Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Loon Research Grant

LoonWatch accepting grant proposals

ASHLAND, Wis. –LoonWatch, a program of the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College, is accepting proposals for the 2008 Sigurd T. Olson Loon Research Award. The award is named for biologist Sigurd T. Olson, whose 1952 paper with co-author William H. Marshall, “The Common Loon in Minnesota,” continues to be cited as one of the premier baseline reports on the species.

Since 1986, the loon research award has provided funding for original research that leads to better understanding and management of loon populations. LoonWatch will accept proposals for research conducted in North America on any Gavia species. Research on behavior, breeding ecology, migration, winter ecology, toxicology and evolution will be considered. Proposals addressing human impacts to loons will be given special consideration.

The award will be designated for research that will be conducted during the 2009 calendar year. The maximum grant is $3,000. A portion of the award is funded by the North American Loon Research Endowment. The proposal deadline is December 5, 2008 and the award winner will be notified by January 30, 2009.

LoonWatch, now in its 30th year of coordinating volunteers to monitor loon activity and reproductive success, is one of the many programs at the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute. Since its founding in 1972, the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College has facilitated solutions to environmental problems in the north country through education, research, and citizen involvement. The Institute's namesake, Sigurd F. Olson (1899-1982), is one of North America's most beloved nature writers and an influential conservationists of the 20th century. In 1974 he won the John Burroughs Medal for his book, “Wilderness Days.” To obtain more information about the Institute, call (715) 682-1223 or visit our website at: www.northland.edu/soei.

Loon Apprecition Week Poster Contest

Photographers invited to submit images for Loon Appreciation Week poster

ASHLAND, Wis.—The LoonWatch program at the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute is seeking entries for the 11th annual Loon Appreciation Week poster contest. The contest is open to original photography of any loon species. The winning entry will appear on more than 10,000 posters that will be distributed nationally to highlight Loon Appreciation Week, May 3-9, 2009. Full credit will be given to the photographer.

Posters will be available to the general public, schools, libraries, community centers, natural resource agencies and environmental organizations. The poster contributes to LoonWatch’s mission to promote and protect Common Loons and their aquatic habitats through education, monitoring and research.

The contest winner will be notified within a month of the submission deadline. In return for the use of the winning image, the photographer will receive prominent credit on the poster itself, 50 copies of the poster and a cash award in the amount of $300 USD.

Images must be submitted in digital format of 320 DPI or higher resolution with an image size of 11”x 14” or 16”x 20”. Limit five submissions per person. No other forms of artwork will be accepted. Competitive entries will be unique photos unlike past posters. For more information on LoonWatch or to view past winning poster photos, visit the Web site at www.northland.edu/loonwatch

Interested photographers should contact LoonWatch for an entry form and submission guidelines at (715) 682-1223, loonwatch@northland.edu or write to LoonWatch Poster, Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, Northland College, Ashland, WI 54806. Submissions must be postmarked by Friday, September 19, 2008.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Our First Chick!

From Loon Ranger Pat Schwai
Cochran Lake (Price County) is pleased to announce the arrival our of first-ever loon chick!!! I am ecstatic!

Baby hatched sometime between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. today (July 16th). Parent and chick were off floating about 300 yards from the nest. The other parent was still tending the nest as of 3:00 p.m. Initially, lots of wailing back and forth which lessened within an hour. Baby has already had a swim and a little bit of diving but needed serious warming up after that.

Our best guess is that we lost the first nest on June 14th. Six loons were socializing on the 17th (but way one the north end) and on the 23rd, a resident reported new nesting activity on the far south end.