Jen Weil

Joined: Jan 31, 2021 Last Active: Jul 23, 2024 iNaturalist

In past lives I was a children's librarian and a gallerist/designer. But as I've witnessed our dwindling wild places, I now work primarily in the service of land conservation. To that end, our family runs a foundation that funds scientific research related to habitat preservation and collaborates with land trusts to protect biological corridors:

https://www.boscovweilfoundation.org

I also design artist residencies in conjunction with historical preservation or conserved land or both.

In addition to all that, I'm just a total lichen nerd!

After taking classes at Eagle Hill Institute and learning from various scientists and enthusiasts over the last five years in my home state of California, and the deep south and New England (where my extended family reside), I've gotten further and further into projects at the intersection of conservation and lichens. My particular interests at present are aquatic lichens, riparian corridors, and cyanolichens in mature forests.

For anyone coming from an arts background like me or who has a non-traditional trajectory and a desire to learn more about lichens (or mosses, wetlands, etc.), the summer seminars at Eagle Hill in Maine are just fabulous:

https://www.eaglehill.us/programs/sems-weeklong/calendar-weeklong.shtml

I use iNaturalist as a way to visually and spatially catalogue my finds and to connect with like-minded people - I've met wonderful folks in my time on this platform :)

Lichens on iNat can be particularly tricky, as is noted in this terrific paper on the subject:

https://cdnsciencepub.com/doi/10.1139/cjb-2021-0160

so I try to always include identifying details, chemistry test results, spore sizes etc. in the notes section of each listing. I am always open to reevaluation, so please teach me by correction if you see something amiss!

And by all means, just feel free to connect if you want to nerd out on lichens, conservation, or any of the incredible things that come from a life spent exploring outdoors. Cheers!!

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