Welcome to “Thoughts From Home: Your Conservation Podcast from the National Conservation Training Center.” We’re located along the Potomac River in historic Shepherdstown, WV and are home to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Throughout this series, we’ll be talking with experts, authors and a variety of other guests to bring you the most up-to-date information, events, and happenings here at the National Conservation Training Center. Thanks for listening, and we hope you enjoy.
History and Archives with Mark Madison, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Historian
Did you know the NCTC hosts the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Museum and Archives? Step into history with Mark Madison, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Historian, as he talks with Cecilia Melton, NCTC Course Leader, about the unique items in the archives. With over a half million documents, films, artifacts and other interesting items, you can visualize the unique artifacts and hear how they can even be used as teaching tools!
Celebrating 50 Years of the Endangered Species Act: The Fascinating Freshwater Mussel
Have you ever been up close and personal with an endangered freshwater mussel? Matthew Patterson, Fish and Wildlife Biologist and NCTC Course Leader, gives Mike McAllister the inside scoop on endangered freshwater mussels. Listen to where mussels live, why they’re important, what their role is in the ecosystem, and why they are declining. You also will hear all about the brand new and incredible 3D mussel shell project. Matthew has partnered with the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to create 3D scans of all 300 species of freshwater mussel in the U.S. in an effort to help folks identify different species. You are sure to learn many fascinating things about the very unique and very cool freshwater mussels that live in the waters of the U.S. as well as why you should bring along a mask and snorkel the next time you head down to the river!
Celebrating 50 Years of the Endangered Species Act: The Recovery of the Bald Eagle and the History of the NCTC Eagle Nest
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, Jim Siegel, Ecology Curriculum Manager, and Randy Robinson, Education and Outreach Coordinator, discuss the successful recovery of the bald eagle and review the history of the NCTC eagle nest on its 20th anniversary. The NCTC eagles are a conservation success story right here on campus! Recorded on National American Eagle Day, hear the interesting details of how the bald eagle population has grown all over the United States and the challenges the species still faces today!
Celebrating 50 Years of the Endangered Species Act: Its History
For 50 years, the Endangered Species Act has protected America's imperiled plants and animals. Mark Madison, Historian for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, shares about the history of the Endangered Species Act during its 50th Anniversary year. All Americans can take pride in the fact that, under the ESA, the California condor, grizzly bear, Okaloosa darter, whooping crane, and black-footed ferret have all been brought back from the brink of extinction. It has helped to create a better understanding of how human activities can impact the environment and how we can work together to protect it. We can also celebrate that many other species no longer need ESA protection and have been removed from the list of endangered and threatened species, including the bald eagle—the very symbol of our nation's strength.
Sustainability at NCTC: Food Donation and Recycling
Food donation and recycling are a big part of keeping NCTC sustainable. With the ability to have up to 275 guests onsite, a lot of food is prepared but sometimes not all is consumed. In this episode of the Sustainability series, Mike McAllister talks Tracy McCleaf about how our food is donated, who it goes to, and how it’s transferred. They also discuss our recycling efforts to help keep the environment clean and preserve our natural resources!
Sustainability at NCTC: Tree Planting
When walking the trails at the NCTC, you are surrounded by beautiful trees. Have you thought about what kind of tree they are or how they fit in biodiversity? Or why the younger trees were planted in that spot? The NCTC Land Management team takes great thought into where new trees will be planted and why. Mike McAllister talks with Casey Johnson, an Ecologist at NCTC, about tree planting and gives advice on planting your own native trees!