September 2020 E-Newsletter
Thank YOU for your support during our August Virtual Cook-off Fundraiser! There is always time to join IAE,

Our mission is to conserve native species and habitats through
restoration, research and education. 

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." - Winston Churchill

Featured Articles
Hope for oak and prairie, just out of sight – but within reach
By Anna Freitas, Kait Wright, and Zade Clark-Henry
It was our first day as members of Institute for Applied Ecology's Prairie and Oak Inventory crew, and we were admittedly disappointed not to see either of our namesakes. After several hours of walking in the rain through Douglas-fir forest and dripping vine maples, finding no oaks and few of the herbaceous species that accompany them, it was time to head back to the trucks. We had surveyed five sites that our partners at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had indicated might contain prairie or oak, two plant communities that have been diminished to a fraction of their original extent in the Willamette Valley. On our way back to the vehicles, soggy from pushing through rain soaked oceanspray, we heard our crew lead, Julia, call out in surprise, “Oh! An oak!” It was crowded by shrubs, spindly from suppression, but given the thick forest and shrubs we had been walking in all day, it was the last thing we expected to find. We mapped its location and left the field for the day feeling excited and ready to find more hidden surprises during the season! Read More
Collaboration and Creativity During COVID-19 Leads to Novel Programing and Meaningful Outcomes for Forest Bound
by Lia Griesser and Melanie Gisler

Despite the pandemic, our Southwest office in Santa Fe New Mexico was fortunate to offer two sessions of our outdoor ecological education program ‘Forest Bound.’ Forest Bound is a free week-long course with lessons geared toward addressing plant blindness, and awareness of career options in conservation and ecological restoration. In 2020, our program was transformed both by a new collaborative session with the Pueblo of Pojoaque and by the need to adapt lessons to safely operate during the COVID19 pandemic. For both sessions, we got creative and customized games, class sizes, lessons, and ways of interacting outdoors. Carefully structured outdoor classrooms have the opportunity to provide safe student engagement and meaningful hands-on, interactive education that students miss when they are only participating in online classrooms and zoom workshops.  Furthermore, the pandemic has exacerbated the potential for nature deficit disorder (see: Louv, 2005) as people are spending most of their time at home.  Forest Bound participants are in good positon to receive immense physical and mental benefits simply from spending significant time outdoors in nature.  While we faced many challenges along the way, we have grown our program in ways previously unimaginable. Read More
Beyond The Vale: The Ongoing Chronicles of Mulford’s Milkvetch
By IAE Conservation Research intern Justin Ford and Intern Crew Lead Nadav Mouallem

With all three of us in separate trucks because of COVID-19 protocols, we packed and left Corvallis, Oregon, at 7 am for four nights of camping with stars in our eyes. The stay-at-home order for the state had started to roll back, and non-essential businesses were opening again. Our job for the week was to cross the Cascade Mountains and Oregon’s high desert to the town of Vale, Oregon. From there, we’d spend three days monitoring Mulford’s milkvetch (Astragalus mulfordiae, abbreviated as ASMU) in the surrounding areas. ASMU is a perennial plant on Oregon's endangered species list, and its small white flowers begin to show around April each year. Read More
Staff Spotlight: Julia Fields
We are very excited to welcome Julia Fields to IAE’s Habitat Restoration team. Julia is joining IAE as a Restoration Ecologist. She comes to us from Monterey, California where she worked for an environmental consulting firm and specialized in restoration of maritime chaparral and coastal bluff communities. She has nine years of experience working in a variety of capacities as a biologist and ecologist. She earned her undergraduate degree at Westmont College studying art and biology. Her graduate work at California State University Monterey Bay culminated in an internship with the Point Lobos Foundation where she mapped plant communities and weeds throughout Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. Julia brings to the team a strong data management, ArcGIS, and plant identification skillset. She especially enjoys the challenge of identifying grasses. When asked what she was most excited about in her work with IAE, she said that she is excited to learn about the rare habitats of Oregon, namely prairie and oak ecosystems, and to participate in their enhancement. She is also excited to collaborate with her new team as well as the partners that we work with. When asked what drew her to the Pacific Northwest, it turns out that she and her husband have long wanted to move north where it is greener and where they can be closer to family. Julia has fond childhood memories of visiting her grandmother in the San Juan Islands, and she fell in love with the Pacific Northwest (PNW) as an adult while taking field biology classes at the Pacific Rim Institute on Whidbey Island. When her husband got a job with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife based out of Newport, they were very excited to finally realize their aspiration of relocating to the PNW. While not at work, Julia and her husband enjoy hiking and backpacking, observing the antics and adorable features of their newly adopted cat, Melon, and volunteering at a community garden.

We are so happy to have you on board, Julia! Read more about Julia here.
OSU Science Pub: From Extinction to Recovery? Webinar, September 14, 6 pm
Last documented in the wild in Oregon in 1938, golden paintbrush (Castilleja levisecta) was apparently extirpated from Oregon through agriculture, urban development and habitat invasion by exotic weeds. A few small populations remain in Washington and British Columbia, but even these have been in decline in recent years. The species was listed as Threatened by the federal government in 2000, and in 2004 became one of the first plants in the country to have a reintroduction plan. Since 2010, the Institute for Applied Ecology has teamed with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to reintroduce this iconic prairie plant to western Oregon grasslands in an attempt to bring it back to the state, and in the process contribute to its full recovery and potential removal from the threatened species list.The story of golden paintbrush and its science-based comeback will brighten your day! Science Pub Corvallis offers thought-provoking presentations, now in a virtual format. Interact with experts, answer trivia questions and leave feeling more nourished and knowledgeable. Instructions for the event will be sent to those that RSVP to Science Pub. Read More

If that date doesn't work:
From Extinction to Recovery: Reintroducing Golden Paintbrush to the Willamette Valley, Oregon Native Plant Society's Online Program
September 21, 7 - 8:30 pm
Digest This!
Saturday, September 19, noon, Santa Fe, New Mexico
IAE Invasive Species Cooking and Harvesting Expands to New Mexico
SITE Santa Fe is teaming up with some of Santa Fe’s most exciting restaurants to present Digest This! in-person prix fixe meals on patios across Santa Fe and virtually through livestreams. These programs look at the concept of displacement by focusing on cuisine and chefs displaced from their native lands to New Mexico, edible invasive species, and the public programs are displaced themselves at local restaurants instead of in the museum. IAE Southwest Director Melanie Gisler and field biologist Jason Roback will discuss edible invasive species at 315 Restaurant & Wine Bar on Saturday, September 19 at noon. Chef Louis Moskow will prepare a curated menu of edible Southwest invasives. Read More
Brief Updates
Where have all the insects gone?
By Nancy Tannler, Southeast Examiner
Have you noticed your windshield is no longer splattered with bugs when you return from a road trip? That might make washing easy, but the bad news is there are less bugs around. In some areas, entomologists have noted a shocking 76 percent decrease of insects since 1989. The good news is that we could bring back the bugs. Tom Kaye, a botanist with the Institute for Applied Ecology in Corvallis, spoke with The Southeast Examiner to explain what is being done here in Oregon about the insect apocalypse. Read More
Ecological Education
Bringing the outside world into the classroom is an important way to share nature with students housed in juvenile detention centers. IAE's Ecological Education team is teaching hands-on inquiry based lessons to students at Marion Co. and Linn Co. Juvenile Detention Center. Students recently dissected owl pellets, explored animal skins and skulls and learned about flower parts in ecology based studies. "I love to see the students' faces light up as we talk about nature and they explore natural items. I see shy students open up as they share their experiences with animals or plants," commented Stacy Moore, EE Program Director. IAE thanks its supporters including Willamette MBA grant program, Sarah Diehl, Linn Co. Juvenile Department, and Multnomah Education School District.
Our Gratitude
Sarah Greene of Corvallis, Oregon, is a driving force on IAE's Development Committee, and has been for many years. All of us at IAE are so grateful for this longtime, former Board Member's work connecting with IAE's community of donors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for your continuing time and energy supporting the work of IAE, Sarah!
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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