Sunday May 21

9:45-10:45 a.m. Sessions

Native Predatory Wasps: Their Role as Pollinators and Beneficial Insects 

Heather Holm

Native bees and predatory wasps share the same lineage and also share many behaviors and habitat requirements. Predatory wasps feed their offspring insects (and spiders) and bees diverged from this carnivorous diet to feed their offspring pollen and nectar. Flower-rich landscapes provide critical habitat for both adult bees and wasps because they each consume flower nectar; in addition, wasps need diverse, flower-rich landscapes to hunt for their prey. Heather will highlight many amazing natural history and biology facts about native wasps illustrating their nesting habitat, prey specificity, and the ecosystems services they provide—pest insect population control and pollination. 

Heather Holm is the author of four books: Pollinators of Native Plants (2014), Bees (2017), Wasps (2021), and Common Native Bees of the Eastern United States (2022). Both Bees and Wasps have won multiple book awards including the American Horticultural Society Book Award. Heather’s expertise includes the interactions between native pollinators and native plants, and the natural history and biology of native bees and predatory wasps. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Minneapolis Star Tribune, and many local publications. Heather is also an accomplished photographer and her pollinator photos are frequently featured in print and electronic publications.

Low activity level

Jumping Worms: Cocoon Identification, Habitat Preferences, and Research Outlook at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum 

Erin Buchholz,  University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Plant Health Specialist

You've probably heard them mentioned in garden clubs, on the news, or even at your local garden center. But have you seen jumping worms up close? Here is your chance to become an expert in their identification. Join Arboretum Plant Health Specialist Erin Buchholz as we explore jumping worms and how they impact our landscape. You'll see what they do to soil and organic matter, and hear the latest on research being done with University professors on our grounds. There will be ample time for your questions, too.

Erin Buchholz (she/they) has been the Plant Health Specialist (formerly IPM Specialist) at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum since 2018. With over 20 years of public horticulture experience and five years of K-2 teaching, Erin combines education with gardening to help keep the plant collections at the Arboretum as healthy as possible while protecting people and wildlife. Erin is currently working on jumping worm management with University of Minnesota professors to find safe methods to drive them from our landscapes. 

Moderate activity level

Minnesota Mushrooms- The State of Fungi in Minnesota

Tanner Barnharst, Minnesota Mycological Society 

Tanner Barnharst will provide an overview on basic mushroom/fungal biology as well as provide resources to get tapped into the greater ~fungal network~ of Minnesota. Tanner will bring a diversity of prepared fungal samples for a hands-on experience and is ready to field lots of audience questions!  Tanner has 100s of hours of teaching experience and is the Foray Board Member for the Minnesota Mycological Society. He has a BS in Microbiology, an MS in Environmental Engineering, and splits his time between the world of medical device safety and spending as much of his time outside that he can.

Tanner Barnharst hails from the Twin Cities and currently calls Minneapolis home. Tanner got his start with fungi through his BS in Microbiology and began his fungal foray career with earnest while pursuing his MS in Bioproducts Engineering at the University of Minnesota in its Mycology Club as an officer and eventually president.   Tanner has been leading forays and serving as a mushroom identifier for the last 7 years. He is currently with the Minnesota Mycological Society as the board member for Forays, leading seven (7) forays in 2022 and helping to organize 25 forays in 2023.

Low activity level

Bluebirds - Up Close and Personal 

David Schmidt

A field trip to a portion the Arboretum's 100 plus bluebird nest box trail. Visiting individual nest boxes to observe their activity, discussing the various cavity nesting species that may inhabit the boxes. The similarities, differences, compatibility and competition.

David spent 35 years working in the Information Technology industry, for 25 plus years he's been an interpretative volunteer at the Minnesota Zoo.  In 2005 he attended the inaugural Big Woods, Big Rivers (BWBR) Master Naturalist class, and has subsequently attended the Prairies and Potholes (PP) and Northwoods, Great Lakes (NWGL) classes. In early 2011 he became a MNat instructor to teach BWBR classes for the MN Zoo and continues to lead or co-lead classes at several Metro location. In 2016 he became a Dakota County coordinator for the Bluebird Recovery Program of Minnesota, in 2018 he joined their board as the website manager and recently has become their board chairperson.

Moderate activity level

11 a.m.-12 p.m. Sessions

Spiders-Identification, Anatomy, Predation, Life Cycle

Larry Weber

Spiders do not get the attention that pollinators get, nor the colorful flights of butterflies, but they are always nearby. In this session, we will learn what is and what is not a spider. We'll learn about their anatomy, predation and life cycle. We will also discuss how to teach about spiders. Much misinformation keeps us from knowing more about these eight-legged critters. We often hear of tropical spiders, but we will concentrate on local species and what are good references. With the use of photography, we will see them and their webs closer and appreciate them. 

Larry was an award-winning science teacher for more than 40 years. After retiring from middle-school teaching, he taught University for Seniors at UMD, Road Scholar and Minnesota Master Naturalist and a frequent speaker at state parks. He is author of about 20 books on Nature including Spiders of the North Woods and Web Watching. He has written a weekly Phenology column for a Duluth Newspaper for 25 years and does two weekly Phenology Radio programs. He lives on a forested former farm in Carlton County where he regularly walks, watching critters and the season changes.

Low activity level

Supporting Phenology in the Classroom with KAXE Radio 

Stephan Carlson- University of Minnesota and John Latimer - KAXE Radio

Phenology is the study of what plants and animals are doing throughout the year. The Phenology Talkback show from KAXE Radio in Grand Rapids is looking for volunteer naturalists to work with teachers on weekly phenology hikes. This session will review the basics of phenology observations along with using the Nature's Notebook app. The goal will be to help students record their observations and create audio files for the KAXE radio station and the new Season Watch website. The Season Watch website invites people to browse profiles of plants and animals, learn about clues to look for, see graphs made with historical data, and get curious about the future of Minnesota environments. 

Stephan Carlson is a Naturalist Instructor with 28 years of teaching the next generation of naturalists in  Environmental Interpretation at the U of MN Forestry. 

John Latimer has been recording phenological observations for over 40 years on his 100 mile mail route out of Grand Rapids, MN. He has been on KAXE's Radio Talkback show for over 30 years talking about phenology. 

Low activity level

Leaves as Thermometers 

Stephen Saupe, Emeritus Professor - College of St. Benedict/St John's University 

Did you know that leaves can tell the temperature?  Well, sort of.  A leaf may not be able to tell you whether or not to wear a sweater, leaves do provide an estimate of the mean annual temperature (MAT) of an area.  The frequency of toothed and smooth margins of trees and shrubs provides a reasonably accurate estimate of MAT and has been been used  by paleobotanists to determine climate in the past.  This presentation will provide an introduction to leaf margin analysis with the opportunity to analyze a set of leaves to determine the MAT.

Steve is a recently retired professor from the joint biology department of the College of St. Benedict and Saint John's University.  He is a broadly trained botanist.  He is also one of the syrup makers at Saint John's and serves on the board of the MN Maple Syrup producers.

Low-moderate activity level

Wacky Water Critters

Madeline Seveland and Hannah Bodmer, Carver County Water Management Organization 

Learn about the tiny critters living in our lakes, streams and wetlands. Aquatic bugs, called macro-invertebrates, are an important part of the ecosystem and have many fun and interesting adaptations to living in the water. Meet dragonfly and damselfly nymphs, learn about giant water bugs, diving beetles, and more. Participants will learn the different macro-invertebrates found in Minnesota’s waters, explore live samples from wetlands and lakes, and practice identifying them.

Madeline Seveland works for Carver County Water Management Organization in outreach and engagement. Through this position she manages and teaches youth and adult education programs on topics include lake and river health, aquatic life, stormwater pollution and prevention, native plants and more. One of her favorite topics is macro-invertebrates, their unique traits, and their importance in aquatic ecology. She holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and geography and a master’s degree water resources science. Outside her professional life, she loves to be active and outdoors with her family, camp, hike, garden, and try out new recipes.

Hannah Bodmer is a summer intern with the Carver County Water Management Organization

Low-moderate activity level

Slow-Looking: More than Meets the Eye

Zan Tomko,  MNWalkabout  MN Master Naturalist Big Forest Big Rivers 

The more you look, the more you see; The more you see, the more you engage” Shari Tishman  

Explore how the careful observation called “slow learning” can make a difference in how we see and connect with the natural world. Zan and Elaine will talk about enhancing your experiences in nature to take in all the subtle messages that surround us – delivering dividends long after the initial experience. We will look at how we can engage all our senses to interpret the natural world – using practical tools and techniques to deepen observation, including how we can use art to enhance our relationship with the natural world. Come explore how we can see with fresh eyes. 

Zan Tomko, ½ of MNWALKABOUT, has made a life and career about communicating nature.

She has been a horticulture student at Hennepin Technical College for the past 8 years and previously worked in Arboretum Weekend Outreach Education for four years. Zan graduated from the 2009 & 2010 sessions of Communicating Nature presented by the Illinois Natural History Survey – using art to communicate nature. She is the self-appointed Queen of the Squirrel Kingdom in St Louis Park, MN. 

Low activity level

ARTifacts: How Art and Nature Work Together

Bailey Kaul, Silverwood Park 

Come and learn how to deliver and present art and nature programming together. Each of these subjects create stronger connections to the natural world. End this session by experimenting with watercolor techniques. 

Bailey Kaul is an Interpretive Naturalist at Silverwood Park where she conducts adult education programs, community science projects, and art making. Her background is in biology and she holds a masters certificate in environmental education and is a certified interpretive guide. She has a passion for a multiple disciplinary approach to outdoor education. She is a life long learner and works to create opportunities and better access to underrepresented communities in the outdoors.  Limit 24

Low-moderate activity level

More details to come. Photo contest and auction winners announced.