Wednesday, January 31, 2018

2018 S.C. Naturalists Meeting - Focus on Congaree National Park

Map shows current river flow and past channels too
Founded in 1976
The membership of the South Carolina Association of Naturalists (SCAN) comes from across the state to Columbia for their annual meeting each January. During the remainder of the calendar year, these SCAN members will fan out for field trips in every corner of the state, such as their December visit to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. The 2018 annual meeting featured a pair of rangers from Congaree National Park to discuss the history surrounding the old-growth hardwood forest there, and how the history birding is celebrated there now.

Clemson Facility Map
President Gordon Murphy greeted the SCAN members at the Lake House meeting facility at the Clemson Sandhills facility outside of Columbia. New members were asked to stand and be recognized, and were presented with published journals from 20 years of field trips. The format for the annual meeting consisted of guest speakers, with a break for lunch when members could get outside and explore the nearby walking trails around the lake area. The end of the day includes a business meeting to elect new officers, followed by the announcement of the 2018 field trip schedule.
Dr. David Shelley is the Director at the old-growth bottomland forest research and education center at Congaree National Park and he shared perspective on earth system science using geology to illustrate the passage of time. “A kind of prehistoric climate change helped to form the Congaree River floodplain as we know it today,” said Shelley. “There is evidence that the river was once a braided stream type of ecosystem, but that changed as Ice Age cycles came and went, creating mega channels from increased melt flows in Spring. Eventually the river narrows and as its course meanders over time, we are left with the rim swamps and bottomlands we observe today.”

Thanks to Dr. Shelley for sharing his passion
To view the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries about S.C. State Parks click on Hickory Knob State Park - Edisto Beach - Huntington Beach - Myrtle Beach - Hampton Plantation

To view my latest Birding Journal Observations click on November / December 2017 

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