We are off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz. This month it means we have to navigate our way through a really big bog without the benefit of a yellow brick road.. It will be worth it because this monthʼs wizard, Dr. Jim Reinartz, is an amazing and very interesting wizard.
Dr. Jim Reinartz, who earned his PhD in botany and plant ecology from Duke University, is the Field Station Director at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. The Field Station is off Blue Goose Road in Saukville, a place that has that "up north " feel about it - at least old time "up north" - where there is nothing there but lots and lots of nature including the southernmost string bog in North America.
Jim is the expert, the go-to person on all things bog-related and more. The Field Station is home to university research, university coursework and a wonderful amount of public educational opportunities. Dr. Reinartz has led significant at this site including the first complete systematic survey of the vegetation of the 2500-acre Cedarburg Bog, a multifaceted project aimed at conserving, restoring, and developing management practices for tamarack in southern Wisconsin, and an intensive study of the plant communities of the riparian zone of the Milwaukee River, to name a few.
When Jim won the "wetland hero" award from the Wisconsin Wetlands Association last year, the presentation noted: Jim Reinartz has educated and inspired countless children and adults to marvel at the intricacies of wetland ecosystems. Jim has a unique ability to foster a love of the outdoors in people and acts to educate others as a means to achieve broad-scale wetlands advocacy and policy work. Throughout his career, Jim has educated and inspired many future wetland researchers, land stewards, and policy makers. Jim has also authored a wide variety of articles and research papers, including A Guide to the Natural History of the Cedarburg Bog.
If you have ever taken a bog-hike or a course from Dr. Reinartz, you will know exactly what they mean. If you have not as yet done this, you still can.
Outside of his work at the Bog, Dr. Reinartz serves on the boards of directors of Riveredge Nature Center, the Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin, and the UWM Field Station. He in an active member of many Ozaukee-based environmental organizations including the Ulao Creek Partnership and the Ozaukee Treasures Network.
Dr. Jim Reinartz is important to Ozaukee, as well as outside of our borders, for the wealth of scientific information on the Bog and plant life of Wisconsin he has collected, fostered through his teaching and shared. A really good scientist is valuable. A really good scientist who is a continual source of inspiration and an exceptional educator as well is priceless. For all this, Treasures of Oz is pleased to name Dr. Jim Rienartz Wizard of Oz for August, 2012.