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Newsletter Excerpts


Go to CAREERS - Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude

Go to LANDSCAPING FOR CONSERVATION: How Exotic is Your Yard or Garden?

Go to CORAL REEFS, ALGAL BLOOMS & SEAHORSES: Creatures of the Deep


CAREERS - Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude

CONNECTIONS
The AVE Newsletter
No. 7 Summer 1999

Every week, at least one AVE Board member gets a phone call, email or letter from a fellow veterinarian asking questions like: "Do you know of any jobs available in the environmental field?" "How can I get a job just like yours?" "I need a change in my life, but I am not sure what I want to do next; environmental issues sound interesting". We do want to help;
one of AVE's major commitments is to Career Development & Change.
"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." [Lao Tzu]
Here are some ideas for those of you on the search for a change.

Public Policy
Tufts University Center for Animals and Public Policy - A graduate program leading to an MS degree that addresses connections between the welfare of animals, people and the environment. Strong writing and research skills important. Contact Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine.
Congressional Science Fellowship - This one year September-September program sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science unites scientists from all over the country with members of Congress. See the AVMA website (the AVMFoundation sponsors veterinarians in the program) or the AAAS website.

Research
The Association of Amphiban and Reptile Veterinarians - Funding is available for practical research dedicated to conservation of reptiles and amphibians. Check the www.arav.org website. Deadline for project submissions is August 15.

Wildlife Medicine
Directory of Post-Graduate Opportunities - The World Association of Wildlife Veterinarians has a directory available for veterinary students and graduate veterinarians interested in wildlife medicine. Contact the Secretary of the WAWV at f.scullion@zoo.co.uk.
Volunteering - Try volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation center a few hours a weekend. This is an excellent way for you to learn how to handle various species of wildlife and to find out if wildlife rehabilitation philosophy fits your style of practice and life.

Resources (Books)
The Complete Guide to Environmental Careers in the 21st Century - This new edition is a comprehensive look at what the future holds for the field of environmental career opportunities. Island Press, 280 pp., $17.95 paperback
The Guide to Graduate Environmental Programs - This book details specifics on 160 institutions nationwide providing graduate programs in environmental sciences. Island Press, 462 pp., $16.95 paperback
Environmental Leadership - Want to know what it takes to become a leader in environmental issues? This book describes the skills and styles of successful environmental leaders, including their career paths. Island Press, 299 pp., $24.00

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LANDSCAPING FOR CONSERVATION: How Exotic is Your Yard or Garden?

CONNECTIONS
The AVE Newsletter
No. 7 Summer 1999

With as rapidly as the world is whirling around us these days, landscaping for conservation s one way to simplify your life, whether at home or at work. This practical technique reduces overall maintenance of lawn and garden, while contributing to the health of plants and animals who live near you.

Americans are obsessed with weed-free lawns, and ever-so-neat yards. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that each year we spend $950 million on fertilizers and $1.5 billion on pesticides for use on our landscapes. Yet, a healthy native lawn is the best protection against weeds and pests. Start with healthy soil; have it tested for pH and nutrient needs. Add compost. Aerate compacted areas. Add earthworms for natural fertilizer. Every year you do not use fertilizers and pesticides, the healthier your soil becomes. Try using ladybugs and praying mantises to control pests.

Plant wildflower meadows to provide a colorful, low-maintenance option to lawns. Then delight at the birds, butterflies & small animals you attract.

Try constructing wooden decks or brick patios for outdoor enjoyment. These permeable surfaces allow water to seep through to underlying soil. Put in a small water garden, for soothing sounds and still more creatures. Attempt to select native wildflowers, plants, trees and shrubs, that are adapted to your climate. Native plants offer the benefits of less need for trimming, watering, and protection from pests.

Today, we can even plant historical varieties of plants. Do you live in Virginia? How about a George Washington oak from the Mount Vernon seed collection? Contact your local native plant society or American Horticultural Society.

We often forget in acquiring landscaping materials to ask if those materials are suited to where we live, or if they are exotic species that have the potential to move in and take over native species. The beautiful Scotch broom is an example of an exotic, invasive species in the West. First introduced a century ago for its beautiful yellow, fragrant blooms, this shrub is invading roadways and hillsides, overshadowing sun needed for native plants. The bullfrog, introduced to many water gardens, is another invasive animal species who competes with native leopard frogs.

The Director of the North Carolina Botanical Garden has established a policy on invasive non-native exotic plants (which in many ways applies to all non-native species). He announced this policy, named the "Chapel Hill Thesis and Challenge" by nailing the thesis to a tree (not a church door but still Martin-Luther-like) & photographing it for a presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Botanical Gardens & Arboreta in Vancouver, BC on 7/3/99. Following are the principles of Peter White's thesis:

First, do no harm -- to plant diversity, or to natural areas. If you plan to introduce a non-native species, perform a risk assessment, and then decide. (Is it invasive, how fast does it spread, does it produce any substance or action that will damage native species?) If you have invasive species already, try to remove them from special collection areas or control them in natural areas. Develop non-invasive and native plant alternatives. Do not distribute seeds or plants that will be invasive elsewhere. Educate the public. And finally become partners with conservation groups. Remember, we are making these decisions to help manage time and budget, and these decisions affect the entire landscape, the big picture view.

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CORAL REEFS, ALGAL BLOOMS & SEAHORSES: Creatures of the Deep

CONNECTIONS
The AVE Newsletter
Vol. 7 Summer 1999

Coral ReefsCorals are collections of tiny soft-bellied animal polyps, that secrete calcium carbonate skeletons or glues (the reef structure) to become an amazing marine equivalent to rainforests. These creatures live synergistically with microscopic cellular plant algae, harbor a myriad of biologically diverse plant and animal organisms, adapted to peculiar and specific physiologic niches, and--perhaps--hide thousands of pharmacologic mysteries. A recent article in the journal Science from researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, and colleagues in France, Australia, Kansas, and California, have detected excess carbon dioxide dissolved in the ocean. Coral needs carbon in the form of carbonate to build its reefs. Excess carbon dioxide however transforms into carbonic acid, stealing away the carbon that is usually available for the reef structure. Thus, carbon dioxide, possibly from burning fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and gasoline, and freely being circulated worldwide over time and space by wind and waves, becomes dissolved in seawater, and may be at least one cause of reef die-offs and coral bleaching.

Harmful Algal BloomsOver the last decade, the United States has seen an escalating increase in the incidence of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in all our coastal waters, causing mass mortalities in marine fish, shellfish, marine mammals, sea turtles and seabirds. Explanations for these increased blooms range from natural species dispersal to human-induced phenomena. HABs are characterized by proliferative growth of toxic phytoplankton, resulting from a combination of physical, chemical and biological processes, whose interactions are not well understood. What is known is that these HABs are entering foodchains, impacting animal and human health, causing enormous economic losses, and damaging marine ecosystems. Some coral reefs are literally being smothered by excessive seaweed blooms. Copepods and other marine bottom grazers reduce their feeding rates if they encounter toxic dinoflagellate blooms. Thus, as algal toxins and algal overgrowth move through a marine foodchain, they have significant effects on a broad spectrum of animal and plant organisms, whether pelagic, nearshore, onshore or on land.

SeahorsesSeahorses, miniature fish shaped like tiny horses, who find shelter in coral reefs, have prehensile tails that wrap around coral and sea grasses. Male and female seahorses are faithful, bonding for life. These fish are unusual in that the female deposits her eggs in the male seahorse's pouch, which he then seals. The male is pregnant, and gives birth. There are 32 known species of seahorses worldwide, varying in size from 1/2 to 12 inches, consuming large numbers of tiny marine organisms daily through their tiny horsehead snouts. Each seahorse's head is distinct, one from another; and the body is covered in an armor-like external skeleton to ward off predators. Seahorses are being exploited for Chinese medicines and aphrodisiacs, tourist trinkets, aquarium fishes, and are being impacted by degradation of reef and coastal habitats.

So what can you do to make a difference in the world's marine ecosystems?

  1. Decrease your own use of fossil fuels at home, in your car, and at work.
  2. Learn more about reefs; work with organizations conserving reefs.
  3. Visit a coral reef, paying particular attention to the care given by local citizenry.
  4. Surf the internet, where there is a ealth of information on how to become involved.
  5. Talk to folks at dive shops, boat showrooms, aquarium shops, and coastal businesses about their activities on behalf of the oceans.
  6. Educate your clients, spread the word to help stop purchases/catches of non-renewable marine resources, such as harvested coral, live seahorses (which do not reproduce in captivity), and other wild-caught marine mammals.

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| GOALS | ACTIVITIES | FACTS & CONCERNS | EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS |
| CAREER TOOLS | JOB OPENINGS | FACT SHEETS |
| AMPHIBIANS AS SENTINELS | CLIMATE AND HEALTH | NEWSLETTER EXCERPTS |
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| RELATED SITES | HOME |

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