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Almanac Archive for July 9, 2012

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Climate Change Awareness:
Bulding an Island Understanding
For the last several years, VCS has made climate change awareness and education an organizational priority. Please join us this evening at 5:00 at the Grange Hall for a free event: environmental experts William and Margot Moomaw will lead a stimulating discussion of climate change impacts and the actions we can all take to live deliberately. For more information on the Moomaws and their presentation, please see our events page or the promo poster.

Quote of the Week
"What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?"
--Henry David Thoreau

Conservation Calendar

Rozalia Project
Tuesday, July 10, Edgartown.
The Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean has visited the Vineyard and will be in Edgartown through tomorrow. Their boat, docked at the Edgartown Yacht Club on Memorial Wharf, is running programs about marine debris and picking up trash from the seafloor using an underwater robot. For more information, see the Rozalia website.

Birders: The Central Park Effect
Tuesday, July 17, 8:00 pm, Union Chapel, 55 Narragansett Ave, OB.
On a good day, more than 100 different species of birds can be found in the vast green space of Central Park. This lyrical documentary introduces New York City's birders, with a backdrop of spectacular wildlife footage from this unlikely locale. Director Jeff Kimball and local wildlife photographer Lanny McDowell will lead a Q&A afterwards. Doors open 45 minutes prior to show time. $10.00/$7.00 for members. For more information visit MVFS website or call 508-696-9369

Turtles, Turtles, Turtles!
Thursday. July 19, 3:30 to 4:30 pm, at the Vineyard Haven Library.
Learn about turtles and make a turtle craft with Susie Bowman of Felix Neck. Ages 5+. For more info, contact the library at 508-696-4211 or by email.

Nature's Partners: Pollinators, Plants, and You
Friday, July 20, 10:00 am, at the Polly Hill Arboretum.
One of the most interesting and important phenomena in the natural world is the transfer of genetic material among plants by bees, flies, butterflies, beetles and other insects. Insect pollinators are critical to both natural plant communities and human food production – yet for many Vineyarders, knowledge of pollinators stops with the honey bee. Apiarist Everett Zurlinden, entomologist Paul Goldstein and ecologist Matt Pelikan team up to introduce the science of pollination, discuss how people interact with the Island’s insect pollinators, and present ways to enhance native pollinator diversity in order to better harmonize landscape management and agriculture. Free.

Toddler Time
Wednesdays, 10:00 am to noon, Native Earth Teaching Farm, Chilmark.
Wednesday mornings at Native Earth are Toddler Time, where toddlers and their adults can meet and play in a fun and unfettered environment. Suggested donation of $5. For more info call 508-645-3304 or see website.

West Tisbury Farmer's Market

Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9:00 to noon at the Grange Hall, West Tisbury.
Fresh picked produce from local farms, flowers, delicious baked goods and prepared foods from Island kitchens and more.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Local News

Megafauna Roam the Gay Head Gallery

Nosara #1, pastel drawing by Zaria Foreman (clilck for full-size)

The Gay Head Gallery will open its first show of the season, running from Sunday July 22 through August 10, with a reception on the 22nd from 5 to 7 pm. It is a fine art and photography exhibit titled "MegaFauna: African Elephants, North Atlantic Right Whales and Wolves – Their Land and Waters." The exhibit will not be limited to these species, though they (and their worlds) will be the focus. The theme of the show is to bring to light the role governments play in both protecting and undermining threatened species, habitats and biodiversity. Highlighted will be wildlife crimes, like elephant poaching, and the wildlife trade.
The MegaFauna Show will feature painters, fine art photographers, artisans, authors, filmmakers and photojournalists. As just a few featured examples: Marie Wilkinson and Cyril Christo's evocative silver gelatin print  photographs, as well as their book, "Walking Thunder: In the Footsteps of the African Elephant"; in contrast, the work of Walter Rabetz, "Stereo-Fauna" – images of animals he sees as marginalized by living in unnatural environments; exquisitely rendered drawings and pastels of sea and sky by Zaria Forman conjuring the depth and mystery of the world of the North Atlantic Right Whale; again, in contrast with Catherine Allport’s subtle, abstract digital photographs of the seemingly pristine oceans, as well as more realistic photography and art work by several other artists and photographers.
Later in the season, the Gallery will host a show to benefit the Vineyard Conservation Society. "Endangered Land and Seascapes: The Intrinsic Value of Wild Nature" begins Sunday, August 12 and will benefit VCS’s Moshup Trail Project, a complex conservation effort protecting the globally rare coastal heathland habitat of Aquinnah. That exhibit will examine how we identify, prioritize and take measures to protect threatened habitats and ecosystems.
The Gay Head Gallery is not only a venue to show and sell art, but also home to "theRare&Endangered," a conservation center which seeks to connect people to the intrinsic value of the natural environment through collaboration with artists whose work is inspired by the beauty and mystery of nature. The gallery and conservation center is located at 32 State Rd, Aquinnah, and open from noon to 6 pm daily (except Tuesdays), and always by appointment. Call owner and Director Megan Ottens-Sargent at 508-645-2776 for further information.

Sand is Gold as Erosion Empties Bank

One of the most visble impacts of climate change, at least for Vineyarders, is the erosion of beaches due to sea level rise and the increase in storm intensity and frequency. The fourth part of Liz Durkee's climate change series takes a look at the management of that most precious material in an island community: sand.

“ . . . for the third winter in a row there has been a dramatic increase in coastal erosion on the Vineyard due largely to sea level rise and coastal armoring . . . sand is the new gold because beach nourishment . . . is our best chance for at least short-term erosion management.”

Other News

This is What Science Reporting Looks Like

A tree sitting atop a vehicle offers free firewood in Falls Church, Va. (Photo by for AP, caption from Boston Globe)

Climate change advocates* have long been frustrated by the inability or unwillingness of scientists to make clear statements to the public that attribute specific weather events to global climate change. However, science reporting in the mainstream media is beginning to reflect a change in this cautious approach. This is partly due to scientific progress (there is an emerging field of quantifying the degree to which a given storm is the result of human-induced climate change vs. other factors – apportioning the blame, so to speak), but also largely due to the recent increase in extreme weather (and general weirdness) of recent months, which surely makes such stories more popular. An article in the Boston Globe focusing on recent weather events contains many quotes from research scientists who are now willing to take a sort of “I told you so” position: without claiming this particular event was caused by climate change alone, they can say “see, these are exactly the kinds of things we said would happen.” Two scientists separately used the expression from the Globe’s headline, “this is what climate change looks like.” For advocates, this phrasing may just have to be good enough for now.

Continued at VCS site, 2nd column.

* Not people advocating for climate change, rather those interested in doing something about it; a useful, if grammatically incorrect, expression

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Copyright (C) *2012* *Vineyard Conservation Society* All rights reserved.

Original content by Jeremy Houser unless otherwise noted.