Summer 2019

3 06, 2019

High Pointing Part Six – The Southern Appalachians

By |2019-07-23T14:15:15-05:00June 3rd, 2019|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2019|

Welcome to the sixth in a series of my adventures to visit as many of the fifty US states' highest points as I can. Last time we took a look at a trip of my tour of the Midwest following the Eclipse of August 21, 2017.  This time its the southern Appalachians of the Southeast: North and South Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky. On the first trip, my wife, Meribeth, and I went up I-40 to Ashville, North Carolina in October of 2010 to see Biltmore and the sights of the Smokies. The second was done in May of 2013 following the graduation of our nephew from Virginia Tech. South Carolina We used the town of Ashville, N.C. as our base to see the area. One day we went south of Ashville to visit the home and farm of Carl Sandburg, near Flat Rock, N.C., a stop we highly recommend. Before that however, we went just across the state line into South Carolina to see Sassafras Mt, 3560 feet, the highest point in the state. At the time we visited in 2010, the access was a rough forest road to the radio towers on its summit. You parked your car about [...]

3 06, 2019

What Will Global Warming Look Like in the Ozarks?

By |2019-07-23T14:16:39-05:00June 3rd, 2019|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2019|

Global change will affect the Buffalo River and the surrounding ecosystem along with the rest of the world, but do we have to worry about that in our lifetime? The experts are quoting a temperature increase of a few degrees. How big a deal could that be? After all, we see daily temperature changes of several tens of degrees. Maybe we would hardly notice a degree or two difference. Can we even expect to recognize that difference against the background of daily fluctuations? On the other hand, we know that greenhouse gasses have a major effect on how the planet absorbs heat, and that there has been a 40% increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. That sounds like a big change. Are we going to see a real impact on the Buffalo River in the coming decade? Let’s start with a couple of firmly established facts. First, it is obvious that the globe heats mostly at the equator and that the heat then moves down the temperature gradient towards the poles. That heat transfer occurs by turbulent mixing - a fancy way of saying that heat exchange occurs in the form of exchanging parcels of warm and cold air. [...]

3 06, 2019

Ozark Forest Forensics by Frederick Paillet and Steven Stephenson

By |2019-08-12T11:01:07-05:00June 3rd, 2019|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2019|

The Ozark Society Foundation is pleased to announce the publication of Ozark Forest Forensics: The Science Behind the Scenery in Our Regional Forests by Fred Paillet and Steven Stephenson. This book interprets our natural surroundings in a way that enhances a simple walk in the scenic deciduous woodlands of the Ozark Mountain region. Explanations go beyond trees and their habitat to include other diverse subjects: the leaf litter beneath a hiker’s feet, strategies used by wildflowers for pollination and seed dispersal, diseases that can ravage our forests, and forces active in the landscape that impact conservation efforts. Simplified line drawings demonstrate specific points of interest in a way that visually cluttered photographs cannot do. Includes: 163 line drawings, a list of species used in the text, a glossary, and a reading list. Paperback; 342 pages; ISBN: 978-0-912456-28-7. $24.95 FRED PAILLET is adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas, where he conducts research and supervises student projects related to geophysics, hydrology and paleoecology. He earned his PhD from the University of Rochester in New York. STEVE STEPHENSON is a research professor at the University of Arkansas, where he teaches courses in plant biology, forest ecology and plant ecology. Stephenson earned his [...]

3 06, 2019

The Ozark Studies Association

By |2019-07-23T14:18:25-05:00June 3rd, 2019|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Summer 2019|

The nascent Ozark Studies Association held its first conference at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale, AR, on May 17, 2019. The theme for the daylong conference was “Histories of the Buffalo National River.” Presenters covered Buffalo River and Ozarks region topics pertaining to geology and early cultures, the Civil War, historic cemeteries, the New Deal and dam-building in the Ozarks, the painter Thomas Hart Benton, small farms in the Buffalo watershed, cultural resource threats in the Buffalo National River, and controlling the fate of rivers in the Ozarks. Ozark Society President David Peterson gave a talk that included an overview of the formation of the Society and a description of several of the major environmental issues that OS has been involved in during its existence, including the current hog farm debate. Other presenters were Dr. Rebecca Howard, Lone Star College; Abby Burnett, independent historian; Dr. Black Perkins, Williams Baptist University; Steve Sitton, Thomas Hart Benton Home State Historic Park; Dr. Jared Phillips, University of Arkansas; Dr. Caven Clark, independent contractor (retired from Buffalo National River, National Park Service); and Dr. Brooks Blevins, Missouri State University. The Ozark Society Highlands Chapter pitched in to provide lunch for the [...]