"Monarch Butterflies & Their Conservation" Coming to Hitchcock Nature Center

Posted on 8/31/2019
Join us for the September installment of the 2019 Speaker Series on Saturday, August 10th at Hitchcock Nature Center as we welcome Jennifer Hopwood, Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Jennifer will be sharing information about the amazing monarch butterfly, its epic migration & current efforts to support & conserve this fascinating insect.  This event is free with park admission or an annual membership & it is open to anyone age 14 & over. 

Visit our website to register online and for more information. 

Jennifer was kind enough to chat with our Naturalist Michelle to give you all an idea of what to expect & help you get to know her & the important work she does.

What sparked your interest in conservation?

My conservation roots definitely date back to my childhood. My grandmother helped me get started identifying wildflowers, and I loved exploring. That love of nature fed an interest in ecology. In college, I earned more about insect diversity and the importance of insects, and that set me off on my current path, insect conservation. I'm lucky to be able to have a career that combines conservation and education.

You are presenting at the speaker series coming up on September 14th  what are some highlights we can expect at your presentation?

I'll be speaking about monarch butterflies, their amazing migration, the status of monarchs, and conservation efforts that everyone can take to help bring back monarchs. 

What is your favorite part of your work?

Oh, this is a tough question. I'm lucky to work with an amazing group of people, including my colleagues at Xerces and our wide array of conservation partners. I never stop learning. And I'm glad to spend time working towards creative efforts to make a difference for the little animals that keep our world running. 

When you were just starting to become a professional what was one of your most frustrating challenges and how did you keep yourself motivated?

I think it was initially discouraging to find a job. I left graduate school feeling like I was ready to apply what I learned, but without on the ground experience, I wasn't the most desirable candidate for the jobs I was seeking. It took perseverance in applying, reaching out to other professionals to make connections, and finding opportunities to gain more practical experience.  

If you only had a minute or two to inspire or encourage people to care about conservation, what would you tell them?

If you value clean water, fruits and vegetables, healthy soil, basically if you value your health and the future health of young people, take small steps to help the multitudes of insects and plants that support our lives.

Are there any suggested books or publications you would suggest, for participants who are interested in learning more prior to the event in September?

The Xerces Society Guide, Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America's Bees & Butterflies & also from the Xerces Society, Gardening for Butterflies.

 

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