Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Research, Monitoring, and Restoration Displays Coming to Island Libraries

Photograph by Lanny McDowell
Beginning this month, Island libraries will be providing library visitors an opportunity to learn more about wildlife and conservation on Martha's Vineyard. Ten or more poster exhibits describing current wildlife research, monitoring, and restoration projects will rotate among the libraries of Chilmark, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and Vineyard Haven, starting in February and continuing through July 2014.

The first display to be featured at the Vineyard Haven Public Library will provide information on otter mapping and monitoring activities by BiodiversityWorks. The Oak Bluffs Library will display information on Quahog Culture from the MV Shellfish Group. Edgartown Library will feature information on prescribed fires from the TNC Fire Program, and the Chilmark Library will feature a display on osprey migration by Rob Bierregard. Future displays will be produced by The Nature Conservancy, Vineyard Conservation Society, Sheriff's Meadow Foundation, and others.

The library project was conceived by wildlife biologist Luanne Johnson, director of Biodiversity Works, a 501(c)3 non-profit founded on Martha’s Vineyard in March of 2011. The mission of Biodiversity Works is to promote conservation of biodiversity through wildlife research and monitoring while providing opportunities for people to engage in hands-on nature study. Over the past several months, Luanne has been in contact with a diverse range of organizations and individuals who monitor and study the wildlife of Martha's Vineyard, to put the project together.

Luanne presented her idea to the Martha's Vineyard Library Association last year, and the project was enthusiastically embraced by the librarians. Many of the projects to be featured have already been the subject of talks at various libraries that have drawn engaged and curious audiences. The ongoing displays will be an opportunity for library visitors to keep up with these projects, and will introduce new projects and conservation issues to the public. For more information, contact your local library, or visit BiodiversityWorks online at

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