New England Wild Flower Society recently released a comprehensive, peer-reviewed report that, for the first time, gathers together the most up-to-date data on the status of plants on the New England landscape. From these data, we can discern increases and declines in both rare and common species across all six states. We will discuss the report findings and discuss the importance of plants and habitats in supporting other organisms and in providing ecosystem services for humans. We identify hotspots of rare plant diversity, and discuss factors that foster this diversity. We document the primary ecological and man-made threats to both rare and common species. We discuss activities and initiatives by New England Wild Flower Society and many organizations in New England to conserve and manage rare plants and habitats throughout the region. This talk will focus on habitats and plants of Rhode Island.
Dr. Elizabeth Farnsworth, Ph.D. is Senior Research Ecologist with the New England Wild Flower Society, and a biologist, educator, and scientific illustrator. At the Society, she has written a major regional report “State of the Plants of New England,” and she co-led the award-winning National Science Foundation-funded project, Go Botany, to develop an on-line guide to the regional flora for teaching botany. She has illustrated and/or written seven books, including The Nature of New Hampshire, A Field Guide to the Ants of New England, The Connecticut River Boating Guide: Source to Sea, and the Peterson Field Guide to Ferns. She has taught at Smith College, Hampshire College, and the Conway School of Landscape Design. She has conducted scientific research on many ecosystems throughout the world, focusing on restoration, conservation, plant physiology, mangroves, and climate change. She obtained her Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University, M.Sc. from the University of Vermont, and a B.A. with honors in Environmental Studies from Brown University. In her spare time she sings semi-professionally and paddles her hand-built kayak. Full website and CV
Schedule of Events
1:00 to 1:30 — Business Meeting
1:30 to 2:00 — Refreshments & Fellowship
If your last name begins with the letters A-N, please bring refreshments to share.
2:00 to 3:30 — Guest Speaker: Elizabeth Farnsworth, Senior Research Ecologist, New England Wildflower Society