2018 Advanced Naturalist Workshops, Series 14

Series 14 is a continuation of EOA’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 all 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 20,000-acre Richard and Lucile Durrell Edge of Appalachia Preserve in Adams County, Ohio.



With Derrek Hennen, Ph.D. candidate, Virginia Tech

May 18-20, 2018

Sold Out! Please contact Chris Bedel to be added to the waitlist.

Millipedes originated in the Silurian Period and are among the oldest of land invertebrates. They have two pairs of legs per segment, which gave rise to their class name Diplopoda (double-foot). Millipedes come in a dazzling array of colors, from camouflaging brown to vibrant black-on-yellow. They protect themselves with hardened exoskeletons and chemical arsenals. Internal glands produce chemicals released through ozopores on the sides of their bodies that effectively “wet down” the area around them or even spray into eyes (or onto exoskeletons) of would be predators — in some cases causing burns. The chemicals they produce include hydrogen cyanide, quinones, alkaloids and even sedatives related to quaaludes. Scientists continue to discover compounds new to science used by millipedes. Few experts exist for this species-rich group, but one of the rising stars is Ph.D. candidate and Ohio’s own Derek Hennen. Derek has studied the millipede richness of Ohio in preparation for a forthcoming book on these fascinating creatures. Participants will learn the body plans of millipedes to facilitate identification — such as the male gonopods unique to each species and used by the male to deliver sperm. The workshop will be a mix of lab (microscope work) and field time to collect and view millipedes in their natural habitats, with the ultimate goal of identifying each species. The workshop will be a continuation of the preserve’s efforts to catalogue millipedes and to better understand their ecological needs. This may only be the second millipede workshop ever held in Ohio (the first being seven years ago in workshop Series 7 with Dr. Bill Shears). Do you have seven years to wait for the next one? Do not miss this workshop!


The Ancient Dunes & Ecology of Sandy Springs, Ohio

With Matt Purtill (ABD), Archaeologist, Ball State University & Jim McCormac, Contract Biologist and Author

June 15-17, 2018

Sold Out! Please contact Chris Bedel to be added to the waitlist.

Sandy Springs, Ohio, is a sleepy little hamlet along the Ohio River in southern Adams County, 18 miles from the preserve. Its picturesque atmosphere — open fields bordered by steep hills cloaked in Appalachian hardwoods — and the majestic Ohio River belie its status as the most important Paleoindian site in Ohio and one of last remaining Ohio River sand terraces in the state. The sandy soils that give the town its name once hosted native peoples (~11,500–10,000 BCE), who used the dune rich area to hunt and visited the natural springs. While the archaeological resources have long been recognized, the geomorphology of the underlying sands has all but been ignored. Mr. Purtill’s recent study using LIDAR uncovered ancient dunes and step-like river deposits that inform past continental climatic patterns and river levels. Barchan, star-like and climbing dunes were found that tell of a different time and environment at Sandy Springs. His research is fascinating, illuminating and important to any serious student of Ohio’s natural heritage. The sand environment did not go unnoticed by local flora and fauna, and the area hosts a suite of unique species found in few other areas of Ohio — prickly pear cactus, rainbow scarab beetles, the fungus gardening Trachymyrmex ant, little whitlow grass and a host of insects that utilize the sandy soils. Renowned botanist and one of Ohio’s greatest naturalists, Jim McCormac will co-lead us in the field to view as many of Sandy Spring’s unique species as possible. This will be a foray into Ohio’s past with an eye to how it informs the present ecology. A mix of extended field time and lectures with this remarkable duo will leave you amazed that you’ve never visited this site before.


Caddisflies (Trichoptera)

With Dr. Michael A. Floyd, Biologist, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Kentucky Ecological Services Field Office

July 6-8, 2018

Caddisflies (order Trichoptera) are a very successful and diverse group of aquatic insects that occupy freshwater habitats throughout the world. They are one of the cornerstone groups used in water quality monitoring programs because they are sensitive to chemical and physical changes that may occur in these environments. Their widespread distribution and ecological diversification is owed much to the larva’s ability to produce and use silk in the construction of fixed or portable shelters ─ making them the “builders” or “architects” of the aquatic insect world. These shelters come in an amazing variety of shapes and sizes but generally consist of portable tube-like cases made of rock or plant materials or silken tube-like or web-like nets used to capture suspended food particles.

Dr. Floyd will guide us through this fascinating group of organisms that includes 270 Ohio species, representing 18 families and 61 genera. He has over 30 years of experience working with the identification and ecology of caddisflies and is a respected authority on the subject. Developing larval identification skills will be central to this workshop, but information on larval ecology and adult morphology/identification will also be presented. Using larval specimens collected from the preserve and other habitats within the region, participants will become proficient at using keys to recognize families, major genera and common species. Specimens collected during the workshop will be used in the development of a Trichoptera collection for the preserve. Both lay and professional biologists alike will benefit from Dr. Floyd’s deep knowledge of the subject, while the artist in all of us will be enthralled by the bewildering variety of shelters fashioned by these silk-wielding, artisan insects.


Bristle Flies (Tachinidae)

With Dr. John Stireman, Professor, Wright State University

August 17-19, 2018

Sold Out! Please contact Chris Bedel to be added to the waitlist.

Workshops on flies have eluded workshop organizers for the past 13 years, but Dr. Stireman has offered his expertise with bristle flies to break the drought. It’s only fitting we enter the Diptera realm with one of the more bizarre and fascinating groups — bristle flies, also known as Tachinids. These flies are almost exclusively internal parasitoids of other insects, especially caterpillars, and strategies for getting their eggs (or larvae) into their hosts are some of the more beguiling stories in the natural world. Some lay their eggs on the host, some inject them, while others broadcast eggs to be unexpectedly eaten by a host with a leafy meal. Still others have larvae that actively stalk or lay in wait to hitchhike on unsuspecting hosts. No matter the methods, the end result is fly larvae feeding inside the host until fully developed in a twisted tale of the ultimate unwanted guest! All have fascinating biological stories to tell and lessons to teach, especially bristle flies’ role in managing agricultural pests. This will be the first ever look at this family of flies on the preserve, so every species found will be new to our lists. It’s a diverse group with over 650 species known from the Northeastern U.S. and several hundred known from Ohio. Participants will be taught the finer points of bristle fly identification using morphology, learn techniques for sampling and sorting and take to the field to view these flies in action. This is a groundbreaking, one of a kind event and not to be missed!



With Dr. Bob Klips, Associate Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University

October 26-28, 2018

Sold Out! Please contact Chris Bedel to be added to the waitlist.

Lichens are ubiquitous in Ohio, yet very few people know anything about them, nor can they name one species. How has such a common group of organisms escaped the torrent of hungry naturalists and biologists eager to learn more about Ohio’s natural resources? This workshop will look to turn the tide of lichen-deficit-disorder by educating participants about these unique and interesting organisms. This workshop will focus on the so-called macrolichens (foliose & fruticose) and only lightly touch upon the more difficult microlichens (crustose). Learning to identify lichens is enjoyable and challenging, and with 233 macrolichen species recorded for Ohio, a very manageable endeavor. The preserve is the perfect location for this workshop, as over 70% of Ohio’s lichens have been recorded from Adams County (the highest in the state). Bob Klips is the perfect instructor, being an active and longstanding member of the Ohio Moss & Lichen Association, and an avid lover & dynamic teacher of all things moss & lichen. Co-author of Macrolichens of Ohio, Ray Showman will also be on hand Saturday to work alongside workshop participants to help with identifications. Learn the difference between isidia and soredia, apothecia and pycnidia, and how these structures (and other morphologic features) are used to key out lichens. The workshop will also cover the finer points of using chemical spot tests and ultraviolet light to separate one species from another. Participants will leave knowing the common macrolichen species by sight and have the tools to identify all others. This is a not to be missed opportunity to finally tackle the group on everyone’s “bucket list” — lichens!


Past Workshops

Past Instructors Workshops up to 2018