Ecological Society of America Visits DMWP

Dr. Guajardo Dr. Guajardo

On the lovely, warm, sunny day of August 8, 2015, I led 19 ecology students and professional ecologists and one child for a too-abbreviated visit to the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve (DMWP), as part of the special 100th anniversary meeting of the Ecological Society of America being held at the Baltimore Convention Center.  

People in the group came from Australia, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, the U.S. and elsewhere. In the photo at left, Dr. Juan Ruiz Guajardo, Ph.D., University of California/Davis is followed right behind by Dr. Omar Avalos-Hernandez. Ph. D., University of Mexico.

First, we talked to a "star" of the film about Dyke Marsh, "On the Edge," Chip Johnston, a Belle Haven Marina employee.  He told us that 2015 is a great year for aquatic grasses and bald eagle and osprey reproduction.  

Then we walked down the Haul Road to the boardwalk where we saw an eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly and a monarch butterfly visiting the flowers of the swamp milkweed.  This was the second outdoor monarch adult that I saw in 2015 in this time of monarch rarity.  My first monarch sighting was in a prairie preserve in Lawrence, Kansas, home of an organization called Monarch Watch (monarchwatch.org).  At the Monarch Watch lab, I saw monarchs growing in cages, including rare white monarchs which are actually black, tan and white.  At DMWP, we also saw blue damselflies, a ruby-throated hummingbird, a smooth green snake and hundreds of other organisms.  Field trippers were delighted with the beauty and biodiversity of DMWP and intrigued with marsh restoration plans.  I told them about the wonderful work performed by Friends of Dyke Marsh to preserve DMWP.  -- by Dr. Edd Barrows, Georgetown University Professor of Biology and Entomology