Learn about Controlled Burns in Ann Arbor’s Natural Areas

Tuesday, February 26 | 7:00-8:30 PM | Malletts Creek Branch - Program Room

Prescribed or controlled burning is a technique sometimes used in forest management, farming, or prairie restoration. Fire is a natural part of both forest and grassland ecology and controlled fire can be a tool for foresters. Controlled burning also stimulates the germination of some desirable forest trees, thus renewing the forest.

The 2013 Spring Burn Season is upon us! The City of Ann Arbor's Natural Area Preservation staff will discuss what controlled burns are and why they are used in Ann Arbor's natural areas. This presentation is recommended for anyone interested in helping with burns, as well as anyone simply interested in learning more about why and how they are conducted.

AADL Talks to Terence Dickinson

Terence Dickinson, editor of Canada's SkyNews magazine and author of the internationally bestselling Nighwatch: A Practical Guide to the Universe and The Backyard Astronomer's Guide, was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1995—that nation's highest civilian achievement award—for his commitment in popularizing the wonders of astronomy. During his visit in November 2012, Terence sat down to talk with me and Clay Kessler of Telescope Support Systems.

Terence discusses his long career communicating the wonders of the night sky to the public and the importance of discovering and pursuing his childhood passion. He also talks about the loss of dark skies; how to pick a telescope; and he recalls the moment he saw his first full-blown Hubble image of a galaxy.

Dickinson's latest book is 2012's Hubble's Universe: Greatest Discoveries and Latest Images.

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AADL_Talks_To-Terence_Dickinson.mp3 26.3 MB

Hoot, Hiss, Grunt and Growl

What's all that noise?? It's the new online database featuring amazing wildlife sounds from the Macaulay Library. Explore the world’s largest natural sound archive in one amazing digital database! Listen and view audio and video recordings compiled by naturalists that are dedicated to documenting nature in its true habitat.

Oh and HEY, in case you didn't know.....YOU can have a great time exploring the Birds of North America! How? With the Birds of North America Online Database! This online database opens the world of birds to all patrons with a click of the mouse. View amazing full color photos complete with comprehensive life histories, for over 700 species of birds found in the USA and Canada. This website is perfect for a research paper, self instruction, and entertainment. Just go to the AADL homepage, click on the RESEARCH tab at the top of the page, Browse Databases by Subject A-C, and click on the orange link Birds of North America Online. Get to know our feathered friends in flight, the beasts of the forest, and our aquatic chums under the sea!

Sanctuary: Global Oases of Innocence

What do cheetahs in South Africa, wolves in Portugal, bears in the Netherlands, butterflies in Malaysia and the old growth forests of Poland have in common? Someone is trying to protect them. This absolutely lovely and awe-inspiring book, Sanctuary, tells and shows how in 24 places around the world, nature and animal reserves have been created for “the love and protection of innocence”.

You will be amazed at the photographs: lots of animals and people that I find I could study and stare at for long stretches, this is a book to get lost in and share with your family, to inspire gratitude for the complexity and beauty of the planet we share and the people who are attempting to preserve even small pieces of it.

Teen Stuff: Young Naturalist Awards Offer Cash Prizes

The Young Naturalist Awards is an annual contest put on by the American Museum of Natural History that encourages scientists in grades 7 - 12 to explore a natural science question by making observations and reporting their findings. It is an essay contest that is designed like a scientific study, focusing on the fields of Biology, Ecology, Earth Science and/or Astronomy.

Entries may be submitted on the AMNH website from December 1, 2012 to March 1, 2013. Twelve cash awards, two for each grade level, will be awarded to the authors of the winning essays. The winning entries will be published on the Museum's website. Up to 36 finalists will receive a cash award of $50 and a certificate of recognition. Up to 200 semifinalists will receive a non-cash award and a certificate of recognition. The teachers of the top twelve winners will receive classroom resources and a free Seminars on Science course.

The AADL has many resources for those looking to enter the contest, including books on studying nature and exploring space and astronomy. We also have the Academic OneFile database available at all of our branches and available remotely to AADL cardholders, where you can find articles from many peer-reviewed journals in science, social science, and the arts for in-depth, scholarly research. The Stapp Nature Area is a great place to observe nature and it is adjacent to our Traverwood Branch.

For more information about the Young Naturalist Awards, including Rules & Regulations, How to Get Started and much more, please visit their website.

Parent's Corner: Get Outside!

The Downtown library has a shelf in the Youth Department known as the Parent Shelf. On this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including everything from phonics to tantrums to potty training to diet. These books are available for checkout, and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf,” if you’d like to have one sent to a branch of your choice.

This also includes some books on nature and the great outdoors, geared towards parents and children. Be sure to check out Sharing Nature With Children, Get Out! 150 Ways For Kids & Grown-Ups to Get Into Nature and Build a Greener Future, Nature’s Playground: Activities, Crafts, and Games to Encourage Children to Get Outdoors, or perhaps I love Dirt!: 52 Activities To Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature. Any time of year is perfect for a nature walk, a chance to stop and smell the fresh air and see what wondrous things are around us.

Join us for a Voyage to the Edge of the Universe

Thursday, November 1 | 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. | Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Terence Dickinson was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1995—that nation's highest civilian achievement award—for his commitment to popularizing the wonders of astronomy. The editor of Canada's SkyNews magazine; author of the internationally bestselling Nighwatch: A Practical Guide to the Universe and The Backyard Astronomer's Guide; and a commentator for Discovery Channel Canada, Dickinson is perhaps better known for the distinctively accessible narrative style found in his several stargazing guidebooks (14 of which are still in print with over 2 million sold). In short, Dickinson is one of that rare breed of astronomer’s astronomer who, like the late Carl Sagan, is also a gifted people’s astronomer.

Who better then to explain the science behind those mind-blowing Hubble telescope photos of the cosmos comprising his latest book, Hubble's Universe: Greatest Discoveries and Latest Images? There is no one better—and Dickinson will be here in Ann Arbor to do just that at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 1, with his illustrated talk, “A Voyage to the Edge of the Universe.” He’ll then sign copies of the book (which will be for sale) following the event.

Happy National Fossil Day -- Make a Fossil at Pittsfield October 17

Today, October 17, is National Fossil Day! The AADL is celebrating the day with a fossil making program at the Pittsfield branch from 7 - 8pm for grades K - 5. 'Rock' out with us and make your own cast fossil out of clay and plaster of paris while exploring a process that has created fossils in sedimentary rock for billions of years. We will also have fossils found in Michigan on display.

Fossils in the earth can be formed out of plants, or out of invertebrates like mollusks and arthropods, or out of vertebrates like dinosaurs and woolly mammoths. Fossils are found in different forms too. Sometimes they are turned to stone or preserved in amber, and other times they leave an imprint in the earth that is filled in by different minerals, forming a cast. We will replicate the process of creating cast fossils.

You're welcome to bring a small, hard item that can fit in the palm of your hand -- for example, a dinosaur toy or a sea shell -- to the event or you can use the objects the library provides. Looking for more information on fossils? Check out these great books and videos from the AADL collection.

Make Your Own Cast Fossil

Wednesday, October 17 | 7-8pm | Pittsfield | Grades K-5

National Fossil Day is October 17! 'Rock' out with us and make your own cast fossil out of clay and plaster of paris while exploring a process that has created fossils in sedimentary rock for billions of years. We will also have fossils found in Michigan on display.

Fossils in the earth can be formed out of plants, or invertebrates like mollusks and arthropods, or vertebrates like dinosaurs and woolly mammoths. Fossils are found in different forms too. Sometimes they are turned to stone or preserved in amber, and other times they leave an imprint in the earth that is filled in by different minerals, forming a cast. We will replicate the process of creating cast fossils.

You're welcome to bring a small, hard item that can fit in the palm of your hand -- for example, a dinosaur toy or a sea shell -- or you can use the objects the library provides. Looking for more information on fossils? Check out these great books and videos from the AADL collection.

Controlled Burns in Ann Arbor’s Natural Areas

Wednesday, October 10 | 7:00-8:30 PM | Downtown Library | Multipurpose Rom

Prescribed or controlled burning is a technique sometimes used in forest management, farming, or prairie restoration. Fire is a natural part of both forest and grassland ecology and controlled fire can be a tool for foresters. Controlled burning also stimulates the germination of some desirable forest trees, thus renewing the forest.

The Autumn 2012 Burn Season is upon us! Join us as the City of Ann Arbor's Natural Area Preservation staff discusses what controlled burns are and why they are used in Ann Arbor's natural areas. This presentation is recommended for anyone interested in helping with burns, as well as anyone simply interested in learning more about why and how they are conducted.

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