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Winter Meeting of KSNH

Greetings KSNH members,

I’d like to share some news from our recent meeting at Floracliff Nature Sanctuary and Raven Run Nature Sanctuary on February 28–29, in conjunction with the Kentucky Organization of Field Stations. 

Joint Meeting of the Kentucky Society of Natural History (KSNH) and the Kentucky Organization of Field Stations (KOFS)

Floracliff Nature Sanctuary and Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, Lexington, KY

28–29 February 2020

Our meeting began at Floracliff Nature Sanctuary with a guided hike from the visitor center to the lodge at Trails End. At the lodge, we had a discussion among a group of KOFS and KSNH officers (past and present), members, and potential recruits. Pat Meyer, Chris Bidwell, Mary Alice Bidwell, and Susan Wilson, who are past officers and long-time members of KSNH, described for the group some of the history, past activities, communications, meetings of KSNH.

We discussed:

  1. Idea that we want to ensure all current and past members know they are an integral part of KSNH and we want everyone to be as involved as possible. If you are a life member, you are absolutely still a member, and we hope to see you at our meetings and events! 

    1. We want to expand membership and maintain contributions and engagement by all people interested in natural history: professionals, semi-professionals, faculty, students, kids, and general public/amateurs with an interest. 

    2. We are establishing an “Organization” member category that will have a $100 annual cost.

    3. Invite your friends and colleagues with an interest in geology, geography, plants, astronomy, animals, paleontology, and similar fields. 

  2. Preferred means of communications and preference to have Facebook, email listserv, eNewletters, webpage, etc. 

    1. We have a new webpage thanks to our new webmaster, Luke Dodd. Currently the url is, but we are still working on linking this to

    2. We decided to maintain the Facebook page and eNewsletter for moderators and officers to send out information, to establish an email listserv to facilitate communications among members (anyone can email that is a member),  

    3. If you have feedback, please send it to me. 

  3. Potential of establishing a Berl Meyer Natural History Education Award to memorialize Past-President Meyer’s educational contributions to the Society and the public. 

    1. Several donations have been made, totalling $150. Thank you to those that have contributed.

    2. I ask that anyone else that wants to make a donation in memory of Berl, please mail your check, made out Kentucky Society of Natural History, to Stephen Richter, Division of Natural Area, Eastern Kentucky University, 521 Lancaster Avenue, Richmond, KY 40475. If you would like to make this donation through PayPal, please let me know.

    3. The Board wants to gauge members’ interests in KSNH establishing this. We will use feedback from the membership to determine if we move forward with this, the amount of the award, source of funds, and whether this is a one-time award or is perpetual. Look for a survey about this soon, but please feel free to send any feedback you have now. 

    4. Chris Bidwell, Mary Alice Bidwell, and Susan Wilson wrote a nice article about figworts with lovely pictures and dedicated it to Berl. See it here!

  4. Increasing communications and co-hosted events among all KY societies with similar interest to KSNH. 

    1. Potentials include Ky Org of Field Stations, Ky Ornithological Soc, Ky Herpetological Soc, Ky Native Plant Soc, Ky Geological Soc, Ky Invasive Plant Council, Ky Soc of Lepidopterists, Ky Chapter of The Wildlife Society, North American Butterfly Assoc Central Ky Chapter, American Chestnut Foundation, Northern Ky Fly Fishers Assoc. 

    2. If you have any other suggestions, please share these.

    3. One concrete collaboration we discussed was KSNH-KOFS co-sponsored nature hikes and workshops that would rotate around Ky Field Stations’ site-member and partner-member field areas that could be led by the site personnel or KSNH members. See website for more information and maps:

  5. We had six applications for KSNH student research grants, 3 graduate and 3 undergraduate proposals from Thomas More Univ, Univ Cumberlands, Univ Louisville, Univ Kentucky, and Eastern Kentucky U. The Board of Directors independently ranked these proposals and discussed them to come to a consensus. Thank you to all applicants for your interest— this was a very competitive pool! Students selected for the 2020 KSNH Student Research Grants were

    1. Maggie Anderson, Univ Cumberlands, shrub-breeding bird ecology on reclaimed coal mines, $500.

    2. Nick Koenig, Eastern Kentucky Univ, plant biodiversity and natural history collection in central Kentucky, $500.

    3. Kathryn Greene, Univ Kentucky, population biology and connectivity of stream salamanders across reference and mined sites, $1000.

    4. Congratulations to each of you! Look for a separate email from me soon with more information.

If you have ideas you'd like to share, please email me at

Best wishes,

Stephen Richter

President, Kentucky Society of Natural History



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Kentucky Society of Natural History · 521 Lancaster Avenue · c/o EKU Division of Natural Areas · Richmond, KY 40475 · USA

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