Saturday, June 1, 2019:
Interfaces of Global Change graduate students hosted a science outreach day at 2351 Glade Road in Blacksburg, VA. The afternoon exhibition titled “Backyard Biodiversity Bonanza” focused on sharing information with the public for promoting biodiversity conservation for birds, bees and native plants in backyard habitats.
IGC Fellow, Ben Vernasco, spearheaded the planning for the outreach event. He shared information about bird houses, the types of boxes that can be built (wood duck, bluebird/chickadee/tree swallow, owl boxes) and examples of building plans. Bird coloring sheets for kids were available as handouts, in addition to information about common yard birds and tips to promote nesting. IGC Fellow, Jessica Hernandez, was also on-site to talk about her research with tree swallows, with nest boxes on display!
IGC Fellow and IGC GSO Outreach Committee Chair, Vasiliy Lakoba, led a table featuring native plants beneficial to wildlife and pollinators. This included a hands-on comparison display of commonly planted non-natives along with great native plant alternatives for landscaping around the home and town. Free sunflower seedlings were also available for participants to take home!
Chris McCullough, a graduate student in VT’s School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, provided information about pollinator conservation. A bee collection display allowed participants to see different types of bees up close, and there was also a bee house to check out.
Kudos to these students for sharing both their science and conservation stewardship information with the local community!!