An Overview of Field Guide to Natural Communities of Michigan

An Overview of A Field Guide to the Natural Communities of Michigan (BEG)
Joshua G. Cohen, Michigan Natural Features Inventory

This brief presentation will provide an overview of the newly published A Field Guide to the Natural Communities of Michigan. This guidebook to the plant communities of Michigan summarizes three decades of work by Michigan Natural Features Inventory ecologists and provides a system for dividing the complex natural landscape of Michigan into easily understood and describable components called natural communities. Detailed descriptions of natural communities ranging from patterned fen to volcanic bedrock glade are supplemented with distribution maps, vibrant photographs, comprehensive lists of characteristic plant species, suggested places to visit to further study each type, a comprehensive glossary of ecological terms and a dichotomous key for aiding field identification. This book is meant to serve as a tool for those seeking to understand, describe, document, conserve and restore the diversity of natural communities native to Michigan.

Joshua G. Cohen, Michigan Natural Features Inventory
Joshua Cohen has worked as an ecologist with Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) for the past 15 years. His primary duties involve refining and revising MNFI's natural community classification through ecological inventory and sampling, literature research, and data analysis; classifying conservation targets; prioritizing areas for conservation and restoration; and conducting vegetative sampling, ecological mapping, monitoring, and natural community surveys. Cohen has a Master of Environmental Management (1999) from Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment with a degree in resource ecology and a major in conservation biology. Since 2006 he has served as a plant ecology editor for the Natural Areas Journal. Cohen is the lead author for the MSU Press book A Field Guide to the Natural Communities of Michigan. He has a strong avocation for landscape photography and enjoys climbing trees to capture a unique perspective of Michigan's ecosystems (many of his tree-top photos are featured in this book).