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Audubon Miami Valley meets the second Monday of September through May in the 2nd floor usually in the conference room of the Lebanon Citizens National Bank building at 30 West Park Place. These meetings are free and open to the public.


May 14- Mongolia Revealed – Land of the Blue Sky, Hardy Eshbaugh, Professor Emeritus, Miami University

An opportunity arose for six people to accompany George Archibald, founder of International Crane Foundation, on a conservation expedition to Mongolia. Mongolia is a landlocked country located between China and Russia. It is a vast emptiness that links land and sky, and is one of the last few places on the planet where nomadic life is still a living tradition. Mongolia is an exotic destination for any traveler to a land of superlatives. It is also a land of extremes: largely a treeless landscape with extensive grasslands, and many lakes. There is a bounty of exotic wildlife and unusual birds. The average summer temperature is 65°F. Winter average is (-13°F. In Mongolia there are 250 sunny days a year, often with clear cloudless skies. Precipitation is sparse averaging only 14.9 inches for the entire year in Ulaanbaatar, the Capital. Mongolia became the 2nd communist country in the world and shifted to capitalism in 1996. Three million people live in the country with 78 percent urban. The rural population is 5 people per square mile. Journey with Hardy and his son David as he introduces us to this most fascinating destination

Hardy Eshbaugh is a Professor Emeritus of Botany, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. He received his A.B. from Cornell University and his M.A. and Ph.D. at Indiana University.   In 1991 he received the Benjamin Harrison Award (Medallion) from Miami University, the institutions highest award for faculty “in recognition of contributions to the advancement of education to the nation.” In 2014 Dr. Eshbaugh received the Cincinnati Nature Center’s Wood Thrush Award for significant contributions to conservation and stewardship in the Greater Cincinnati region. In 2011 he received the Three Valley Conservation Trust’s Wallace I. Edwards Conservationist of the year award. In 2005 he was awarded The Great Egret Award by the National Audubon Society in recognition of his lifetime of service to the cause of conservation at the national, state, and local level. Eshbaugh was awarded the Outstanding Communicator Award of the Ohio Ornithological Society in 2007. He is a lifelong researcher and expert of Chili Peppers. He was Oxford, Ohio’s 2002 Citizen of the Year.


SEP 10- “eBird: What Does it Mean to You?” with Brian Wulker, Fernald Preserve, Harrison, OH

Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology at Cornell University and the National Audubon Society, eBird gathers basic data on bird abundance and distribution at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. As of November 2016, over 330,000 unique users have submitted over 26 million checklists, more than 366 million observations, and data for over 10,300 species to the program. eBird’s goal is to maximize the utility and accessibility of the vast numbers of bird observations made each year by recreational and professional bird watchers. The observations of each participant join those of others in an international network. The data are then available via internet queries in a variety of formats. eBird documents the presence or absence of species, as well as bird abundance through checklist data. A web interface allows participants to submit their observations or view results via interactive queries of the database. Internet tools maintain personal bird records and enable users to visualize data with interactive maps, graphs, and bar charts. All these features are available in a dozen languages.

Brian Wulker is an environmental scientist with both a BS and MS degree from Morehead State University, Kentucky who works for Navarro Research and Engineering at the Fernald Preserve in Harrison, Ohio where he has primary responsibilities in restored area maintenance and monitoring of constructed wetlands and prairies. Brian is an avid and accomplished birder and bird photographer. Brian also volunteers as an eBird regional editor for Ohio and northern Kentucky to review bird records and maintain data quality in eBird.


OCT 8- “Of Fire, Bison…and Voles” with Amy Sullivan, Miami University

Amy Sullivan AudubonTallgrass prairie is one of North America’s most endangered ecosystems; only about 2% remains, mostly in small disconnected patches.  We will explore how fire and bison shaped intact tallgrass prairie ecosystems historically, and how the flora and fauna of modern remnants and restorations are shaped by mammalian herbivores of a very different sort: voles.

Amy Sullivan holds a PhD in biological sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she combined her fascination with grasses and small mammals in a practical way by studying how voles–herbivorous rodents–impact tallgrass prairie vegetation.  She has worked in grasslands spanning deserts, mountains, and prairies. Currently she is a Visiting Assistant Professor with Project Dragonfly at Miami University.


NOV 12- “Feeding Birds with Native Plants” with Tara Poling, Marianist Environmental Education Center, Dayton, OH

Tara Poling #1Native plants can help you conserve water and energy, provide habitat and green your yard! Natives can support pollinator populations, add reliable blooms to a “problem areas,” help manage stormwater, replace aggressive or invasive species, and prevent erosion.  More importantly, native plants support our native insects, turning our gardens into bird magnets. We’ll cover everything you need to make your native garden a success, including selecting species that will thrive in any area of your garden for season‐long color and winter interest.

Tara Poling is the Program Coordinator at the Marianist Environmental Education Center in Beavercreek, Ohio. She is a Certified Interpretive Guide, native plant gardener, beekeeper and amateur birder. She has more than 15 years experience as a program and workshop leader.


DEC 10- “Hiking and Birding Costa Rica” with Marlene Hoffman and Kathie Brinkman

This presentation will focus on Marlene and Kathie’s recent travels in Costa Rica with the Sierra Club, a trip heavy on hiking, birding and ecology. They have lots of photos to share from the trip; some of the birds just about posed for them! Look for a fun evening and, if you haven’t already traveled to Costa Rica, be forewarned that you may be inspired to take the plunge.

Marlene Hoffman was raised on a farm north of Oxford where she developed her love of birds and nature. Joining the local Audubon chapter and birding with the “experts” allowed that interest to grow. Marlene retired from a nursing career at McCullough Hyde hospital and now has time to pursue outdoor hobbies. She was Oxford’s Citizen of the Year in 2017. Kathie Brinkman has been an Oxford resident for fifty years. Thirty-four of those years were spent focused on her career at Miami in computer support services. Kathie worked in Miami’s central IT division and also assisted with IT strategic planning. In retirement, she’s been able to return to her passions: family, photography, gardening and travel.















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