Registration is at the bottom of this page! Registration deadline is June 5th!!
Are you interested in learning more about dragonflies and damselflies in Ohio? Does rubbing elbows with naturalists from across the state and beyond to discuss Ohio’s biodiversity sound like a good time? Then join us June 22-24, 2018 for Odo-Con-18 in Hancock and surrounding counties! It will be based at the Oak Woods Nature Preserve with trips to other areas, but space is limited to 125 registrants. This will be Ohio’s largest Odonata-centric event and we would love for you to join us! Registration is $40 for regular attendees and a discounted rate of $15 for students.
This is a conference for beginners and advanced alike, with field trips to areas with cool odes (and birds, and leps, and bees). We will be at the Oak Woods Nature Preserve for presentations and food, with field trips in the surrounding regions. You might even get a county record in some of these areas as most of Northwestern Ohio is understudied!
- Expert guided field trips
- Identification/Ecology presentations (for an idea of presentations, look at those from Odo-Con-17 at the bottom of our resources page)
- Business meeting for the Ohio Odonata Society on Sunday
Tentative schedule: Some things are subject to change
Friday June 22nd:
4:30 PM: Registration opens
5:00 PM: Arrival/social – meet the regional coordinators, see vendors!
5:30 PM: Kick-off and awards – MaLisa Spring
6:00 PM: Out of the Net and Into the Museum: the Ethics of Collecting and the Adventure of 60,000 lifetimes – Emily Sandall
6:30 PM: Introduction to Identification: Using Silhouettes – MaLisa
6:50 PM: Break
7:00 PM: Photography Panel – short intro presentations followed by a panel discussion of photography techniques for Odonata. Judy Semroc, Rick Nirschl, and Jim McCormac
8:00 PM: Keynote – Kurt Mead (Author of Dragonflies of the North Woods)
9:00 PM: Evening light sheet to look for non-Odonata
Saturday June 23rd: Field Trip Day – dragonflies and damselflies are slow to wake up, so we will start the morning with presentations (or you can adventure on your own)
9:00 AM Bob Restifo presents on either larval identification or using a key
9:20 AM Efficient Field Surveying – Dave McShaffrey
9:40 AM Bluet/Dancer/Forktail Identification – Jim Lemon
10:00 AM Break
10:20 AM Clubtail identification – John Pogacnik
10:40 AM Alternative Survey Methods – Using windows to look for dragons – Linda Gilbert
11:00 AM iNaturalist Panel discussion – MaLisa Spring, Shane Myers, and Jim Lemon
12 PM: Lunch on your own
1 PM-6:30 PM: Guided field trips
7 PM: Catered Dinner from Cedar Valley Cafe (more info below)
8 PM: Dragonflies 101 – Bob Glotzhober
9 PM: Evening light sheet to look for non-Odonata
Sunday June 24th:
9 AM: Business meeting for Ohio Odonata Society – all are welcome and OOS membership is included in Odo-Con registration
10 AM: Depart and self guided field trips based on nearby hotspot list
Conference Registration Deadline: June 5th
Field Trip information: You can select to go to a field trip on Saturday, the 23rd. You are not required to go out in the field (or attend presentations), but we recommend both to get the optimal experience. We will provide a list of on-your-own field trip locations for Sunday after the conference dismisses. This list below is for the Saturday guided field trips included in your registration. Note that most of this region is relatively understudied, so we do not have comprehensive species lists for the really cool dragonflies and damselflies that we might find at each site.
- Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area: This 9,000 acre wildlife area has a large swath of grassland, woodland, and wetland areas for us to explore. It is a bit of a drive, but has a good variety of habitats. There is a good chance at finding several interesting species of dragonflies and damselflies here. The prairies include a host of flowering species in the summer including prairie dock, greyheaded coneflower, saw-toothed sunflower, and dense blazing star. There are also a variety of ducks found in the region for interested birders.
- Litzenberg Memorial Woods, Hancock Parks District: This 200 acre park includes some terrain changes with some wooded ravines. The south side of the park is largely grassland with wet woods and hugging the Blanchard River. Potential Ode species include Slender and Stream bluets, Emerald, Sweetflag, and Slender spreadwings, Powdered and Blue-tipped Dancers, Midland Clubtails, Jewelwings, among others.
- Springville Marsh State Nature Preserve: Within a 20 minute drive from the conference location, this state nature preserve is a host of plants that are extremely uncommon in Ohio. Many of these species are more often associated with the Atlantic Coastal plain, so we can expect some unique Odonata as well. There is a boardwalk trail system which connects to an observation tower and wildlife blind. This trip will be limited in size, so guides can still point out Odes from the boardwalk and everyone is able to see without being too crowded. Blue Faced Meadhowhawks were reported here in 2017.
- Bright Conservation Area, Hancock Parks District: This park includes a large, wet grassland along the Blanchard River. Yellow and King Rails have been reported from this site and nearby. This is also close to the first report of a River Bluet (Enallagma anna) in Ohio. Perhaps you be the second person to see one in the State?
- Hancock Sanitary Landfill: Yes, we said landfill. Now, before you freak out at the concept of paying for a conference to visit a landfill, let us explain. Shane Myers has spend a lot of time at this site, which has open access areas on the northern side of the site. These areas include a large grassland with several ponds, a large woodland area with vernal pools, and a creek. On the map, most of the upper half between CR 140, 109, and 142 is accessible. Large numbers of grasshopper sparrows nest here annually as well as the occasional Henslow’s sparrow. As for Odes, there are a variety of skimmers, Unicorn clubtails, Vesper and Skimming Bluets, Swamp, Slender, Emerald, and Elegant Spreadwings, and Whitefaces, among others.
- Van Buren State Park: Camping on-site if desired. The eastern part, known as the Horse Camp, has trails leading to nearly year round wet woods. This site is on top of the Defiance Moraine, containing remnant populations of more upland plants than much of the surrounding areas. This is the site with the most elevation change, which isn’t much. Potential odes include the Cyrano Darner, and several bluets and dancers.
- Oakwoods Nature Preserve, Hancock Parks District: For those who want to spend the minimal amount of time driving, we will have a group trip remaining at the Oakwoods Nature Preserve. This will be catered to beginners and focus on introductory ID skills for dragonflies and damselflies. There are 4.5 miles of trails at our conference center, following several lakes and streams.
Guides: Below are a list of verified trip guides, with more being added once we get their bios.
- Shane Myers – Shane is in charge of Odo-Con-18 and is the NW Ohio Regional Coordinator for the Ohio Dragonfly Survey. He has a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology from University of Findlay and is currently working as a quality engineer for a global auto parts manufacturer. In his free time, he is an active member of the Hancock County Naturalists, and sits on the board of directors for the Blanchard River Watershed Partnership and the Hancock County Parks Foundation. Working with the Hancock County Parks and the Naturalists, he’s been doing a countywide Odonate survey, adding over a dozen species to the county list and one to the state list. He is also working with Robert Sams to update the 1980 book, The Birds of Hancock County, including nearly 100 years of bird data.
- MaLisa Spring – MaLisa is the State Coordinator for the Ohio Dragonfly Survey. She has a Masters of Science in Entomology from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Marietta College. She has worked on many research projects including urban pollinator habitat management, bee richness and floral use, ladybeetle diversity, mangrove restoration in abandoned shrimp farms, and insect diversity in the tropics among many others. She is enthusiastic for all arthropods, but will be sure to point out plenty of Odes during Odo-Con
- Jim Lemon – Jim has a Master’s of Science in Entomology from The Ohio State University. He is the SW Ohio regional coordinator and is an active participant via iNaturalist. He is also the 2018 President of the Ohio Odonata Society. Although retired from OSU, he stays busy as a Volunteer Naturalist in West Central Ohio; Co-Chair, Urbana Tree Commission.
- Linda Gilbert – Linda Gilbert serves on the staff of Geauga Park District as a naturalist and field technician. She is the NE Ohio Regional Coordinator. Her background in natural history comes from being raised on a wonderful piece of rural property and also from an avid curiosity to know what kinds of wild things share the environment. Undergraduate biology courses and extra-curricular nature studies have also helped to expand and deepen her interest in nature. Linda conducts dragonfly/damselfly surveys on several park properties as well as her own. She is a co-author with Larry Rosche and Judy Semroc of Dragonflies and Damselflies of Northeast Ohio 2nd. ed. In the past, she has volunteered for citizen science projects, including vernal pool monitoring, Monarch butterfly tagging, the Ohio Breeding Bird Survey, and Project Feeder Watch. Linda is also a professional musician and holds degrees in music from Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory and Cleveland State University. Hobbies include nature photography and water-gardening.
- Bob Glotzhober – Bob finds almost any area of natural history of interest and enjoys sharing his enthusiasm for the wonders of nature with groups. He worked for more than 33 years with the Ohio Historical Society until his recent retirement. Prior to that he taught high school biology, and worked as a naturalist for the National Wildlife Federation and the Michigan Audubon Society. Bob led the 1991-1999 state-wide survey of dragonflies and damselflies, which resulted in the publication edited with Dave McShaffrey of The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Ohio. He also served on the Federal Recovery Team for the Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly. In 2008 Bob was awarded the Wildlife Diversity Conservation Award by the Ohio Division of Wildlife for his work with dragonflies and damselflies in Ohio.
- Dave McShaffrey – Dave has been teaching biology at Marietta College since 1989. He co-directs the Institute of Arthropod Research and manages the Barbara A. Beiser Field station. He has BS and MS degrees in aquatic biology from the University of Akron and a PhD in Entomology from Purdue. His research includes water pollution biology, biogeography of Chironomids and Odonata, functional morphology of mouthparts in Ephemeroptera and other aquatic invertebrates, hydrodynamics of aquatic insects, and forensic entomology. He co-edited and wrote 5 chapters of The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Ohio and co-authored the Ohio Division of Wildlife booklet on Odonata. He has spent time in Central America co-leading classes in biology and leadership. His photographs have appeared in numerous field guides and textbooks, and he teaches a class in scientific imaging. Dave is currently involved in an ATBI of Marietta College’s Beiser Field Station, and in studying UV florescence in organisms.
- Judy Semroc – Judy Semroc currently works in the Natural Areas Division for The Cleveland Museum of Natural History as a Conservation Specialist. She is the founder of Operation Botanic Rescue (a volunteer plant rescue group) and Chrysalis in Time‚ the first Ohio chapter of the North American Butterfly Association (NABA). Recently Judy was the recipient of the “2013 Outstanding Staff Achievement Award” for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and in 2011 Judy was awarded the Portage County “Environmental Hero Award.” Along with Larry Rosche & Linda Gilbert, Judy co-authored the popular field guide’ “Dragonflies & Damselflies of Northeast Ohio” in 2008. As a former Petroleum Geologist and science teacher, Judy loves to learn about and share her passion for the natural world through hikes, interpretive programs and photography.
- Larry Rosche – Larry is an active NE Ohio odonata enthusiast. He co-authored Dragonflies & Damselslfies of Northeast Ohio along with Linda Gilbert and Judy Semroc. A fountain of knowledge, he can identify species based on flight pattern and other behavioral characteristics. He has worked for the Department of Natural Areas and Preserves in Ohio and then went on to work for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
- Bob Restifo
- Jim McCormac
- Bob Sams
- Dan Hodges
- Katie Mehlow
- Others to be added soon
Saturday lunch is on your own before we head out to our guided field trips. Findlay has an abundance of good food options nearby, or you can bring your own brown bag lunch.
Saturday evening dinner will be catered by Cedar Valley Cafe.
The dinner will include vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options.
Catered dinner: Mixed kabob (veggie or chicken), house salad, hommous & rice, garlic sauce & pita bread, and baklava. Assorted pop available along with ample water from the fountain
New for 2018: Odonata All Stars!
Ohio Dragonfly Survey participants who have contributed to the survey will be acknowledged as Odonata All Stars. If you submitted observations prior to December 15th, 2017, then you are eligible for an award. Odonata-All-Stars will be noted on their name badges.
While we hope you enjoy your time learning about Odonata at Odo-Con, we also have plans for a light sheet at the Oakwoods Preserve both Friday and Saturday night (weather pending – no one wants bulbs exploding). Light sheets should attract moths, beetles, and other arthropods. As of right now, it will be two sheets unless someone else volunteers to bring some supplies.
Note that private collections are prohibited. If you would like to collect specimens as part of a research activity where specimens will be deposited in a museum, please reach out to MaLisa Spring so we can work on the paperwork together with the park systems.
Odo-Con-18 Registration form: