The Wildlife Speaker Series Is Back!

Pollinators, Trumpeters, and Arctic Grayling…oh my!

PRE-REGISTER FOR THESE EVENTS by clicking on the event links below.

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May 27: Pollinators

The June 24 presentation on Trumpeter Swans has been CANCELED

July 22: Arctic grayling

Your donations of financial support are very much appreciated and can be made by clicking here.

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We are very excited to bring back the Wildlife Speaker Series in 2021. In May, June and July, we will host a virtual program. Each will be in “Webinar” format on Zoom, which means viewers will neither see nor hear themselves. The only visible speakers will be the folks facilitating the meeting and the speaker.We hope–with the growing number of vaccinated people–to bring the programs back “in-person” in 2022. Keep your fingers crossed.

This year’s programs will all begin at 6:30 p.m. and end at 8:00 p.m. The dates and Zoom link are here:

May 27: Pollinators

Our speakers for the Pollinator presentation are Alyssa Piccolomini, an entymologist with MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and Will Glenny who is a PhD student at Montana State University. 

Alyssa Piccolomini is the State Entomologist for the Montana Department of Agriculture and is based in Helena. Her current duties at the Department of Agriculture focus on regulating the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata) program, inspecting honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies for pests and diseases across the state, and assisting with general insect identification for the CAPS Program. Prior to joining the Department of Agriculture in August of 2017, Alyssa received her Master’s Degree in Entomology from Montana State University. Her research focused on the susceptibility of alfalfa leafcutting bees to pyrethroid insecticides, which are commonly applied for adult mosquito abatement programs. In her free time, Alyssa enjoys botanizing, backpacking in Montana’s beautiful country, and knitting – all with her dog, Reed.

Will Glenny is a PhD student in the Department of Ecology at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. He is advised by Dr. Laura Burkle and works closely with members of the United States Forest Service at the Rocky Mountain Research Station to develop restoration strategies for pollinator communities on federally managed lands. Through this work, they hope to build resilient pollinator communities and gain a better idea for the diversity and distribution of wild bees in Montana. Will grew up in Seattle and completed an undergraduate degree in Biology at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. He completed his Master’s degree in Biology in 2017 from Montana State University, studying honey bee pathogens and the effects of climate change on bee-plant interactions. Will loves biking, fishing, skiing, and Gonzaga basketball. As a result of time spent in the field, Will says that the Big Hole is his favorite place in Montana and hopes to spend more time collecting bees in that area.

These two will delight you with all kinds of information about the state of pollinators and what you can do to help them do their vital jobs!

June 24: Trumpeter swans The June 24 presentation on Trumpeter Swans has been CANCELED

July 22: Arctic grayling

We have 3 speakers for the Arctic Grayling Presentation:

Ryan Kreiner has been the Native Fish Biologist for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks in Region 3 since 2020. Prior to that he worked as an FWP biologist in NW Montana for eight years, and as a technician on the Upper Clark Fork River for three. He has also worked for the Park Service, the Forest Service and the USGS in Alaska and Yellowstone. His current position is focused on Arctic grayling and westslope cutthroat trout conservation projects in southwest Montana.

Jarrett Payne has been a Riparian Ecologist for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks in Region 3 since 2018. Prior to working for FWP, Jarrett completed his bachelors and masters at MSU, Bozeman in Animal and Range Sciences. In addition, he briefly taught reproduction physiology and nutrition for domestic animals at MSU.  Jarrett grew up in Twin Bridges, MT where he worked on several small ranches and with his father completing riparian assessments along the Beaverhead River. His current position is focused on administering the Arctic grayling CCAA programs in the Big Hole and Centennial Valleys.

Jim Magee has been a Biologist for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program since 2011. Prior to his career with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jim worked extensively with Arctic grayling in Alaska (1988 – 1993) and in Montana for Fish, Wildlife & Parks as a Grayling Biologist (1993 – 2011). Jim’s current position with the Partner’s Program is based in the Upper Big Hole watershed, where he works with private landowners and FWP on habitat projects that benefit fish and wildlife resources.

If you are unable to attend at these times, don’t worry! The nice thing about the “new” normal is that these programs will be recorded so you can watch them at your leisure and even share them with your friends by providing the link.

Numerous people and organizations deserve recognition for their efforts to keep this program alive. The following organizations have been involved this year: Beaverhead Watershed Committee & Conservation District, Big Hole Watershed Committee, Centennial Valley Association, Madison Conservation District, Ruby Habitat Foundation, and the Ruby Valley Watershed Council and Conservation District.

If you’d like to support these programs, each of those organizations has agreed that Ruby Habitat Foundation will be the recipient of donations of support. Although we are hosting these virtually, the expenses associated with Zoom accounts, poster printing, advertising and the like, are not insignificant. If we received donations in excess of our costs, we have also agreed that we will “roll” those donations over to next year when we are, hopefully, “live.”