Saturday, August 13, 2011

Field Botanists of Ontario’s 27th Annual General Meeting

Saturday and Sunday
September 10 and 11, 2011
Town of Simcoe

Dear friends and colleagues in Botany.

Enclosed is the schedule of our 2011 Annual General Meeting and its associated activities and field trips. The AGM will be taking place in the Town of Simcoe, Norfolk County.

If you are interested, please fill out the attached registration form and indicate your choice of trips and whether you will be attending the banquet on Saturday evening.

Four trips (two on Saturday and two on Sunday) have been organized for your enjoyment and our first-class leaders will take you to various botanical hotspots in the botanically diverse Haldimand and Norfolk counties. Trip descriptions and directions are included.

Please note that field trips are open to non-FBO members but there is a surcharge of $5 per person per trip, and after priority has been given to the members. Your cheque will be cashed following the AGM. Refunds will be issued provided cancellations are made at least 7 days prior to the AGM. No-shows will not be refunded.

For the trips, please arrive adequately supplied with food and drinks, and in proper footwear and clothing.

You will also remember that, as per our policies, personal collecting of plant material (whole specimens or parts, seeds, etc.) is not permitted on FBO trips unless stated otherwise. The trip leader may take voucher specimens for deposition in recognized herbaria.

For those wishing to stay overnight, the town and vicinity offer a good range of accommodations of various kinds, but Best Western appears to us as the most pleasant.

Field Trips: Saturday 10 September 2011

Chambers Property (Nature Conservancy of Canada)
Leader: Bill Draper
9:30 am – 4:00 pm
The Nature Conservancy of Canada has recently purchased a number of properties in Norfolk County as part of their Norfolk Legacy Project. We will be visiting one of these properties to explore a rich assemblage of plant communities on the valley slope and floodplain of Big Creek. We will see representative sand plain species, Carolinian species, and an unusual Black Walnut floodplain forest containing a large population of the rare grass, Deer-tongue Panic Grass (Dichanthelium clandestinum)(S2). If time permits, we will explore the oak forests on the adjoining property.

We will meet at the property at 9:30 am. To reach the property from Simcoe, follow Highway 24 south and west to Highway 59 (approximately 32 km from the intersection at Highway 3 in Simcoe). Proceed west across Highway 59 and continue on Regional Road 60 for approximately 3.7 kilometres to the West Quarter Line Road. Turn left and proceed 1.4 km south on the West Quarter Line Road to the first T intersection. Turn left and find a place to park on the side of the sand road.

St. Williams Conservation Reserve, Turkey Point Tract and adjacent wetlands.
Leader: Kevin Kavanagh
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
A wonderful assemblage of uplands, steep valley slopes and wetland habitats all exist here in proximity to one another. We will begin at a scenic overlook of the Turkey Point marshes at Long Point Eco-Adventures and then proceed into the St. Williams Conservation Reserve where we will encounter plant communities on steep valley slopes dominated by Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and bluffs with mixed oak woodland. We will see representative Carolinian species including mature Tulip Trees (Liriodendron tulipifera) and American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis). We will explore the edges of the Turkey Point Bog where northern species such as Black Spruce (Picea mariana), Tamarack (Larix laricina) and Eastern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis) can be found growing within metres of the Carolinian species. This is also the only known site in Ontario where Northern Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica) naturally occurs, often in association with Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) and Poison Sumac (Rhus vernix). The trails are very steep in places and will require sturdy (and potentially waterproof) footwear.

We will meet at Long Point Eco-Adventures at 1:00 pm. To reach this location from Simcoe, follow Highway 24 south and west to Regional Road 10 (approximately 15 km from the south end of Simcoe). Turn left (south) onto Regional Road 10 (which is also called Turkey Point Road) to Front Road (3rd intersection after turning off of Highway 24). Turn right onto Front Road and you will see the entrance for Long Point Eco-Adventures on your left (south side). Park in the main parking lot and we will meet inside the main building at 1:00PM.

Field Trips: Sunday 11 September 2011

Long Point Sand Dunes, Long Point Provincial Park
Leader: Albert Garofalo
9:30 am – 3:00 pm
The Great Lakes coast supports some of the rarest and most threatened ecosystems in Canada. Long Point, on Lake Erie, is a hotspot for species diversity and supports a number of distinctive shoreline plants such as Beach Grass (Ammophila breviligulata), Beach Pea (Lathyrus japonicus), Sea Rocket (Cakile edentula), Seaside Spruge (Euphorbia polygonifolia), and Kalm’s St. Johnswort (Hypericum Kalmianum). We will be visiting the sand dune communities in search of coastal species which occur on the shorelines of the Great Lakes in addition to the Atlantic Ocean. If time permits, we can also explore the coastal wetlands.

We will meet at the entrance to Long Point Provincial Park at 9:30 am, on September 11th. To reach our meeting place from Simcoe, follow Highway 24 south and then west to Highway 59. Turn south (left) on Highway 59 and proceed until it turns into Long Point Road. Continue on Long Point Road as it turns eastward onto the Long Point Sand Spit and becomes Erie Blvd. Follow signs to the entrance of the Provincial Park. The drive is approximately 45km from Simcoe and should take 45-50 minutes. We will try to park outside the park and walk in.

Haldimand Clay Plain
Leader: Mary Gartshore - !
9:30 am – 4:00 pm
We will assemble at 9:00 am at the Little River Inn Best Western in Simcoe and then travel to the Selkirk Park as our first stop, en route to two other areas.

Selkirk Provincial Park, on Wheeler Rd. Approximate start time 9:30 am. We will search dry woods for clay hickory-oak specialties and other southern species including Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea), Great St. John’s-wort (Hypericum ascyron) and Southern Wild Rice (Zizania aquatica).

Oriskany Sandstone, east of junction of Dry Lake Rd and Townline Road. Approximate start time 12:00 noon. Small open sandstone pavement feature of the Oriskany sandstone with Intermediate (or Wand-like) Bush-clover (Lespedeza intermedia), American Pennyroyal (Hedeoma pulegioides) and other sandstone specialties.

Ruthven Historic Park, Lower Grand River Land Trust, Hwy 54 just north of Cayuga. Approximate start time 2:00 pm. Grand River slope forest with Black Cohosh (Actaea (Cimicifuga) racemosa) and North Cayuga Slough Forest sloughs with Sharp-Winged Monkey Flower (Mimulus alatus), Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), Southern Arrow-wood (Viburnum recognitum) and other slough forest specialties.

We will finish the busy day at Cayuga around 3:30-4:00 pm.

Annual General Meeting and Dinner
Field Botanists of Ontario

Saturday September 10, 2011
Best Western Little River Inn
203 Queensway West
Town of Simcoe
5:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Directions: Highway 24 South to Simcoe’s downtown, right (west) onto Queensway, hotel very short distance on the north side of street.

Following Saturday’s field trips, we will meet at the Little River Inn’s Skylight Room. The evening’s program is as follows:

5:00 – 6:00 Social hour: an opportunity to meet and chat with fellow FBO members. A fine selection of imbibements will be available, at cost.

6:00 – 7:00 Dinner (plated: poached salmon with dill hollandaise), followed by tea, coffee and dessert.

7:00 Feature presentation: “Botanical highlights of the Midwest Tallgrass Prairie, Carolinian forests of the Appalachians and the Atlantic Coastal Plain”, based on the travels of Chris Zoladeski, presented by himself.

8:15 – 9:30 AGM (agenda below)

2011 Annual General Meeting

1. Call to Order
2. Introduction of FBO Executive and address of the President
3. Presentation of Goldie Award
4. Approval of Agenda
5. Approval of the 2010 AGM Minutes
6. Treasurer’s Report
7. Auditor’s Report
8. Membership Chairman’s Report
9. Nominating Committee Report and election of officers
10. Suggestions for future trips and location of 2012 AGM
11. General discussion and other business
12. Adjournment

Registration forms are on the website, or coming in your mail!

Saturday, June 4, 2011


The AGM will be held on September 10‐11 in Simcoe

Please pencil in the date for the AGM, this year in the Town of Simcoe, on September 10th and 11th, 2011. The meeting and dinner will be held at the Best Western Little River Inn. Our speaker will be Christopher Zoladeski, from Savanta Inc. (and your current Vice‐President). He will take you on a botanical tour of three North American ecozones of high relevance to Ontario's flora: the Atlantic Coastal Plain, Midwest Tallgrass Prairie and deep into the Carolinian Forest of the Appalachians.
AGM field trips are still in preparation and will centre on the botanical highlights of Haldimand and Norfolk Counties, including Backus Woods.

The AGM notice, with full details of the programme and field trips, will be mailed to FBO members in July. We hope you will be able to attend!

2011 FBO Field Trips

Rouge Valley Spring Flora Saturday, May 7 (9:50AM)
Leader: Dan Westerhof
Location: Rouge Valley Park, Toronto
Dan Westerhof will lead us on a trip to view spring wildflowers and learn about some issues of conservation of Toronto flora in the Rouge Valley, Toronto. In addition to showing us some of the richest sites for ephemeral flora and woodland sedges, he will show us the unusual southern species that showcase Toronto’s location in the Carolinian zone of Canada.

Spring Flora in the Tanager Tract Sunday, May 15 (9:50AM)
Leader: Jane Bowles
Location: near West Lorne in West Elgin, Ontario
The Tanager Tract, recently purchased by the Thames Talbot Land Trust, is part of a 380‐ha forest known as the West Lorne Woods, a Provincially Significant Wetland (PSW) and an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI). This woodland, widely regarded as one of the best examples of Carolinian forest in Elgin County and one of its top botanical sites, is an outstanding remnant of the region's original extensively forested landscape. This rich forest nurtures the growth of many hardwood trees unique to the Carolinian Zone and many varieties of ferns.

Cedar Creek Woodlands Saturday, June 4 (9:50AM)
Leader: Anton Reznicek
Location: near Arner, west of Kingsville, Ontario
This trip will be to see the woodlands along Cedar Creek in the vicinity of Arner, just west of Kingsville near the Lake Erie shore. We will be visiting Arner Point, and other Essex Region Conservation Authority lands. These are the largest contiguous wooded areas in Essex County outside of Point Pelee National Park and even though the emerald Ash Borer has taken a toll, they still have a lot of typical southern deciduous forest trees such as Flowering Dogwood, Tuliptree, Black Gum, and Chestnut that we should see, lots of southern sedges including hopefully at least some of such rarities as Carex festucacea, Carex retroflexa, and C. squarrosa, a presumably native occurrence of Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans), and some interesting items on the oak dominated slopes, as well as the typical understory of “Carolinian” forests.

Orchids of the Bruce Peninsula Saturday, June 11 (9:50AM)
Leader: Joan Crowe
Location: Sauble Beach to Petrel Point, Ontario
This trip will start with a hunt for two unusual orchids in the huge post‐glacial sand dunes near Sauble Beach Community Centre. As we head north to Petrel Point Nature Reserve, there are several more sites on the edges of the moist wooded areas. Petrel Point, a classic example of a fen, has a relatively high pH which provides habitat for a number of orchid species.

East Cross Forest Saturday, June 18 (9:30AM)
Leader: Dale Leadbeater
Location: Fleetwood Conservation Area, Kawartha Lakes, Ontario
The Fleetwood Creek Natural Area, a river valley system on the Oak Ridges Moraine, contains lowland forests, hardwood bush, meadows and steep valleys. There are over 250 kinds of plants and 44 types of birds. A variety of geological formations caused by glaciation can be found in the area, including kames, kettles, eskers and ice‐contact ridges. A large part of the property is designated as a Provincially Significant Earth and Life Science Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI).

Murphy’s Point Provincial Park Sunday June 26 (9:00AM)
Leader: Eleanor Thompson
Location: Murphy’s Point Provincial Park (about an hour north of Kingston).
Murphy’s Point Provincial Park is located on the north shore of Big Rideau Lake, part of the Rideau Waterway. With its rugged topography, beautiful mixed forests, rock outcrops, lakes, creeks, beaver ponds and marshes, it is a lovely example of the Frontenac Axis, a southern extension of the Canadian Shield. The mixture of habitats creates a diverse flora which includes some species at the northern edge and others at the southern edge of their range. Expect a delightful day of enjoying the varied flora of the Shield country. Note that a Provincial Park day pass costs $10.75 per car.

Botanical Exploration of the Greater Toronto Area Saturday, July 9 (9:50AM)
Leader: Steve Varga
Location: somewhere within the GTA (to be announced)
Steve will lead us on a trip in the GTA focusing on a Wetland or Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) that needs a botanical inventory. Members will have a chance to help find interesting plants and vegetation communities in an area that has little in the way of existing botanical information.

Norfolk County Flora Sunday, July 17 (9:50AM)
Leader: Wasyl Bakowsky and Donald Sutherland
Location: several sites in Norfolk County
Wasyl Bakowsky and Donald Sutherland will lead a trip to a number of sites in Norfolk County, including sand prairies, oak – pine woodland, swamps and rich forest. Noteworthy species include Spotted Horsemint (Monarda punctata), Goat’s‐rue (Tephrosia virginica), False Foxgloves (Aureolaria pedicularia and virginica) and Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica).

Prairie Remnants of Windsor, Essex County Saturday, August 6 (9:50AM)
Leader: Dan Barcza
Location: near Windsor, Ontario
Dan will lead us to explore some of the most significant prairie and savannah remnants in Essex County. We will visit several managed and unmanaged sites and discuss some of the issues surrounding conservation of tallgrass prairie in Ontario: for example Ojibway Park, the Tallgrass Prairie, Spring Garden, Black Oak Woods or Devon Woods. We will enjoy spectacular views of the 2
rarest tallgrass prairie and savannah sites at their floral peak.

Chippewas of Nawash First Nation (Cape Croker) Saturday, August 13 (9:50AM)
Leader: Jarmo Jalava
Location: Cape Croker, approximately 20 km NE of Wiarton, Ontario
Jarmo will lead a trip to explore the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation (Cape Croker) reserve on the Bruce Peninsula. There are opportunities to see lots of different habitats (alvars, cliffs, talus, fens, rich escarpment forests, etc.). Cultural exchange will likely be part of this trip. Plant species highlights are Gattinger’s agalinus (Agalinis gattingeri) and grooved yellow flax (Linum sulcatum).

Coastal Plain Ecology – Axe Lake Ontario Sunday, August 28 (10:00AM)
Leaders: Sarah Mainguy and Jan McDonnell
Location: Approximately 30 km NW of Huntsville, Ontario
Sarah and Jan will lead a canoe trip to explore the disjunct Coastal Plain flora of Axe Lake, the richest site for this provincially rare vegetation type in Ontario. We will explore the lake’s flora and will discuss the unusual ecological conditions that are responsible for its persistence over thousands of years since the last glaciation. Coastal Plain indicators at their peak will include Virginia meadow‐beauty (Rhexia virginica). Note that we will be looking for volunteers to bring canoes.

Hawthorns Saturday, 24 September (9:00 AM)
Leader: Dr. James Phipps
Location: University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario
Hawthorns are, in general, difficult to master without seeing flowering and fruiting material from the same specimen. Therefore, this will be the second of two workshops designed to train skills in identifying hawthorns. We will focus on characteristics most evident in fall, such as changes in pubescence, twig colour, fruit and to a lesser extent, fall leaf colour, as well as brushing up on other identifying characters. We will visit some of the same sites where we tentatively identified hawthorns in the spring of 2010. The following morning, we will practice identification skills in a laboratory setting.

Mushrooms and Other Fungi Sunday, October 2 (9:50 AM)
Leader: Richard Aaron
Location: Koffler Scientific Reserve, King City, Ontario
Welcome to the wonderful world of fungi! The focus of this all‐day workshop will be on identification. All levels of ability are welcome, from complete novice to avid mushroomer. Repeat participants will find it a useful refresher and will undoubtedly see species not seen in previous years. The day will begin with an interpretive walk and specimen collecting, followed by classroom work to identify our finds. A set of field guides will be available for use, and each participant will be provided with a checklist. Discussions throughout the day will range from natural history and ecology to making sense of fungal scientific names. You will also have an opportunity to learn about slime moulds (Myxomycetes). Although not fungi, these fascinating organisms have long been studied by mycologists. We will have use of a classroom, dissecting microscopes, washrooms and kitchen facilities. How civilized! Note: Trip will end at 5:00 pm.

Lichens of Sandbanks Provincial Park Saturday October 15 (9:50 AM)
Leader: Troy McMullin
Location: Sandbanks Provincial Park, south of Bellville, Ontario
There is a rich diversity of lichens at Sandbanks Provincial Park that includes rare and sensitive species. Teloschistes chrysophthalmus (golden‐eye lichen) was recently discovered in the park and it had not been recorded in Ontario for about 100 years. It is a rare species that is particularly sensitive to air pollution, so it is a good indicator that other interesting species may be found there. We will start the day with an introductory talk on lichens at the main office and spend the rest of it on forest trails and beaches. Come be enlichened as we appreciate the small things in life! Note that a hand lens is highly recommended for this trip.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Courses in Michigan

Are you a fisheries biologist, botanist, environmental consultant, biological technician, aquatic biologist, extension agent, college student, etc. who would like to improve your knowledge of aquatic plant identification? If so, be sure to sign up for the Gratiot Lake Conservancy-sponsored AQUATIC PLANT WORKSHOP in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula this summer! This class will also be useful to volunteer monitors or lake association members interested in learning how to identify aquatic plants and invasive species in order to protect healthy ecosystems in inland lakes.

WHERE: near Eagle Harbor (Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula)
WHEN: August 20 (Sat.) and August 21 (Sun.) 2011
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day
INSTRUCTOR: botanist Janet Marr
SPONSOR: Gratiot Lake Conservancy
FEE: Space is limited and advance enrollment is required. The fee for this 2-day
workshop is $70 ($55 for Gratiot Lake Conservancy members). An enrollment form is
part of the pdf attachment to this email or downloadable at

SCHOLARSHIP: There will be a Janet Avery Scholarship available. Interested
applicants should either email Bonnie Hay at
or write to Gratiot Lake Conservancy, PO Box 310, Mohawk MI 49950. Please indicate
your affiliation, why you would like to attend the workshop, and how you intend to use what you learn in your work, studies, or teaching.

WORKSHOP ACTIVITIES: Workshop activities will take place both inside the
classroom and in the field at several Keweenaw lakes and channels/coves connected to
Lake Superior. Submersed and floating-leaved aquatic plants will be identified with a
focus on identification of pondweeds (Potamogeton and Stuckenia species) and rosetteformers including the Michigan endangered awlwort (Subularia aquatica). Techniques for collecting and herbarium specimen/label preparation will be demonstrated.

Differences between aquatic invasive species such as Eurasian water-milfoil
(Myriophyllum spicatum) and curly-leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) and their
native relatives will be discussed.

GUIDE TO AQUATIC PLANTS: An aquatic plant handbook (Guide to Aquatic Plants
of Gratiot Lake and other Keweenaw County Lakes) and accompanying CD will be given
to each participant free of charge and will be used during the workshop.

Beginners Workshop on Dragonflies and Damselflies, August 13, 10am - 4pm
Info at:
Sketching Nature in Watercolor at Gratiot Lake, July 16 & 17, 10am - 4pm
Info at:

Isle Royale Botany Workshop, June 13-18, 2011
Isle Royale Nature Photography Workshop, June 17-22, 2011
Both workshops are sponsored by the Isle Royale & Keweenaw Parks Association.
Info for both workshops at Click on “upcoming.”

Announcing the 2011 New York Flora Association (NYFA) field trips and workshops

For full details see the "field trips and workshops" tab on the NYFA webpage.

May 21-22 (Saturday and Sunday), 2011, Salix (willow) workshop based out of Ithaca (Tompkins Co.), led by David Werier. Co-sponsored with the Bailey Hortorium, Cornell University. Click here for flier.

June 4 (Saturday), 2011, High Valley Farm field trip, Columbia County, led by Troy Weldy, Claudia Knab-Vispo, and Richard Ring.

June 19-23 (Sunday-Thursday), 2011, Joint field meeting based out of Ithaca (Tompkins Co.). Click here for flier.

June 24-26 (Friday-Sunday), 2011, Botrychium (grape fern and moonworts) workshop based out of Ithaca (Tompkins Co.), led by Art Gilman. Click here for flier.

June 29-July 1 (Wednesday-Friday), 2011, Sedge workshop based out of Geneva (Ontario Co.), led by Tony Reznicek.

July 23-24 (Saturday-Sunday), 2011, Flat Rock field trip (Clinton Co.), led by Anne Johnson, Chris Martine, and Scott LaGreca.

July 31-August 1 (Sunday-Monday), 2011, Bergen Swamp / Letchworth field trip (Genesee, Wyoming, and Livingston Cos.), led by Steven Daniel and Doug Bassett.

August 28 (Sunday), 2011, Cryptogam trip to Burrows Cave, Newcomb, NY (Essex Co.), led by Scott LaGreca.

September 10 (Saturday), 2011, Hubbard Creek Marsh & vicinity, Suffolk Co., Long Island, Joint field trip between NYFA and Long Island Botanical Society, led by Eric Lamont

September 17 (Saturday), 2011, Aster and goldenrod workshop based out of the Niagara Falls region, led by John Semple.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Celebrate the Arrival of Spring in Ottawa

The Field Botanists of Ontario
and the Canadian Museum of Nature
invite you to
Celebrate the Arrival of Spring in Ottawa
April 9 - 11th 2011


Saturday, April 9

1740 Pink Road, Gatineau, Quebec (Aylmer Sector)
See map attached (or visit and scroll down for a google map). Parking is free. On arrival, please enter by the main door.

Behind the scenes at your Canadian Museum of Nature
Come for a rare chance to see a few (thousand) of the ten million natural history specimens safeguarded for Canadians by the CMN, and meet some of the people that care for them. The visit will highlight the National Herbarium of Canada, which preserves discoveries and adventures significant in our botanical history, and the DNA lab where researchers are making history today. But that’s not all: you will find some VERY large skeletons in CMN closets…


Please find lunch during your transition from the Natural Heritage Building to the Victoria Memorial Museum Building. A list of nearby restaurants is attached. There is a cafe in the Museum exhibit building, but it may be quite busy!

240 McLeod Street, Ottawa, Ontario, 3rd Floor Salon
For directions, visit Parking at the Museum costs $1.75 per hour, to a maximum of $10.00 per day. Nearby street parking is free on weekends.

Welcome and introductions, followed by speakers:

Tiger nuts and velcro plants
A walk through the relationships, biogeography and remarkable diversity of sedges (family Cyperaceae)
Julian Starr, Research Scientist, Canadian Museum of Nature / Associate Professor, U of Ottawa

The Cyperaceae or sedge family is a truly remarkable group characterised by its exceptional diversity (ca. 5000 spp.), varied habitats (deserts to rain forests), unusual chromosomes (holocentric) and diverse biogeographical patterns. Distributed across every continent except Antarctica, sedges represent nearly 3% of the native vascular flora of North America, and in some regions, such as the Arctic, they are the dominant component in terms of species diversity and biomass. In addition, approximately 10% of sedge species are of either direct (e.g., medicines, crops) or indirect (e.g., weeds) economic importance to humanity, and yet sedges are largely unknown to the general public, and they are frequently mistaken for other plants such as rushes or grasses, even by professionals. In this talk we will learn about the fascinating biology of the sedge family, and about recent advances in our understanding of its relationships, evolution, and diversity through the application of genetic techniques such as DNA sequencing and barcoding. Recent collecting North and South America will highlight the beginning of our research on the biogeography and taxonomy of arctic-alpine and bipolar species complexes, including the discovery of hidden diversity in this remarkable plant family.

Julian Starr’s research is in Systematics, the science of biodiversity. By using traditional morphological and modern molecular techniques, his research aims to discover and circumscribe species and to understand the biogeography and evolution of higher-level groups. Most of his work is focused on sedges (family Cyperaceae). Julian Starr holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Manitoba and a doctorate from Oxford University, England.

Orchids: leaving “nothing but footprints” can leave significant impact
Long Term Study of Two Common Orchids
Marilyn Light, Chair, North American Regional Committee of the IUCN Orchid Specialist Group

To conserve biodiversity, we need a profound understanding of the role of the ecosystem in species survival and of the relative impact of natural events and human disturbance upon our interpretation. Long term study of common orchids in Gatineau Park, Qu├ębec, has been used to examine how weather affects insect pollinators and herbivores, as well as to assess the impact of visitors and habitat trampling upon orchid seed germination. We will examine how lessons learned using common plants can be effectively used by field botanists to study and monitor more vulnerable species.

Marilyn Light received her education at McGill University. Since 1985, she has studied the behaviour of orchid populations including Cypripedium parviflorum and the introduced Epipactis helleborine. She has received the Anne Hanes Conservation Award from the Ottawa Field-Naturalists Club and chairs the North American Region Committee of the Orchid Specialist Group.

Coffee, tea, fruit

Science and Traditional Knowledge
Detection of vegetation changes in southern Hudson Bay
Laurie Consaul, Botanist, Canadian Museum of Nature

The effect of climate change on terrestrial biota of the Southern Arctic Ecozone can potentially be inferred by the appearance of new species from the south. New plant species and other changes in vegetation distribution and cover can be detected by residents with long histories of relationship with the land and its wildlife, as well as by repeated botanical inventories of an area through time. This presentation will focus on field work collecting plants on the Belcher Islands in southern Hudson Bay in 2010, for a project that compares contemporary plant distributions with results of past inventories to detect vegetation changes. Social science colleagues engaged local participants in making plant collections, and interviewed community members about changes in the vegetation and the effects of these changes on their lives. This presentation will show beautiful southern Arctic landscapes and also discuss adaptations that make these Arctic plant species hardy in other extreme environments further south.

Laurie Consaul studies systematics of plants combining traditional morphological and cytological methods with molecular methods, focusing currently on the grass genus Puccinellia (alkaligrass and goosegrass). She also studies the distribution of arctic plants and change in distribution of these plants that may be attributed to climate change. Laurie holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Western Ontario, a Master’s degree from the University of Ottawa, and a doctorate from McGill University.

Hold onto your hats! Botany is going digital to change the world
Being a Botanist in the 21st Century
James Macklin, Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

With the advancement of technology for capturing and sharing information, biodiversity information is accumulating faster than ever, and is available from an increasingly large number of distributed sources. Historically, the species-occurrence data associated with biological collections was used primarily by taxonomists, but with the aggregation of data from many sources has come ready availability of these data for many other uses, such as modelling species distributions and assessing the effects of climate change on biological diversity. When problems with accuracy, completeness, and consistency of representation of those data are overcome, the results of these kinds of research, based on information with a solid taxonomic footing, may be judiciously applied to influence policy and management of biodiversity resources.

James Macklin is newly returned to Canada having spent five years as Director of Collections and Informatics at Harvard University Herbaria and six years as manager of botanical collections at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is a systematist exploring complex variability in the Rosaceae (particularly hawthorns and blackberries), and a leader in biodiversity informatics initiatives, including the “Filtered Push”: network technology designed to enhance discovery and use of natural history collections, reduce duplicative capture effort, and enhance data quality.


Brand-new exhibitions and galleries in a 100-year-old stone castle
In May 2010, the CMN re-opened its doors after jaw-dropping restorations and renovations. Here’s your chance to sample the new RBC Blue Water Gallery (featuring Tallulah the whale), Vale Earth Gallery, and Talisman Energy Fossil Gallery or to walk a few steps along a visual journey to the Arctic, through the camera lens of Michelle Vahlberg in the temporary exhibition Arctic Kaleidosope.

240 McLeod Street, Ottawa, Ontario, 3rd Floor Salon

Catered by Gourmet Cuisine. Vegetarian choices are included on the menu. Please indicate any special dietary considerations on your registration form.


Botany in arctic Canada: The latest chapter in a 200 year adventure
Floristic Discoveries and Biodiversity of the Western Canadian Arctic Vascular Plant Flora
Jeffery M. Saarela, Research Scientist, Canadian Museum of Nature

Exploration of the vascular plant flora of the Canadian Arctic has been ongoing for almost two centuries, yet substantial gaps remain in our floristic understanding of this large and difficult-to-access region. Detailed information on the diversity and distribution of Arctic plants is urgently needed to understand the potential impacts of climate change on the region’s flora. The botany team at the Canadian Museum of Nature has recently (2008, 2009, and 2010) conducted detailed floristic surveys in botanically-understudied regions of the western Canadian Arctic: on mainland Northwest Territories (Tuktut Nogait National Park and vicinity, between the tree line and the Arctic coastline), and on Victoria Island − the largest island in the western Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The comprehensive baseline data of our >3000 new collections adds important knowledge to our understanding of Arctic plant biodiversity, and will contribute to understanding the impacts of global climate change on the composition and distribution of the Arctic flora. Many of our collections are first records for the northwestern Arctic, and we have documented many range extensions for species within Canada and the NWT (e.g., Botrychium lunaria, Equisetum palustre, Carex concinna, C. garberi, Draba oligosperma, Lomatogonium rotatum, and Myriophyllum sibiricum). Surprisingly, we found previously undocumented extralimital stands of balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera) growing fully in the tundra well beyond the reported range of the species in Canada, which is generally considered to extend only to the tree line. Dense ‘Arctic forests’ dominated by the large willow, Salix alaxensis, occur along river terraces on northwestern Victoria Island, forming a unique micro-habit that harbours a lush and diverse vegetation atypical of the surrounding Arctic tundra. Through our explorations of Victoria Island, we have documented species not previously reported for the Canadian Arctic Archipelago as a whole (e.g., Andromeda polifolia), the western Canadian Arctic Archipelago (e.g., Koenigia islandica, Corallorhiza trifida, and Pinguicula vulgaris, representing a major northern range extension for this insectivorous species), and Victoria Island (some 30 species, including major range extensions for the recently-described grass species, Puccinellia banksiensis).

Jeff Saarela is a research scientist at the Canadian Museum of Nature. He completed his PhD at the University of British Columbia in 2006. He works in the field, herbarium and DNA laboratory to characterize the taxonomy and evolutionary history of grasses, sedges and the Arctic flora.

Sunday, April 10


Q: Where do you find a Field Botanist? A: In the field.
After a day indoors catching up with news, here’s a chance to head outside, exploring the National Capital region under the guidance of knowlegeable botanists and gifted presenters. Please bring standard field gear for easy (but possibly cool, damp) terrain, along with trail snacks.

Heart of the National Capital: The Greenbelt Dan Brunton
Maximum 20 participants

The massive (20,000 ha) National Capital Greenbelt (NCG) extends east - west across the City of Ottawa, encompasses an amazing variety of natural habitats and native biodiversity. Over 800 native vascular plant species are present including over 200 Provincially or Regionally Significant species. Simply put, the NCG is the most ecologically significant urban Greenbelt in North America, if not the world. Although it will be too early in the field season to fully appreciate it fully, the FBO field trip will provide a taste of the floristic diversity of the NCG.

Meeting place: Assuming spring floods or late winter conditions don’t make the decision for us, there are two possibilities: The Eastern Option includes Mer Bleue Bog (vast RAMSAR-designated peatland, long research history) and Greens Creek CA (disjunct southern flora, Champlain Sea fossils, primary-growth hemlock ravines) and time permitting, Pinegrove CA (sand-based coniferous forest). The Western Option includes Innis Point (globally rare shore alvar and primary growth Silver Maple swamp) and Stony Swamp CA (most floristically diverse area in Ottawa, and time permitting Pinhey Forest (sand-based coniferous forest of regenerated Champlain Sea sand dunes). Please indicate your preference on the registration form. Logistical details will be shared with registrants by e-mail and at the meeting on Saturday.

Dan Brunton is an ecological consultant with a long history of ecological investigation and conservation activity in the Ottawa Valley. He has written extensively on natural features and areas, particularly in of eastern Ontario and western Quebec. A life-long naturalist, he has a particular interest in vascular plants in general and pteridophytes in particular. He also has explored and collected extensively across Ontario and throughout North America and maintains a large private herbarium.

Wonderful Winter Wildflowers Eleanor Thomson

Every field botanist has at times puzzled over the identity of plants that are not in flower or otherwise easily identifiable. We will go to Marlborough Forest, a vast area of woods and wetlands south of Ottawa, to see what various wildflowers look like during and after the winter's snow.

Meeting Place: 9:00 am, Cedar Grove Nature Trail at parking lot E3. From the west end of Ottawa, take Hwy 416 south to Roger Stevens Drive (exit 49). Go southwest on Roger Stevens Drive about 5 km to the parking lot (E3) at the Cedar Grove Nature Trail.

Eleanor Thomson is a four season botanist with a comprehensive knowledge of the flora of eastern Ontario.

Lichens of Gatineau Park Colin Freebury
Maximum 12 participants

Gatineau Park is something of a wilderness treasure to its adjacent urban population of more than a million people. Despite heavy recreational use and nearby traffic, the park is home to an impressive diversity of plants and fungi, including an extraordinary 323 (and counting!) species of lichens. This outing will take participants a leisurely kilometer through mature maple forests, and provide a rare guided opportunity to explore lichenology. Among the species we will see are Lasallia papulosa - a warty 'toad skin' lichen that inhabits low rock outcrops - and eight cyanolichens, including 'kidney lichens' such as Nephroma bellum, N. helveticum, and N. parile.

Meeting Place: Participants should meet at 9:00 am in the parking lot of the Natural Heritage Building in Gatineau. From there we will drive roughly six kilometres to the trail head. The outing will wrap up about noon.

Colin Freebury is a Canadian Museum of Nature Research Associate in lichenology and a contributor of time and specimens to the national Lichen Herbarium. His current research focuses on the lichens of Gatineau Park and Grasslands national Park in Saskatchewan.

1:30 BRYOPHYTE WORKSHOP Part I (continues on Monday)

Bryologists Wanted! Jennifer Doubt and Linda Ley
Maximum 12 participants

Considering the ubiquity, beauty, ingenuity and ecological importance of bryophytes, it’s high time that more botanists were noticing and recording the moss, liverwort and hornwort species that are growing in their favourite Ontario natural areas. To support field botanists in learning to find and identify bryophytes (or to find and identify them better!) this 1.5 day workshop aims to create an informal environment where all participants can share and develop their knowledge. On a Sunday afternoon field trip in Ottawa’s gorgeous greenbelt, we’ll explore a diversity of bryophytes in their favourite microhabitats, and make collections for lab examination. In the laboratory at the CMN Victoria Memorial Museum Building, we’ll practice identification skills all day on Monday. Beginners can work through exercises to prepare for using identification manuals, while those that already have some experience can dive right in to work on their collections. We look forward to hosting bryologists of all levels of (in)experience, and to sharing our experience and passion for non-vascular plants.Meeting time and place: Directions will be provided to registrants by e-mail and at the meeting on Saturday. We will meet at 1:30 pm and continue until about 5:30 pm, meeting again at 9 am Monday at the Victoria Memorial Museum Building.

What to bring: Any manuals and equipment of your own you’d like to use (e.g. microscope, forceps). Although there will be no cafeteria service on Monday, there will be a lunch area for those who bring their own lunch, and nearby Elgin Street boasts many restaurants.

Jennifer Doubt is a bryologist and manager of the National Herbarium of Canada at the Canadian Museum of Nature, applying her experience in collecting and identifying mosses across Canada to conservation, research and education. She is a member of COSEWIC and of its Mosses and Lichens subcommittee, and the author of many national and provincial status reports and recovery documents on bryophyte species at risk.

Linda Ley is a bryologist specializing in the collection and identification liverworts, and co-author of An Enthusiasts Guide to the Liverworts and Hornworts of Ontario. As an Ottawa-based independent contractor, she offers technical assistance to researchers in several fields of botanical research (bryology, phycology, lichenology, vascular plants), and is a member of the Mosses and Lichens Subcommittee of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

Monday, April 11

(see above)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Experience four days in Lake Superior's Isle Royale National Park and learn to identify the diverse plants that live on this incredible island!

This special botany workshop, sponsored by the Isle Royale & Keweenaw Parks Association (IRKPA), and taught by botanist Janet Marr, is open to anyone with beginning/intermediate knowledge of plant identification who is interested in learning to identify the early summer native flora of this species-rich Lake Superior island.

Workshop participants will spend four days on Isle Royale learning native plant species, using such tools as a dichotomous key and hand lens to identify plants. Other topics will include discussion of island plant communities, rare species, ecology, and invasive species.

Most workshop activities will take place outdoors. Optional evening sessions will also be offered to review plants learned earlier. Field trips will include Tobin Harbor, Scoville Point, and Raspberry Island, places that are all located in the vicinity of Rock Harbor.

Workshop attendees will meet in Houghton, Michigan, on Monday (13 June) afternoon and travel from Houghton to Rock Harbor (on Isle Royale) on the Ranger III boat on Tuesday (14 June). Participants will return to Houghton on the Ranger III on Saturday (18 June).


Workshop participants should be able to walk up to 7 miles in one day with a daypack on rocky, sometimes steep, trails and bedrock, sometimes slippery, shoreline.


Botanist Janet Marr, the workshop instructor, has had many years of experience studying plants across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Isle Royale. Janet taught the 2007 - 2010 Isle Royale botany workshops as well as many botany, aquatic, and wetland plant workshops in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. She is co-author of the Isle Royale Natural History Association's Island Life, an Isle Royale Nature Guide.

ENROLLMENT IS LIMITED TO 12 PARTICIPANTS. Past botany workshops have filled up very quickly so sign up soon! Contact Kristine Bradof at 906-482-7860 or for more information about workshop registration or to register. Contact Janet Marr at 906-337-5529 or for details about the workshop itself.


$675 per person if registered by March 5, 2011 ($25 discount for IRKPA members;
see for information on becoming a IRKPA member).

$699 per person if registered after March 5, 2011 ($25 discount for IRKPA members;
see for information on becoming a IRKPA member).

A $200 deposit is required to reserve your place in the workshop and may be sent to the Isle Royale & Keweenaw Parks Association, Attn: Kristine Bradof, 800 Lakeshore Dr., Houghton, MI 49913. The balance is due by April 17, 2011.

A cancellation fee of $75 will be charged for cancellations between May 1 and May 31, 2011. There will be no refund for cancellations made after June 1, 2011.

The fee for the botany workshop covers instruction, camping, meals on the island, notebook, Slavick/Janke’s Flora of Isle Royale, and transportation to and from Houghton, MI on the Ranger III. Participants may travel from Grand Portage, Minnesota, on the Voyager at their own expense. See for Voyager info.


Participants may camp for free at a Rock Harbor group site for the four nights on the island. You may also stay in the Rock Harbor Lodge or Housekeeping units at your own expense (consider sharing a room with another participant or friend to reduce your lodging cost). For information about lodging (at Rock Harbor Lodge or Housekeeping units), boat rentals, etc., please see: or call 866-644-2003 (winter season) or 906-337-4993 (summer season).

For information about Isle Royale National Park, see their home page at or call 906-482-0984.

Janet Marr
email: or
phone: 906-337-5529
23180 Hwy. Rd.
Calumet, MI 49913 USA

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Looking for Photos for Newsletter

We haven't got a lot of photos for the upcoming issue of the newsletter so our newsletter editor was wondering if members could submit photos, especially for the following trips which will have trip reports in the issue:

Mactier Sand Plain
Wainfleet Bog
Five Points Forest

Please send pics directly to