.m.in the administration building of Tarrytown United Methodist Church, 2531 Exposition Blvd., Austin. Arrive at 6:30 for snacks and seed exchange.

Instead of a chapter meeting, we are having a holiday party at Phyllis’ house. Please join us for a fun evening with good food and great conversation:
Bring a dish and/or beverage to share.

When: Tuesday, Dec. 13 Arrive at 6:30 p.m. Dinner at 7 p.m.
Where: 2007 Elton Lane, 78703 (not far from the Tarrytown United Methodist Church)

Please join us for the November meeting with Barbara Austin and Chris Lalich, showcasing work on the Mueller, Southwest and Southeast Greenways.

sw-greenway

Photo from http://www.muelleraustin.com/thinking-green/parks/

The meeting is Tuesday, November 15 at 7:00 p.m.in the administration building of Tarrytown United Methodist Church, 2531 Exposition Blvd., Austin. Arrive at 6:30 for snacks and seed exchange.

We don’t have a chapter meeting this month, so come out for a field trip!

Field Trip to Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, October 22, 2016  9:30 until 11:30 a.m.
Join NPSOT members Paul Montgomery and Jackie O’Keefe at Wild Basin  this coming Saturday for a native plant walk.  Wear sturdy hiking shoes, a hat and bring water. Meet on the deck at Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, 805 North Capital of Texas Highway  Free. No registration required. Austin, Texas 78746-3301 map

There is limited parking at Wild Basin so carpool or get there early. To make your field trip more meaningful, bring a camera and field guides like  Wildflowers of the Texas HIll Country by Marshall Enquist, Woody  Plants of Austin and the Hill Country by Brother Daniel Lynch and your butterfly guide.

Please join us for the September meeting with Megan O’Connell, a Plant Biology student at UT Austin who will discuss plant phenology, how it is affected by climate, and how the timing of plant flowering/fruiting affects plants’ interactions with pollinators/dispersers and what this all means for plant reproduction.

meganoconnell_about
photo: http://moconnell-tropicalbio.tumblr.com/about

Many species of plants are dependent on their pollinators for successful reproduction. This delicate interaction depends on many factors that can be altered easily when ecosystems change due to human disturbances such as deforestation and urbanization. One impact that we don’t know much about is how these disturbances may affect plant and pollinator phenology, or the timing of when plants produce flowers and pollinators pollinate. Megan O’Connell will be discussing her research in this area and what it might mean for pollinator enthusiasts who would like to plant native species that provide resources for local pollinators.

Megan O’Connell is a PhD student in Dr. Shalene Jha’s lab in the UT Plant Biology Department. Her research focuses on the effects of deforestation on the genetic diversity of tropical trees in the Panama Canal Region. She is broadly interested in the impacts of human development and urbanization on plant-pollinator interactions and plant diversity. She is also very interested in science communication and media, and her some of her work can be viewed on her blog http://moconnell-tropicalbio.tumblr.com/.

The meeting is at 7:00 p.m.in the administration building of Tarrytown United Methodist Church, 2531 Exposition Blvd., Austin. Arrive at 6:30 for snacks and seed exchange.

The August meeting will showcase Cathy Downs from the Monarch Project. Cathy Downs was born and raised in New England. She retired to Comfort, TX
in 2004 from a 30 year career owning and operating her own retail
businesses from coast to coast.

She currently chairs the Bring Back the Monarchs to Texas (BBMT) program .
The BBMT is a monarch habitat project in cooperation with Native Plant
Society of Texas and Monarch Watch. Cathy is also a certified Monarch
Larval Monitoring Project educator and teaches Monarch biology, habitat and
migration throughout Texas.

Since certifying as a Master Naturalist in 2005, she has been teaching
children and adults about Texas butterflies and their native host plants
with an emphasis on Monarch biology and migration. Cathy raises Monarch
caterpillars for education as well as propagating native milkweeds. She
hosts live Butterfly Pavilions at Nature Centers and State Parks throughout
the Hill Country area.

Cathy has served as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Butterfly Theater at
Kerrville Schreiner Park since 2006. The 11,000 sq. ft. garden is a
certified Monarch Waystation and Monarch Larval Monitoring Project
site. Cathy also participates in the Tx. Wildlife Association Distance Learning Program. She presents her program, The Magic of Monarchs, twice a year. The program is simulcast to about 175 schools in over 25 states in both Canada and the US. As many as 6,500 children in 1st through 5th grades tune in at a time. Cathy has presented to over 70, 000 children and 7,000 adult Monarch
education clients since beginning her journey in outreach and education.

The meeting is at 7:00 p.m.in the administration building of Tarrytown United Methodist Church, 2531 Exposition Blvd., Austin. Arrive at 6:30 for snacks and seed exchange.

Don’t miss the next chapter meeting! Val Bugh will provide an amazing showcase of insects in her “Floral Fauna” presentation. There is more going on in your garden than you might ever imagine. While it is well known that flowers lure such showy visitors as hummingbirds and butterflies, there is a lot more that occurs within this unique habitat. This talk will cover the wide range of arthropods that utilize blossoms as a place to find food and mates, as well as the relationships and interactions that occur between species.

Valerie Bugh is a local naturalist specializing in the arthropods of the Austin area, with interests in taxonomy and photography. She runs the Fauna Project at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, leads insect discovery walks, teaches entomology courses, provides insect/spider identifications, gives talks to local organizations, and is the author of pocket guides to “Butterflies of Central Texas,” “Spiders of Texas” and “Spiders of Florida.” Website: http://www.austinbug.com/index.html

title-floralfauna

Image from http://www.austinbug.com/slideshows.html

The meeting is at 7:00 p.m.in the administration building of Tarrytown United Methodist Church, 2531 Exposition Blvd., Austin. Arrive at 6:30 for snacks and seed exchange.

Field trips are coming up soon – see the field trips page for more details and sign up:

  • Nature Hike to Green Dragon Springs (in a private West Austin natural area near Bright Leaf Natural Area), Sat, April 30, 2016, 9am-noon. Leaders: Paul Montgomery, Ed Travis
  •  Spicewood Ranch Field Trip: May 14, 2016,  9am-noon. Leader: David Mahler,   Sign Up:  Jackie Davis

The May chapter meeting is Tuesday, May 17th:“Drought and Climate Change in Texas–What we can and can’t do to change our future” presented by co-founder of the Texas Drought Project, explains what the current forecasts for drought and climate change are for the state of Texas, and elucidates why it’s important to distinguish among drought types and take the necessary steps which can change our future for the better.

The meeting is at 7:00 p.m.in the administration building of Tarrytown United Methodist Church, 2531 Exposition Blvd., Austin. Arrive at 6:30 for snacks and seed exchange.

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