October 2020 E-Newsletter
Conservation for All!
Our mission is to conserve native species and habitats through
restoration, research and education. 
To join us in our work,

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." - George Eliot
Featured Articles
Black Futures Farm: Growing Food Sovereignty & Community

On a hot mid-August day, the Ecological Education team and Tom Kaye traveled north to Black Futures Farm located at the Learning Gardens Lab in southeast Portland, Oregon. Our aim was to lend a hand to Black Futures Farm, which grows food, builds local stewardship, and promotes Black food sovereignty. We were also saying goodbye and wishing well to Mirabai Collins, who until recently worked with Institute for Applied Ecology teaching plant cultivation and conservation at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility.

Upon arrival, our team was greeted by Collins, who is co-founder/co-director of Black Futures Farm and Malcolm Shabazz Hoover, also co-founder and co-director.

While standing in the shade under a white canopy, Hoover sketched out the background of the farm and explained the farm’s goals and aims. “Black Futures Farm is working towards restoring Black people to the land,” he explained. “Today, Black people make up only a small percentage of people owning land, and our goal here it to help people use this land to produce food to feed their families.” Read More
Osmia Out of Nowhere, and Other Pollinator Tales
By David Cappaert, IAE Pollinator Crew

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 of the flower and insect species at each of 15 sites across the Pacific Northwest, you can learn something about how an entire system—a pollination network—is organized. That is the aim of the Prairie Pollinator Project, a collaboration between IAE researchers and Susan Waters of the Center for Natural Lands Management at various sites around the Willamette Valley of Oregon. But for those of us in the field, following all Covid-19 protocols and safely distanced from our colleagues, the excitement is what we see in a meter square in 5 minute increments. Watching a stand of Madia, you’ll see Lasioglossum titusi, a sweat bee that can barely fly with her pollen load, and many kinds of hoverfly (Syrphid family). Bumblebees prefer lupine. Occasionally there is a surprise, a motionless pollinator in the jaws of a crab spider (at left). Read More
A Student's Summer of Conservation in the Southwest
By Jessica Zhong, IAE Southwest Intern

As August drew to a close, so did one of the most memorable endeavors I have undertaken in my life. I recently spent ten weeks in Santa Fe, New Mexico with the Institute for Applied Ecology's Southwest Office, with the goals of assisting with plant conservation efforts. Personally, I hoped to see as much of the Southwestern landscape as I could. I came into this position as part of the Jeff Metcalf Internship Program offered by the University of Chicago Conservation Corps. As an undergraduate student studying biology and environmental science, this presented the perfect opportunity for me to experience field work for the first time. Before I knew it, I was flying out to New Mexico for a ten week deep dive into botany, unaware of just how much I would learn and grow. Read More
Seasonal Staff Spotlight: Steve Walters

For the past 2 years, the Conservation Research Program at IAE has been working with the Army Corps of Engineers, Eugene District, to study pollinator communities of Willamette Valley prairies in Oregon. While we have studied pollinators in the past, this project required us to hire someone with more extensive pollinator identification experience. Lucky for us, we have been able to have Steve Walters lead these research efforts for us over the past 2 field seasons. Steve received his B.S. in Biology from Humboldt State University, where he conducted research on benthic invertebrate communities in a restored estuary and conducted an urban bee survey of native bees in Arcata, California. In addition to his undergraduate research, Steve held positions with Trinity County Resource Conservation District, Yosemite National Park, and Oregon State University prior to arriving at IAE.
I asked Steve what he has enjoyed most about his time at IAE, and he replied that he has really enjoyed being able to apply his love of pollinators and plants these past two years. He stayed in Corvallis after taking a job at OSU three years ago and was lucky enough to hear this job through his friend, Dionné Mejía, whom he knew from OSU and is now with IAE’s Ecological Education program. This position seems tailor-made for Steve, as his description of the field season shows well. “Enjoying the best months out of the year in flowering meadows with a bug net is my ideal way to spend a field season, and I've been lucky to work with and get to know some truly great people. As the field season wraps up, I get the pleasure of trying to uncover the identities of the insects that we captured over the past six months under a microscope. Each bee is like a puzzle waiting for it's mysteries to become known.”
In his free time, you can find Steve disc golfing down at Willamette Park, perfecting his sourdough bread recipe, playing a fun new board game with friends, tending his planted aquariums, or rock climbing in the cascades or central Oregon.
We're Hiring!
IAE Southwest has an opportunity for a Plant Materials Technician 2

The Institute for Applied Ecology Southwest Office seeks a Plant Materials Technician 2 for fall and winter 2020-2021 (Nov-Mar). The Technician will work closely with IAE Southwest staff to support projects related to our native Plant Materials and Restoration Programs. This position will be based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and may involve occasional travel for fieldwork. The position is full-time for 16 weeks, with flexible start and end dates. This is an exciting opportunity to learn practical plant materials skills, gain exposure to a wide variety of applied conservation and restoration projects, while helping to further IAE’s mission of conserving native habitats and species through restoration, research, and education. Closes October 20. You must apply through the application on our jobs webpage.
Brief Updates
Southwest Office
This month our Southwest Office partnered with the National Park Service (NPS) at the Salinas Pueblo & Missions National Monument to create pollinator gardens at Abo and Quarai visitor centers. Gardens feature native plant species that provide nectar to a diversity of pollinators (i.e., native bees, butterflies, moths, wasps, hummingbirds) as well as food for developing monarch butterfly caterpillars.  Flowering periods span April to November, helping sustain pollinators over their season of flight. Thanks to project funders, NPS and NPS Trust, as well as volunteers from the Friends of the Salinas Pueblo Missions and Xerces Society.
Plant Materials Program
Kudos to IAE staff who pitched in to help the Plant Materials team safely sweep common madia (aka tarweed, Madia elegans) from the seed-catching fabric at our Native Plant Farm on Oregon State University lands across the Willamette River from Corvallis. Safely distanced and masked, many staff harvested all the seeds before some more much-needed fall rains. Great work, team!
Our Gratitude
We cannot thank Sunia Yang enough for her service on IAE's Board of Directors! Not only did she sew numerous masks for staff use at a critical time this past spring, but she has continued to lend her expertise with IAE's IT and websites. Always willing to jump in and help, we are so fortunate to have her support and service on our Board. Thank you, Sunia!
Keep up with our work on Facebook and Instagram
IAE Board of Directors:
Ken Bierly, President; Cary Stephens, Vice President; Laurie Halsey, Treasurer; Deborah Clark, Secretary; Jason Bradford, Anne Bradley, Mak Estill, Brandy Humphreys, Debbie Johnson, Shinji Kawai, Carol Savonen, Sunia Yang