Spring 2019:6
The Conservation Exchange
at Warren Wilson College
Sharing Ideas, Passion and Resources
for Sustainable Land Stewardship
A Message from the Dean of Land Resources
The eternal optimist in me says that Spring is here - and here to stay! Trout lilies are up, work is being done in shirt sleeves and our seniors have that look in their eyes! As we all venture out from semi-hibernation, I want to introduce the dedicated folks that make our land a vibrant and productive learning community. These are the people who grow our food, tend our animals, keep our forest healthy and maintain one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. In addition to these day-to-day responsibilities, the Land Resources Team act as mentors, educators and research collaborators for our students and perform countless hours of community engagement ranging from hosting elementary school groups to conducting land management activities for regional conservation organizations. It's a joy and inspiration to work with them all.
Meet the Land Resources Team
(Front row l to r): John Odell, Landscape Supervisor; Diane Hillgrove, Asst Landscape Supervisor; Virginia Hamilton, Asst Farm Manager; Dr. Mary Bulan, Sustainable Agriculture Program Director and Professor of Sustainable Agriculture
(Back row l to r): Dr. Dave Ellum, Dean of Land Resources and Professor of Ecological Forestry; Shawn Swartz, Forest Manager; Asher Wright, Farm Manager; Ben Mackie, Garden Manager; Pete Erb, Coordinator of Science Communication
We are happy to announce that The Conservation Exchange has been awarded a generous grant from Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. This grant will help support our efforts in science and conservation outreach, educational programming and landowner engagement. We are honored to receive this grant and want to thank Blue Ridge National Heritage Area for their ongoing stewardship of living Appalachian traditions in North Carolina.
Sunday April 7th, Kittredge Theater @ 4:00pm
Warren Wilson College 125th Anniversary
Power of Place
Harwood-Cole Memorial Literary Lecture

"A Lot about a Little or a Little about a Lot: the Evolution of a Right-brained Ecologist"

Dr. J. Drew Lanham is Clemson University Master Teacher and Alumni Distinguished Professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation and author of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature . Dr Lanham will discuss how as ecologists, we often take the multi-dimensional array of creatures, places and interactions and boil them down into the flat pages of obscure journals most will never read. The words in those publications are critical for the scientists to communicate with one another. Robust investigation and peer review are the bases for adaptive natural resource management. The “sin” is in leaving the works and words to languish between the pages. As the words molder in the stacks, policy makers and the public go largely uninformed about important environmental issues. In the current landscape of climate deniers and science skeptics, we must re-find the art in conservation science and re-focus and re-double our work towards the passion that pulled us into the profession as noticers and naturalists. Mining the data from the right brain, where creativity dwells, is an essential for the profession going forward. Science-based advocacy is the hardest work waiting beyond publication.
Thursday April 18th, Garden Cabin @ 6:00 pm
BIPOC in Herbalism: Acknowledging and Addressing Systems and Disadvantages
By Brandon Ruiz

Brandon is the owner of Atabey Choreto Medicinals and Director of the Charlotte Herbal Accessibility Project. H is seminar will educate participants on the systems in place that Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) face when attempting to undertake a career/lifestyle or pursue education in the herbal world. We will talk about ways that we can help develop better accessibility to herbal medicine, become allies to BIPOC and more. Participants will leave understanding methods to ensure equal and affordable access to herbalism; the systems in place that leave people of color at a disadvantage; how to use herbalism as a vehicle for social change; how to advance the future of herbalism into a realm that embodies equality and social justice.
Saturday April 20th, OM Sanctuary @ 2:30 pm
Mindful Forestry
By Dr. Dave Ellum

The technical side of forestry is fascinating, but only half of the story. What are the ethical and philosophical underpinnings of responsible forest stewardship? How can we respect forests while still benefiting from the goods and services they provide? Can nature be imitated through thoughtful management? Dr. Ellum’s presentation will share perspectives on these and other important questions through the lens of Ecological Forestry. The talk will be followed by a hike through OM Sanctuary’s forest where Dave will talk about the natural history of the region and point out species and landscape features that tell the unique story of the land.

This talk will be part of a day long Earth Day Celebration at OM Sanctuary in Asheville, also featuring an herbal discussion led by WWC students Dakota Wagner and Hannah Gibbons. For more information contact
Thursday April 25th, Morris Pavilion @ 7:30 pm
Bat Conservation in Western North Carolina: Community Partnerships Take Flight
By Dr. Liesl Erb

When did you last notice the spots NOT on your favorite fruits? The lack of mosquitoes at your last family picnic? It’s easy to take these situations for granted, but behind the scenes of our favorite agricultural and ecological systems is a group of organisms people associate more often with Halloween than healthy pumpkins: bats! While vampires or rabies may be the first things that come to mind when people think of these animals, Dr. Liesl Erb will be sharing why we should temper our fears and heighten our appreciation for these fragile little lives and the critical ecosystem services they provide. Many bat species in our area are rapidly declining due to habitat loss and disease, and Dr. Erb and her students have been working with several community partners to increase bat outreach and research in western North Carolina. In this talk, Dr. Erb will share some of this work and discuss how volunteers can get involved to help with bat science and conservation.
Trail Day Volunteer Opportunity - April 6th, 10:00am - 2:00pm
Meet at Forestry Cabin
Join Forestry and Outdoor Leadership students for a workday along the River Trail. Tools will be provided and no trail building skills are necessary. Please bring lunch, water and gloves. Liability release forms will be required for all non-WWC participants. Contact Dave Ellum for release forms and more information.
Earth Week Events: April 22nd - April 26th
Stay tuned for the upcoming schedule of events to celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day. We'll be hosting a full week of events including Farm Open Houses, workshops and demonstrations, wildflower planting project, environmental film and panel discussion, student music showcases and many other events ending with a 24-hour BioBlitz.
Interested in Giving to The Conservation Exchange?
Your generous gift will go towards helping us maintain and improve the recreational and educational infrastructure 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 Conservation Community!