May Newsletter and Events are Online

May 2016 Newsletter is OnlineGo to to download the PDF. (Click "Newsletter" in the menu.)May and June Events and Field Trips Are OnlineVisit our website to see what's coming up this month. (Upcoming events are listed on the home page as well as on the Calendar.)General Membership Meeting with Trevor BloomThis month's exciting membership meeting! Mark your calendar. See below for date, time, and location.Shrinking Summits: The Impact of Climate Change and Wildfire on a High Elevation Flower in Western North America. High elevation plants are disproportionally affected by warming, and species level extinctions are expected over the next century under current trends. As mean annual temperatures rise, the amount of available high-subalpine/alpine habitat in Western North America will decrease resulting in the potential extinction of species that exist nowhere else. In addition to the direct effects of climate-driven habitat loss, high elevation plants must also respond to changes in disturbance regimes, or indirect effects. One of the most tangible indirect effects is the increase in wildfire frequency and intensity in regions where fire was previously rare or absent, including the high-subalpine and alpine.As a graduate student in the Biology Department of Western Washington University, Trevor Bloom conducted a field expedition across the entire Rocky Mountain chain to investigate the combined influence of climate change and wildfire on the high elevation flower, Saxifraga austromontana. This is the first non-timber based study on the combined impacts of climate change and wildfire on a high elevation species. Forecasting changes in the distribution of high elevation species is critical for informing scientists and managers on the best strategies for preserving critical habitat and rare species. Beyond scientific research, it is Trevor’s goal to raise awareness on the issues of climate change in the alpine through public outreach and an upcoming documentary titled “Climb-it Change”. Find out more at on the 4th Tuesday of the month:May 24, 7pm at the Whatcom Museum,** free & open to the public!**in the Rotunda Room of the Old City Hall building