Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Goldie Award Winner 2014 - Dorothy Tiedje

 In 2014, the Field Botanists of Ontario present the 8th John Goldie Award to Dorothy Tiedje. This award is given annually to an individual or organization whose efforts have made a significant contribution to field botany in the province of Ontario. The award honours John Goldie who conducted botanical surveys in Upper Canada and beyond in the early 1800’s, mostly on foot. 
 Dorothy and her late husband, John Tiedje, have been members of the Field Botanists of Ontario since its creation in 1984 and were present at the first meeting at Red Bay that year. They thoroughly enjoyed the many FBO outings and workshops and the friends they made. Dorothy was on the FBO board at one time, with meetings in Toronto. She led at least five field trips for FBO including trips to Walpole Island (1989), Ausable River (1992), Sarnia Howard Watson Trail (1995), and Port Franks (2005 and 2008).

 It must be emphasized that Dorothy and John acted as a team for many of the botanical activities for which she is being recognized by FBO. The Goldie Award is not the first award that recognized their combined efforts. In 1999, they were given a Meritorious Service Award by Lambton Wildlife Incorporated and they were included on the Lambton Wildlife Incorporated President’s Honours list three times. Dorothy served on the Board of Lambton Wildlife for many years and as president for one term. In 2007, they were given an individual Conservation Award by Carolinian Canada for their work. In 2009 the Lambton Woodlot Owners’ Assn. gave them their yearly award.

 Dorothy and John worked together for over 40 years to compile a complete inventory of  the vascular plants in Lambton County. In that time they published 13 editions of that inventory [Tiedje, 2010]. That inventory served as the basis for contributions to the Guide to the Natural Areas of Lambton County [Catterson] in 2009 and to The Huron Shore Flyway report [Sarnia Urban Wildlife Committee] in 2007. During her field inventories, she made a number of  significant plant discoveries, one of the most exciting of which was the discovery of a new genus of native grass for Canada, Diarrhena obovata which she found in 1988 in the Ausable River Valley, Lambton County [Oldham, 1995]. 

 Jane Bowles once said that John was good at spotting unusual plants. Dorothy did the collecting, preserving, identifying and cataloguing.  Starting in 1963, (with Queen Anne’s Lace) Dorothy created a herbarium of Lambton Co. vascular plants. They took a duplicate of each collection to UWO where Jim Phipps, personally, in Dorothy’s presence, approved or corrected the ID. From all available records, and from their own collections, Dorothy compiled the list which John persuaded the computer to organize numerically as to plant families and alphabetically as to species within the families. John looked after the reproduction and printing. Dorothy also has a small collection of  Lambton mosses, liverworts, and lichens.
 Dorothy’s contribution extended to helping students complete their thesis work. In 1988 she helped Pascale Rettien with her thesis on Ulmus fulva (U .rubra, Slippery Elm from the Hungry Hollow woodlot) for the Diplome d’etat de Docteur en Pharmacie at the Universite D’Aix, Marseille. She worked with Nikki May on her MSc. on Volunteer Monitoring of Forest Restoration at the University of Guelph in 2004 by identifying many plants collected for that project. Also in 2004, she assisted Pak Kin Chan at York University with field work for a thesis related to the Karner Blue Reserve at Port Franks. That thesis was entitled “Plant Communities in Oak Savannahs in Ontario: Are we ready for reintroduction of the Karner Blue Butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis)?” Dorothy and John were involved with hands-on efforts to aid FON/NCC volunteers remove the invasive Dog Strangling Vine (Cynanchum nigrum) at the Port Franks Forested Dunes Nature Reserve and to reduce the amounts of Knapweed on the Howard Watson Nature Trail in Sarnia.  

 Dorothy and John made at least 25 wildflower presentations, based on John’s superb photographs. Dorothy inventoried and listed plants on the Howard Watson Trail, Canatara Park, and many other Lambton locations.

 In April 2009, John and Dorothy donated the Tiedje Woods in Hungry Hollow to the Thames Talbot Land Trust. The 6.1-ha (15-acre) wooded property is located in the Ausable River Valley area of natural and scientific interest (ANSI) and the Ausable River Valley Carolinian Canada site. It has been certified as ecologically sensitive through the Eco-Gift Program administered by the Canadian Wildlife Service. 

 Dorothy Tiedje has made outstanding contributions in documenting Ontario plants, supporting the Field Botanists of Ontario and conserving natural places. The Field Botanists of Ontario is pleased to recognize these accomplishments by awarding Dorothy with the 2014 John Goldie Award. 


Oldham, M., S.J.Darbyshire, D.McLeod, D.A. Sutherland, D.Tiedje, and J.M.. Bowles, 1995. New and noteworthy Ontario grass (Poaceae) records. The Michigan Botanist 34: 105-132.

Tiedje, J, and D. Tiedje. 2010. Vascular Plants of Lambton County, Ontario. 14th Edit. Published by the authors. 66 pp.

The Huron Shore Flyway.  2007.  Sarnia Urban Wildlife Committee 2nd Edit. 20 pp. 

Catterson, G., 2009.  Guide to the Natural Areas of Lambton County. 1st Edition 2009.  Lambton Wildlife Incorporated, Sarnia. 32 pp.   

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