Saturday, May 20, 2017

Urban beasts: how wild animals have moved into cities


An article in the Guardian today, but, of course, "wild" animals have long inhabited cities. They mean the new comers...big beasts, predators that might eat us. Making the city a new wilderness.


They report "Rome has a problem with wild boar; wolves mingle with surburban Germans; mountain lions frequent LA. All around the world, city life seems increasingly conducive to wildlife"


More here: urban beasts



Saturday, May 06, 2017



All the CER Lunchtime Lecture power point presentations 2011 to April 2017 - now online

Previous Lunchtime Lectures archive page.

 

And join us for the May Lunchtime Lecture -

 


May 10 Wednesday NOON to 1pm at The PARD Senior Activity Center-Lamar 29th St + 2874 Shoal Crest Ave, South Room

  • Center for Environmental Research Lunchtime Lecture by Kevin M. Anderson
  • 2017 Lunchtime Lectures – Understanding Urban Nature: Ecology, Culture, and the American City
  • May 2017 Lunchtime Lecture - Nature in the City: Urban Habitats and the Degradation Myth
  • Since the 19th century, books about urban natural history have documented the richness of habitats and diversity of species to be found in American cities. However, traditionally in America, biologists and ecologists study nature in “wildlands” and so view urban nature as degraded and disturbed in comparison. Urban nature worthy of professional study and protection is whatever remnant habitats remain from before the city was built, and the rest is a problem to correct. However, in recent decades, the rapid growth of urban ecology in America has begun to rewrite this simplistic degradation myth into a more complex story of urban biodiversity across a wide range of urban habitats and to rediscover historical books of urban natural history that add more texture to the story.  Join us for a lecture about the past, present, and future of urban natural history.
     
    Repeated twice more in May:
     
    May 16  Tuesday NOON to 1pm at the Center for Environmental Research – Hornsby Bend
  • Center for Environmental Research Lunchtime Lecture by Kevin M. Anderson
  • May 2017 Lunchtime Lecture - Nature in the City: Urban Habitats and the Degradation Myth
     
    May 18 Thursday NOON to 1pm at One Texas Center 505 Barton Springs Road + South First Street, Room 325
  • Center for Environmental Research Lunchtime Lecture by Kevin M. Anderson
  • May 2017 Lunchtime Lecture - Nature in the City: Urban Habitats and the Degradation Myth

Saturday, April 29, 2017


CER Events May 2017

Austin Water Center for Environmental Research

Austin Water – The University of Texas – Texas A&M University

A Partnership for Urban Ecology and Sustainability: Community, Ecology, Research

located at the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant

2210 South FM 973, Austin, Texas 78725



Facebook CER Human Events and Activities:  click here for CER on Facebook



May 6  Saturday 8am meet at the CER

  • Austin-Bastrop River Corridor Partnership - River Monitoring Trip
  • Join Claude Morris and the Travis County Colorado River Monitoring trip for a day on the river monitoring birds and more, and help the Austin-Bastrop River Corridor Partnership learn more about the ecology of the Colorado River.
  • Meet at the CER parking lot at 8:00AM
  • A river trip to monitor birds and vegetation along the river and you MUST provide your own boat.
  • Contact Claude Morris at cgmorris@flash.net to participate
  • More about the Austin-Bastrop River Corridor Partnership at the CER website Research, Programs, Partnerships page http://www.austintexas.gov/page/research-projects-partnerships-and-programs
  • Check out the Austin-Bastrop River Corridor Partnership Facebook Page for updates and photos from the river monitoring trips www.facebook.com/austinbastroprivercorridor
     
    May 10  Wednesday NOON to 1pm at The PARD Senior Activity Center-Lamar 29th St + 2874 Shoal Crest Ave, South Room

  • Center for Environmental Research Lunchtime Lecture by Kevin M. Anderson
  • 2017 Lunchtime Lectures – Understanding Urban Nature: Ecology, Culture, and the American City
  • May 2017 Lunchtime Lecture - Nature in the City: Urban Habitats and the Degradation Myth
  • Since the 19th century, books about urban natural history have documented the richness of habitats and diversity of species to be found in American cities. However, traditionally in America, biologists and ecologists study nature in “wildlands” and so view urban nature as degraded and disturbed in comparison. Urban nature worthy of professional study and protection is whatever remnant habitats remain from before the city was built, and the rest is a problem to correct. However, in recent decades, the rapid growth of urban ecology in America has begun to rewrite this simplistic degradation myth into a more complex story of urban biodiversity across a wide range of urban habitats and to rediscover historical books of urban natural history that add more texture to the story.  Join us for a lecture about the past, present, and future of urban natural history.
     
    May 13 Saturday 7am-11am and 4pm to dark meet at the CER
  • Hornsby Bend Bird Observatory Program Monthly Bird Survey – International Migratory Bird Day!
  • The HBBO Bird Survey is open to all levels of birder interested in intensive monitoring, although this is not a field trip.  In the morning, we have teams covering different areas of the Hornsby Bend facility, and they count numbers of all birds seen. It is 4 hours of hiking and counting, but lots of fun along the way. We meet again around 11am to tally up the species.  The afternoon involves looking around for species missed that morning, and we go until sundown. More information about the CER HBBO program at www.hornsbybend.org
     
    May 16  Tuesday NOON to 1pm at the Center for Environmental Research – Hornsby Bend
  • Center for Environmental Research Lunchtime Lecture by Kevin M. Anderson
  • 2017 Lunchtime Lectures – Understanding Urban Nature: Ecology, Culture, and the American City
  • May 2017 Lunchtime Lecture - Nature in the City: Urban Habitats and the Degradation Myth
  • Since the 19th century, books about urban natural history have documented the richness of habitats and diversity of species to be found in American cities. However, traditionally in America, biologists and ecologists study nature in “wildlands” and so view urban nature as degraded and disturbed in comparison. Urban nature worthy of professional study and protection is whatever remnant habitats remain from before the city was built, and the rest is a problem to correct. However, in recent decades, the rapid growth of urban ecology in America has begun to rewrite this simplistic degradation myth into a more complex story of urban biodiversity across a wide range of urban habitats and to rediscover historical books of urban natural history that add more texture to the story.  Join us for a lecture about the past, present, and future of urban natural history.
     
    May 18  Thursday NOON to 1pm at One Texas Center 505 Barton Springs Road + South First Street, Room 325
  • Center for Environmental Research Lunchtime Lecture by Kevin M. Anderson
  • 2016 Lunchtime Lectures – The Unity of Nature: The Creation, Discovery, and End of Nature
  • May 2017 Lunchtime Lecture - Nature in the City: Urban Habitats and the Degradation Myth
  • Since the 19th century, books about urban natural history have documented the richness of habitats and diversity of species to be found in American cities. However, traditionally in America, biologists and ecologists study nature in “wildlands” and so view urban nature as degraded and disturbed in comparison. Urban nature worthy of professional study and protection is whatever remnant habitats remain from before the city was built, and the rest is a problem to correct. However, in recent decades, the rapid growth of urban ecology in America has begun to rewrite this simplistic degradation myth into a more complex story of urban biodiversity across a wide range of urban habitats and to rediscover historical books of urban natural history that add more texture to the story.  Join us for a lecture about the past, present, and future of urban natural history.
     
     May 20   Saturday 730am – 11am at the CER
  • HBBO/Travis Audubon Society - Hornsby Bend Monthly Birdwatching Fieldtrip – FREE!
  • Meet at the CER 730am, no registration needed – all levels of birder welcomed, an easy morning of walking and learning the birds of Hornsby Bend. Bring binoculars and some water if the weather is warm. More information at www.travisaudubon.org and www.hornsbybend.org
     
    May 27  Saturday 9am – 1pm at the CER
  • Ecological Literacy Volunteer Day – Help maintain Hornsby Bend! Did you know that all the Hornsby Bend trails, habitat gardens, and kiosks were built and are maintained by volunteers? If you enjoy birding or walking along the Colorado River here, please join us in maintaining these amenities and supporting public access at Hornsby Bend.
    • Wear work clothes [long pants], hat for shade, and sturdy shoes; bring water and binoculars if interested in birds.
       

Saturday, April 01, 2017

In Unlikely Places

Austin’s Hornsby Bend does double duty as a sewage plant and wildlife mecca.

Defying conventional narratives of nature, Hornsby Bend is acclaimed as an award-winning sewage sludge recycling plant and as a mecca for bird-watchers, anglers, river paddlers and nature lovers in general as a Central Texas ecotourism destination on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Heart of Texas East Wildlife Trail.


Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine has just published an article about my favorite wasteland...




click to link to TPW Magazine article

Friday, January 27, 2017

The New York Times discover that birds (and birders) like landfills

Follow the link to this article in the NYTimes today Birder's Heaven: Just Follow the Stench to the Landfill

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The CER Lunchtime Lectures 2017
By Dr. Kevin M. Anderson,

AW Center for Environmental Research
Austin, Texas

Understanding Urban Nature: Ecology, Culture, and the American City



The 2017 Lunchtime Lectures will explore the complex relationship between the city and nature in America. Our American narrative of nature celebrates wilderness or “pristine nature” and rural or “pastoral nature” in contrast to the degradation of urban landscapes. However, we are now predominately a country of urbanites who have only recreational contact with wilderness or pastoral nature. To compensate for our urban “nature deficit”, we have incorporated “green space” into our cities - preserves, parks, farms, and gardens - to allow for contact with officially sanctioned approximations of wild and pastoral nature in the urban landscape. The urban nature that lives outside of these green spaces (or that “invasively” assaults them) is seen as a “degraded” type of nature. The resulting warlike narrative sets good nature that obeys its role in the American city against bad nature which has its own cosmopolitan plan for urban landscapes. The writer John Tallmadge describes urban nature as “just too mixed up, chaotic, and confused to fit our established notions of beauty and value in nature…Maybe it’s not really nature at all, not a real ecosystem, just a bunch of weeds and exotics mixed up with human junk.” Ecologists are called on to mediate and to assess whether it is a real ecosystem, and thereby add another chapter to the narrative entitled “urban ecology” in which science measures ecological cycles and ecosystem function in the city. The 2017 Lunchtime Lectures are an attempt to disentangle this complex story of ecology, culture, and the American City and, perhaps, to help you have a better understanding of urban nature. Join us on this exploration of urban nature!

Perspectives on Urban Nature

 January - Varieties of Possibility: Perspectives on Nature and the City
February - Urban Wild: Wilderness, Wildness, and the American City
March - Urban Pastoral: Farms, Gardens, and Parkland in the City
April - The Elemental City: Cycles, Services, and Urban Ecology


The Nature of Cities – Urban Natural History and Ecology
May - Nature in the City: Urban Habitats and the Degradation Myth
June - The Aquatic City: The Ecology of Urban Waterways
July - The Terrestrial City: Greenspace and the Urban Forest
August - The Subterranean City: Soil and the Urban Microcosmos
September - The Aerial City: Urban Birds, Bats, and Denizens of the Sky


The Proper Place of Urban Nature
October - Nature Out of Place: Invasive Species, Novel Ecosystems, and Urban Ecology
November - Design with Nature: Urban Planning, Management, and the Sustainability Myth
December - Encounters with Urban Nature: Ecology, the City, and the Arts


Time: Noon to 1pm
Free and Open to the Public – bring a lunch and learn


Locations and Day of the Month – Austin, Texas
Every 2nd Wednesday – Senior Activity Center-Lamar (SAC-Lamar) at 2874 Shoal Crest Ave, South Room
Every 3rd Tuesday - Austin Water Center for Environmental Research (CER) at Hornsby Bend
Every 3rd Thursday - One Texas Center (OTC) at 505 Barton Springs Road and South First Street, Room 325


The CER Lunchtime Lectures 2017 Schedule by Location -
SAC - Senior Activity Center-Lamar - 2874 Shoal Crest Ave, South Room at 29th and Lamar
CER - Austin Water Center for Environmental Research – 2210 South FM 973 at Hornsby Bend
OTC - One Texas Center - 505 Barton Springs Road, Room 325 at South First Street
Time: Noon to 1pm

Perspectives on Urban Nature [January – April]
January Lecture – Varieties of Possibility: Perspectives on Nature and the City
Jan 11 SAC
Jan 17 CER
Jan 19 OTC

February Lecture - Urban Wild: Wilderness, Wildness, and the American City
Feb 8 SAC
Feb 21 CER
Feb 16 OTC

March Lecture - Urban Pastoral: Farms, Gardens, and Parkland in the City
Mar 8 SAC
Mar 21 CER
(changed for SXSW)Mar 9 OTC

April Lecture - The Elemental City: Cycles, Services, and Urban Ecology
Apr 12 SAC
Apr 18 CER
Apr 20 OTC


The Nature of Cities – Urban Natural History and Ecology [May - September]
May Lecture - Nature in the City: Urban Habitats and the Degradation Myth
May 10 SAC
May 16 CER
May 18 OTC

June Lecture - The Aquatic City: The Ecology of Urban Waterways
June 14 SAC
June 15 OTC
June 20 CER

July Lecture - The Terrestrial City: Greenspace and the Urban Forest
July 12 SAC
July 18 CER
July 20 OTC

August Lecture - The Subterranean City: Soil and the Urban Microcosmos
Aug 9 SAC
Aug 15 CER
Aug 17 OTC

September Lecture - The Aerial City: Urban Birds, Bats, and Denizens of the Sky
Sept 13 SAC
Sept 19 CER
Sept 21 OTC


The Proper Place of Urban Nature [October – December]
October Lecture - Nature Out of Place: Invasive Species, Novel Ecosystems, and Urban Ecology
Oct 11 SAC
Oct 17 CER
Oct 19 OTC

November Lecture - Design with Nature: Urban Planning, Management, and the Sustainability Myth
Nov 8 SAC
Nov 21 CER
Nov 16 OTC

December Lecture - Encounters with Urban Nature: Ecology, the City, and the Arts
Dec 13 SAC
Dec 19 CER
Dec 21 OTC


Monday, June 13, 2016

The New York Times

From Garbage to Grassland

 
The world’s largest landfill is slowly becoming a park — very slowly. The conversion of Freshkills on the western shore of Staten Island into a verdant expanse of green is now in its second decade, with two more to go before it is finished.