EXPLORING CONSERVATION ISSUES
2020-2021 LECTURE SERIES

All lectures will take place on Zoom until further notice.

Bonus Lecture:

THE GEOLOGY OF THE RENSSELAER PLATEAU

with Bill Kelly

August 13 2020, 7pm


 

 

 

 

A reprise of the inaugural lecture of the RPA lecture series presented some five years ago. Geology determines the nature

of the Plateau. Bill will establish the overall structure of the Taconic Mountains. Once the geologic framework has been established, he will examine the Taconic Rocks of Rensselaer County and eastern Albany Counties,

with an emphasis on those that comprise the Rensselaer Plateau. 

 

Bill Kelly is a retired New York State Geologist. He served as Managing Director of the New York State

Geological Association, President of the Hudson Mohawk Professional Geologists Association,

President of the New York State Council of Professional Geologists,

and Historian for the American State Geologists.

*****

 

​​EXPLORING CONSERVATION ISSUES

 

2020-2021 LECTURE SERIES

CLIMATE CHANGE: THE CLIMATE CRISIS

with Bonnie Cook

September 17 2020, 7pm

Bonnie Cook is a certified Climate Reality Leader and adjunct English professor at Hudson Valley Community College. She recently trained with Nobel Laureate and former Vice President Al Gore. She will be showing his latest slide show. As the planet warms, glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, and wildfires are worsening. Climate change is already causing stronger storms, bigger floods, and ironically, bigger droughts. Bonnie will talk about climate changes what we can and should do to combat the climate crisis.

FOREST REGENERATION

with Peter Smallidge

October 15 2020, 7pm

Peter Smallidge is the Director of Cornell University's Arnot Teaching and Research Forest. He will talk about the ecology of forest regeneration, identifying concerns and risks such as deer impact, invasive vegetation and unsustainable harvesting. He will describe management options for successful forest regeneration including fencing, brush piles and slash walls.

CONSERVING HABITATS AND WILDLIFE
ON THE RENSSELAER PLATEAU

with Ingrid Haeckel

November 19 2020, 7pm

Ingrid Haeckel is a Conservation and Land Use Specialist at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson River Estuary Program through a partnership with Cornell University Department of Natural Resources. In this lecture she will introduce priority habitats and wildlife of conservation concern on the Rensselaer Plateau, maps and resources for learning more, and basic conservation strategies. She will talk about what we have, what’s most vulnerable, and what we can do about it.

TRAILS AND PUBLIC ACCESS TO WOODLANDS

with Brit Basinger

December 17 2020, 7pm

Brit Basinger is Director of Landscape Architecture at the Chazen Companies. His areas of expertise include waterfront design, parks and open space design, corporate facility master planning, streetscape design and urban design, among others. Brit has over 25 years experience in planning trails and open space amenities. His presentation will provide an overview on various ways to plan, fund and implement trails. He will give his perspectives on the importance of trails, planning, design and implementation, property ownership and collaboration, regulatory issues, understanding expectations and amenities required, and other challenges and opportunities. 

WATER RESOURCES AND AIR QUALITY
ON THE RENSSELAER PLATEAU

with Fred and Barbara Nuffer

January 14 2021, 7pm

Fred and Barbara Nuffer are both retired from at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Fred was Assistant Director of the Division of Water Resources. Barbara worked at the Air Toxics Bureau in the Division of Air Resources. Fred will describe how the water resources in the county are impacted by the Rensselaer Plateau. Barbara will review air quality regulations, local sources of air pollution, and how they both impact air quality trends in Rensselaer County.

FLOODWATER MANAGEMENT OPTIONS

ON THE RENSSELAER PLATEAU

with Russell Urban-Mead

February 18 2021, 7pm
Russell Urban-Mead is a Senior Principal and Vice President for Environmental Services at The Chazen Companies. He will describe their work for RPA

to identify storm water management opportunities. He will also describe some of the recommended projects, and outline steps which communities can take now to protect themselves from future flood damage across Grafton, Poestenkill, Brunswick, and the City of Troy.

FOREST FRAGMENTATION, LANDSCAPE CHANGE,
AND ECOSYSTEM RESILIENCE

with Rachel Riemann

March 18 2021, 7pm

Rachel Riemann is a Research Forester/Geographer  with the US Forest Service. Rachel will take a close look at forest fragmentation, what it means for changes in the landscape, and how it affects the flora, fauna, and water quality. She will share where we get this information and how it is used.

CLEAN ENERGY AND CLIMATE SOLUTIONS

with Ethan Winter

April 15 2021, 7pm

Ethan Winter is the Senior Community Engagement Manager at Cypress Creek Renewables with a focus on planning, development and government relations in support of community and transmission scale solar projects in New York and Massachusetts. He will discuss climate change, New York’s ambitious clean energy mandate, and community solar. He will also will discuss the latest science and trends in climate change, review the state’s clean energy and climate change policies, and explore the role of solar as well as land conservation as climate solutions.

LAND CONSERVATION AND STEWARDSHIP

with Jim Bonesteel

May 20 2021, 7pm
Jim Bonesteel is the Executive Director of the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance. He will lead a panel discussion of land conservation principles, objectives,

and stewardship. Topics of discussion may include forests, farms, wetlands, community engagement, and a culture of welcome and inclusion. Other discussion topics include wildlife habitat and forest connectivity, source water protection, economic considerations, timber, recreation, monitoring, maintenance, and sustainability.   

INVASIVE SPECIES
ON THE RENSSELAER PLATEAU

with Jennifer Dean

June 17 2021, 7pm

Jennifer Dean is the Invasive Species Biologist for the New York Natural Heritage Program. She provides biological expertise for the state invasive species database, iMapInvasives. She will talk about identifying the many non-native species established in the region and some things we can do to reduce the extent of invasive species and their effects.

 

Rensselaer Plateau Alliance, Inc.

Conservation Through Community

(518) 712-9211 | info@rensselaerplateau.org

Postal: PO Box 790, Averill Park, NY 12018

Office: 17 Old Route 66, Averill Park, NY 12018

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Background photo: Nate Simms