Our naturalist career began when we moved permanently to unincorporated Miami-Dade County outside the southeast entrance to Everglades National Park in l984. We immediately became involved in a broad range of volunteer activities both within the park and with various affiliating educational institutions. By 2003 we had contributed nearly 26,000 combined volunteer hours (over 12 years of full time employment) to Everglades National Park.
l. Proposed, studied, mapped, planned and organized the removal of the non-native plant Shoebutton Ardisia, Ardisia elliptica, from Royal Palm Hammock, 8 other invaded hammocks and 2 invaded roadbeds.
This massive project was made possible by the support of numerous volunteers from the Sierra Club, Dade Chapter Florida Native Plant Society and DERM. Over 200,000 plants were uprooted or cut and herbicided between 1987 and 1990.
Reports submitted to Everglades National Park concerning this work include:
Ardisia Elliptica in Everglades National Park: An Overview through 1992. (This 1994 report describes all our work from l987 - 1992 with discussion of additional problem areas and possible control options. 15 pgs., 10 photos and 3 maps.) Maps: (1) Current Status of Ardisia Elliptica in ENP 1994, (2) Paradise Key-Royal Palm Hammock Showing Ardisia Elliptica Populations (Pre-1987), (3) General/Major Landtype Divisions For South Florida.
Ardisia Elliptica: Germination to Flower Production within Paradise Key. (Describes research conducted from 1988 to 1992 attempting to develop morphological, phenological and associated information concerning this plant. 18 pgs.)
Searching The True Identity of an Exotic Ardisia in Everglades National Park. (A thorough review of the naming of our exotic ardisia. 20 pgs.)
Control of Ardisia Solanacea in Paradise Key, Everglades National Park 1987-1988. (First paper describing this project-concentrates on methods.)
We are particularly proud of this work which represents the first use of community volunteers, which is now commonplace, for non-native plant removal. The understory of Royal Palm Hammock was completely replaced in many areas by this exotic invader and the park was not addressing the problem. Treatment and study were begun early enough to keep Shoebutton Ardisia from getting a foothold in other park areas. (It was found by us in the Flamingo area in 1995 and easily controlled.) With the incidental help of the Hole-In-The-Donut mitigation project, this plant is still largely controlled in Everglades National Park, 12 years later.
Received the 1989 Marjorie Stoneman Douglas Award in recognition of this work from the Dade Chapter Florida Native Plant Society.
2. Updated the Everglades National Park herbarium adding over 50 new park species as well as one new to the United States, Cuphea strigulosa. When we began this project, the 20 to 40 year old collection had been allowed to deteriorate necessitating new voucher specimens for nearly all park species. The park's vascular plant checklist now contains close to 1100 species.
3. Collaborated with the University of Miami Department of Biology (through Dr. Carol Horvitz) in Shoebutton Ardisia, Ardisia elliptica, research in Everglades National Park. This work was between 1989 and 1992 and involved measuring plant growth, seed rain and bird seed distribution.
4. Collaborated with the University of Miami Department of Biology (through Dr. Carol Horvitz) in plant research at Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica for 2 summers.
5. Led biannual Everglades National Park field ecology weekend courses for University of Miami botany doctoral students from 1995 - 1999. Co-led (with Dr. Carol Horvitz) a one day exotic plant treatment research study session in 2004.
6. Isolated a fly, Melanagromyza miamensis, a species unknown to science and endemic to the Flamingo area of Everglades National Park where it infects the flower stalk of the Mule Ear Orchid, Oncidium undulatum. This orchid is rare in the United States, found only in the Flamingo area of Everglades National Park. We have yet to record our studies of this interesting fly/orchid association.
7. Wrote a 7 year proposal in collaboration with Tony Terry, Assistant Director (currently Director), Flamingo Ranger District, Everglades National Park to eradicate non-native plants from the 19 km. stretch of land at the extreme southwestern edge of Cape Sable in Everglades National Park and followed the proposal to completion. This proposal was funded in 1996 and with support from Flamingo District Rangers work began in the same year.
Reports submitted to Everglades National Park concerning this project include:
The Exotic Plants of Cape Sable: An Eradication And Management Plan, June 1996. 24 pgs., 2 maps. Maps: (1)Cape Sable Exotic Survey - l996, East Cape to Middle Cape (2) Cape Sable Exotic Survey - 1996, Northwest Cape. ( Brazilian Pepper, Schinus terebinthifolius, Beach Naupaka, Scaevola sericea, Lead Tree, Leucaena leucocephala, and Australian Pine, Casaurina equisetifolia, were mapped. The report describes the habitat, gives rational behind the proposed management plan and outlines project and treatment expectations.)
Treatment work began in 1996. Today, 2004, the berms are basically completed but continue to be surveyed annually, if possible. They require maintenance treatment particularly since the prairie seed source remains. The prairies have yet to be thoroughly treated and are being surveyed in an effort to devise a workable plan of treatment.
8. Assisted Project Amazonas Science Director, Dr. Devon Graham, on the Rio Orosa, a tributary of the Amazon, in Peru for a season (1997).
9. Collaborated with Shun Fu Wu, a doctoral student at the Center for Remote Sensing and Mapping Science (CRMS), at the University of Georgia (UGA) to create a CD on the plant communities of Everglades National Park. (1996 - 1998)
10. Worked with CRMS at the University of Georgia to create overstory and understory vegetation maps of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as well as, the first fire effects maps based on eastern species. (1999 - 2003)
11. Worked on vegetation maps of Blue Ridge Parkway in the employ of CRMS at UGA. (2003 - 2009)
12. Published 9 field guides in support of environmental education covering many of our national parks. Eight continue to be sold throughout the United States including 4 national parks.
13. Began an inventory of largely unstudied subtropical Florida lichens in 2002. Click "Lichens" above for current status of this project.
14. Created a website in 2003 to publish as much of our work as time allows.