Field Guide to the Habitats of Columbia County Talk (Thursday, July 25) & Walk (Saturday, July 27)

Join authors Anna Duhon, Gretchen Stevens, Claudia Knab-Vispo, and Conrad Vispo of From the Hudson to the Taconics: An Ecological and Cultural Field Guide to the Habitats of Columbia County, New York for an engaging introduction to this richly illustrated and unique new book, which is the culmination of years of original research by the Farmscape Ecology Program and Hudsonia. The audience will be invited to learn how one might use this book (available through the library) to become more familiar with the diverse and beautiful landscape of Columbia County and its surrounds. Authors will focus on some of their favorite habitats in the Hudson area. This free talk can be enjoyed as a single event or paired with the Habitat Exploration Walk (more information below), in which participants will have a chance to use the book to explore the many facets of several habitats at Greenport Conservation Area.

Date/Time: Thursday, July 25, 6 – 7:30pm

Location: In person, Hudson Area Library Community Room

Registration: Registration is appreciated. Email programs@hudsonarealibrary.org or call 518-828-1792 x101.

As a companion to the authors’ talk, join us for a free guided walk as we explore the unique habitats at the Greenport Conservation Area. Whether one is already familiar with the trail or visiting it for the first time, this walk is designed to help everyone “see more colors” in the landscape. Copies of the book will be available to use for the walk, though please bring your own copy if you have one. The books will also be for sale before and after the walk.

Date/Time: Saturday, July 27, 1 – 3pm

Location: In person, Greenport Conservation Area, 319 Joslen Blvd., Hudson, NY

Registration: Registration is required. Email fep@hawthornevalleyfarm.org or call 518-828-1792 x101.


Author Bios
Anna Duhon
Anna lives alongside the Berkshire Hills where she grew up. Her interest in the interconnections between people, nature, and land use has led her to many new places, including graduate school in Costa Rica, but she is grateful to have found the opportunity to bring this interest closer to home through her role, since 2009, doing community-based social science research with the Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program. She is deeply interested in processes of connection and transformation at every level, and hopes this Field Guide is an invitation to both. Along with her husband and daughter, Anna caretakes a lively homestead and tries to be as present as possible to the gifts of the land.

Gretchen Stevens
Gretchen grew up in New Hampshire, now lives in Columbia County, and has been studying the plants, animals, and habitats of the Northeast for over 40 years. With a specialty in field botany, she is the director emerita of Hudsonia’s Biodiversity Resource Center (BRC), which gathers and disseminates information on biological resources to those who can put it to the best on-the-ground uses for conservation. The BRC creates educational materials for use by landowners, developers, and regulatory officials, and trains members of municipal agencies and the staffs of land trusts in ways to recognize and protect important biodiversity and water resources. Gretchen hopes that this Field Guide will inspire among readers new interest in and curiosity about the habitats in their own backyards, throughout the county, and beyond.

Claudia Knab-Vispo
Claudia is a field botanist who grew up and studied in Germany, honed her skills in Borneo and Venezuela, and moved to Columbia County with her husband Conrad more than two decades ago. Since then, on the team of the Farmscape Ecology Program, she has been documenting and teaching about plants in and around Columbia County. She is passionate about opening people’s eyes to the beauty and diversity of plants, and to the many relationships of plants with other life, including our own. She hopes that her research and educational work will contribute to more thoughtful land stewardship through the
protection of native plants and their “wild” habitats, as well as the creation of more wildlife-friendly farms, backyards, and landscaped public spaces.

Conrad Vispo
Conrad is a wildlife ecologist by training, having studied mammalian thermoregulation in corporate lawns, wild bird nutrition in northern forests, and tropical fishery biology/ecology. Based on that experience (hah!), his current work at the Farmscape Ecology Program is mainly on the agroecology of insects, but he maintains an interest in other realms, especially historical ecology. Conrad spent most of his youth in Columbia County and is happy for the opportunity to share its nature with others.