Mark your calendars for Wednesday, March 11. That's the date of this year's Ohio Wildlife Diversity Conference, hosted by the Ohio Division of Wildlife. This is the BIG one - about 1,000 nature enthusiasts of all stripes come together for what must be one of the largest one-day natural history conferences anywhere. The conference location couldn't be more convenient - it's in Columbus and right off the freeway at the cavernous Aladdin Shriners' Complex at 3850 Stelzer Road. CLICK HERE to register.
There are exhibitors, artists, vendors, authors, and legions of like-minded people all rooting for nature and conservation. And of course, the talks, which cover a range of subjects. The Division usually unveils some sort of surprise for participants, and this year I do believe there will be two! I can say no more at this point, but let's say that these gifts should serve any natural history buff quite well.
A group of naturalists explores an Adams County prairie, looking for rare mustards and whatever else there is to see. The keynote is Stephen Kellert of the Yale School of Forestry, and his talk is entitled People & Nature in the Modern World. It'll be an interesting and informative perspective of how we - Homo sapiens - interact with Mother Nature. On a somewhat related topic, Jeremy Bruskotter of the Ohio State University will speak about Hunters and Birdwatchers: And the Survey Says... He'll give the latest findings in trends among various groups of outdoors people, and the results might surprise you.
Biologist Geoff Westerfield will give a program entitled Urban Wildlife Resolution: How Can I Help You, and Joe Boggs of the OSU Extension will bring us up to date on a potentially devastating invasive insect in his talk, Asian Longhorned Beetle: The Threat in Black and White.
I hope that you can attend, and if you do I'll wager you'll have a great time. Again, CLICK HERE for registration info.