The Conservation Exchange

at Warren Wilson College

Sharing Ideas, Passion and Resources for Innovative Land Stewardship

Fall 2022:v30

A Note from the Dean of Land Resources

Back in pre-Covid days, we enjoyed meeting many of you at our public education lectures, workshops and field experiences. We are happy to say that we are continuing that work! We know there are several great continuing education options out there to choose from. Our programs will focus on unique experiences that take advantage of our working agriculture and forest lands, inspiring faculty and staff and the ecology and biodiversity of the Swannanoa Valley. Our next workshop will focus on the fishes of the Swannanoa River. If you have ideas for topics or activities you would be interested in, please contact me directly and we'll incorporate those we can into our programming. I hope to see many of you at future events.

"Ichthyology, the study of fishes. It looks like a big, boring word, but it's actually quite exciting, because ichthyology is the only "ology" with "YOLO" in it. Now, to the cool kids in the audience, you already know, YOLO stands for "you only live once," and because I only have one life, I'm going to spend it doing what I always dreamt of doing: seeing the hidden wonders of the world and discovering new species. And that's what I get to do.“

Dr. Prosanta Chakrabarty

Local Fish Identification and Collection Workshop

Saturday, October 22nd, 10am - 1pm

Course Fee $55

The Southeastern United States is a global hotspot for aquatic biodiversity, including a rich assemblage of freshwater fishes. In particular, the French Broad River basin is home to a diverse array of fishes that occur in unique aquatic habitats throughout the region. Participants in this course will learn to identify fish species found in the French Broad River basin, working with the Warren Wilson College fish collection in the laboratory and collecting live specimens in the field. The learning outcomes include an understanding of the taxonomy and external anatomy of local species, field collection techniques, and an appreciation of the ecology and conservation of local fishes. 

Dr. Patrick Ciccotto is an Instructor of Biology at Warren Wilson College and a Courtesy Adjunct Professor at the Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology Division, having received his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Dr. Ciccotto has studied the taxonomy of freshwater fishes across multiple countries, conducting extensive field work throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States as well as Southeast Asia for over 15 years. His research interests also include the evolutionary ecology and conservation of imperiled freshwater fish species. Dr. Ciccotto teaches a variety of zoology and non-majors science courses at Warren Wilson College. 

This workshop is open to the general public with limited seats available. It will take place on the Warren Wilson College campus in the lab and the Swannanoa River. Participants should be prepared for hands on learning in the river. Waders will be provided. The workshop will be rescheduled if weather causes the river level to be too high for sampling.

Register Here

Darters Return to the Swannanoa River! 

WWC Professor Liesl Erb’s Conservation Biology students and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission collaborated on reintroducing Tangerine Darters (Percina aurantiaca) into the Swannanoa River on campus. This species was historically present in, and an important ecological component of, the entire French Broad River Basin. The Tangerine Darter is a host fish necessary for the reproduction of native freshwater mussel species. It is hoped that the return of this fish will aid in mussel conservation in the Swannanoa River and the French Broad River Basin. 

Interested in Giving to The Conservation Exchange?

Your generous gift will go towards helping us maintain and improve the research, education, aesthetic and recreation infrastructures of our land and will support continued outreach opportunities for the Warren Wilson College Conservation Community. To give, go to the link below, choose "Other" and designate "Conservation Exchange" on the form. Thank you for being part of our Community!

Give to the Conservation Exchange
Contact: Dave Ellum