Archive for the ‘Classes and Workshops’ category

Adirondack Botanical Society Announces 2014 Field Trips

March 18, 2014

The Adirondack Botanical Society is pleased to announce its list of summer 2014 field trips and workshops including a bike hike and a canoe trip. These trips are for everyone from interested enthusiasts to professional botanists. Contact information for each trip leader is below so please contact them before the trip. All trips have a size limit. We hope to see you in the field!

To see the descriptions of the field trips CLICK HERE.

Wetland and Aquatic Plants of the Adirondacks Field Course

March 11, 2014

Shingle Shanty Preserve and Research Station will be hosting a 3-day intensive field course, “Wetland and Aquatic Plants of the Adirondacks” on August 11 – 13 this year. It will be taught by Dr. Michael Burgess, a systematic botanist and Amelanchier expert at SUNY Plattsburgh. It is open to all levels of experience and education.

 Details are at:

NYFA Bark Workshop A Success

October 29, 2013

On Saturday October 26, Michael Wojtech, author of Bark, a field guide to trees of the Northeast, presented a workshop to help participants identify native trees in Eastern New York based on bark types.  Michael started out with an indoor class on the characteristics and ecology of bark and, using photos, tested us on how we thought bark on young trees would look on older trees.  By knowing the different types of bark – blocky, ropy, vertical strips, smooth, etc. – it was easier to guess how these bark types change over time.  After our classroom lesson, we were excited to get outdoors and walk the trails of the Albany Pine Bush to see the different types in nature.  We spent over an hour looking at oaks, pines, birches, cherries, maples and others and learning the techniques of bark identification to figure out closely related species like cottonwood, aspen and grey birch.  A great time was had by all and we look forward to trying out our new skills with other trees of the area.

We assembled outside the Pine Bush Discovery Center before heading off to the yellow trail.

We assembled outside the Pine Bush Discovery Center on a chilly day before heading off to the yellow trail.

Michael showed us how some bark types, like black cherry, form scales that peel off easily.

Michael showed us how some bark types, like black cherry, form scales that peel off easily.

A cut stump illustrates where the wood transitions to the bark.

A cut stump illustrates how the wood transitions to the bark.

Often, the bark on the lower part of the tree is quite different than the bark higher in the tree.

Often, the bark on the lower part of the tree is quite different than the bark higher in the tree.

A real treat! The bark of a young American chestnut, smooth with small white lenticels.

A real treat! The bark of a young American chestnut, smooth with small white lenticels.

Unfortunately it was not longed for this world as it has already been attacked by the chestnut blight.

Unfortunately it was not longed for this world as it has already been attacked by the chestnut blight.

Amazingly it had produced some fruit that we found along the trail.

Amazingly it had produced some fruit that we found along the trail.

For more information about Michael’s bark book and workshops you can visit his website We thank him for a very interesting and informative workshop. – Steve Young

NYFA Board Meeting in Oneonta and Cooperstown

April 21, 2013

The NYFA Board met in Cooperstown on April 18 to discuss future projects, field trips, workshops and other issues.  Their annual members meeting will be on Sunday May 5th beginning with a tour of Nelson Swamp.  See our web page on field trips for more information. The day began with a field trip to Table Rocks at the campus of Hartwick College in Oneonta where we were joined by bryologist Dr. Sean Robinson from SUNY Oneonta who helped identify the mosses.  A great time was had by all.


Table Rocks is located on the slopes above the Science Building but permission is needed to access the site.

IMGP2985Board members Connie Tedesco and David Werier examine the cliff face plants while Sean Robinson looks on.

IMGP2981The thin cross-layered siltstone and shale were amazing and covered with mosses.

IMGP2979Dr. Robinson was eager to show everyone the different species of moss.

IMGP2982David Werier, Dan Spada, and Sean Robinson examine the mosses.

IMGP2983Many of the outcrops had a large amount of rock tripe lichen covering them.

IMGP2988The view from table rocks looks out over the southwestern part of Oneonta and the wetlands on Lower River Street and Oneida Street.

IMGP2992Steve Daniel showed us an example of the green stain fungus in wood, Chlorociboria aeruginacens.

IMGP2993Connie Tedesco talked to us about the Hoysradt herbarium at Hartwick College that she curates. The college is in the process of deciding what to do with it.

IMGP2996Outside the science building we saw a naturalized population of Bellis perennis, English daisy, one of two flowering plants we saw that day.  The other was colt’s foot, another European import.  With the delayed flowering season we are having this spring it was great to see anything blooming!

iMapInvasives training sessions offered statewide this spring!

March 13, 2013

iMapInvasives is an online mapping tool that supports efforts to protect New York State from invasive species. All interested groups, from land managers to the general public, are encouraged to help keep the NYS map up-to-date and accurate by reporting invasive species locations. Volunteers, citizen scientists, and educational groups will find the simple reporting interface perfect for local projects. And conservation professionals can use the advanced interface to manage detailed information about infestations, surveys, and treatments in a standardized format.

Learn about the program and become trained to contribute data by attending an iMapInvasives training session! Training is required to enter data, and free sessions are being offered throughout the state this spring: (Click on the “2013 PRISM Spring Training” for details).


Spring iMapInvasives PRISM Trainings:

CRISP [April 3, Arkville, NY]           

APIPP [May 13, Warrensburg, NY]

SLELO [May 23, Watertown, NY]

Lower Hudson [May 29, Garrison, NY]

Western New York [May 31, Buffalo, NY]

Capital-Mohawk [June 3, Albany, NY]

Finger Lakes [June 5, Geneva, NY]

LIISMA [June 13, Shirley, NY]

NY Flora Association Announces Field Trips and Workshops for 2013

February 16, 2013

Click this link to see the lineup of fantastic field trips and workshops for 2013.

There will be workshops for identifying:

Amelanchier (Shadbush), Sedges, Grasses, and Trees using bark characters as well as a workshop on ethnobotanical topics.

Field Trips will explore:

Nelson Swamp (Madison Co.), Bonaparte Swamp and Fitzgerald Pond (Lewis Co.), Michigan Hollow Swamp (Tompkins Co.), Little Rock City (Cattaraugus Co.), Zoar Valley (Erie/Cattaraugus Cos.), Whiteface Mountain (Essex Co.), Edgewood Preserve (Suffolk Co.), and Joralemon Park (Albany Co.)

Most of these require registration so register soon before they fill up.

Happy students at the goldenrod and aster workshop at the Niagara Gorge last year.

Happy students at the goldenrod and aster workshop at the Niagara Gorge in 2011.

Michael Kudish Talks About Mapping First Growth Forests in the Adirondacks

May 3, 2012

Paul Smith’s College Prof. Emeritus Michael Kudish discusses Adirondack first growth forests in this April 2012 lecture on campus. The college’s School of Natural Resource Management and Ecology and the student chapter of the Society of American Foresters sponsored his lecture.  The talk runs 1hr 47 min.


Plant Biology Curriculum Development Project: Boyce Thomson Institute, Ithaca

May 1, 2012

The Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research

For 7-12th grade science teachers, and community college faculty

July 15-20, 2012

Teaching and Learning about Plant Science to protect the environment, improve agriculture, and advance human health.

For more information on this project CLICK HERE.

NY Botanical Garden Seminar, May 4: Phenotypic Plasticity and Plant Invasions.

April 30, 2012

“Examining the role of natural selection and phenotypic plasticity in plant invasions: a study of invasive Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) and native woodland knotweed (Persicaria virginiana)”

Kelly O’Donnell, PhD., Postdoctoral Fellow
Columbia University

Friday, May 4, 2011
11am-12 noon
Watson 302
Refreshments at 10:45

Kelly O’Donnell

Dissertation Abstract

Determining the role of natural selection in plant invasions

The ecological and evolutionary study of plant invasion processes is of exceeding importance in today’s changing environment. However, few studies have addressed the impact of natural selection on invasive plant species. While scientists have been able to detect selection in natural populations, most studies are not replicated in space or time leading to unreliable statistical estimates and tentative causal analyses. My objective is to further our knowledge of selection dynamics in the wild by working in the area of invasion biology through studies that combine both field and controlled settings. Biological invasions may be thought of as natural evolutionary experiments that scientists can use to study the effects of possibly novel and intense selection pressures on species that are in the process of aggressively expanding their range. It has been suggested that plant invasion affords us the ability to better assess the speed and predictability of local adaptation by natural selection, and that there are at least two mechanisms by which species can become invasive: through rapid local adaptation and/or through augmented phenotypic plasticity. It remains to be seen if either or both of these statements are generally true, as they have been rarely tested in the field. I have conducted a multi-year selection analysis on field populations of invasive Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) and a native relative, woodland knotweed (Persicaria virginiana) and found strong, but temporally variable, natural selection. I then assessed the level of local adaptation in Japanese knotweed and compared it to woodland knotweed via a reciprocal transplant experiment. Despite the strong selection pressure (but perhaps because of the variability), there was little evidence of local adaptation in either species. Finally, I examined both species to measure their plasticity for traits relating to light acquisition in a common garden experiment. Both species had plastic trait responses to shade, but they followed different plasticity strategies. Woodland knotweed followed a “jack-of-all-trades” approach; it was able to thrive under either light treatment. Japanese knotweed seemed to use the opportunistic “master-of-some” strategy; its trait plasticity allowed it to take advantage of a better quality environment. Overall, there was no clear distinction between the native and invasive species studied. Both experience strong selection, but do not seem to locally adapt to it. Both possess trait plasticity that allows them to thrive in different light conditions, although the strategy is different.

Northeast Natural History Conference 2012 a Success

April 19, 2012

There were many interesting student and professional talks and posters at this year’s conference. The venue had rooms close together which made switching from one to the other easy, especially since we didn’t have to walk in from the front.The biggest challenge was the PowerPoint clicker ergonomics when speakers hit the forward button when they wanted to hit the laser pointer button.  When will projector companies ever figure that out?

For a list of the oral abstracts from the conference CLICK HERE.

For a list of the poster abstracts CLICK HERE.

NYFA judged the speakers for best poster, best student presentation and best overall presentation.  We will announce them on an upcoming post.  We look forward to 2013! – Steve Young.

The poster session and refreshment table.