Media day at Edwin S. George Reserve

May 5, 1997

Reporters invited to tour Edwin S. George Reserve

Reporters are cordially invited to attend a media day at the University of Michigan’s E.S. George Reserve near Pinckney, Mich., from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Thursday,

To protect the many experiments in the Reserve and minimize disruption to wildlife, the media day is not open to the general public. Reporters and photographers who wish to attend must register in advance.

To make a reservation and receive a map with directions to the site, call Sally Pobojewski at (313) 647-1844. In case of heavy rain on May 15, the media day will take place on May 16.

Research studies and activities featured during the media day will include:

—A tour of the Reserve, an internationally known biological research station, which has been maintained by the U-M Museum of Zoology since 1930. This 1,300-acre fenced reserve has been the site of many long-term studies in biology and ecology conducted by generations of scientists and students from all over the world. The Reserve is never open to the public and only a few reporters have ever been inside. —You’ve heard all about zebra mussels and the goby, but how much do you know about spotted knapweed? A serious agricultural problem in the western United States, this hardy non-native species has been spreading across Michigan since the mid-1800s. Spotted knapweed has no natural predators in Michigan. Neither cattle nor deer will eat it. It crowds out all native plants. U-M biologist Beverly Rathcke will discuss ongoing experiments designed to understand the complex ecological relationships between this invading species, native Michigan plants and white-tailed deer. —There are turtles in the Reserve older than many of the reporters in your news room and research scientist Justin Congdon knows every one of them by name. For the past 23 years, Congdon, a scientist at the University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, has been coming to the George Reserve for spring turtle nesting season. This one-of-a-kind study of how turtles respond to changes in their environment over time has been going on continuously in the Reserve since 1953. —Nature can be complex and chaotic, which makes it hard for scientists to understand exactly how interdependent species of plants and animals affect each other. During the media day, U-M biologist Earl Werner will take reporters on a tour of the George Reserve’s $450,000 experimental pond facility, which helps simplify the science. Researchers use the site’s 21 ponds and 150 cattle tanks to create mini-ecosystems, where they can isolate and study what happens when you change one variable in a natural ecosystem.

E-mail: [email protected]

E.S. George ReserveMuseum of ZoologyBeverly RathckeEarl Werner[email protected]