Welcome to our Roost

OIAS Calendar of Events

2016-2017 Programs

Parish Hall of St. John’s
Episcopal Church

525 Washington, Grand Haven, MI
7:00 PM.


Click here to download a program brochure

September 20:
Those Amazing Birds
-Ed Post, Nature Photographer

"Those Amazing Birds" is an illustrated program that looks at the amazing diversity and fascinating natural history of North American birds through the eyes of a dedicated bird photographer. We'll look at the specialized anatomy of birds, how they care for their young, and how they survive in extremes like the frozen tundra and blistering desert. The poetic beauty of birds will color the informative narrative about our feathered friends.


Ed became a serious photographer 30 years ago after attending several workshops with professional nature photographers. Since that time, Ed has worked to hone his skills in photography and now shoots exclusively digital images.  Ed leads workshops and photo tours.  He is also a frequent lecturer on nature and landscape photography.  His work has been widely published and he has received honors and awards in contests and exhibitions. To support his hobby, Ed serves as a Circuit Court Judge for Ottawa County, where he lives with his wife Barbara.


October 18:

What’s the Buzz about Bees
- Ann Marie Fauvel (GVSU)


What is all the buzz about bees? Honey bees have been the center of much discussion in the news and in Washington. Why are honey bees so important? and why are they disappearing? During this presentation we will discussion the harsh challenges for honey bee colonies in the US, a little bee biology, and we will look to see what the future holds. If time allows, we will briefly introduce current research conducted at GVSU on honey bees.

Anne Marie teaches liberal studies and biology at Grand Valley State University. She maintains her own hives as well as oversees the small apiaries on the GVSU Meijer Campus in Holland and the main Allendale Campus. She conducts collaborative research related to hive monitoring, nutrition and colony health. 


November 15:

- Loreen Niewenhuis, Author


In 2009, Loreen Niewenhuis walked the perimeter of Lake Michigan and wrote the bestselling book, A 1000-MILE WALK ON THE BEACH.


In 2012, she took another long journey, covering 1000 miles of shoreline touching all five Great Lakes. The book about this adventure, A 1000-MILE GREAT LAKES WALK, explores the entire Great Lakes system.


Finally, in 2014, she launched off of the shoreline to visit many of the islands of the Great Lakes. In 2015 her book A 1000-MILE GREAT LAKES ISLAND ADVENTURE was released.


In this presentation, she will take you to islands in each of the five Great Lakes and their connecting waters. In words, photos, and video, you’ll explore the geology of the largest system of fresh water lakes in the world and why there are tens of thousands of islands in the Great Lakes basin. She’ll reveal how these islands are diverse in both geological underpinnings and in the life forms existing on the islands.


She will also take you along with her to explore some of the scientific research on the islands that she assisted with during her island odyssey. From the wolf-moose study on Isle Royale to the conservation of the endangered piping plover on the Manitou Islands, Niewenhuis will open her audience’s eyes and minds to the complexity of life on our Great Lakes islands.


Niewenhuis speaks with the authority of an expert as she has a M.S. degree in the biological sciences. She raises important questions about preserving our wild places and protecting the fragile ecosystems on which we all depend.


January 17:
How do birds do it?

Meeting was cancelled due to weather - "How Do Birds Do It" is rescheduled to May 16
- Michael Lombardo (GVSU)

Reproduction in birds is different from that in mammals in interesting ways.  Dr. Michael P. Lombardo, Professor of Biology at Grand Valley State University, will discuss some of the fascinating ways that birds mate and produce and lay eggs.

Dr. Lombardo earned his B. S. in Zoology from The Ohio State University and his M. S. and Ph.D. in Ecology from Rutgers University and has been teaching at GVSU since 1991.  He has published over 45 papers on the behavior and microbiology of birds including European Starlings, Eastern and Mountain Bluebirds, House Sparrows, and Tree Swallows, served as the Secretary of the Association of Field Ornithologists from 2011-2016, and is a Fellow of the American Ornithologists Union.

February 21:
Birds and Wine of Chile and Argentina, Moai of Easter Island

- Carl and Judi Manning (OIAS)


Where else but Chile and Argentina can you sample some of the world’s best wines, see some great new life birds, and all the while taking in stunning mountain vistas? Join Carl and Judi Manning for a review of their adventures in these breath-taking countries. Add in a “side trip” to the navel of the world, and you have the makings of an adventure of a lifetime.

From Santiago, Chile, a bustling metropolis, we sample the high mountain vistas and birds of the Yeso valley, home of Diademed Sandpiper-plover and Gray-breasted Seedsnipe. Later, down to the coast at Valparaiso, and a pelagic trip with petrels, albatrosses and shearwaters. In between, tasting visits to sample some of Chile’s best wines.

Leaving Chile behind, we climb over the high Andes toward Mendoza, Argentina, and more birds and wine. Mendoza is the Malbec capital of the world, and we sample some of the best. A trip north in the Monte desert, and we find Brown Cacholote and Spotted Rail.

Finally, back to Santiago for a “short hop” to Easter Island – only 2,500 miles from anywhere. The moais are awe-inspiring, and the history and archaeology of Rapa Nui makes an amazing story of resilience and survival.

Carl and Judi are members of Owashtanong Islands Audubon Club, and have enjoyed combining their passion for birding and photography for many years. Come join us for a sample of South American birds and wines.


March 21:
Vernal Pools: Coral Reefs of Michigan’s Forests

- Yu Man Lee
Conservation Scientist and Zoologist/Herpetologist,
Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI), Michigan State University Extension

Vernal pools are small, seasonally-flooded bodies of water or wetlands that form in shallow depressions in forested areas throughout Michigan. They typically fill with water in the spring and dry up by late summer or early fall. Vernal pools are important to the biodiversity and health of Michigan’s forests as they provide habitat for a large number of plant and animal species, particularly invertebrates and amphibians, including rare species and some species that rely on vernal pools for their survival. As wetlands, vernal pools also contribute other important ecosystem services including nutrient cycling, water storage and infiltration, and groundwater recharge. Because of their small size and temporary nature, vernal pools can be difficult to identify on the landscape, and receive little or no protection under current wetland regulations. Many of these wetlands have been destroyed or degraded due to a number of factors, and may be further impacted by a changing climate. Little is known about the status, distribution, and ecology of vernal pools across Michigan. Vernal pools are getting increased attention though, with a number of state, federal, and local agencies and organizations and individuals getting involved with vernal pool mapping, monitoring, research, outreach, and protection. These efforts include developing and implementing a statewide citizen science-based vernal pool mapping and monitoring program to help inform management and protection of these unique and important wetlands in Michigan. An overview of vernal pools and recent mapping and monitoring efforts including the citizen science program and how you can get involved will be presented.

Yu Man Lee (B.S. in Natural Resources, University of Michigan School of Natural Resources, M.S. in Wildlife Science, Oregon State University), has been a Conservation Scientist and Zoologist/Herpetologist with the Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI), a program of MSU Extension, since 1997. Her primary responsibilities at MNFI include conducting surveys, research, and monitoring for rare animal species across the state, particularly rare amphibians and reptiles; helping to maintain Michigan’s Natural Heritage Database; conducting environmental review assessments; producing technical reports and education and outreach materials on rare species; and providing information, technical assistance, trainings, education, and outreach on rare species and natural communities to land managers, conservation groups, researchers, and the general public to inform biodiversity conservation decisions. Her recent projects include conducting surveys for rare amphibians and reptiles and vernal pools on state game areas in southern Michigan, mapping and surveying vernal pools in the Hiawatha National Forest in the eastern U.P., and developing and implementing a statewide citizen science-based vernal pool mapping and monitoring program including a place-based program for middle and high school educators and students to get involved with vernal pool mapping and monitoring.


April 18:
A Life List for Fishes of the Grand River, MI
- Dan O'Keefe (Michigan Sea Grant/MSU Extension)

“In keeping a life list, birders learn to appreciate the diversity of natural habitats and the species they support. Life lists for fish accomplish the same thing in aquatic habitats. The lower Grand River watershed is a great place to start. Creeks, river channels, bayous, and lake environments support an amazing numberof fish species. Learn more about how to identify, observe, catch, and film a variety of fish species in local waters.”

For the past nine years Dr. O’Keefe has been employed by Michigan State University (MSU) as a Sea Grant District Extension Educator. His role with MSU Extension involves Great Lakes Fisheries Education and facilitation of communication between management agencies, stakeholder groups, and researchers. My district includes seven coastal counties on southern Lake Michigan, and I also serve statewide audiences on topics including aquatic invasive species prevention and the status of the charter fishing industry.

Prior to working in extension, Dan received a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife from MSU, a Master’s degree in Biology from Central Michigan University, and a Ph.D. in Wildlife and Fisheries from Mississippi State University. In addition to postdoctoral research on river fisheries affected by Hurricane Katrina, Dan has worked on research projects involving paddlefish restoration, round goby invasion, changes in the charter fishing industry, and communication related to invasive species prevention.

May 16:
Potluck, Annual Meeting and Member's Photo Festival - 6:00 PM

- We will have a short annual meeting, Potluck dinner and member photos, followed by Presentation of How do birds do it? by Michael Lombardo. This presentation is rescheduled from January 17 (see above for description)