Little Rock - October 14-15, 2022

Register

The 2022 Fall Convention of the Arkansas Audubon Society will be held October 14-15 at the Hilton Garden Inn West hotel in Little Rock. The Hilton Garden Inn West is at 10914 Kanis Road, just west of Shackleford and southwest of the intersection of I-430 and I-630.

All meals and meetings will be held in Garden Inn West. The hotel has an indoor pool, fitness center, free five-mile radius shuttle to nearby attractions, and pet-friendly rooms, as well as the usual amenities.

Room rates are $102 per night plus tax. To make a reservation, call the hotel at (501) 227-4800 and indicate you are part of the Audubon conference or click on this link: https://www.hilton.com/en/book/reservation/rooms/?ctyhocn=LITWSGI&arrivalDate=2022-10-14&departureDate=2022-10-16&groupCode=AUDBON&room1NumAdults=1&cid=OM%2CWW%2CHILTONLINK%2CEN%2CDirectLink

Reserve your room by September 30 to ensure your special AAS room rate. Other hotel options can be found in west Little Rock. 

This convention will celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the Arkansas Audubon Society Trust, which funds scientific research and education. All of our speakers are former trust grant recipients. Friday night, Dana Ripper, the Director of the Missouri River Bird Observatory in Arrow Rock, Missouri. She will speak on "Bird Conservation in the 21st Century." The Saturday night speaker will be Dr. Charles R. Preston, the Willis McDonald, IV Founding and Senior Curator Emeritus of the Draper History Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, located in Cody, Wyoming. The title of his presentation is "The Eagle and the Rabbit--Apex Predator and Prey in an Imperiled Landscape." 

On Saturday afternoon, we will offer a symposium featuring Dr. Dan Scheiman, Chair of the AAS Trust Board, who will present a brief history of the Trust and share some statistics. He will be followed by students who are recipients of Trust research grants, who will present their research.

Two field trips will take place at 1 PM on Friday, and four on Saturday beginning at 7 AM.

The usual door prizes and silent auction will take place. We hope you can join us for a weekend of watching and learning about birds! 

Arkansas Audubon Society COVID-19 Policy: COVID-19 proof of vaccination OR a negative test result taken within 72 hours of arrival is required for meeting participants. Indoor Society activities will follow current CDC guidelines as they are updated with regard to masking indoors, social distancing, etc. Arkansas Audubon Society meeting participants assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and its variants.

About our speakers:

Dana Ripper has a BA in Biology from North Central College (1999) and an MS in Wildlife Ecology from Arkansas State University at Jonesboro (2002).  Dana’s thesis work on the ecology of Hairy Woodpeckers in managed forests was sponsored by the Arkansas Audubon Society Trust.  After Arkansas State, she remained in Arkansas doing conservation-related ornithological work for several years, at which time she joined Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory (now Bird Conservancy of the Rockies) as a private land conservation biologist (2005-2007). In 2010 Dana co-founded the Missouri River Bird Observatory (MRBO), a Missouri-based nonprofit dedicated to the conservation of birds, all wildlife, and their habitats.  MRBO works in Missouri’s most imperiled habitats documenting bird population trends and their response to habitat management practices. It then takes that information to landowners, colleagues, the general public, and legislators to advance bird conservation.

Dr. Charles R. Preston has served as a professor of biology at UA Little Rock (1982-1989), as well as held adjunct appointments at several other universities. He chaired the Department of Zoology at the Denver Museum (1990-1998), where his research and public education initiatives contributed to the establishment of Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. His tenure at the Draper Natural History Museum in 2018, as its Willis McDonald, IV, Founding and Senior Curator and Director garnered international recognition of his visionary design and development. He has been widely recognized as a leading thinker concerning conservation issues in Greater Yellowstone. He retired from the Draper Museum in 2018 and since then continues to direct research monitoring of golden eagles in Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin as the Senior Research Associate with Teton Raptor Center.      
 



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Agenda

Friday, October 14, 2022
Hotel Lobby 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Field Trips
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Hotel 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm Registration
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Hotel 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Dinner
-
Hotel 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Bird Conservation in the 21st Century
Dana Ripper - Director, Missouri River Bird Observatory
Hotel 8:00 pm - 8:30 pm Drawing for Door Prizes, Details of Saturday Trips
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Saturday, October 15, 2022
Hotel 6:00 am - 7:00 am Grab n Go Breakfast
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Hotel Lobby 7:00 am - 5:00 pm Field Trips
Not all will last the whole day -
Hotel 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm A Brief History of the AAS Trust and Current Research by Grant Recipients
Dr. Dan Scheiman and Student Grant Recipients -
Hotel 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Dinner
-
Hotel 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm The Eagle and the Rabbit--Apex Predator and Prey in an Imperiled Landscape
Dr. Charles R. Preston - Willis McDonald, IV Founding and Senior Curator Emeritus, Draper Natural History Museum, Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Hotel 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm Field Trip Reports, Door Prizes, Auction Winners Announced, Business Meeting
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Field Trips

Friday, October 14, 2022
F1 - Bell Slough Nature Trail
Depart: 1:00 PM (24 minutes)

This trip will depart from the hotel lobby. The 2.25-mile trail is named for Kenny Vernon, an Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologist who was instrumental in its creation. It has a crushed shale surface and few elevation changes. Bell Slough (pronounced "slew") is usually shallow but seasonal floods cover low-lying parts of the trail. Bell Slough WMA includes upland pine-hardwood forests, bottomland hardwood forests, and cypress-tupelo lakes and sloughs.
Difficulty: Moderate  Leader: Allan Mueller
F2 - Lake Maumelle
Depart: 1:00 PM (25 minutes)

This trip will depart from the hotel lobby. It will contain both walking and driving, with most of the walking being very limited and all being conducted on well-maintained trails. The trip will involve multiple stops. Lake Maumelle has two trails: Bufflehead Bay Trail and Loon Point/Farkleberry Trail. Both of these are well maintained trails and provide great viewing opportunities of the lake. However, this lake will also involve a decent amount of driving to view all of the different access points. A Brown Booby was photographed on the lake August 1st, 2022 and could still be there as well as the possibility of other rarities.
Difficulty: Easy  Leader: Karen Holliday
Saturday, October 15, 2022
S1 - Audubon Arkansas/Frazier Pike
Depart: 7:00 AM (16 minutes)

This trip will depart from the hotel lobby. The trip will be a mixture of walking and driving, all of the walking will be on paved trails. However, areas of the trail do contain some elevation changes and can be semi-steep in some parts. This trip provides a great diversity of habitat types and has a good chance to see a bunch of fall migrants that are moving throughout the area. One of the stops will be the Arkansas Audubon Center where there is great habitat to see all kinds of songbirds. The trip will then migrate over towards Frazier Pike which contains both farmlands and the Arkansas River, providing great opportunities to see other various species.
Difficulty: Moderate  Leader: Dan Scheiman
S2 - Bell Slough Nature Trail
Depart: 7:00 AM (24 minutes)

This trip will depart from the hotel lobby. The trail is paved and well maintained, but does contain some slight steepness at times. The 2.25-mile trail is named for Kenny Vernon, an AGFC biologist who was instrumental in its creation. It has a crushed shale surface and few elevation changes. Bell Slough (pronounced "slew") is usually shallow but seasonal floods cover low-lying parts of the trail. Bell Slough WMA includes upland pine-hardwood forests, bottomland hardwood forests, and cypress-tupelo lakes and sloughs. Muzzleloading season opens on this day so there is a chance hunters will be in the area (they should not be hunting around the trail). We recommend you wear vibrant colors, most preferably something similar to hunter orange.
Difficulty: Moderate  Leader: Allan Mueller
S3 - Lake Maumelle
Depart: 7:00 AM (25 minutes)

This trip will depart from the hotel lobby. It will contain both walking and driving, with most of the walking being very limited and all being conducted on well-maintained trails. The trip will involve multiple stops. Lake Maumelle has two trails: Bufflehead Bay Trail and Loon Point/Farkleberry Trail. Both of these are well maintained trails and provide great viewing opportunities of the lake. However, this lake will also involve a decent amount of driving to view all of the different access points. A Brown Booby was photographed on the lake August 1st, 2022 and could still be there as well as the possibility of other rarities.
Difficulty: Easy  Leader: Karen Holliday
S4 - Camp Robinson SUA
Depart: 7:00 AM (27 minutes)

This trip will depart from the hotel lobby. The majority of the trip will be conducted in a vehicle, with periodic periods where you may need to get out and walk up and down the road. Camp Robinson SUA is a unique area, in that it is heavily managed with prescribed burning. Because of this it has been transformed into an Oak Savannah, creating a landscape that is no longer abundant in our area. Many unique species can be observed in the area at certain times of the year. It is a great site to find many of the fall migrants and other songbirds as well as some waders and waterfowl that may be hanging around Lake Conway.
Difficulty: Easy  Leader: Michael Linz and Patty McLean