Saturday, March 07, 2009

Stevensons in Stevenson

Last week the family and I went to the Wildlife Society/Society for Northwestern Vertebrate Biology conference at the Skamania Lodge in STEVENSON Washington. It was so cool to see our family name all over the place--in fact, the conference room where I presented is called 'Stevenson A'. To top it all off, I recently spoke with my folks and it turns out they stayed in the exact same hotel room at the lodge when they came through the NW several years ago. Amazing!

I had trouble learning very much about the eponymous founder of Stevenson, WA except that the townsite was purchased by a native Missourian named George Stevenson in 1893. Probably not related to us, but interesting nonetheless.

We all had a great time--Amy and I learned a lot about recent scientific developments in the field of wildlife conservation and management, the boys went swimming and hiking (and even saw a pileated woodpecker!), and we sampled the fine beverages on offer at the Walking Man brewpub. Fortunately, my presentation also went well. (For those of you who are really curious, it was about a GIS-based vegetation change analysis I did for the Nature Conservancy and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, looking at the habitat of the streaked horned lark on islands in the Columbia River. The analysis is being used to guide the US Army Corps of Engineers' timing and location of dredge spoil deposition resulting from their efforts to keep the channel navigable. Larks really like sandy nesting sites, but it turns out they don't like it so much when the sand is dumped directly on them and their nests).

On the way back we stopped in Portland to visit our friends Jen and Karl and their new baby girl Clare. She is such a cutie! Lochlan really wanted to hold her, and as I took the picture, I couldn't help thinking that he is almost exactly the same age as Liam when he (Lochlan) was born. I love our boys but the thought of having a newborn again is pretty daunting!