The Ottawa Field Naturalists Club Awards for IRWIN M by slapshotmel


									The Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club Awards for 2004
   At the Club’s Annual Soirée, held on 30 April 2005,       the Anne Hanes Natural History Award was not given.
at St. Basil’s Church in Ottawa, awards were once again      On the other hand, a new award was approved by
given to members, and one non-member, who distin-            Council and awarded for the first time this year: The
guished themselves by accomplishments in the field            Mary Stuart Education Award. More is said about the
of natural history and conservation, or by extraordinary     award in the citation below. The following citations
activity within the Club. There isn’t always a winner        for those who received an award were read to the mem-
for every potential award, and this year, once again,        bers and guests assembled for the event.

Charles D. Bird – Honorary Member
   Honorary membership in the Ottawa Field Natura-           also became involved in Alberta conservation issues
lists’ Club is given to members or non-members in            and joined local natural history clubs such as the
recognition of their many years of service to the Club       Calgary Field Naturalist’s Society and Federation of
or for their contributions to Canadian natural history.      Alberta Naturalists. In 1978, he received the Lauran
Our newest honorary member, Dr. Charles D. Bird, is a        Goulden Award for being the outstanding naturalist in
retired cattle farmer from Erskine, Alberta, but qualifies    Alberta that year. With a strong interest in the local
for the honour on both counts. On the face of it, that       flora and fauna, Charley published articles on a variety
might seem a little strange, but, as you will see, this is   of subjects in the Blue Jay, the Calgary Field Naturalist
no ordinary cattle farmer.                                   and the Alberta Naturalist,. He has, in fact, published
   Although his family roots were in the central Can-        close to 300 scholarly articles in all.
adian prairies, Charley Bird was born in Oklahoma.              Although Charley decided to take early retirement
He developed a love of the natural world at an early         in 1979, trading in his academic tweeds for Alberta
age, no doubt due at least in part to his father, Ralph      denim to become a cattle farmer, he never set aside
Durham Bird, an entomologist/naturalist who was              his love of the natural world, his commitment to con-
teaching at the University of Oklahoma at the time,          servation, or his interest in high quality scientific pub-
and his mother, Lois, who was a botanist. From the           lication. He therefore has maintained a close associa-
age of 10 through his college years, Charley followed        tion with his local Buffalo Lake Naturalists Society,
his father’s interests in insects. He later worked with      and he stayed on as an Associate Editor of The Cana-
the Northern Insect Survey and then in the field of           dian Field-Naturalist, a job he began in 1974 and con-
forest entomology. At the University of Manitoba, he         tinues to this day, contributing over 30 years of serv-
became fascinated with plant ecology and turned to           ice to the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club. In the post-
the study of plants. Charley developed a strong inter-       University years, Charley’s interests returned to insects,
est in mosses at Oklahoma State University where he          especially butterflies and moths, and he became a major
was doing graduate studies, taking courses from the          contributor to the beautiful and encyclopedic book,
bryologist, Dr. G. K. Ikenberry, eventually earning a        Alberta Butterflies, published in 1995. At the present
master’s degree and Ph.D. He returned to Canada in           time, Charley is working on a catalogue of the micro-
1960 for a post-doctoral position at the University of       moths of southern Alberta.
Alberta in Edmonton, mainly studying mosses. Two                For his achievements in teaching and research, the
years later, he accepted a position in the Biology           Alberta Society of Professional Biologists presented
Department at the University of Calgary, turning his         him with the J. Dewey Soper Award in 2000, also mak-
attention to the bryophytes, lichens and vascular plants     ing him an Honorary Life Member of that society.
of Alberta and, indeed, all the prairie provinces. At           Whether he is cataloguing mosses, studying the tax-
the university, Charley taught courses on all these sub-     onomy of a lichen genus, working on the phenology
jects as well as biogeography, and he curated the            of flowers, collecting, mounting and identifying hun-
growing herbarium as well. His research interests            dreds of species of tiny moths, tracing his family’s
were principally in lichen and bryophyte ecology and         genealogy, or, indeed, keeping records of cattle breed-
taxonomy, and Charley published dozens of papers             ing, Charley is always meticulous, thorough, imagi-
on mosses, lichens and flowering plants in scholarly          native and perceptive… a naturalist’s naturalist. We
journals such as The Bryologist and Canadian Journal         are therefore proud to add Charley Bird to our roster
of Botany, and our own Canadian Field-Naturalist. He         of distinguished Honorary Members.

2005                                         CLUB AWARDS FOR 2004                                                 615

Barbara Barr – Conservation Award (Non-Member)
   The OFNC Conservation Award – Non-Member is                   in the minds of elected officials, by keeping it a vis-
given in recognition of an outstanding contribution              ible issue;
by a non-member in the cause of natural history con-          • raise the consciousness of Councilors on specific
servation in the Ottawa Valley, with particular empha-           issues, such as how destructive country lot subdi-
sis on activities within the Ottawa District.                    visions are to Rural Natural Features;
   Barbara Barr is a very worthy recipient of this award      • re-enforce with City staff and Councilors alike the
in recognition of her outstanding efforts in speaking on         importance of a good Planning Process, and of hon-
behalf of natural area protection in the Ottawa area             oring the commitments, intent and spirit of the Offi-
through the Regional and municipal planning process-             cial Plan with respect to Environmental Features
es. Barbara is an active, dedicated and highly credible          and Environmental Impact Statements;
representative for the Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s        • demonstrate the value-added of public consultation
Capital as well as for the South Keys/Greenboro                  and participation in the planning process (seek win-
Community Association.                                           win solutions); and
   The thorough, intelligent work that Barbara does           • influence decisions being made on various land use
reflects her excellent grasp of environmental issues in           proposals.
the Ottawa area as well as her grasp of the way the              Barbara’s interventions have covered a suite of top-
City works. She is able to be highly effective, for           ics, ranging from specific conservation issues such as
example at meetings of the City of Ottawa’s Planning          protection of the Montfort Woods and Leitrim wet-
and Environment Committee, by accessing informa-              land parcels and the Alta Vista Transportation Corridor,
tion, preparing and presenting thorough briefs, fol-          to more general topics including proposed rural devel-
lowing-through on outcomes of presentations, and              opments for country lot subdivisions, suggestions to
providing a reliable and reputable source of sage             improve the City’s planning process and documents
advice to policy makers on natural area conservation          and the Urban Natural Areas Environmental Evaluation
issues. In this way, she is a highly effective partici-       Study.
pant during the public consultation phases of land               One of Barbara’s important characteristics is her
development proposals, a voice that the conservation          optimism and determination to stay with the process.
community can be proud to have speaking on its                With economic and land development activities boom-
behalf. Public officials appreciate the value that she        ing in the Ottawa area, it takes solid, reasonable, in-
adds to the public consultation process and have              formed contributions to influence the process and to
invited her to participate on various Public Advisory         advocate for Smart Growth.
Committees.                                                      Through this award, OFNC members recognize the
   Barbara’s frequent interventions at planning meet-         outstanding efforts of Barbara to influence Regional
ings have served to:                                          and City planning decisions to include natural area
• sustain the importance of natural area conservation         conservation.

Ghislaine Rozon – Conservation Award (Members)
   The OFNC Conservation Award is given in recog-             necessity of conservation. Then she realized she would
nition of a club member who has made an outstanding           need to educate herself in the areas of forestry, hydrol-
contribution toward protecting our natural environ-           ogy and ecology. All of this she did with tremendous
ment. Ghislaine Rozon is a remarkable woman who               competence and customary thoroughness. As Ghislaine
more than fits this criterion. She is a dynamic, articulate,   immersed herself in learning everything there was to
passionate defender of our local greenspace, particular-      know about the political process, including the Prov-
ly the Larose Forest. She has worked non-stop trying          incial Policy Statement, Environmental Assessments
to preserve this area as a conservation zone, free of         and related acts, the boxes of files, papers, articles,
development.                                                  reports and letters grew. Her home became “Command
   Her battle for the forest began in the summer of           Central” for those who were adamant that the forest
2002 when, newly retired from a long teaching career,         must be preserved. Through detailed reading of numer-
she discovered that a development proposal for Larose         ous documents, she exposed inconsistencies and in-
Forest was being given serious consideration by the           accuracies in the material produced to support devel-
United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR). Aghast            opment in the forest.
at what this would do to the natural environment of              She also knew that gaining public support was ex-
the forest, she threw herself into the fight. She con-         tremely important and rallied both residents and vari-
tacted the OFNC Conservation Committee for advice,            ous conservation groups to the cause. “The Friends of
but quickly perceived that she would need a thorough          Larose Forest” which existed prior to the controversy,
understanding of municipal, provincial and federal            was revived and with Ghislaine, presented a united
politics, including a good knowledge of the Planning          front for a development-free Larose. She also con-
Act, if she was to argue with elected officials on the        tacted politicians at all levels, as well as the various
616                                   THE CANADIAN FIELD-NATURALIST                                        Vol. 119

media, offering guided tours of the proposed devel-         ly undertaken. The cost for hiring a lawyer and expert
opment site so that they could see it for themselves        witnesses was substantial and was absorbed by the
and make up their minds based on facts, not hearsay.        appellants. In the end the decision was handed down
   Anyone who has dealt with Ghislaine over the last        in favour of the developers. Despite this crushing blow,
few years knows that it is not unusual to receive e-        Ghislaine has not given up her fight to save the forest.
mails written and fired off at 2, 3 or 4 in the morning!     As she has done from day one, she continues to explore
It appeared that she never slept! These detailed mes-       ways in which Larose Forest can be preserved as a
sages… lucid, well-reasoned, intelligent and thought-       conservation area, remaining vigilant and alert to all
provoking… were regularly mailed to a growing list          threats to this special place. Brimming with ideas, she
of supporters. Suggestions on how people could help,        has plans for a website, printed resource material and
lists of addresses for the relevant government officials,   possibly an interpretive centre … this lady is amaz-
sample letters, as well as succinct synopses of many        ing! If ever there was an example of how to go about
relevant reports, all were supplied by Ghislaine who        preparing to protect natural areas, one need look no
became the acknowledged and reasoned voice for sav-         further than Ghislaine for inspiration, which is why the
ing Larose Forest.                                          Club awards her the 2004 Conservation Award for
   As a last resort, Ghislaine and several others ap-       Members.
pealed the issue to the OMB. This was not a step light-

Martha Camfield – George McGee Service Award
   The OFNC George McGee Service Award is given             how the silica inside would form “glass-like beads” on
in recognition of a member who has contributed sig-         the ends. When studying seeds, the air became delight-
nificantly to the smooth running of the Club over sev-       fully filled with cattail fluff! A testimony to Martha’s
eral years. Martha Camfield is a very worthy recipient       impact is most appropriately captured in the words of
of this award in recognition of her extraordinary serv-     one of her workshop participants, who said, “I think
ice over many, many years as a dedicated volunteer          that the most important thing that Martha taught us
with the Macoun Field Club. Martha has also readily         was the wonder that can be in just one seed. Thank
volunteered to assist with numerous plant surveys           you Martha! We all had a fantastic time.”
and inventories in the Ottawa area, and has served on          As a Macoun field trip leader, Martha had a genuine
Council.                                                    interest in what each young person was finding, hoping
   For many years – as long as many of today’s young        to further spur his or her curiosity and interests. One of
Macouners remember and longer – Martha has been             Martha’s gifts is to help wake people up to the world
a dynamic force with Macoun Field Club and the              around them by making the outings and information
committee that manages it. She has readily volunteered      imparted relevant to them.
in many capacities with the young naturalists, fre-            Another facet of Martha’s long-time volunteerism
quently serving as a leader for meetings, workshops         for The Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club has been through
and field trips, and also working to find speakers and        her ready assistance on botanical surveys and inven-
leaders for weekly meetings and field trips.                 tories of natural areas around Ottawa, most notably
   Martha’s great “hands on” discovery workshops are        with Albert Dugal. Martha’s love of the outdoors, of
a particular favourite of the Macouners. Each work-         nature and of plants in particular, and her remarkable
shop is uniquely researched and supported by plentiful      energy, make her a natural at this. Martha has spent
plant materials that Martha has collected for dissection    many days helping Albert Dugal – walking, collect-
or identification – whether it be a variety of roots,        ing and listing plant species as part of inventories or
seeds, wild flowers, leaves, fruits, shrubs, sedges, exot-   surveys of a long list of natural areas, including the
ic plants, and more.                                        Leitrim wetlands, Spring Hill Bog, Poor Quarry Woods,
   Martha commands instant respect from the young           Canadian Museum of Nature lands in Aylmer, Fern
people, who respond to her curiosity and whole-hearted      Bank Wetland and the woodlands east of the Ottawa
enthusiasm to share and impart some of the truly amaz-      Hospital complex at Smythe Road. Most recently, she
ing nature of her subject. Interesting materials coupled    has been working on an inventory of old growth species
with good basic instruction on how to use a hand lens       in Emerald Woods, and wetlands that are part of the
or microscope leads to ready involvement of the young       historic Leitrim Complex.
people so that by the end of a workshop everyone has           This truly remarkable service over many years is
dirty fingernails and a much better idea of how leaves       most deserving of the George McGee Service Award.
and seeds and roots function. At one session on horse-      Thank you, Martha.
tails, she burned the ends of the plant stalks to show
2005                                        CLUB AWARDS FOR 2004                                                 617

Andrea Howard – Mary Stuart Education Award
   Andrea Howard, Education Coordinator of the              These programs include “Secret Life of the Forest” (the
Eastern Ontario Biodiversity Museum (EOBM), has             biodiversity of decomposition), “Climate Change” (bio-
been chosen to be the first recipient of the Mary Stuart     diversity and global warming), “Life Cycles & Seasonal
Education Award for her outstanding, innovative ap-         Adaptations” (biodiversity of survival), “Introduction
proaches to teaching a variety of natural history topics.   to Taxonomy” (classification of biodiversity) and “Bug-
This new award has been established for members,            watch/Insects” (biodiversity of insects). Andrea skil-
non-members or organizations in recognition of out-         fully adapts each program to the particular teacher and
standing achievements in the field of natural history        classroom situation by consulting with the teacher in
education in the Ottawa Region. The new Education           question. The literacy program that Andrea created and
Award was appropriately named in honour of Mary             implemented for local high school students having
Stuart, who was so passionately interested in establish-    reading difficulties is something that the EOBM is par-
ing a new generation of young naturalists.                  ticularly proud of. The subject matter employed was,
   Andrea Howard is a very gifted, knowledgeable            of course, natural history.
and effective teacher who has been the education               The need for training teachers has not escaped
coordinator at the EOBM in Kemptville ever since            Andrea’s attention either. She has developed and imple-
the museum came into being over five years ago. In           mented professional development programs for teach-
that capacity she has developed innovative natural his-     ers, helping them also to explore the possibilities of
tory programs presented at the museum and at various        the immediate neighbourhood, especially the school
venues around the North Grenville community and in          grounds.
Ottawa. Andrea brings to her position of education             Andrea always seeks to learn more by asking appro-
coordinator a unique background in classroom teach-         priate professionals for help and advice and having
ing, science (B.S. from Queen’s University), drama          them review her syllabus. She reads constantly to up-
(B.A. from Queen’s University, and active in a local        grade her knowledge and all of this is reflected in the
theatre group) and environmental advocacy (worked           timely and lively content and presentations in her class-
for Pollution Probe).                                       es. She has an excellent rapport with her students and
   Andrea has developed her own series of creative,         their teachers. For all the above reasons and many
exciting and accurate biodiversity modules, collective-     more, we have chosen Andrea Howard for the Educa-
ly called “Museum in a Suitcase” which she brings           tion Award.
into various classrooms or classroom-like situations.

Marilyn Ward – Member of the Year
   The OFNC’s Member of the Year award recognizes           will tell you, she is good at recruiting field trip lead-
the member judged to have contributed the most to the       ers. She also phones leaders and speakers in advance
club in the previous year. Marilyn Ward is the kind of      of their commitments to make sure they haven’t for-
member whose efforts keep things humming quietly            gotten — a service much appreciated by club mem-
but surely along. In 2004 Marilyn was particularly busy     bers. Not only that, she personally shows up at almost
making significant contributions on at least three fronts.   every field trip and monthly meeting where she helps
   Anyone who has called the club’s phone number            out with logistical details.
recently has spoken with Marilyn. The OFNC has a               The Fletcher Wildlife Garden gets a lot of traffic,
phone number, but it doesn’t have an office. Incoming       with committee and council meetings, volunteers and
calls have to go somewhere! For the last four years,        visitors. Somehow, amazingly, it almost always looks
they’ve gone to Marilyn or to an answering machine          neat and tidy. Of course all users are expected to clean
in her front hallway. Whether she gets the message          up after themselves, but we all know this sort of thing
by machine or in person, she is a welcoming greeter         works better in theory than in practice. Marilyn has
who efficiently answers questions or connects callers       been described as a fiend when it comes to keeping
— be they out-of-town visitors, members or prospec-         the Fletcher centre orderly! She’s often there at least
tive members — with the person who can answer their         twice a week. She also provides suet cakes for the
question. We know her hospitality extends beyond the        Fletcher bird feeding stations and makes regular walks
phone too. She even arranges to meet new members            around the whole site to see what birds are around.
at a monthly meeting in order to personally welcome            Handling the club phone, helping to make sure
them and to hand them their membership packages,            events are successful, keeping the place spic and span:
which she also compiles. The club’s e-mail address          we can’t underestimate the importance of these con-
also leads to Marilyn.                                      tributions as part of the public face of the club. Marilyn,
   Marilyn is a valuable member of the Excursions and       the club is grateful for your many special contribu-
Lectures committee. She is conscientious and reliable,      tions during 2004. Designating you as Member of the
and she cares about details. As any field trip leader        Year is our way of saying, “ Thank you!”

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