The Ecology, Diversity, and Beauty of Northwoods’ Forests

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Date(s) - 08/30/2021
9:00 am - 10:30 am

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Course Title:  The Ecology, Diversity, and Beauty of Northwoods’ Forests

Dates:  8/23, 8/26, 8/30, 9/2

Time:  all talks 9:00 – 10:30, the walk from 9 – 11:30.

Location:  Zoom for talks, Frog Lake and Pines SNA for the hike

Objectives:  A place is a space with a story. Every species in Wisconsin’s Northwoods has its own story, and all the stories put together make up a massive novel full of intrigue and beauty. It’s more complex than we think, and perhaps even more complex than we can think! We’ll take a quick flyover view of the most common, and most interesting, plants and animals, all the while trying to understand their individual stories, and thus make some sense of this most amazing place we call the Northwoods.

Course structure:  The course will be given in 3 zoom sessions, each 90 minutes long, covering the following topics:

Trailside Botany – the most common plants one should know while on a hike in Iron County

Birding by Habitat – The macro and micro places to find birds in Iron County

The Ecology of Old-growth Forests – The science and value of allowing trees to grow old.

The 2.5 hour long hike: An exploration in the 1,290-acre Frog Lake and Pines State Natural Area in southern Iron County, which features a wilderness lake surrounded by old-growth white and          red pines.

Requirements: No requirements before taking the course, nor any homework. A list of resource books will be provided by the instructor. Physical requirements for the hike are minimal: it will be an easy, slow 2-mile-long wander.

Instructor: John Bates has a MS in Environmental Science, and is the author of nine books and a contributor to seven others, all of which focus on the natural history of the Northwoods. He’s worked as a naturalist in Wisconsin’s Northwoods for 31 years, leading an array of trips and giving talks all designed to help people further understand the remarkable diversity and beauty of nature, and our place within it. His new book on the last and best wild lakes to paddle in Wisconsin will be released in the fall of 2021.

He has served on the Board of Trustees for the Wisconsin Nature Conservancy, the Wisconsin Humanities Council, and the River Alliance of Wisconsin. He currently serves on the Board of the Northwoods Land Trust and the Board for the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame.

John and his wife, fiber artist Mary Burns live on the Manitowish River in Iron County where they raised two daughters.