The Vineyard Conservation Society, an organization charged with promoting environmental advocacy and education, will hold its annual meeting Wednesday at the Wakeman Conservation Center in Vineyard Haven. Members will elect a new set of officers and hear presentations on rising sea level and moth and insect habitats on the Island.
A Smithsonian Institution entomologist and conservation biologist, Dr. Paul Goldstein will discuss the importance of pollinating insects and biodiversity, especially in the context of Martha’s Vineyard.
Dr. Goldstein began his studies of moths on the Island as a young boy and has continued to use the Vineyard as the foundation for much of his research. By virtue of being an island, he said, the Vineyard has some distinguishing ecological features.
“The Vineyard is a refugium for populations that may have vanished from the mainland,” Dr. Goldstein said.
According to Dr. Goldstein, the study of pollinators, such as bees and moths, can tell us much about the world around us. Pollinators can give scientists an idea of what the landscape of the Island looked like many years ago, and also can be indicators of the health of existing plant populations.
“Pollinators serve as a touchstone for people to get an understanding of the natural world,” Dr. Goldstein said. “They’re like canaries in the coal mine.”
The annual meeting will be held at 5 p.m., and will be followed by Dr. Goldstein’s presentation. Prior to the meeting, at 4:30 p.m., Vineyard Conservation Society member and former urban planning consultant Phil Henderson will given an encore presentation on rising sea level.
The event is free and open to all. The Vineyard Conservation Society currently has about 700 members.
The Wakeman Conservation Center is located on Helen Ave., one mile up from the Vineyard Haven end of Lambert’s Cove Road. For more information, call the Vineyard Conservation Society office at 508-693-9588.