Third Meeting NOSCB, Fall 2013 Notes

Hello everybody!
There have been a lot of exciting developments in the last few weeks that we would like to fill you in on:
We are going to build a community garden at UNO! Ben Shirtcliff, our campus sustainability coordinator, has gotten the required land earmarked and we are in the process of writing our proposal. We are aiming to break ground March 1st, so there’s lots of opportunities to get involved in the meantime!
We are planning a farmer’s market on campus to bring the UNO and surrounding communities access to sustainable, healthy foods. We hope to include everything from local produce vendors, artists, musicians, sustainable living demonstrations and information, green organizations, and most importantly UNO students and faculty! Proceeds from the markets will go towards funding the construction and upkeep of the UNO Community Garden.
Also, we will be periodically setting up information tables around campus throughout the next few weeks in order to provide information about the community garden and farmer’s market, and to get people informed about other SCB projects including glass drives, the UNO campus recycling program, educational outreach to local high schools like Ben Franklin, and ongoing coastal restoration issues in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast Region.
If you’d like to get involved in any of these projects or be a member of specific planning committees, please contact us 

Second Meeting NOSCB, Fall 2013 Notes

Hello everybody, here are a couple of notes on what we discussed in our second meeting:

Dr. Anthony is willing to allow SCB members and UNO students to fill in open spaces in her Conservation Biology field trips on a first come first served basis.  The next trip is Oct. 11 to Lafitte national park.  If you are interested email her at

Volunteers Needed to Help Plant Marsh Grass at Big Branch

The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, Restore America’s Estuaries, and The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration invite you to participate in a marsh grass planting October 16th-19th 2013 at Big Branch National Wildlife Refuge, near Slidell. Volunteers will plant nearly 25,000 plugs of marsh grass during this 4 day event to help restore eroding marshes along the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain.  This project will assist in stabilizing the marsh soils in the hopes of preventing future erosion and creating wildlife habitat. Please note that volunteers can register for one or more days.  Click here for more information.

Our NOSCB meetings are always held sometime during the first week of the month. Please check back soon for a date and time. All are welcome, so we hope to see you there!

Second Meeting NOSCB, Fall 2013

Hello everybody! The second meeting of the Society of Conservation Biology is tomorrow (10/3) at 2:00pm in the second floor of the computer center, CRC200D.

The New Orleans Chapter of the Society of Conservation Biology is responsible for many things including the formation of campus-wide recycling and educational outreach to high school students around the city.

All are welcome, so please join us tomorrow as we plan our upcoming projects for the semester. 

First Meeting NOSCB, Fall 2013

Hi everyone!

We had an awesome first meeting, and thanks to everyone who came. We are in the process of editing and updating the website, but for now, here is the news:

New Officers:

President: Trent Santonastaso

Co-President: Annie Cespedes

Secretary: Cara Nighohossian

Treasurer: Christie Sukhdeo

Publicity Co-ordinator: Stephen Gipson

The Gavel: Jennifer Wester Clark

CONGRATULATIONS NEW OFFICERS, pat yourselves on the back.

Want to be an officer? email us! You can create your own position!



Meetings will be held once a month! I have emailed everyone a link to the doodle, but let us know if you didn’t get an invitation!

Other meeting for Recycling!

This Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 3pm – 4pm in the UC conference room. We will meet with the Service Coalition at UNO and discuss the Recycling program and recruiting new people to participate! If y’all want to walk over there with me ( email me, and we can meet in the stairwell of the biology building at 2:45p (friendship circle side).


Upcoming Events!

Dr. Anthony will be bringing her conservation biology class on a canoe trip, and there are at least 6 spots open if anyone is interested. It is a beautiful area (around Manchac, LA), and a fun trip. Get to know the local wetlands! If interested email


When it gets cooler we should go hiking one weekend. If anyone wants to start organizing this let us know! Comment below!

Local Conservation Topics!

Here are links to current hot topics. Feel free to add to this list in a comment!

Will update with more soon!

SCB Meeting Notes 3-23-12

Thanks to everyone who came to our SCB meeting today.

Our officers for the coming year:

President- Jessica Edwards
Vice President- Trent Santonastaso
Secretary- Robinson Sudan
Treasurer- Annie Cespedes

Chair positions are as of yet unfilled, so if you have a strong interest in habitat restoration, educational outreach, urban sustainability, conservation, etc., then please let us know, we’d love to have you on board.

This year’s educational outreach program will travel (walk over) to Benjamin Franklin on April 19th (Thursday Afternoon).  If you’d like to participate, then please let Catie Policastro know.  She will have more details coming soon regarding a practice session beforehand.

Robinson and Trent are doing very cool things in the green house.  If you have a green thumb or wish you did, then consider getting in touch with them, and they will likely put you straight to work.
They have also been doing great things with getting more bike racks on campus. Give them your contact info if you’d like to volunteer to move bike racks around with them.

Annie reported that recycling is going well, there are plans for expansion to many other buildings this semester and the fall semester.

Cara is working on getting a habitat restoration work-day together with Nicky Anthony.  She will have more details on that soon.

Gwendolyn has gotten many many feral cats fixed. We now have a feral cat page on our website courtesy of Annie, where people can donate directly to our TNR feral cat project via Paypal.  Pretty cool, ehh?

Last but not least, we’re planning to have a beach trip for funsies after final exams are over in early May, likely to be an overnight trip on the 9th, 10th, or 11th of May.  Tentative plans include renting a house on the beach for a night.  Perhaps driving there on Wednesday or Thursday, playing around, spending the night, playing around the next day, and then driving back.   If you think you might want to go, LET ME KNOW.  Significant others are very welcome, and possibly dogs.  Again, let me know if you are at all interested in going so I can get a head count.  Ideally we would provide transportation, housing cost, and and at least food for dinner and breakfast, so it should be a very cheap trip for everyone.

Officer Nominations/Elections, Educational Outreach, and Free Pizza!

Hi Everyone!
This will cover a lot of business, so please read it carefully.

On Tuesday, March 6th, Harvey Stern was kind enough to come to our meeting and give a talk on the Louisiana Purchase Cypress Legacy Program. It was very cool. If you want to learn more or get involved, please check out his blog here –

Prior to his talk, I announced that we would be taking nominations for officer positions for this coming year. Please see additional descriptions far below. The elected officers are President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The non-elected chair positions are Conservation, Educational Outreach, Sustainability/Recycling, and Recruitment/volunteer. (Gwendolyn has been pre-assigned to Feral Cat Chair Extraordinaire).

To be an officer or to vote on officers, you must be a national member of SCB. It’s super easy, and makes your CV sparkly. Visit this website, , and follow the instructions to join. National Membership is only $10 per year for students, which is extremely inexpensive for professional organizations. You will receive a receipt in your email, which you should forward to Cara (cbnighoh “at” and myself (jedward1 “at” for record keeping.

We will hold elections at the next meeting, Friday, March 23rd, at 11 AM. I will need all nominations for elected chair positions by Tuesday, March 20th (one week from now). Also, the UNO Federal Credit Union has agreed to sponsor this meeting with pizza and drinks and will entertain us with a very short 5 minute presentation.

Educational Outreach– Our educational outreach program will only be visiting one school this year as of right now. We will walk over to Benjamin Franklin (located on the UNO campus) on April 19th, Thursday afternoon. If you want to participate, please email Catie Policastro to get your name on the list. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, just come to the meeting on the 23rd for more details.

Thank you, and don’t forget to get your nominations in ASAP.

Jessica Edwards



Article III
Duties of Elected Officers

The President is responsible for organizing and presiding over meetings. Only the President may officially represent the Chapter on SCB business.

The Vice-President shall receive reports from Committees, arrange meetings and other activities, and perform the duties of the President when the latter is absent.

The Secretary records minutes, administers correspondence between the Chapter and SCB, oversees elections, and maintains historical records and a roster of members.

The Treasurer shall collect Chapter dues (if any), maintain accounts, and collect and distribute funds for Chapter activities. The Treasurer shall coordinate fundraising activities as per the policies and
guidelines outlined in the Chapter Handbook (Article X).

Along with the elected officers there are several committee chair positions that will need filled. The responsibilities of these positions include reporting all developments, progress or events by the committee to the President and Vice President. It is also the Chair person’s responsibility to organize all events and meetings for the given committee. If you are interested in being both an officer and a committee chair you may be nominated for both.

Conservation Chair –
As part of our mission for local Conservation related issues it is important that we lend our voice to local issues of Conservation concern. It is the responsibility of the Conservation Committee and the Conservation Chair to research these topics thoroughly and submit any required paperwork to national for any policy we want to participate in or support.

Educational Outreach Chair –

Our chapter is heavily involved in working with local schools spreading the message of Conservation. Once a year we make visits to various schools in the New Orleans area to talk about different conservation topics with various age groups. It will be the responsibility of this position to coordinate, plan and carry out these outreach visits.

Sustainability Chair –
The primary focus of the SCB is as an international professional organization dedicated to promoting the scientific study of the phenomena that affect the maintenance, loss, and restoration of biological diversity. However in an emerging field of public concern grass roots promotion and work is extremely important. The lines between science and research and sustainability become blurred. As an organization we are involved in many “green” events and projects. It is the job on the sustainability chair to organize, coordinate and plan these events making sure they are a success.

Recruitment/Volunteer Coordination Chair –
As an organization we have increasingly become involved in more activities where members volunteer to aid and assist other organizations with similar goals. This is a new Committee and chair position created to help coordinate and streamline this process. This Chair’s position will include contacting and working closely with these other organizations so that our members will have all the required information in a timely manner in order to successfully volunteer if they choose too. * Now combined with recruiting duties.

Hi Everyone,
Don’t forget that our next SCB Meeting will be this Tuesday at 4:30 PM in Bio 101. We will conduct SCB business for 15 minutes, and then the remainder of the hour will be devoted to Harvey Stern’s lecture “Treasure Hunt for Louisiana Old-growth Cypress” with time for questions at the end.  Bring your friends!

Thanks to those who helped with our bakesale yesterday, we raised just over $100. Yay!

February 10th Meeting Notes

SCB Meeting Notes, 2-10-12, 11-noon

Recap of last month-
Gwendolyn and I changed officer positions at the last meeting in January.
Our budget was turned in, we requested funding to host the Stay Green Event next fall since it’s more in line with the interests of this group than BGSA, and we did not have to request funding for recycling because it is now a line-item in SG’s budget, meaning it is pretty much automatically renewing without additional effort from us (that’s a good thing!)

Most of our meetings will continue to be at 11AM on Fridays, however at least one will be on a Tuesday so that we can host a speaker (after they get off work)

Spring Semester Itinerary (tentative, of course)
Bakesale date Wednesday, Feb 29th

Saturday, March 3rd- Beneficial Bee Pollinator workshop?? Details from Robinson will hopefully be forthcoming.

Tuesday, March 6th @4:30pm- SCB Meeting with guest speaker Harvey Stern- (first 15 minutes for SCB business, then turn over to Mr. Stern, entire meeting will take no longer than one hour)  Mr. Stern does some really cool work with the Cypress Legacy Project.

March 23rd, 11am- Regular SCB Meeting-  We will elect officers during this month, and they will officially take over in May.  If you wish to be nominated for a position, please email me!

April 1st-8th: Spring Break Week

April 5th- 7th (during Spring Break):  Hoping to have some kind of fun camping trip, joined by BGSA.  We will take care of park fees and provide food stuff, more details and exact date will solidify later.

Also hoping to have some kind of TNC work day during this month too.

TBA Events
Educational Outreach- likely to be at least two separate days in April or May.  Catie Policastro is still scheduling with the schools. (Usually we go to at least Benjamin Franklin and ISL schools)

Barry Cole- potential speaker, he is the pres. of the LA Audubon Society, and also works with Lousiana’s State Master Plan for Coastal Restoration (which is open for comments through the end of this month).

Sierra Club is also working on redoing Louisiana’s Hiking/Biking/Canoeing Trail Booklet.  Anyone interested should contact Dr. Nicola Anthony at nanthony AT Basically need people to bike the trails, hike, whatever, and then give them updated information about the trails. Also opportunity for Outings leadership training from the Sierra Club)

Possible Workshop with Laughing Buddha Nursery- Organic nursery offering classes on urban homesteading, organic gardening, composting, mushrooms, etc.  If there is enough interest, we might try to schedule a workshop.  If you would be interested in this, please let me know.

Also, at the last tree planting, Trent met up with some people who teach courses for controlled burns.  Hopefully he’ll have some information soon if you are interested in learning about this.

Hello all,

The next meeting for the New Orleans Society of Conservation Biology will be on October 14th between 10 and 11. It will be in the CRC building, room 200 D. This is the conference room off the biology office.

We will be discussing:

– The upcoming bake sale

– The upcoming ‘stay green through the fall’ event

– Updates on our various projects

– Updates from members about their activities


If you can’t make it PLEASE email me to let me know. Otherwise I will expect to see you all there!


Welcome Meeting

Hello All,

On Tuesday September 6th @5:30pm our chapter will have its first meeting of the fall 2011 semester. It will be held in the Biology building of the UNO campus, room 101. We will be introducing new officers and discussing future plans and goals for this year. Come out and lend your ideas and support to our shared cause! We hope to see you there.

If you have any questions please contact Gwendolyn –