Past Presentations

Florida Native Milkweeds

Presentation by: Kara Driscoll

May 26, 2022

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For the May presentation of the Pine Lily Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society Kara Driscoll will be discussing some of Florida's wonderful native Milkweed species. A lifelong Florida native, Kara Driscoll has previously served as both the Chair of the Council of Chapters for the Florida Native Plant Society and as Naples Chapter Representative while pursuing their master’s degree in environmental science at Florida Gulf Coast University. Their research focuses on understanding the spatial distributions of endemic or near-endemic plants at various scales to help guide future plant conservation efforts with simple, straightforward methodology. Kara has worked extensively over the last several years on various native plant conservation projects and studies, helping to survey, document, propagate, and conserve Florida's rare and endemic species and their habitats. In their spare time, they enjoy growing various species of native plants (especially native milkweeds and orchids), roadside botanizing, swamp slogging, and painting. Kara hopes to pursue a career in plant conservation and advocacy while inspiring others to do the same.

Silent Spring Revisited: Can Native Plants help Reverse Insect Decline?

Presentation by: Dr. Patrick Bohlen, Director of Landscape and Natural Resources (LNR) and Arboretum, and Professor of Biology at the University of Central Florida

April 28, 2022

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Dr. Patrick Bohlen will review the current topic of insect decline and how it related to the dramatic ecological change taking place in our world. Native plants are part of the last great hope in reversing these declines but other changes will be needed if we are to once again fill the skies with wings of butterflies and buzzing of bees. Dr. Patrick Bohlen is Director of Landscape and Natural Resources (LNR) and Arboretum, and Professor of Biology at the University of Central Florida. He received his PhD in entomology from Ohio State University in 1994 where he studied soil and ecosystem ecology. He was a research biologist at Archbold Biological Station in Lake Placid, Florida for 11 years prior to coming to UCF in 2010. The LNR department is responsible for landscape operations and natural resource management on UCF’s main campus, Lake Nona medical campus, and other UCF facilities. Dr. Bohlen also oversees the UCF Arboretum, which together with LNR, provides opportunities for relevant, experience-based learning, urban ecology research, and human connection with ecosystems and landscapes.

Trimming Florida Native Trees

Presentation by: Mike Maschevich, Owner of Branch Management Tree Care

January 27, 2022

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Valerie Anderson recorded the interview at Big Tree Park in Longwood on January 10th. Learn about proper tree pruning, when to prune and interesting facts about trees with Mike Maschevich, Owner of Branch Management Tree Care.

Supporting Biodiversity

Presentation by: Dr. Patrick Bohlen

October 28, 2021

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In this presentation, Dr. Patrick Bohlen will discuss the role of native plant in supporting biodiversity across gradients of land-use intensity from natural areas, to agriculture and the build environment, focusing on Florida and the biodiversity hotspot of the southeaster coastal plain. Each part of the landscape transect presents unique sets of challenges and opportunities for conservation, and has specific constraints that can either hinder or promote the role of native plants in supporting biodiversity functions in the landscape, and this talk will provide an overview of this topic. I have a diverse academic background that started with training in soil and ecosystem ecology at Ohio State, where I received my PhD in entomology. I spent many years researching the effects of earthworms on nutrient cycling in a variety of ecosystems, including north temperate agro-ecosystems and forests. From 1998-2010, I was research director of Archbold Biological Station’s MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center, where my work focused mainly on wetland ecology, nutrient runoff, and water-related environmental services. At UCF I have served as director of Landscape and Natural Resources, overseeing landscape planning and design, landscape maintenance, and management of campus natural areas, and as director of the Arboretum, which is the educational and academic arm of the program. The Arboretum’s mission is to cultivate, celebrate and communicate the value of plants, ecosystems and biodiversity to human well-being. My work focusses on conservation of biodiversity in human-dominated landscapes. Native plants feature prominently in that work are are key to conserving species in both the build and native environment.

Bloom or Bust: the implications of flowering timing in Garberia

Video from: Erin Stewart

September 23, 2021

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When it comes to flowering timing, Florida doesn't follow the rules. Within a plant population, and even within an individual plant, flowering can be highly variable. Whether a flower blooms synchronously or asynchronously with the flowers around it can impact its ability to attract pollinators and avoid seed predators. Join us as Erin Stewart presents research on how pollination and predation of Garberia flowers varies with timing.

The Caterpillar Connection

Presentation by: Deborah Green, President of Orange Audubon Society

August 26, 2021

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Deborah Green will make clear the native plant/caterpillar/songbird connection. She will reference the work of Doug Tallamy as well as the bird migration studies of Scott Weidensaul, teachings of the local Florida Native Plant Society chapters, the photography and insights of local Plants for Birds experts Mary Kiem and Randy Snyder plus her native landscape experiments in her own yard over the past 18 years. Deborah Green is a former entomologist and avid promoter of plants for caterpillars for birds and the work of Dr. Doug Tallamy. Deborah first became interested in native plants in the 1970s while a student at University of California, Berkeley and was a member of the California Native Plant Society. After earning her Ph.D in entomology she worked 6 years as an entomologist before becoming a science teacher and professor of environmental science in Central Florida. Retiring from Valencia College 7 years ago, Deborah serves as president of Orange Audubon Society. Having joined FNPS in the late 1980s, Deborah is working to make her home landscape in Longwood nearly 100% native. She loves to share what has worked and what hasn’t and how to plant to increase habitat for birds.

Osceola County's Urban Forest Management Plan

Presentation by: Chris Kincaid, Osceola County Urban Forester

July 22, 2021

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Chris Kincaid was born in Tennessee, and spent his childhood in Arkansas where he spent his free time immersed in the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains and bottomlands of the Mississippi Delta. As a young man Chris worked with the Boy Scouts of America on their national staff in Cimarron New Mexico, as a backcountry trail crew foreman and eventually promoted to Associate Director of Conservation. He later went to work as Arkansas State Parks Trail Maintenance Supervisor and was later promoted as a Park Superintendent and spent seven years working along the shore of the Arkansas River. Upon moving to Florida in 2007 he worked as the Recreation Coordinator for the Bunnell District of the Florida Forest Service. Shortly thereafter he was certified as a Florida Wildland Firefighter and two years later graduated from the University of Florida. In 2015 he accepted the position of Public Lands Specialist with Osceola County Parks and was promoted to his current position as an Urban Forester in 2016. In his free time Chris spends time playing music, foraging wild edibles and observing and photographing wildlife. Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management and a master’s degree in Forest Resources and Conservation, a minor in Soil and Water Science and a graduate certificate in Wetland and Water Resources Management.

Florida Birds and the Effects of Human Interactions

Presentation by: Rocky MilburnFlorida Birds and the Effects of Human Interactions

June 24, 2021

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Rocky Milburn is the current Chair of the Sierra Club’s Inspiring Connection Outdoors (ICO) for the past 10 years, serving over 100 inner city kids monthly on outings and teaching outdoor skills. He has been active in ICO since 1999, working with Academy Prep Schools in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Lakeland, and the Leto High School Leadership Corp in Tampa. He also chairs the Tampa Bay Sierra Club Executive Committee as well as serves as a member of the National Youth Leader Advisory Council, Certified National Sierra Club Local Outings, and First Aid Trainer. Rocky is a member of the National Volunteer Leadership Action Committee that reports to the Sierra Club National board as well as a member of the Sierra Club National Outings Cohort Team. He volunteers as a steward for the Hillsborough County ELAPP program for the Wolf Branch Creek site, conducting nesting and breeding surveys on fragile habitats and management of new nesting box program and shorebird improvement program, and is currently employed by PRIDE Enterprises in Brandon, FL. Rocky is a former Florida Sierra Club Chapter Salesforce trainer, Chapter Representative to the Sierra Club’s Club of Council Leaders, past Roseate Spoonbill technician for the National Audubon Society, Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries in Tampa Bay, as well as a former Biologist Extension Agent with University of Tennessee. Rocky’s hobbies include volunteering, birding, gardening, kayaking, nature photography, hiking, and camping.

Biodiversity Through Pyrodiversity

Presentation by: Zach Prusak, The Nature Conservancy

May 27, 2021

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Pine Lily Chapter's May Meeting Presentation. Celebrate the 16th Annual Endangered Species Day on May 21st! Speaker: Zach Prusak, The Nature Conservancy Topic: Biodiversity Through Pyrodiversity Learn about unique ecosystems

Milkweeds of Florida

Presentation by: Scott Davis

April 22, 2021

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Monarch butterflies are vanishing. Recently, the United States federal government determined that listing the monarch as a protected species was warranted but was unable to officially list the species for protection. Migratory and resident monarch butterflies depend on Florida's native milkweeds for their survival and passage through the state. Virtually all of Florida's native milkweeds are declining statewide. What species of native milkweed exist? Where are they found? What do they look like? Why are native milkweeds vanishing, and how do we stop the decline? Learn the answers to these questions and so much more! Scott Davis is a professional botanist in the southeastern United States, with extensive experience as a field ecologist and biologist, listed species, wetlands, environmental regulations and permitting, rescue and translocation of native plants, environmental horticulture, and natural resource management. Scott Davis is a foremost expert on Florida's native milkweeds and their habitats. Scott developed the Monarch-Milkweed Initiative, which FNPS has partnered with for the last five years. Scott has surveyed every nook and cranny of Florida in search of milkweeds, having made many important discoveries and breakthroughs for monarch-milkweed conservation. Through his tireless efforts, countless milkweeds have been saved from development, road-widening projects, and land mismanagement. Scott has worked hard to bring people, agencies, and organizations together to save Florida's native milkweeds. Learn everything there is to know about these amazing plants, how to help, and which ones are best for your property.

Light Pollution: How can we reduce its impact on us and our environment?

Presentation by: Jennifer Cobb-Adams, Pine Lily Chapter

March 25, 2021

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Light Pollution: How Can We Reduce Its Impact on Us and our Environment?  Can't seem to sleep at night? You're not alone - our society and technology has allowed artificial light to encroach on the darkness, endangering us and the natural environment.  This discussion will cover light pollution and its impact, and what you can do to fight back.

Jennifer Adams is an independent economic consultant, with over 20 years experience in industry and academia.  Previously she worked at Disney Parks & Resorts and Disney Consumer Products as Senior Manager of Strategic Planning and Senior Manager of Financial Innovation & Transformation.  She has her MA and PhD in Economics from the University of Florida, and her BBA in Public Policy and Economics from the George Washington University.

Bats of the World

Presentation by: Francine Prager, Tampa Bay Bats

February 25, 2021

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Francine Prager of Tampa Bay Bats will be presenting a comprehensive program highlighting bats throughout the world. This program includes mega & micro bats, fruit bats, insect eaters, pollinators, the smallest and largest bats, echolocation and the little cute-not so scary-vampire bat, bat motherhood, and camouflage. Additionally, there is a section on bat faces that everyone enjoys. After the presentation, live bats are shown and then there is a question and answer period. A native New Yorker, Francine attended New York University. Fast forward “a few years”, she moved to Florida around 14 years ago and looking to make friends she volunteered with a bat organization – The Florida Bat conservancy – where she was taught all about bats and their care and eventually became a board member of the organization. When the organization moved to the east coast of Florida about 10 years ago, Francine started Tampa Bay Bats which is a bat rescue, rehab and educational organization. She now speaks about bats throughout 6 counties doing presentations in schools, libraries and with organizations. Showing people live bats has helped some overcome their fear of the bats while others simply fall in love with the adorable creatures.

Conservation in Central Florida

Presentation by: Juliet Rynear, Executive Director of the Florida Native Plant Society

September 24, 2020

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Florida Native Plant Society Executive Director Juliet Rynear will talk about Conservation in Central Florida.

Invasive Species of Central Florida

Presentation by: Codie-Marie Miller, The Nature Conservancy's Disney Wilderness Preserve

August 27, 2020

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Cody Miller of The Nature Conservancy's Disney Wilderness Preserve with discuss invasive species of Central Florida

Prescribed Fire

Presentation by: Zachary Prusak with The Nature Conservancy

July 23, 2020

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Zachary Prusak has served as the Florida Fire Manager for The Nature Conservancy since January 2005. In this role, Zach supports the members of the Conservancy’s Florida Fire Team, which consist of the on-site fire leaders and crew at places such as the Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve, the Disney Wilderness Preserve and the Tiger Creek Preserve.

Zach also works with state, federal, local and private conservation groups in order to promote fire training opportunities and facilitate on-the-ground partnerships, while also serving as the Florida Conservancy liaison on national fire issues.

Zach has over 30 years' experience working with prescribed fire and is qualified as both a Florida Certified Burn Manager and a Prescribed Fire Burn Boss Type 2 (RxB2). Zach holds both an M.S. and B.S. in Biology from the University of Central Florida. He has served as the Chair of the Central Florida Prescribed Fire Council numerous times and is an active member of both the International Association of Wildland Fire and the National Center for Science Education.


The mission of the Florida Native Plant Society is to promote the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida.