Friday, April 27, 2012

Ten-fold Increase in Asian Tiger Shrimp Sightings

A press release from the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) Newsroom reports a ten-fold increase in the number of invasive Asian tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) sightings both along the U.S. southeastern coastline and the Gulf of Mexico coastlines. The Asian tiger shrimp is much larger than our native shrimp species. Not only can the non-native shrimp compete directly with native species for food but the invasive shrimp can actually eat the smaller native species. This combination of competition and predation can have a devastating impact on native shrimp populations.

Mad Cow Disease

A message on BSE (Mad Cow Disease) from Judy A. Harrison, a Professor and Extension Foods Specialist at the University of Georgia, "You will be hearing news reports of a case of BSE (Mad Cow Disease) that has been identified in a dairy cow in California. It is the fourth case of BSE to ever be identified in the U.S. According to USDA, it has been identified as an atypical form which is a rare form of BSE and not likely to have been associated with consumption of contaminated feed. Contaminated feed is the way BSE spreads from animal to animal. Since 2004, tissues of cattle (such as brain and spinal cord) have not been allowed to be used in human food or in cattle feed. The animal did not enter the food supply. BSE is not spread through milk. "

For the latest resources from USDA on this topic, including a list of frequently asked questions and a video interview with USDA Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. John Clifford, visit the USDA website.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lisa Brush: Bringing people together

Read about "Lisa Brush – the Founder and Executive Director of the Stewardship Network Brings People Together"

GIS & Python Workshops Spring 2012

GIS & Python Workshops Spring 2012

Tall Timbers Research Station is hosting 2 GIS workshops next month(May). The first workshop (7-11 May) will cover intermediate to advanced topics in GIS and focus on the application of GIS in natural resources and land Conservation. There are currently only 4 seats left for this workshop!

The second workshop (21-25 May) is an advanced workshop focusing on Python scripting and programming to more efficiently perform GIS tasks and Geoprocessing. There are only 5 seats left for this workshop!

Note: there is a maximum number of workshop participants for each workshop so reserve your spot soon! 

Instructors: Theron M. Terhune, PhD, GISp & Joe Noble, GIS Specialist Course Website:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Give us your common dandelion seeds!!!

Some of you remember our recent call for oak caterpillars.  We have another researcher who wants your unwanted critters...Dandelions!

John Cardina at The Ohio State University needs your dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) seeds.  He's looking at their genes to find out how much diversity is in the population and determine if they mainly with themselves or if they cross with other dandelions.  To do this, he needs dandelion seeds from all over the country AND he needs to know where the seeds came from!

 Here’s how to collect dandelion seeds:
  1. Select 4 healthy dandelion plants from different parts of your yard or field.  They could also be from different parts of your life – one on the way to work, one in the park, one in the flowerbed next to the grocery store, etc.  In other words, not four plants right together (but if that’s all you can get, that’s fine too).
  2. Pick one flower head (puff-ball) per plant.  He needs the seeds (achenes) – with or without fluff (pappus) - from one individual flower head per plant
  3. Pluck the seeds (the entire puff-ball), and put them into a coin envelope or folded paper. Please keep the four puff-balls separate (different envelopes or in separate folds of paper).
  4. Label each one with information on where and when you found each one.  GPS coordinates are preferred but zip code, street address, road intersection, or other reference will work.  The date is collected on is all we need for the when.
  5. Send the seeds to John at:
         John Cardina
         1680 Madison Ave.
         Wooster, OH  44691
As an added bonus, We'll be working with John to post the occurrence data into EDDMapS.  Right now our data on dandelion is pretty sparse.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Android versions of Outsmart Invasives and Missouri River Watershed Invasives Now Available!

Many of you have been contacting us to find out when the Android versions of our Invasive Species Reporting Apps will be available.  We have recently released the Android versions of Outsmart Invasives and Missouri River Watershed Coalition Invasive Species Reporting.  These apps support the work of people in Massachusetts, Colorado, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and Nebraska who are trying to locate and manage invasive species.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Free Webcast: Garlic Mustard and the 2012 Challenge

Join the Stewardship Network for
FREE Webcast Wednesday, April 11th,
"Garlic Mustard and the 2012 Challenge"

Presentation by: Mark Renz, University of Wisconsin - Madison; Tina Roselle, The Stewardship Network; and Lisa Brush, The Stewardship Network
Date: Wednesday, April 11th, 2012
Time: 12 noon to 1pm Eastern
Place: Your Computer!

Click here to view webcast!
(Link will become live day of webcast)

It's that time of year again! Join us as we officially kick of the 2012 Garlic Mustard Challenge with our April webcast. Mark Renz will be joining us to give an overview of the biology of garlic mustard, emphasizing critical stages for management. Multiple management methods (Mechanical, hand removal, cultural and herbicide) will be discussed including a discussion of when and where it is appropriate to conduct each method. Tina Roselle, our Volunteer Garlic Mustard Challenge Coordinator, will also be joining us to talk about this year's Challenge, our goals, and what's new from previous years.

Join Mark Renz, University of Wisconsin - Madison; Tina Roselle, The Stewardship Network; and Lisa Brush, of The Stewardship Network, to learn more about this important topic in the next Stewardship Network webcast!

Press Release: USDA Urges Americans to Prevent Invasive Pests, Protect American Agriculture

Press Release: USDA Urges Americans to Prevent Invasive Pests, Protect American Agriculture

"WASHINGTON, APRIL 2, 2012—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced that it is dedicating the month of April to sharing information about the threat that invasive plant pests, diseases and harmful weeds pose to America's fruits, vegetables, trees, and other plants—and how the public can help prevent their spread. APHIS works each day to promote U.S. agricultural health and safeguard the nation’s agriculture, fishing and forestry industries.

“Invasive pests hit close to home and threaten the things we value,” said Rebecca A. Blue, Deputy Under Secretary for USDA's Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “We need the public’s help because these hungry pests can have a huge impact on the items we use in everyday life, from the fabric in our clothing, the food on our table, the lumber used to build our home and the flowers in our garden. During one of the most successful periods in history for U.S. agriculture, it is important that we step up our efforts to educate Americans about USDA’s good work to protect our nation’s food, fiber, feed and fuel from invasive pests.”

Invasive pests are non-native species that feed on America’s agricultural crops, trees and other plants. These “hungry pests” have cost the United States billions of dollars and wreak havoc on the environment. USDA and U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection—working closely with state agriculture departments and industry—are dedicated to preventing the introduction and spread of invasive pests. The goal is to safeguard agriculture and natural resources from the entry, establishment and spread of animal and plant pests and noxious weeds.
But federal and state agencies can’t do it alone. It requires everyone’s help to stop the unintended introduction and spread of invasive pests."

Click to learn about ways you can help.

Invasive Plant Ecology and Management Short Course


April 3, 2012. The date for the 2012 NAIPSC is rapidly approaching and organizers are anticipating up to 40 participants will be in attendance to hear and interact with the 14 instructors who have a wide range of expertise in invasive plant ecology and management. 

This year’s participants at the NAIPSC will learn first-hand about the latest research on invasive plant water use and the implications this can have on restoration and other management activities in riparian and rangeland areas. Instructors will discuss the effects of introduced common reed (Phragmites australis) and native eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) on water resources and neighboring plant and animal communities.

Also, this year’s field site visits will be to privately owned land that is actively being restored with prescribed burning, revegetation, and various other techniques; a riparian area where research is being conducted on native plant stand age and establishment effects on invasive plant species; and a rangeland where techniques to identify and locate plants will be demonstrated using GPS/GIS technology.

These are just a two examples of the presentations, workshops, site visits, and instructor-led discussion sessions that will be part of the 2012 NAIPSC. For more information and registration details, go to the NAIPSC website. The NAIPSC is open to graduate students, researchers, land managers, and policy makers and has been approved for CEU and CCA credits, and graduate student credits through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Register now! Space is limited!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Give us your Oak Caterpillars!!!

Researchers at the University of Georgia are initiating a regional-level study on oak caterpillar outbreaks in the southeastern U.S.  Our project objectives are to better understand the ecology and distribution of caterpillars feeding on oak trees in early spring, and to provide guidance on management of caterpillars. 
For the purpose of this project, we are requesting all folks who have seen caterpillars in large numbers on oak trees on their properties to send us samples.  Specific instructions for collection are as follows:
  1. Collect as many caterpillars from oak trees as possible.  Caterpillars are nocturnal, and can be collected using tweezers directly from the tree.  Bands of cloth can be placed on the tree trunk to stop the caterpillars from climbing the trees and to collect many insects at the same time. 
  2. We prefer >10 caterpillars per tree, but we will take up to 250.  Place caterpillars in a small plastic container or a bag, and freeze them.  Similarly, collect 4-5 leaves from each oak tree, and freeze them separately in a plastic bag.  Collect from as many trees as possible from your property. 
  3. Number caterpillar and oak leaf bags from each tree individually.  So, plastic bags labeled Tree 1 will have caterpillars and leaves collected from that tree, bags labeled Tree 2 will have caterpillars and leaves collected from that tree, etc.
  4. Put all samples together in a small box, and include information about location and date of collection.  Location information should include county and if possible full address so that we can estimate latitude and longitude.  This information will be kept strictly confidential.
  5. You can drop the caterpillars and oak leaves at the local extension office, and send us an email about it.  Or, you can ship the frozen caterpillars and oak leaves (1-day shipping) to the address as follows:
Evelyn Carr
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources
180 Green Street
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602

If you are unable to do either of these things, then please contact us to pick up samples.  The samples need to be either alive or frozen so that we could extract DNA from them to determine caterpillar species.  Any assistance with learning more about our native caterpillars will be greatly appreciated!  Thank you for your participation in the project.