Friday Evening Keynote Speaker

Judge Ed Post "Birds and Blooms - A Photographer's Celebration of Wild Birds and Flowers."

This slide illustrated talk features the colorful and fascinating world of wildflowers and birds from a photographer's perspective. Whether looking down or looking up, the variety and life stories for these diverse inhabitants of the natural world provide abundant opportunities for the nature photographer to record compelling images. White Pine Chapter member Ed Post became a serious photographer in 1990 after attending the first of several workshops with John Gerlach and Rod Planck. Since that time, Ed has worked to hone his skills in photography and now shoots exclusively digital images. Ed leads annual workshops and photo tours. He is also a frequent lecturer on nature and landscape photography. His work has been widely published and he has received honors and awards in contests and exhibits. Ed also lends a hand to the busy photography staff of his hometown newspaper by accepting assignments to cover sports, features, and breaking news. To support his hobby, Ed serves as a Circuit Judge for Ottawa County, where he lives with his wife Barbara.

Saturday Evening Keynote Speaker

Dr. David Warners “Loving Our Downstream Neighbor: Plaster Creek Stewards Watershed Restoration Initiative”

Plaster Creek has been described as the most polluted stream in West Michigan. The creek flows from agricultural areas south of Grand Rapids, through suburban neighborhoods, high-density commercial zones and finally through low-income and industrial areas. Storm water runoff causes this stream to fluctuate wildly, promoting significant erosion, debris dams, nutrient runoff and dangerous currents. In addition, Plaster Creek harbors bacterial levels higher than what is considered safe for even partial human body contact. This stream, known to native people of the region as “Ken-O-Shay” (‘water of the walleye’) is now essentially a drainage ditch for human waste. In this talk, David will describe some of the history surrounding this watershed's advocacy group, The Plaster Creek Stewards (a collaboration of Calvin faculty, staff and students) and how they are working together with a group of community partners to restore the stream back to some of its former health and beauty.

David Warners grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and graduated from Calvin College with a major in biology and chemistry. His master's degree in Environmental Studies is from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his doctorate in Botany from the University of Michigan. Between graduate degrees, Dave and his wife Teri lived and worked for the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee in Tanzania from 1990-1992. He has been teaching botany and ecology courses at Calvin College since 1997. Dave’s research/scholarship interests include restoration ecology, plant systematic and evolution, academically-based service learning and the intersection of faith and science.  Dave is an advocate for using native plants in urban landscaping and has helped design and establish over 30 native landscape plans at school, parks and other locations in the West Michigan area.

Sunday Evening Keynote Speaker

Dr. Alan Steinman “Climate Change and How It'll Affect the Great Lakes and the Surrounding Area”

Dr. Alan D. Steinman is Director, Annis Water Resources Institute and Professor of Water Resources at Grand Valley State University, Muskegon, MI. His address will cover the following: an overview of climate change, including why it occurs and how we measure change over time; the potential implications of climate change with respect to temperature and water levels; the results, which indicate we will have warmer temperatures, more extreme weather events, and that various sectors of the economy will be affected in different ways; there will be winners and losers; finally, a review of possible solutions to this issue.

Dr. Steinman holds a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a Ph.D. in Botany/Aquatic Ecology from Oregon State University, and M.S. in Botany from the University of Rhode Island and B.S. in Botany from the University of Vermont. Alan Steinman has been Director of Grand Valley State University's Annis Water Resources Institute since 2001. Previously, he was Director of the Lake Okeechobee Restoration Program at the South Florida Water Management District in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Steinman has published over 120 scientific articles and book chapters, is on the Editorial Board of two scientific journals, and has been awarded over $50 million in grants for scientific and engineering projects, Steinman's research interests include nutrient cycling in aquatic ecosystems, sustainability of water resources, restoration ecology, and algal ecology.