December 18, 2019 Mark had the unique opportunity to participate in the Teen EcoSummit held at the Columbus Zoo. Attendants included students and teachers from around the state who have an interest in improving conservation and sustainability efforts at their schools. Their objective in attending was to develop a “Conservation Action Plan” and then present their plan in a friendly competition to obtain funding (on the spot!) to help implement their plans. Mark presented “Creating Schoolyard Wetlands for Wildlife,” which provided attendants with a basic background in wetland loss and ecosystem services, practical wetland creation-restoration options for schools, and examples of school success stories.
December 18, 2019 This field season was full of exciting botanical survey work across Ohio. In a typical year, we get a handful of floristic surveys, often Floristic Quality Assessments (FQA) or Vegetative Index of Biologic Integrity (VIBI) evaluations, used to categorize wetlands or better define plant community dynamics. In this banner year, nearly every day in late-June through July was packed with comprehensive ecological surveys, VIBI assessments, and Threatened & Endangered (T&E) plant surveys. In June, Mark Dilley and Jenny Adkins returned to a site in Pickaway County known to contain the State-threatened Raven’s Foot Sedge (Carex crus-corvi). In 2017, MAD located three of the targeted sedges within the survey area, and many more in a forested wetland nearby. This year they […]
December 18, 2019 For those of you not hip to botanical slang, “Sedge Heads” refers to a group of plant enthusiasts that specialize in identifying sedges, a type of graminoid. Jenny Adkins, Lead Botanist, fancies herself as one, and Jim Palus, Restoration Specialist, as well. In May, they had the unique opportunity to train with Dr. Rob Naczi, the Arthur J. Cronquist Curator of North American Botany at the New York Botanical Garden. During this workshop, held at the Edge of Appalachia (EOA) in Adams County, they worked through detailed botanical text to identify herbarium specimens, as well as observed a variety of State, Federal, and Globally rare species within the EOA Preserve. This workshop was aptly timed, as their recently honed skills were applied […]
December 18, 2019 Last spring, the MAD Scientist Associates team, led by Aquatic Ecologist, Jenna Odegard, and assisted by Jackie Kopechek conducted an Amphibian Index of Biotic Integrity (AmphIBI) in two vernal pools in Ashtabula County, positioned at the northeastern tip of Ohio. Three rounds of quantitative and qualitative sampling took place in April, May, and June. Following Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) methodology, the team sampled quantitatively using minnow traps and qualitatively using dipnets and by flipping logs. The AmphIBI yielded documentation of four species of salamander and seven species of frogs and toads. The eggs of a Four-toed Salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum), a species of concern in Ohio, were observed during this sampling effort. Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus), a high-scoring, vernal pool obligate, were common […]
May 28, 2019 May is National Wetlands Month, and MAD was happy to host several educational programs that promote understanding and appreciation of wetland habitats. Each year, we partner with the City of Westerville to host a Wetland Weekend that is free and open to the public. First, we kick things off with a Frog Friday event in the evening, where attendants learn about local amphibians and are encouraged to trek through the wetland in search of egg masses, tadpoles, and breeding adults. The following morning, we host the Wetland Workshop, which covers a broader expanse of wetland ecology, as well as time to explore and enhance the wetland through invasive species removal, native plantings, and picking up litter. This year, we also assisted the […]
December 21, 2018 2018 was an especially productive year for wetland habitat improvement. In total, we completed nearly 13 acres of wetland restoration/creation across 5 Ohio Counties (Lucas, Delaware, Franklin, Greene, and Hamilton). Wetland types included deep emergent marsh, shallow marsh, sedge meadow, and wetland fringe. These wetlands were created or restored for many purposes, including education, stewardship, public park amenities, recreation and mitigation. We have several projects in the works that we anticipate will add nearly 30 acres of wetland to Ohio’s landscape in 2019! If you have a wetland project in mind and need professional guidance implementing your plan, please give us a call!
December 21, 2018 MAD Scientist Associates was selected by the United State Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to collect biotic, physical, and chemical data for streams flowing into two public reservoirs, CJ Brown and Caesar Creek, covering 13 sites from July-October. Mark Dilley and Jenna Odegard headed field teams that collected fish, invertebrate, water chemistry data, as well as physical stream measurements. Data collected from these sites were used to evaluate health of the streams surrounding the reservoirs. Fish populations were sampled by electrofishing, while invertebrates were collected using Hester-Dendy samplers and dip nets. The fish and invertebrate data was then evaluated using the Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) and Invertebrate Community Index (ICI), respectively. Stream habitat was assessed using the Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index […]
December 21, 2018 Those of us in the wetland business are no strangers to the frustrations of managing invasive plant species- they are a pain to remove, they crowd out desirable native species, they lower the ecological value of a site, and can be costly to control. So, let’s start talking about ways to reduce the presence of non-native species and alleviate frustration in the future, not just in wetlands, but in forests and prairies, both on private and public lands too. This fall, Jenny Adkins, Lead Botanist, and Jim Palus, Ecosystems Restoration Specialist, joined the planning effort for the Central Ohio Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) planning effort this fall to see what they could learn and how MAD Scientist Associates can […]
December 21, 2018 MAD Scientist Associates reached a major milestone of 20 years in business this April. Our big celebration of this momentous occasion happened in October at our Halloween-themed open house. This party also served as the Grand Opening for our expanded office space. The expansion provides us additional office space, a dedicated laboratory for taxonomic work, a large supply room, and an enlarged conference/training room for hosting meetings, lectures, and educational programs (keep your eyes peeled for MAD Scientist Associates class offerings in 2019!). We thank all our family, friends, and colleagues who helped us celebrate this milestone. If you weren’t in attendance, we hope you’ll get a sense of our event by enjoying the MAD photos below! Previous Next Previous Next