Read Alison's Articles
Alison grew up in Kent and is currently pursuing her PhD in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Yale University. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies & Mathematics from Williams College. A former intern in conservation and community outreach at the Kent Land Trust, Alison additionally developed her love for the natural world through work with the Central Park Conservancy and Camp Brookwoods & Deer Run.
We love the way Alison's writing resonates with our wonder and strong sense of place while connecting this inner, personal knowledge to science within Kent and far beyond. We're excited to showcase Alison's writings as a regular feature this year.
Why Pollinators Matter
Imagine a bumblebee nest reliant on the seasonal cycle of native flowers, surrounded by gardens of only a few non-native species: species which they often cannot open, species which tend to not be as nutritious for them as natives, and species that will not provide food for any meaningful part of the year. This is the plight of the bumblebees.
Read more about the increasing challenges for specialist pollinators and the species who depend on them, and why, as human landscapes take up larger and larger proportions of the planet, the easiest way to keep the Earth healthy may be to let those landscapes become a part of the ecosystems they are built in.
Last weekend, an early spring hike down the Housatonic River by Bull’s Bridge ended with a unique highlight: not a stirring view or an impressive summit, but a faint, familiar call ringing through the trees.
Do you recognize who Alison was hearing? Read on to learn more about how Alison uses eBird at home and out walking, why it matters, and how we each have a part to play in reversing the decline of our birds.
When I tell you that I first caught my boyfriend’s attention with my tree identification skills, it’s barely an exaggeration. We were out for an autumn hike with a group of fellow graduate students when he started pointing out a charming assortment of birds through the branches: the bright crest of a cheeping Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, the fluttering hops of a migrating Blackpoll Warbler, and the long, banded tail of a soaring American Kestrel. Not to be outdone, but lacking in his superpowers of bird identification, I repaid his observations with a glimpse at the magic to be found in the branches themselves.