By David Cappaert, IAE Pollinator Crew September 2020 We often think of pollination as a discrete event, e.g., the interaction between a sunflower and a bumblebee. But the bee might visit a dozen other pollen sources, and the sunflower might benefit from dozens of pollinator species. If you look at this broader picture, for all […]
By Matt Bahm, Steve Walters, David Cappaert, Lauren Merrill, and Annie Joliff All photos by David Cappaert June 2020 Willamette daisy (Erigeron decumbens) was once found throughout the Willamette Valley in northwestern Oregon, but is now restricted to only a few scattered remnant populations. Conservation efforts have increased the amount of Willamette daisy on the […]
By Lisa Schomaker and Kaitlyn Harless February 2020 Eighty miles from cell service and ten miles off the highway, on a bumpy track just north of the Nevada state line, botanical monitoring technician Kaitlyn Harless saw her first herd of pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) in the wild. Not long after, a wild horse (Equus ferus) galloped over […]
By IAE Seasonal Technicians Erika Stewart and Ed Cope September 2019 Field work can be unpredictable, especially in Southern Idaho’s Shrub-Steppe ecosystem, and our 2019 season checked all of the boxes, from crazy weather (snow, hail, thunderstorms, and unrelenting sun) to ever-changing hitch schedules and roads that do not seem to exist. This year, the […]
By Meghan Dugan, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife October 1, 2019 Habitat created just for streaked horned larks on Herbert Farm and Natural Area (HFNA) successfully produced its first juvenile larks. Three eggs were laid in early June with chicks hatching in mid-July. Biologists banded the chicks which fledged their nest successfully, a significant […]
By Cia Crowe and Eva Brod June 2019 Have you ever been so hungry that nearly everything around you reminds you of food? Well, that is exactly what happened to our crew while on top of Upper and Lower Table Rocks near Medford, Oregon this April. During our daily hikes up the steep switchbacks, throughout […]
by Miranda Geller May 2019 IAE 2019 Conservation Research Program Interns Eva, Erica, Cia, Rose and Crew Lead Miranda started on a typical gloomy spring day in Oregon, and have since been settling in and learning about what the season will bring for them. Eva, Cia, and Miranda will be traveling all over Oregon—from the […]
By Marisa Mancillas, Jillian Demus, Chelsea Osbron, and Amy Zimmer August 2018 This field season, IAE’s Habitat Restoration and Conservation Research Programs partnered to conduct a range-wide inventory of the endangered Willamette daisy (Erigeron decumbens). The goal of this project was to obtain an up-to-date status of this endemic plant and its associated habitat […]
Written by Nadav Mouallem and Clarissa Rodriguez May 2018 This season IAE has expanded into new territory, with a crew based in Lakeview, OR. Unlike the lush forests west of the Cascades, Lakeview sits on the edge of Oregon’s high desert country and aptly calls itself “The Tallest Town in Oregon” (at elevation of 4,800 […]
By Lisa Schomaker, Mary McKean, and Michelle Yasutake May 2018 With the many crews we have going this summer, it can get tough to keep track. We have crews focused on conducting surveys for Willamette daisy, Streaked horned larks, as well as crews conducting surveys for a variety of species throughout Oregon. There are lots […]
By Samantha Hooper and Mary McKean May 1, 2018 The first two weeks of Conservation Research field work were an immersion in the spectacularly interconnected landscape of Oregon’s native and exotic plant life. We joined Andrew from IAE’s Habitat Restoration team at the West Eugene Wetlands for our first field day, where we mulched a […]
The Conservation Research Program at IAE conducts research on propagation methods and how to best ensure survival upon outplanting for a variety of rare species. Often for these projects, we focus on one question or the other separately, but occasionally we have the opportunity to work with a single species throughout the process. Since 2014, […]
By Nadav Mouallem with contributions from fellow NPSO/CR interns Abbie Harold and Lucy KeehnWhen the entire season feels like a never-ending highlight reel, you know it has been a good one. Whether it be sighting owls at dusk atop of Table Rock, whales at sunrise overlooking Coos Bay, or a bobcat in the Tillamook Forest, […]
–By Lucy Keehn
We have had many adventures during our Native Plant Society of Oregon internship. In the first week of May, our crew rapidly expanded from the usual 5 to a lively 16, as we were joined in the field by our Executive Director, Tom Kaye, and 10 volunteers from all over Oregon, in order to monitor the population of the endangered Cook’s Desert Parsley (Lomatium cookii), also refereed to as LOCO. Cook’s Desert Parsley is closely related to Lomatium bradshawii, which is an endangered Apiaceae found only in the Willamette Valley. The Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) has been involved with monitoring the species, habitat, and community at this location for more than 20 years, in partnership with the Medford Bureau of Land Management (BLM) District. It was exciting to be able to contribute to such a long-lasting project that so many people have invested much time and care.
We worked in the Illinois Flats, one of the remaining two population centers of the endangered Cook’s Desert Parsley (the other is north of Medford Plains) (Kagan, 1994). Cook’s Desert Parsley is a small and inconspicuous plant when not flowering; its leaves are narrow and compoundly divided, easily hiding among surrounding vegetation.
The vegetation can be so hard to find, it often means monitoring on your hands and knees with your nose almost in the soil. Sometimes it would take waiting for a small breeze to reveal the hidden Cook’s lomatium, which dips and bends in the wind in contrast to the shaking grasses. Besides being glad to see healthy reproductive plants, we were happy that the creamy yellow umbels made the plants much easier to spot! Thankfully, the icy Illinois River, Deer Creek, and the Cave Junction Dairy Queen were nearby to reward the hot search with a cold treat!
We took a field trip one evening to see the Darlingtonia californica in bloom at 8 Mile Mountain; definitely a highlight of this summer. These incredible carnivorous plants grow in the slowly flowing water of the fen and source nutrients from the rotting insects that fall into their hollow stalk. The insects are lured into the hood by the light shining through the translucent “windows” in the ceiling of hood. Confused by the light, they tumble into the stalk where small downward-pointing hairs prevent them from escaping. The flower of the Darlingtonia is one of the most menacing I have ever seen- the drooping dark purplish-red petals enclosed by large yellow sepals definitely looked the part of a carnivorous plant!
This trip was a great opportunity to tap the impressive collective knowledge of the volunteer crew; we learned from the birding expertise of Marcia, Marisa and Sandy, about Oregon botany from Cindy and our BLM partner Julie, about distance biking in Oregon from the power-couple Wendie and Mike, and about the power of enthusiasm and good vibes from Don. Of course, we also all learned about how to relax at the Siskiyou Field Institute like a true “Duke” from the John Wayne cutout! Thanks to all of the volunteers who endured the heat with us, and to the Siskiyou Field Institute for hosting us at such a beautiful base-camp!
–By Nadav MouallemFor the ninth week of our Native Plant Society of Oregon internship (June 5-9), the Conservation Research field crew traveled to Vale, OR, to monitor Astragalus mulfordiae (we refer to it as ASMU), or Mulford’s milkvetch. Although we were already a seasoned field crew at this point, this trip was like no other. […]