Advanced Naturalist Workshops
Series 9: Medicinal Plants, Ohio’s Rubus, True Bugs, Cliff Ecology, Liverworts & Hornworts
Cincinnati Museum Center introduces the ninth in a series of natural history workshops that teach the identification and ecological relationships of Ohio flora and fauna. Series 9 is a continuation of the Edge of Appalachia Preserve's systematic study and cataloging of preserve resources and field training for those interested in nature study. All sessions are taught by professionals in their fields and in many cases have written books or conducted research on their topics.
The workshops are open to all skill levels, although naturalists, science educators, natural area managers and others in the natural sciences will find these workshops especially beneficial. Workshops are held at the 16,000-acre Richard and Lucile Durrell Edge of Appalachia Preserve in Adams County, Ohio. Click here to download a PDF of the below workshops.
2013 Workshop Topics
May 17-19, 2013
Steven Foster, President, Steven Foster Group, Inc.
The use of plants for medicinal purposes has preoccupied humankind for millennia, across numerous cultures and every conceivable geographic landscape. Here in the eastern forest grows a treasure trove of pharmacological resources for healing and reinvigorating the body and the mind, yet most environmental professionals have very little working knowledge of even the common woodland floral.
With a renewed interest in medicinal plants for modern health care in the private and public sector, it’s time for environmental professionals to better understand this resource. Steven Foster is a world-renowned authority on medicinal plants and herbs having authored both the Peterson’s Eastern and Western Field Guide to Medicinal Plants, National Geographic’s Desk Reference to Nature’s Medicine and some 14 other books on the topic. Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to study with one of the foremost medicinal plant experts and herbalists.
The workshop will be in partnership with the Lloyd Library, Cincinnati where Mr. Foster will deliver a lecture and be honored at a reception on Thursday, May 16. The event is open to the public.
June 28-30, 2013
Dr. Mark Widrlechner, Iowa State University
Rubus is a diverse genus in the Rose Family (Rosaceae) which occurs on every continent except Antarctica. The economic importance of this genus as a fruit crop cannot be overstated, and its value for wildlife is well known. Yet, very few people attempt to understand this group of (mostly prickly) plants and simply lump them together as blackberries, dewberries and raspberries. Getting beyond their multifarious prickles, the genus Rubus is very complex with confusing growth habits, much environmental plasticity, and unusual variation in breeding systems.
The group is a fitting challenge for all botanists and working naturalists who are willing to take it on. This workshop should be considered a rare opportunity to study with one man who’s willing to sort them out, Mark Widrlechner. Are you up for the challenge? Bring along some sturdy gloves, put all preconceived notions aside, and dig into a group that may surprise and delight.
August 23-25, 2013
The True Bugs
Eric Eaton, Principal Author of the Kaufman Field Guide to the Insects of North America
This workshop will focus on the suborder of Hemiptera known collectively as the "true bugs." Members of this group include stink bugs, assassin bugs, water striders, plant bugs, lace bugs, toad bugs and bed bugs. They occupy every conceivable niche in the eastern forest, eat everything from plant sap to each other, and their life histories can be incredibly fascinating. While they are easily seen and often encountered, most naturalists don’t know one from another.
This intense learning session will train participants to recognize the true bugs to family, and even genus and species in many cases. Eric Eaton is back again by popular demand after his successful workshop on wasps in 2011. Eric is a passionate general entomologist, so everything insect will be fair game in the field components of this workshop. If you’ve never studied with someone with deep knowledge of insects like Eric Eaton, then every fly will remain simply a "fly," every bee just a "bee" and every true bug just a "stink bug."
September 13-15, 2013
Dr. Gary Walker, Appalachian State University
Calcareous cliffs in the Appalachians and Canada have been found to harbor ancient trees and unique ecological communities. In particular, cliff-grown white and red cedar can exceed 1000 years in age and have tree ring growth rates that rival the ancient bristlecone pines. The unique lichens and flora of these cliffs have also proven to be significant and conservation organizations are beginning to appreciate the importance of these vertical communities. Many of the discoveries associated with these unusual habitats are due to the efforts of researchers such as Dr. Walker and his cliff-face ecology research team, who have helped to bring this special habitat to the attention of the scientific and conservation communities.
This workshop will bring this respected cliff authority to the preserve to share his work in the southern Appalachians and to survey the preserve’s own white and red cedar veiled cliffs for the first time. Join history in the making on this landmark workshop. Note: Due to the extreme nature of cliff habitats and their surroundings, participants should be in good physical condition, able to walk off trail over very uneven, steep and sometimes unforgiving terrain.
October 4-6, 2013
Liverworts & Hornworts
Dr. Scott Schuette, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
It’s safe to say that liverworts and hornworts are often overlooked by lay and professional botanists alike. Their cryptic nature is partly to blame but more often they are just avoided as too difficult or insignificant. On the contrary, their identification is straightforward, their beauty and diversity disarming and their ecological role relevant. With 122 known species of liverworts and 3 species of hornworts in Ohio abundant opportunity awaits the inquisitive naturalist and biologist willing to learn these special plants.
Develop a better appreciation for these species’ role in our natural systems and learn more about their affinity for microhabitats. With 20 species known for Adams County (from a 1964 study) this workshop will look to boost this number with participants trained to identify these, the simplest of true plants. Dr. Schuette is a respected authority and as the Bryologist for the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program, he’s the perfect person to lead us through these two beguiling groups of the bryophytes.