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Remember that possible breeding pair of #BarnOwls we posted recently? It is confirmed, they have indeed given us yet another reason to #CelebrateNature. Welcome little ones.

ArchboldStation

The American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Classified by @usfws as 'similarity of appearance to a threatened taxon' - listed in 1967 and found mainly in the Southeast US. 🐊 Although the listing provides federal protection, it is the state that manages and controls with proper licensing and permits. 🐊 Courtships begin in early April, and mating season in May or June, so right now, we are on the lookout for mound building in Florida. Alligators also tend to roam in strange places at this time looking for a proper mates. Females will build nests made of soil, vegetation, or debris that act as incubators, holding up to 46 eggs for incubation periods lasting 64-68 days. 🐊 Then, hatchling season is upon us in late August through September. Again, through careful and thoughtful management, permits for hatchlings are issued to help control populations. 🐊 📷 by Haoyu Li

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Celebrating Mother's of all sorts, this mother raccoon (Procyon lotor) checking out her surroundings while her kits stay snuggled close by. 🦝 Raccoons are abundant throughout Florida and most of the US, even being found as far north as Alaska. Impressive! 🦝 These kits will stay with their mother until the age of 13-14 months, at which point they can begin their own families. Highly intelligent, excellent swimmers, and can run up to 15 mph. 🦝 Happy Mother's Day Mamma Raccoon! 📷 by Haoyu Li

ArchboldStation

Swarms of Lovebugs resting on flowers of Mock Bishop's Weed (Ptilimnium capillaceum). The Lovebug (Plecia nearctica) is actually a species of march fly—a small black fly with an orange/red thorax that swarms along the Gulf Coast states. 🦟 However, those of us who live in Florida and the Gulf Coast states find them to be quite a nuisance, blanketing cars and trucks, even houses. 🐜 Lovebugs, known also as honeymoon fly, engage in aerial courtship—having two mating flights each year, each lasting about four to five weeks; first in late spring and then in late summer. Sometimes in south Florida, a third flight can occur in December. The flies moved to Florida from Texas, spreading slowly east and south, moving down in the northern Peninsula in the late 1960’s—where they picked up their commonly used name of Lovebug; because Florida love flies just doesn't have the same ring to it. Any review of numerous University of Florida fact sheets on Lovebugs will confirm there is absolutely no truth to the widely held misconception that the Lovebug was cobbled together by university or government scientists who were trying to manufacture a new predator of mosquitoes. 🦗 Although quite beautiful resting on the Mock Bishop's Weed, many locals find them most appealing upon their departure. 🕷 📷 by Haoyu Li #Lovebug #Entomology #Floridabugs #Peskybugs

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The Florida Bobcat, abundant throughout the state, are often hard to catch a glimpse of during the day. Sleeping only 2-3 hours, these hunters are happy to hunt in a slow, and careful manner, and find plenty to do on Archbold's Buck Island Ranch. . 📷 - Haoyu Li . #KeepFlWild #FloridaWild #FloridaEcology #FLranching #FLecosystems #bigcats #bobcat

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The Leafless Beaked Orchid, also known as The Lance-Head Sacoila [Sacoila lanceolata], seen in flatwoods and roadsides, but rarely at Archbold. After burning our wetland reserve prairie in March, this beautiful orchid is popping up to show its lovely bloom over the western half that is not dominated by cutthroat grass – what a treat to behold! Have you had the joy of witnessing this lovely orchid? . . Photo by Hoayu Li . . #ConnectProtectRestore #orchid #orchids #FloridaWild #keepflwild #ecology #archboldprotects #archboldconserves

ArchboldStation

The Barn Owl, possibly a breeding pair? Barn owls typically breed March to August, and in South Florida sometimes have a second brood in late August. . . Photo by Haoyu Li @BuckIslandRanch . . #birds #birdsofprey #FLecosystems #FloridaConservation #archboldshares #ConnectProtectRestore

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As Archbold begins a new chapter with the purchase of Buck Island Ranch, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank our #collaborators and #partners that have worked with us to sustainably manage Buck Island Ranch and to develop a strong and impactful Agro-ecology #Research Program. Our sincere and heartfelt gratitude goes out to these supportive groups and collaborators – we wouldn’t be where we are today without your help over the years: • Florida Cattlemen's Association • South Florida Water Management District • Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services • Rural and Family Lands Protection Program • Florida Department of Environmental Protection • Seminole Tribe of Florida • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission • United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service • United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service • United States Department of Agriculture-Long-term Agroecosystem Research Network • United States Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service • United States Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture • United States Geological Survey • United States Fish and Wildlife Service • World Wildlife Fund • The Nature Conservancy • National Audubon Society and Florida Audubon • Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef • The Mosaic Company • University of Florida • University of Central Florida • Florida International University • University of Illinois • Cornell University • The National Science Foundation • Esri, Inc. • American Wildlife Conservation Fund • Virginia Tech • Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida • Trinity College Thank you!

ArchboldStation

Ever wonder how Buck Island got its name? Although the land looks flat to the naked eye, the topography of Buck Island Ranch is unique because the interior of the ranch is much higher than the surrounding area.  This higher elevation “island” is the original “Buck Island”, receiving the name from Seminole Indian Chief Billy Bowlegs due to it being his favorite wet season hunting grounds. The Ranch was established by the Durrance family in 1927, then became John D. MacArthur’s personal Ranch from 1968 to 1978. After a chance meeting by the former Executive Director and current Archbold Board of Trustee Dr. John Fitzpatrick in 1988 at the MacArthur Foundation, the Ranch was leased to Archbold for 30 years, and became known as the MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center. Flash forward 1988 to 2018, Archbold has been given the tremendous opportunity to purchase Buck Island Ranch, protecting this land forever. Archbold has decided to honor the history and legacy of this special piece of land and uphold the name Buck Island Ranch.  We could have changed the name, using “Archbold”, but we honor the local culture and the people who have always known this place as Buck Island Ranch.  Now preserved for the future, Buck Island Ranch will continue to serve as a place where ranchers, scientists, government agencies, and conservation organizations can work together on a full scale agricultural operation to advance scientific discovery.

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After prescribed fire at Buck Island Ranch's east marsh, Zephyranthes simpsonii exploded. Photos by: Haoyu Li

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The majestic Barred Owl reacts to the call of Archbold Trustee John Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of @cornellbirds Lab of Ornithology during last weekend’s Chairman’s Council visit at @archboldstation's Buck Island Ranch. The visitors enjoyed learning about the importance of understanding agroecology in the Headwaters of the Everglades.  With over 722 plant and vertebrate animal species recorded on the Ranch, and 6 federally threatened or endangered species making their home on Buck Island Ranch, there is much to protect on these important ranchlands. Buck Island Ranch lies in the 2.6 million-acre watershed that stretches from the ancient sands of the #LakeWalesRidge, across nearly one million acres of working cattle ranches to the rivers that flow south into #LakeOkeechobee and beyond, to the #Everglades and the coasts. Photo by Deborah Pollard #archboldprotects #archboldconserves #archboldshares #KeepFLWild #RealFlorida #FloridaConservation #FloridaEcosystems #floridaranch #Floridaranchlands #floridaeverglades

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The combination of morning fog with atmospheric particulates from the previous day's nearby prescribed burning produced a spectacular sunrise across oak scrub. Stunning photo taken last week by visiting researcher Warren Abrahamson. #archboldshares #Archboldconserves #Archboldprotects #loveFL #sunrise #sunriseFL #scrublife

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Clouds from a late afternoon rain parted as the sun was setting over Archbold’s west section to generate a stunning color show. All is beginning to settle as we quiet for a peaceful weekend after a week of great field work including two successful prescribed burns. Photo taken by visiting researcher Warren Abrahamson. #prescribedfire #loveFL #flsunsets #archboldshares #Archboldprotects #Archboldconserves

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#repost @natgeo Photo by  @CarltonWard | An ambitious red-shouldered hawk has caught a sizable dinner—likely a Florida water snake. I witnessed this moment at Buck Island Ranch, part of Archbold Biological Station, which directs research in order to better understand the intricacies of wildlife, water, cattle grazing, and carbon sequestration in the rangelands of the Northern Everglades. These lands are crucial to the Florida Wildlife Corridor and wide-ranging species such as the Florida panther. Shot during my #PathofthePanther storytelling project with  @insidenatgeo. For more discoveries from the hidden Everglades, please follow @carltonward. #FloridaWild #Everglades#ranch #hawk #keepflwild@ArchboldStation @MacFound@Fl_WildCorridor

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The outstanding Delaney’s golden aster (Chrysopsis delaneyi). While not state listed, it is endemic to the state of Florida. There are few populations in Highlands County, only two of which occur on protected lands. Archbold’s program monitors the status of this species due to its extreme rarity on the Lake Wales Ridge and compares it to other listed golden asters, such as Highlands golden aster (Chrysopsis highlandsensis), and the Florida golden aster (Chrysopsis floridana). Currently, Archbold receives funding to work on all three asters through multiple agencies including the Division of Plant Industry, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. #FloridaNativePlants #nativeplants #Archboldconserves #archboldprotects #archboldshares #keepflwild #loveFL Photos by Stephanie Koontz

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Warm wishes for a peaceful Holiday from all of us at Archbold. May the beauty of nature surround you and yours, and bring you comfort and joy all year round. Thank you to all of the wonderful photographers who help us capture these lovely images to share on social media, like this one from Steven Long. We are grateful to our Archbold community for all you give to help us bring a little piece of us to all of you. #archboldshares #Happyholidays Photo by Steven Long

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A juvenile Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) at Archbold Biological Station. As you can see from its robust front legs, this little tortoise is already fully equipped for digging! The Gopher Tortoise is considered a keystone species because of its importance to the ecosystem. More than 300 species (including Gopher Frogs, Eastern Indigo Snakes and Florida Mice) use their burrows as refuges to escape fires and extreme heat or cold. Unfortunately, Gopher Tortoise populations are decreasing, mainly due to loss of habitat from human development. #Archboldconserves #Archboldprotects #Archboldshares #Keystonespecies #KeepFLWild #realFL #loveFL Photo by Peyton Breault @peytonbreault

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This Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) is standing guard over her eggs. She, and two others, were seen yesterday near the Learning Center. Green Lynx Spiders do not use webs to catch prey, but hunt for insects among shrubs and will even catch bees. photo by @dustinangellphoto #floridaspiders #animalmom #greenlynxspider #conservation

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Lovely seed pod of rosary pea (Abrus precatorius) a plant that looks beautiful, but is invasive at Archbold and much of Highlands County. Seeds are highly poisonous. #invasive #invasivespecies #archboldshares #poisonousplants Photo credit: Toby Shaya

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Graduate student Kristen Sullivan from @fiuinstagram finishing an afternoon of fieldwork at Lake Annie. photo by @dustinangellphoto #conservation #floridastewards #limnology #science

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Lexi Seagle, Research Assistant in the Plant Ecology Program, is harvesting seeds of the rare Garrett's mint (Dicerandra christmanii) at the Lake Wales Ridge National Wildlife Refuge today. The Plant Ecology Program has permits to collect these seeds, which will be used in augmentations to help increase the numbers of this endemic plant. It's harvest season and we are thankful for the beautiful intact Florida scrub and a chance to be out in the scrub on such a lovely day. #Thankful #FloridaScrub #Scrublife #nativeplants #keepflwild #archboldshares #archboldprotects #Archboldconserves

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@madison.ea.harman recently photographed this carnivorous Pink Sundew (Drosera capillaris) at Archbold. To catch their insect prey, Pink Sundews use a glue like substance that looks like dewdrops #botany #carnivorousplants #plants #sundew #florida

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Repost: @carltonward Very inspired by the work Carlton Ward does for Florida.// It is an incredible feeling to look into the eyes of a bear at ground level in its habitat. This Florida black bear was one of the first I photographed while focusing on the research that ultimately inspired the #FloridaWildlifeCorridor campaign. I was following biologist Joe Guthrie ( @joeguthrie8) on foot as he stalked towards this female bear with a dart rifle in a bay head forest on the Hendrie Ranch in Highlands County. The Highlands-Glades Bear Project was a collaboration between University of Kentucky and @ArchboldStation. Joe’s professor David Maehr, who was lost in a plane crash tracking a missing black bear with rancher Mason Smoak, often made the point that there would be no bears in that part of Florida without the proactive stewardship of ranchers. GPS tracking showed that bears traveled as far as 500 miles across a patchwork or ranches, groves and public preserves that keep the Northern Everglades connected for wide ranging wildlife. Through research, bears have shown us what we need to do to save the Corridor, and in that way are preparing the path of recovery for the Florida panther as it reclaims historic territory northwards out of the Everglades. #PathofthePanther @FL_WildCorridor #floridawild #keepflwild #bear #forest #conservation #florida #wildlife @myfwc @natgeo @insidenatgeo #pureflorida @pureflorida

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The Eastern Indigo Snake has a beautiful glossy, iridescent, blue-black coloration. This snake is most abundant in sandhill plant communities and uses gopher tortoise burrows as shelter during the winter and for nesting and refuge from the heat during the summer. Due to habitat loss, the Eastern Indigo is federally threatened in both Florida and Georgia. #Snakes #Archboldconserves #archboldshares #archboldprotects #scrublife #loveFL #fieldstation Photo: Peyton Breault @peytonbreault

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Pine Lily or Lilium catesbaei are easily visible in the fall when they bloom. (If you're lucky enough to find them!) #archboldshares #archboldprotects #pureflorida #loveFL #RoamFlorida #FloridaOutdoors Photo taken by GIS intern- Peyton Breault @peytonbreault

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In 2016 while on her spring break, Cornell University student Ann Dunn found a new species of fairy shrimp near Archbold. So inspired by this, Ann returned to Archbold to now serve as a post-baccalaureate volunteer intern to learn more about this fascinating little creature, only ½ inch long. What a beauty! #Archboldshares #Archboldconserves #FieldStation #RealFlorida #Nature #FloridaEcosystems

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Palafoxia feayi or Feay’s Palafox is a native plant species to Florida. It's easy to see the beautiful white flowering blooms at Archbold this time of year, visited by over two dozen species of bees and wasps for its luscious nectar. #archboldshares #Archboldconserves #archboldprotects #floridanativeplants #pureflorida #keepflwild #pollinators #nativeplants Photo by Peyton Breault @peytonbreault

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The Peucetia viridans or the Green Lynx spider on Liatris chapmanii or Chapman’s Blazing Star. The Green Lynx spider likes to wait on flowers for unsuspecting prey in the scrub.  #nature #wildflorida #floridawild #floridaoutdoors #spiders #fieldstation #keepflwild #pureflorida #conserveflorida #wildlifephotography Photo taken by current intern: Peyton Breault

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Stephanie Koontz joyfully remarks, “Today, I came across Carter’s mustard, a very rare endemic plant. I have only seen it a handful of times!” Carter’s mustard, Warea carteri, is currently restricted to the Lake Wales Ridge in Lake, Polk and Highlands Counties in Florida. “What’s cool about this plant is it seems to disappear, when it’s really just “hiding out” waiting until the perfect time – then they ALL flower together!” Stephanie states, as she reveals her favorite thing about this special plant. Historically, it was once more widespread occurring in Brevard, Miami-Dade, and Glades Counties. It occurs primarily on well-drained yellow sands, in oak-hickory scrub and sandhill, and on moderately well-drained gray sands in scrubby flatwoods. Carter’s mustard is Federally and state endangered.  #nativeplants  #KeepFlWild  #FloridaWild  #FloridaEcosystems  #pureflorida

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Sparrow Good News Becky Windsor removes the predator-deflection fence from a just fledged Florida Grasshopper Sparrow nest. One fledgling perches on the grass ready to fly into the surrounding prairie. Archbold Avian Ecology biologists began monitoring the endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrow at Avon Park Air Force Range (APAFR) in 2003. For the last two years, Archbold has also monitored sparrows on a private ranch in Osceola County. While research on Florida Grasshopper Sparrows is a team effort, the ranch work is led by Becky Windsor, a former Archbold Avian Ecology Intern and graduate student. Without the intervention of biologists like Windsor, the success of Florida Grasshopper Sparrow nests is very low. The top predator at the Osceola private ranch is the Red Imported Fire Ant. To increase the population of this sweet sparrow, biologists surround each nest with a predator-deflection fence and treat nearby fire ant nests with ultra-hot water. Because of these protections, not a single sparrow nest was lost to fire ants this year! Becky Windsor was supported by biologists at nearby Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area, Greg Thompson, an Archbold research assistant working at APAFR, and Dr. Josh King (University of Central Florida), who developed the hot water fire ant treatments. Led by Dr. Reed Bowman, Archbold’s Avian Ecology Program Director, this is one crack team of experienced field biologists working hard to save the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow from extinction. After a typical morning on the ranch mist-netting Florida Grasshopper Sparrow fledglings and killing fire ants outside a newly hatched sparrow nest, Windsor shared, ‘They are just a great species. People always wonder why we are focusing on this tiny sparrow with so few left. The conservationist in me says this is our moral responsibility to preserve what is left…which can be said for all species. They may not be as charismatic as a tiger, but they have the right to exist. I love them.’ #FloridaGrasshopperSparrow #FloridaWild #EndangeredSpecies Photo by @IntoNatureFilms.

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Archbold’s Plant Lab happened across a rare and exquisite sighting this morning while in the field – the beautiful ground orchid in flower, Orthochilus ecristatus, commonly known as Giant Orchid. The flowering period begins in July and may extend into January, thrives in a variety of habitats, including riverbanks or open, lightly wooded swamps and pastures. Once commonly seen on roadside ditches as well, it has become less so due to spraying of herbicides on roadways. Native to the southeast, the Giant Orchid is one of the largest and showiest terrestrial #orchids. #KeepFlWild #FloridaWild #RealFlorida #pureflorida #nativeplants

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Deyrup Challenge Underway We are so pleased to see your generous responses to Mark and Nancy Deyrup’s Matching Gift Challenge. Thank you to all who have already given. There’s still time to support the Station and help us meet the Challenge! http://www.archbold-station.org/html/diff/donate.html Thanks to the Deyrups, any gift you make to Archbold between now and September 30, 2018 will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $40,000. It is humbling that after brilliant careers at Archbold, the Deyrups chose to leave such a personal legacy to the Station. And, it is fitting that so many have already stepped up to meet their Challenge—ensuring that Archbold will continue to answer pressing scientific questions, publicize our findings, and engage more people in protecting nature. Thank you for any gift, and as always, your support means a great deal to all of us. #DoGood #Fundraising #Change #Philanthropy #Sustainability Balduina angustifolia photo by @rbowmanfl

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Our new film 'The Science of Life' captures the unique perspectives of two capable and curious teenagers, Ashley Engle and Miranda Bunnell, as summer Research Assistants at Archbold. A day in the Florida scrub with the engaging duo is filled with comedy, drama, blunders, and pure joy. Thanks to the @nsfgov and Archbold’s community of inspiring mentors, they will carry this science experience forward in all they do. Watch here: https://vimeo.com/287927771 https://www.facebook.com/ArchboldBiologicalStation/videos/244632199574318/ #STEM #Mentoring #RealTimeResearch #BenefitsOfNature #NatureRx #Nature #Enviroed #EnvironmentalLiteracy #Stewardship #EnvironmentalEducation #ScrubLife #FloridaEcology #ScienceLiteracy #FloridaScrub #FloridaConservation Video by @IntoNatureFilms

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Vaughn-Jordan Foundation recipient Marisa Grillo collects Lupinus diffusus, common name Skyblue Lupine, on the Red Hill early one beautiful morning. Marisa collects data on the lupine, where she is investigating the effects of fire and microhabitat on lupine demography for her Archbold intern project. #KeepFlWild #FloridaWild #nature #fieldStation #FloridaOutdoors #RealFlorida #StandUp4Science #pureflorida

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The Queen of Red Hill is here! Watch our new film about the Gopher Tortoises of Red Hill and the special people whose vision and dedication made this story possible: https://vimeo.com/279384555 https://youtu.be/r8X18LeBc4I https://www.facebook.com/ArchboldBiologicalStation/videos/1826945244010791/ #GopherTortoise #Herpetology #FloridaWildlife #FloridaScrub #WildFlorida #PrescribedFire #FloridaFire #FloridaConservation #ScrubLife #RealFlorida #KeepFLWild #ConnectProtectRestore Video by @IntoNatureFilms. Funding provided in part by @DisneyConservationFund.

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Repost @NatGeo | Photo by @CarltonWard | A bobcat triggers a camera trap in rare scrub habitat on the Lake Wales Ridge -- ancient sand dunes that form the spine of Central Florida, rising 300 feet above sea level as the highest natural feature in the peninsula, and hosting a variety of endangered and endemic plants -- a time capsule to 2 million years ago when the rest of Florida was covered by a shallow sea. While much of the historic vegetation has been replaced by roads, crops and housing, this section of the ridge is protected by Archbold Biological Station ( @archboldstation), which is a catalyst for research and conservation in the surrounding landscape. This outpost in the Northern Everglades is where we founded the Florida Wildlife Corridor project to communicate the vision for habitat protection needed to keep Florida wild. In 2012, with support from National Geographic, friends and I hiked, paddled and biked 1,000+ miles in 100 consecutive days, tracing this last remaining wildlife corridor between the Everglades (southern tip of Florida) and the Okefenokee Swamp (southern Georgia). We crossed Archbold on day 35 of the journey. My current #PathofthePanther project with @NatGeo is focused on the same Corridor through the story of the endangered Florida panther, because without protecting a wildlife corridor as a lifeline north from the Everglades, the panther will have no path to recovery. The clock is ticking as 1000 people move to Florida each day, and 5 million acres of the Corridor are projected to be lost by 2070 if development continues on its current trajectory. Please connect with me @carltonward and share this story so we can help #KeepFLWild. #FloridaWildlifeCorridor @fl_wildcorridor @insidenatgeo #everglades #expedition #bobcat

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Dr. Jim Layne was appointed as the Station’s first Research Director in 1967. In May 1968, he found and measured the 21st Gopher Tortoise in his study up on Red Hill. Still alive and well, Tortoise 21 is the queen of her domain and star of our new documentary ‘Queen of Red Hill’. Watch the film trailer here: https://vimeo.com/278506859 The ‘Queen of Red Hill’ digs deep into the sands of time to uncover the roots of human history entwined with natural history. Come back July 14th for the full film release! #GopherTortoise #Herpetology #FloridaWildlife #FloridaScrub #WildFlorida #PrescribedFire #FloridaFire #FloridaConservation #ScrubLife #RealFlorida #KeepFLWild #ConnectProtectRestore Video by @IntoNatureFilms. Graphic art by Becca Tucker. Funding provided in part by @DisneyConservationFund.

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Archbold's Tarflowers are in bloom, profusely, which reminds us of the lovely watercolor painted in 1998 by Turid Holldobler-Forsyth (1934-2014), and the inimitable text Mark Deyrup wrote to accompany her scene. See the black and white image for numbering! "In early summer the open flowers of the Tarflower Befaria racemosa (1) summon pollinator insects for a sip of nectar, but these visitors should watch their step, because each shell-pink bud and the back of each petal is coated with a sticky substance that serves to deter caterpillars and grasshoppers that eat flowers and young fruits, but also fatally entangles many small innocent victims (2). The leaves of the Tarflower (3) are arranged so that their surfaces are not struck directly by the most intense rays of the sun at midday. Beneath the Tarflower an Eastern Towhee (4), commonest bird of the scrub, scuffles around for seeds and insects. From a convenient perch on the twisted trunk a second towhee (5) prepares to declare his territory with a song that sounds to human ears like a wistful request on behalf of all birds: Sing free! Sing so freeeeee!" #RealFlorida #Pollinators #FloridaFlowers #conservation #nature #keepflwild

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Today, @archboldstation Research Assistant @picoides_chick is taking over the @bourbonandbirdies instagram page. Join her for a day in the field. #sciencewoman #fieldecology #floridastewards #keepflwild

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Teen volunteers and campers enter a seasonal pond to search for macroinvertebrates. photo by @dustinangellphoto #summercamp2018 #stemeducation #environmentaleducation

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Research Intern Katherine Arquez testing her beetle trap designs. The specimens she collects will be preserved and help researchers understand the health of the ecosystem. photo by @dustinangellphoto #fieldstation #science #keepflwild #conservation #entomology

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Minding the Gap Katherine Charton came to Archbold as a Plant Ecology intern in 2017 with a special interest in spatial ecology and developing technologies. With encouragement to explore her own ideas from Dr. Eric Menges, Archbold Plant Ecology Director, Charton charted a new path forward to remotely map ‘gaps’ (open areas) in Florida rosemary scrub using satellite and drone technologies. Open gaps in the otherwise shrubby vegetation of Florida rosemary scrub support many rare and endemic plant species, including more than 20 federally listed species. Charton shared, ‘The plant ecology program has spent countless hours in the field physically mapping gaps, so I was excited to find a new way to do this remotely with guidance from Archbold GIS Manager Vivienne Sclater. Remote mapping will save time and allow us to answer even larger, landscape level questions about plant systems.’ Her initial results showed a significant correlation between her remotely-mapped and field-mapped gaps. Charton is just getting started adding, ‘My next question is how we can use the new gaps found using the drone mapping process to better understand where species are found and why they are found there.’ #DronesForGood #ScrubLife

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Becoming a Researcher Stacy Smith began working at Archbold 11 years ago as a Plant Ecology Research Assistant. It was her first research position after spending several years assisting restoration projects in Arizona, California, and throughout Florida. She recalls, ‘Before Archbold, I had never seriously considered a career in ecological research. While working on my first project here, an experimental restoration of Florida scrub, I was exposed to other aspects of ecology like plant demography, fire ecology, and reproductive biology. I went from carrying out restoration to interpreting research data and translating results into land management recommendations.’ Smith made major contributions to all aspects of Archbold’s many long-term plant research projects doing everything from field work to designing experiments to education and outreach. Most of all, she appreciates the sheer diversity of research projects led by Dr. Eric Menges, Archbold Plant Ecology Director. She added, ‘I consider my time at Archbold pivotal in defining my future career. Here at Archbold, I became a scientist.’ Smith left Archbold a few weeks ago for a new chapter in Gainesville, FL reflecting, ‘I now have an even greater appreciation for the Archbold research and conservation community being a very special place. I came to Archbold early in my career with a variety of experiences, but none of those compared to what I gained at Archbold. I have pretty high standards for my future employer(s).’ #FloridaScrub #PlantEcology #FloridaPlants #ScrubLife

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The first session of our Ecology Summer Camp is now underway! . . . #summercamp #summercamp2018 #stemeducation #environmentaledu

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Fire is one of the earth’s dominant forces. ‘Surviving Fire: In the Florida Scrub’ features three decades of discovery by Dr. Eric Menges: https://vimeo.com/268222179 After watching this powerful short film, you will never look at Florida plants the same away again. This film pays tribute to the special people who dedicate their lives to improving fire management. Join Eric Menges for a 16 minute exploration into the elegant and unexpected ways plants survive fire. Funded by @NationalScienceFoundation and produced by @IntoNatureFilms in collaboration with @ArchboldBiologicalStation. #FloridaFire #PlantEcology #LakeWalesRidge #PrescribedFire #EndemicPlants #FireEffects #FloridaScrub #ScrubLife #KeepFLWild

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Archbold’s new film ‘Surviving Fire: In the Florida Scrub’ presents a fascinating view into the world of fire ecology. When fire rolls across the Florida scrub, plants fuel the flames. But what happens next is surprising. Each plant has a survival story to reveal to those who will listen. Eric Menges has kept his finger on the pulse of this fire-prone environment for decades at @ArchboldBiologicalStation. This @IntoNatureFilms production is a story of beauty and inspiration. You will never look at plants in Florida the same way again. Watch out for the full film coming here on Sunday, May 6. Funded by National Science Foundation (NSF). #FloridaFire #PrescribedFire #PlantEcology #FloridaPlants #ScrubLife #Fire #LakeWalesRidge