Event 2: Study the Land

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“A Natural History Approach to Plant Study and Conservation”

This session took place online on January 26, 2011 and ran for about one hour. If you could not participate live, a recording is posted below for your enjoyment at any time.

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Natural history has always been the foundation of conservation biology. For centuries, botanists collected specimens in the field to understand plant diversity. Now that many habitats are threatened, botanists have turned their focus to conservation and, increasingly, they look to the collections of herbaria and botanical gardens for insight on developing assessment and management programs. The presenters explore the value of natural history collections and the use of these specimens in contemporary biodiversity studies. Scientific drawings based on these specimens remains beneficial to scientists even with the new technology of digital imaging available today. Three teachers join Krupnick and Tangerini to discuss how they have used these approaches in their art, science, and language arts classrooms.

Dr. Gary A. KrupnickDr. Gary A. Krupnick Head, Plant Conservation Unit Dr. Gary A. Krupnick is Head of the Plant Conservation Unit in the Department of Botany of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. He coordinates activities and research that focus on plant conservation, biodiversity hotspots, and endangered plant species. His research examines how data from herbarium specimens can be used in assessing the conservation status of plant species. Dr. Krupnick is the co-editor, with Dr. John Kress, of the book Plant Conservation: A Natural History Approach and the editor of two newsletters—the Biological Conservation Newsletter and The Plant Press, which is the newsletter of the U.S. National Herbarium.
In this preview podcast, Dr. Krupnick joined Jonathan Finkelstein for a discussion about his work and how it supports the study and conservation of plant biodiversity. [podcast]http://www.smithsonianconference.org/shout/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/shout-podcast-003.mp3[/podcast]Duration: 12 min Alice TangeriniAlice Tangerini Staff Scientific Illustrator Alice Tangerini is the Staff Scientific Illustrator in the Botany Department of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. In this capacity, she has illustrated more than 1,500 species of plants. Typically she works in an office at Natural History, using pressed and dried specimens as models, but field assignments have taken her as far away as Hawaii and Guyana. Her work has appeared in books, scientific journals, and expositions. In addition, she teaches classes and lectures on scientific and botanical illustration and is a board member of the American Society of Botanical Artists.

Illustration by Alice Tangerini

Illustration by
Alice Tangerini

Hear a special pre-show podcast with Alice Tangerini: [podcast]http://www.smithsonianconference.org/shout/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/shout-podcast-001.mp3[/podcast]Duration: 19 min See some of Alice’s illustrations.

A Natural History Approach to Plant Study and Conservation - Virtual Graphic FacilitationVirtual Graphic Facilitation:
This session was illustrated in real time. Click for an illustrated summary of this Shout event. Refer to the drawing as a memento of the session and to inspire continued exploration of this topic.


Smithsonian Tree Banding Project: “Climate, Classrooms and Trees”

This session took place online on January 26, 2011 and ran for about one hour. If you could not participate live, a recording is posted below for your enjoyment at any time.

View Recording    Global Classroom  Teacher Community  Student Challenge

Forest ecologist Dr. Geoffrey “Jess” Parker and education specialist Josh Falk, both of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, officially launch the Smithsonian Tree Banding Project. This SHOUT mission will contribute to Dr Parker’s current research, which uses data about tree biomass collected over the past 23 years to track how trees respond to climate. Starting with classrooms in the southern hemisphere in January, students around the globe will monitor the rate at which their local trees grow and learn how that rate corresponds to Dr. Parker’s research. Parker and Falk will be joined by teachers already introduced to the project to review its practical aspects. Once involved, students will be helping to create the first global observatory of how trees respond to climate!
Geoffrey "Jess" Parker Geoffrey “Jess” Parker Senior Scientist and Forest Ecologist Geoffrey Parker is the Forest Ecologist a Senior Scientist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC). His research interests include the structure and function of forest ecosystems, the spatial relationships of forest trees, and comparative forest ecology.

Josh FalkJoshua Falk Education Specialist Joshua Falk has been an environmental educator for more than ten years. For the last four years he has been is an Education Specialist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), where he enjoys “connecting learners of all ages to the research that our scientist do.”

Smithsonian Tree Banding Project: Climate, Classrooms and Trees - Virtual Graphic FacilitationVirtual Graphic Facilitation:
This session was illustrated in real time. Click for an illustrated summary of this Shout event. Refer to the drawing as a memento of the session and to inspire continued exploration of this topic.


“Charles Darwin in the Islands: Evolution, Adaptation, and Sustaining our Natural Heritage”

This session took place online on January 26, 2011 and ran for about one hour. If you could not participate live, a recording is posted below for your enjoyment at any time.

View Recording    Global Classroom  Teacher Community  Student Challenge

Scientists have shown that the diversity of life has evolved over millions of years through the process of natural selection and adaption to their environments. We continue to make observations and conduct experiments in order to understand how these processes work in natural habitats. For over a hundred years islands have served as important sites for studying evolution. Recent investigations in the Caribbean islands have traced the evolution of flowers and the hummingbirds that pollinate them. Dr. Kress discusses how these observations reinforce our ideas on how plants and animals evolve according to the changes, caused by both natural and human actions, in their habitats. John KressW. John Kress Curator and research scientist W. John Kress is a research scientist and curator of botany at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, director of the Smithsonian’s Consortium for Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet, and adjunct professor at The George Washington University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Yunnan. A specialist in tropical botany, he has published more than a hundred scientific and popular articles as well as seven books, including Plant Conservation – A Natural History Approach, which he co-wrote with Gary Krupnick, also a January conference presenter. His two published original art projects – The Art of Plant Evolution, co-written with a scientific illustrator, and Botanica Magnifica, written in collaboration with photographer Jonathan Singer – make use of contemporary art to illustrate the diversity of the plant world and demonstrate his interest in the intersection of science and art.
Charles Darwin in the Islands: Evolution, Adaptation, and Sustaining our Natural Heritage - Virtual Graphic FacilitationVirtual Graphic Facilitation:
This session was illustrated in real time. Click for an illustrated summary of this Shout event. Refer to the drawing as a memento of the session and to inspire continued exploration of this topic.