SCI Cafe Upcoming

Christopher Joe started Connecting with Birds and Nature Tours, LLC on October 31, 2018 as a way to diversify his family’s Black Angus cattle farm. The property, located in the heart of the Black Belt in Newbern, Alabama, has been in the family since the early 1900s. This area has been stricken with poverty and suffered a lack of economic development. Joe aims to educate and demonstrate to private landowners how to become more environmentally friendly to birds, improve their habitat, and create a business to economically benefit to the area. Connecting with Birds and Nature Tours offers an opportunity for people to experience the thrill of seeing various birds and wildlife on private property.

Joe reached out to Alabama Audubon of Birmingham to assess the potential for birding tours in August of 2018, and hosted his first birding tour for Alabama Audubon Society members, alongside University of Alabama graduate students, in February of 2019. In July of that year, the first ever Black Belt Birding Tour was hosted on the farm, drawing record attendance of over 120 people.

Christopher Joe
Owner, Connecting with Birds and Nature Tours, LLC

May 18, 2020

MEETING DETAILS

Meeting Opens:
6:00 PM CDT
Meeting Opens:
6:00 PM CDT
Meeting ID:
973 5175 1651
Passcode:
243264

Direct Zoom Link

One-tap mobile:

US (Chicago)
US (New York)

About the Presenter

Christopher Joe, a native of Greensboro, Alabama, is the son of Cornelius and Leola Joe. His father is a retired agribusiness educator with 30+ years of teaching experience. Joe earned a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness Management from Alabama A&M University in 2007. He works as a District Conservationist located in Macon County Alabama with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, an agency under the USDA.

Joe and his wife Christy Joe have a 1-year-old daughter named Summer Grace. They reside in Montgomery, AL.

Climate change is forcing many alpine species upslope, including American pikas (Ochotona princeps), small rabbit-relatives that typically inhabit high-elevation mountain ranges of western North America. However, despite dramatic elevational shifts and local extinctions in some parts of their range, these animals persist in several surprising habitats in the Pacific Northwest, including the low-elevation rainforests of the Columbia River Gorge and areas severely burned by wildfire. In this talk, Dr. Johanna Varner will describe some of her research on the distribution and behaviors of pikas living in the Gorge and on Mt. Hood, including how the populations have rebounded after recent wildfires. This research helps to advance our knowledge of the true habitat requirements and climate sensitivity of pikas and may inform their conservation and management.

Johanna Varner, PhD
Asst. Professor of Biology, Colorado Mesa University

March 16, 2020

MEETING DETAILS

Meeting Opens:
6:00 PM CDT
Meeting Opens:
6:00 PM CDT
Meeting ID:
973 5175 1651
Passcode:
243264

Direct Zoom Link

One-tap mobile:

US (Chicago)
US (New York)

About the Presenter

Biologist Johanna “Pika Jo” Varner studies mountain mammals called pikas, a potato-sized rabbit relative that lives in alpine rockslides. These adorable animals were the inspiration for Pikachu, but their habitat may be threatened by climate change. Johanna studies how some pikas are able to persist in unusual places– research she hopes will inform their conservation.

Johanna currently teaches at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, but she also has extensive experience engaging public audiences in science, from K-12 classrooms to zoos and museums. She founded several citizen science programs in which people participate in monitoring local pikas, and has even helped volunteers to publish their findings. These efforts have earned her several awards for public engagement in science.

Johanna holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from MIT and a PhD from University of Utah. In her spare time, she loves to ski and run on trails with her dogs.