Thursday, July 15, 2010

Invasive species talk - Southeastern Community College (announcement)

Southeastern Community College – Burroughs Wellcome Fund

Environmental Issues – Invasive Species

2010 Summer Science Enrichment Camp

Evening Seminar – SCC Main Auditorium

Tuesday Evening – July 27, 2010

7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

“The Rise of Ornamental Invasive Species: A History of Landscaping”

Featured Guest Speaker:

John Peter Thompson

Invasive Species and Sustainability Consultant

Upper Marlboro, Maryland

Invasive species are everywhere - pushing out our prized garden plants as well as our favorite lunch time vegetables. As weeds, they crowd our gardens and overwhelm the plants we so carefully planted. And, even worse, some of the plants we choose to buy turn out to be among the worst invasive offenders spreading death and destruction beyond our garden fences into our parks and woodlands. And, if that was not bad enough, they can help hitchhiking insects and diseases spread into natural areas completely changing the environment.

How did the gardener who tries to bring beauty to the world become the unwitting agent of such change? How can it be that some of the most useful plants in the garden could become eco-criminals? What is the history behind some of our cherished garden traditions that may unintentionally lead to plant choices with dire consequences to our ecosystems?

We will explore the art and science of gardening and horticulture from the time of Eden through the Rennaissance and Romantic Eras - right up until today, in a whirlwind conversation that will focus on the collision of desires and the unintended consequences that face the gardener today.

Biographical Sketch. John Peter Thompson grew up in the family nursery and garden center business (Behnkes Nursery) in Beltsville, Maryland. His formal education was in music composition and historical linguistics at the University of Maryland. After returning to the family nursery business in 1988, John Peter managed Behnkes’ perennial production and sales, and eventually served as the Chairman of the Board until 2008. He was awarded the Perennial Plant Association Retailer of the Year award in 2000. He is a past President of the Maryland Nursery and Landscape Association, as well as a founding Director and President of the Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council. He served as the Vice-chair of the National Invasive Species Council Advisory Committee, and is working on invasive species issues with the Maryland Invasive Species Council and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Agriculture’s nursery industry outreach project. He also works as a volunteer advocate for the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland. On the local level, John Peter is a former Chair of the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce. He serves as the Vice-Chair of the Prince George’s County Historical Preservation Commission; as a trustee of the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System; and as a director of the Prince George’s County Community Foundation.

Camp and Seminar Information: Rebecca Westbrooks (910-642-7141, Ext. 291)

Seminar Registration for Continuing Education Credits: Brenda Orders (910-642-7141, Ext. 419)

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