Sunday May 21
9:45-10:45 a.m. Sessions
Native Predatory Wasps: Their Role as Pollinators and Beneficial Insects
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.
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.
Bluebirds - Up Close and Personal
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.
Moderate activity level
11 a.m.-12 p.m. Sessions
Spiders-Identification, Anatomy, Predation, Life Cycle
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
More details to come. Photo contest and auction winners announced.