Erick Greene Presents on Ospreys as Environmental Sentinels

April 11, 2022 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Please join us at our chapter meeting on Monday, April 11, 2022 at 7:00 PM to hear our speaker, Dr. Erick Greene present his talk: Ospreys as Environmental Sentinels. As an extra special treat, Rob Domenech, Director of Raptor View Research Institute, will also be joining us.

We are lucky that Ospreys are so abundant here in western Montana – who doesn’t love to see an Osprey dive into the water and emerge with a big fish! We will talk about some fascinating and important aspects of Osprey biology – how long they live, how they spend their winters, and some of our local favorite birds. We will focus on what Ospreys can tell us about the health of our streams, rivers and lakes. Ospreys are at the top of the food chain; they eat large fish, which eat smaller fish, which eat smaller things, and so on. This means that if there are contaminants in the water, they get concentrated up the food chain. In conjunction with the clean-up of the Clark Fork River Superfund Site, we have been studying Ospreys during the past 15 years. We take very small blood and feather samples from Osprey chicks and analyze them for heavy metals and other contaminants. In general, the Superfund Clean-up has been going well, but there have been some worrying trends during the last few years. In some places along the Clark Fork River, Osprey populations have declined by over 50%.

Erick Greene is a professor in the Division of Biological Sciences and in the Wildlife Biology Program at the University of Montana. Erick dropped out of high school and lived for a year in the Galapagos Islands, helping out on studies on Darwin’s Finches. He then worked on seabirds 800 miles north of the Arctic Circle with the Canadian Wildlife Service. His PhD is from Princeton University. He has been able to come full circle and return to studying Ospreys in Montana.

The meeting will be held in Room 110 in the Interdisciplinary Sciences Building (ISB) on the University of Montana campus. The building lies on the south end of campus on Beckwith Avenue between Maurice and Mansfield avenues. Currently, masks are encouraged but not required by the University.  Because our membership is composed of many older adults, we encourage attendees to continue to wear masks at our in-person meetings.  Because in-person attendance has been fairly low during the pandemic, there should be plenty of room in ISB 110 to socially distance yourself from others, so that you feel comfortable attending.  You also have the option of watching the meeting over the zoom link, until you feel comfortable attending.

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