August 12, 2021 7PM Protecting Lands and Enhancing Habitats for Drinking Water Quality and Beyond

Raven Lawson, Central Arkansas Water

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Register for this free event by visiting Lawson, Watershed Protection Manager at Central Arkansas Water, will talk about the Watershed Protection Program at Central Arkansas Water, including the program’s history and future of protecting and managing the landscapes that support the health of the water source for nearly a half-million Arkansans. This presentation will highlight special recent projects that both enhance native habitats and recreation opportunities in the Lake Maumelle Watershed, and give insights on what to expect next in the utility’s innovative approaches for large-scale land protection and enhancement.

Raven Lawson is the Watershed Protection Manager at Central Arkansas Water, the state’s largest drinking water utility, serving 1 in every 6 Arkansans. For more than 15 years, Raven has worked in many aspects of ecology and natural resources management, ranging from studying organisms and their systems, to working in public education and water quality advocacy. In her current position, she and her team are responsible for the protection and management of nearly 25,000 acres of watershed land and water resources owned by the utility, and are charged with ensuring that nearly 500,000 Arkansans have clean, safe drinking water, and that the plants, animals, and people of the Lake Maumelle and Lake Winona watersheds have a thriving place to call home.

July 8, 2021 7PM Overseas Birding & Research: Sri Lanka, Bermuda, and Belize

Dr. Ragpuathy Kannan, UA Fort Smith

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Join Dr. Kannan as he takes you on a brief overseas virtual tour. Explore Sri Lankan endemics and Indian Ocean pelagics. Learn about nesting Bermuda petrels, a bird he and his team studied without ever setting foot in Bermuda, and without even seeing the bird! Know about forest birds in Belize that only use black fungal fibers for nesting. And get a sneak preview of future post-pandemic birding trips to the tropics with him as your guide.

Dr. Ragupathy Kannan has been in the biology faculty at UA Fort Smith for 27 years. He specializes in ornithology and field biology, especially tropical biology. He just returned after being stranded by the pandemic for a year in Sri Lanka, during which he made best use of the time by doing over 500 bird surveys from his balcony overlooking the Indian Ocean. He does a number of short projects that involve undergraduates and school students. His research initiatives cover the range from local Arkansas birds to rainforest birds in Central and South America and South Asia. Of late he has focused on data mining projects from publicly available citizen science databases like eBird. A recipient of three international Fulbright awards, he travels and lectures widely on biodiversity, climate change, and related subjects.