Spring ’20 Webinar Series, Vir-Naturalist


Tess O’Sullivan: Making Critical Connections for Idaho Wildlife
Tuesday, May 12  |  7:00 – 8:00 PM EST
Link to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89962138601?pwd=N1dIRTl0VDdveU5EYmllOG1oNCtlUT09

 Tess will share her experiences protecting long distance migration corridors for pronghorn and grizzly bears in Idaho with The Nature Conservancy.

Tess is the Land Conservation Strategy Lead for TNC Idaho. A dedicated conservation biologist, Tess has expertise in conservation easements, botany, ecology, wildlife migration, range management, public funding for conservation, mapping, ecological monitoring, and partnerships. She has worked in large landscape conservation in Idaho since graduating from UVM in 2002.


Anya Tyson: Tracking Timber — A Tree-part Story
Tuesday, May 19  |  7:00 – 8:00 PM EST
Link to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82555995154?pwd=VkJnT0UvcE5jSVdQaW1zd1YzbFlKdz09

What do Carlos Santana, an endangered snail, and mass spectrometry have in common? They all feature into a grand scheme to thwart timber poachers. Adventure Scientists’ Timber Project mobilized citizen scientists across three states and one Canadian province to gather 1000 samples across the range of bigleaf maple in just five months. Oddly reminiscent of the current moment, my team equipped our volunteers using only online trainings, webinars, and the US Postal Service. All said and done, the Timber Crew donated 5,600 hours of field work and supplied multiple scientists, including the USFWS Forensics Lab, with research-grade reference specimens. 

Anya Tyson works to collaboratively improve land management across Oregon’s sage-steppe. Previously, she led citizen science projects involving bigleaf maples, loons, and Clark’s nutcrackers. A proud Goshawk (AG, 2017) and a northeastern no-nothing, Anya got her money’s worth as a Field Naturalist. She enjoys long-haul adventures, accordion, and singing Wyoming’s praises.

KHALe presentation photo -taxodium-seedling

Katherine Hale: Seed Germination in Rare and Not-So-Rare Conifers: Bald Cypress, Dawn Redwoods, and Lessons for Conservation Horticulture
Tuesday, May 26  |  7:00 – 8:00 PM EST
Link to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85914419369?pwd=Y2ZZVWo2NHNYVFdvSzAyYjdLZHR2UT09

Katherine Hale thought she knew about growing plants, until she accepted a challenge to create a reliable germination protocol for bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) for a regional botanic garden. “Oh, that’ll be fun; it’s a well-studied species popular in the horticultural trade. How hard can it be?” But just because the information’s in a book doesn’t mean it’s easy… especially compared to the cypress’s ecological counterpart in China, the dawn redwood (Metasequioa glyptostrobiodes).  

Hailing from the North Carolina Piedmont, Katherine Hale is hard at work growing more plants and transforming an old farmhouse and environs into a diverse, sustainable landscape that mimics naturally occurring ecosystems. She writes about natural history for love and money.


Jessie Griffen: Breaking the Cycle — The Race to Restore the Sagebrush Sea
Tuesday, June 2  |  7:00 – 8:00 PM EST
Link to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87588477531?pwd=NjBqWndOM3ZNaUYrYUVKTVc0TWQ5QT09

What do eastern Oregon ranchers and an east coast-raised FNEP have in common? As the wildfire-cheatgrass cycle rages across millions of acres, they are racing against time to beat back an existential threat to a place they love. Clean air, old ways of life, and North America’s cutest rabbit are at stake. Journey into the Big Empty, one of “the least novelized, least painted, least eulogized of American landscapes,” for tales of unlikely allies, untold natural history marvels, and largely under-celebrated beauty. And uncover bold new attempts to restore the range.

Jessie Griffen works as a restoration ecologist for The Nature Conservancy. She lives with her partner, Levi Old, also an FNEP, in Baker City, Oregon.