Connie Barlow

Connie Barlow
Torreya Guardians · independent scholar and activist and retired science writer

Bachelor of Science, Zoology, Michigan State University 1974

About

52
Publications
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258
Citations
Introduction
Connie Barlow is founder of Torreya Guardians, a community of botanists, naturalists, and others in action via "assisted migration" to ensure the persistence in the wild of America's most climate-endangered tree: Torreya taxifolia. In the 1990s she wrote or assembled 4 books in evolutionary ecology (MIT Press, Copernicus, Basic Books), and contributed essays re "deep-time" conservation perspectives in Wild Earth magazine. Video-blogger of "Climate, Trees, and Legacy" series (e.g AM for redwoods)

Publications

Publications (52)
Data
Quantitative and qualitative data, conclusions, and emergent hypotheses are summarized and linked in this annually updated section of the Torreya Guardians website. Torreya Guardians formed in 2004 and in 2008 began field action of "assisted migration" northward for the climate-endangered Florida conifer Torreya taxifolia. Entries are chronological...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In July 2008, a working group of attendees at the annual Ecological Society of America meeting established a "Managed Relocation" working group (Jessica Hellmann et al) "collaborating to assess managed relocation (aka assisted migration)". Simultaneously, the three lead Torreya Guardians and friends met to plant 31 potted seedlings of the endangere...
Article
Full-text available
Given the successes of Torreya Guardians in (a) documenting Florida Torreya thrival (including some full naturalization) in sites substantially poleward of the relictual native range in Florida, (b) establishing new populations poleward in additional sites, and (c) achieving viable seed production as far north as Ohio, downlisting of this tree from...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This critique of endangered species program management as it pertains to Florida Torreya (Torreya taxifolia) lists and summarizes 13 "failures" in official agency and institutional actions, documentation, and stakeholder/public relations pursuant to the USA Endangered Species Act designation of Florida Torreya as an endangered species in 1984. The...
Preprint
Full-text available
THE PROBLEM: Limiting endangered species "recovery" to "historic range" is a form of climate denial FLORIDA TORREYA, Torreya taxifolia, has attracted expert botanical attention since it became known to Euro-Americans in the late 1800s. From the beginning, this subcanopy tree has been interpreted as a glacial relict-persisting only in the same small...
Preprint
Full-text available
Florida Torreya (Torreya taxifolia) is a critically endangered plant, that was stranded in its glacial refuge and thus exists in the wild only as a relict species in habitat no longer climatically suitable for it. It is widely known as the first long-distance example of "assisted migration" for the purpose of "species rescue" for an endangered plan...
Preprint
Full-text available
In 2005 the founder of Torreya Guardians, Connie Barlow, conducted site visits to learn the habitat preferences and growth patterns of California torreya. At that time, her quest was entirely to use this information for implementing successful "assisted migration" projects for the endangered Florida Torreya. In 2022 Barlow updated the California To...
Preprint
Full-text available
I uploaded a pdf of the screen-share (minus the images) of the actual wikipedia page by this title, as it appeared 31 July 2021. Wikipedia, of course, is a perpetually open form of crowd-sourced encyclopedia, so there will never be a final published version of this preprint.
Poster
Full-text available
THE CONSERVATION NEED: "Assisted migration" poleward of native trees threatened by climate disruption is now routinely considered by foresters in North America. Conservation biologists and nature preserve managers, however, struggle to find assurance that this form of climate adaptation will indeed succeed. Which native species will thrive in horti...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Between 2004 and 2009, FIVE terms were launched for a new tool in conservation biology, restoration ecology, and forestry that aims at translocations of plants and animals in response to (or anticipation of) climate change. The names proposed and debated were and are: assisted migration, assisted colonization, managed relocation, facilitated migrat...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This is an updated an abridged version of a webpage begun by Connie Barlow in 2007. Designed to facilitate literature searches as well as professional and public understanding of the new conservation tool, variously termed: assisted migration, assisted colonization, managed relocation, facilitated migration, and "helping forests walk" (an indigenou...
Preprint
Full-text available
Unpublished op-ed in support of 2019 USF&WS decision not to list Joshua Tree as a "threatened" species. Tagline: The decision is in: Joshua Tree is not endangered. Why that's a good thing for conservation. Excerpt: "In my view, this magnificent tree of the Mojave Desert will fare better if citizens retain full freedom to take action themselves. Nec...
Article
Full-text available
Autumn 2019 Barlow added 3 additional field documentation videos to this (now 8-part) video-documentation series. One documents the tremendous seedling and sapling establishment within a wild redwood population at its northernmost range. Another documents prolific seedling and sapling establishment in regrowth wild forest on the Kitsap Peninsula al...
Technical Report
Full-text available
SUMMARY OF RESULTS: Barlow used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to request documentation of number of seeds produced each year (2007-2017) at the two ex- situ plantings of Torreya taxifolia in northern Georgia (one administered by Atlanta Botanical Garden and the other by University of Georgia's State Botanical Garden). She also asked for "ul...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Update of an online technical report of annotated linked papers and news on the topic of assisted migration in a time of rapidly changing climate, with an emphasis on forestry projects and research.
Experiment Findings
Full-text available
Five-part video documentation of Joshua Tree, posted onto youtube, includes baseline documentation of the same area of Mojave Preserve Joshua Tree forest that was ravaged by fire in 2020, plus evidence of thrival in a landscape horticultural planting northeast of native range. Access full series here: http://thegreatstory.org/climate-trees-legacy.h...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This annotated and linked list of online-accessible papers, articles, and news reports on assisted migration aims to further professional and popular understanding of both the substance and history of debate and actions regarding one of the most significant developments in conservation biology. This list is continually updated; entries are ordered...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This is the FORESTRY section of Barlow's annotated and linked list of online-accessible papers, articles, and news reports on assisted migration. The aim is to help forest researchers, managers, environmental science academics, policy-makers, and citizen activists to efficiently learn and easily delve deeper into the climate-adaptation advances and...
Article
Full-text available
Submitted in 2010 to the USF&WS review panel for updating the recovery plan of the critically endangered Florida conifer Torreya taxifolia. Connie Barlow and Russell Regnery of Torreya Guardians had participated by conference call in the advisory board discussion. Because they were the only two votes in favor of adding an "assisted migration" proje...
Chapter
Full-text available
Note: For 8 years prior to this book's publication, Connie Barlow lived on the road with her husband, Rev. Michael Dowd, speaking in liberal churches across the USA. A former science writer specializing in evolutionary ecology, Barlow used this opportunity to create and test curricula for elementary-age religious education programs to package the w...
Article
Full-text available
Chapter 10 in the 2009 book, "Gaia in Turmoil: Climate Change, Biodepletion, and Earth Ethics in an Age of Crisis, edited by Eileen Crist and H. Bruce Rinker (MIT Press). This chapter begins with an examination of how time lags express in plant-animal mutualisms, when the animal disperser goes extinct. Janzen and Martin 1982, "Neotropical Anachroni...
Article
Full-text available
This is the article, coauthored by Connie Barlow and the late Paul S. Martin, that launched the citizen action to engage in northward "assisted migration" for the climate-endangered Florida Torreya conifer tree. It appeared in the Forum section of Wild Earth Magazine in 2004. When the actions of Torreya Guardians are mentioned in conservation biolo...
Article
Full-text available
An essay published in Wild Earth stimulated by the 2002 book by Tim Flannery: "The Eternal Frontier: An Ecological History of North America and its Peoples." Sample paragraphs: "Flannery's book is a stunning integration — a relevant college education in a mere 380 pages. Any of us who think we know our bioregional stories will think again upon ente...
Chapter
Full-text available
Barlow's chapter in this 2002 book was originally published as an essay in Wild Earth magazine in 1999. You can access this chapter in full by clicking on the "Article" format of Barlow's "Rewilding for Evolution," as listed here in ResearchGate.
Article
Full-text available
Excerpt in Natural History magazine from Barlow's 2001 book, "The Ghosts of Evolution." Embellished with color photos and artistic line drawings featuring the anachronistic fruits of Honey Locust, Osage Orange, Avocado, Cactus, Desert Gourd, and Devil's Claw — along with their postulated extinct animal dispersers: Pleistocene horses, Mastodon, Amer...
Article
Full-text available
BARLOW WRITES: "Arnoldia editor Peter del Tredici asked me to write this article, which focuses far more on the fruit characteristics and paleohistory of genus Torrreya than does the 2004 paper by Barlow and Martin, which is the most cited. The last section of this article, pages 19-21, present an exclusive focus on torreya." EXCERPTS: "... The pr...
Book
Review in Publisher's Weekly: In 1982, respected ecologists Dan Janzen and Paul Martin published a short, provocative paper in the journal Science, asserting that many fruits found in Central American forests "are adapted primarily for animals that have been extinct for thirteen thousand years." As those species went the way of the dodo, the fruits...
Article
Full-text available
Lead-in essay for the 2001 Trees for Life Engagement Calendar, published annually by Trees for Life, The Park, Findhorn Bay, Forres, Scotland, http://www.treesforlife.org.uk/ Sample paragraph: Aldo Leopold wrote of Trees Who Remember in a speech he delivered at the dedication of a monument in Wisconsin commemorating the extinct passenger pigeon, wh...
Article
Full-text available
Published in the final (Winter 2004/05) issue of Wild Earth. Central quotation: "Rewilding must be undertaken because, next to outright species extinctions, the most abhorrent outcome — the greatest crime against creation — humankind might effect would be for surviving lineages to skew their future evolution substantially in response to us." Note:...
Book
Full-text available
Library Journal review: "We enter our houses of worship in search of meaning and understanding, but can we include the halls of academe and scientific laboratories as additional sources of inspiration? Science writer Barlow gives us an enthusiastic Yes! She builds her book on conversations with biologists, ecologists, and religious scholars, who ar...
Article
Full-text available
Published in a 2000 issue of Wild Earth, the editor introduced it this way: "Conservationists by nature look out upon a world of wounds, but perhaps only the most astute among us — those who have suffered the deepest penalty of an ecological education — see the ghosts that inhabit the land. In this article, and the wonderful book from which it is e...
Article
Full-text available
Published in Wild Earth magazine, the essay begins: "The evolutionary epic is my creation story, and the diversity of life is its greatest achievement." The core of the essay expands on a quotation by Edward O. Wilson, "The evolutionary epic is probably the best myth we will ever have." The worldview underpinning the piece is now known as "Religiou...
Chapter
Meaning is always relational. Something is meaningful to that which beholds the meaning. Meaning is therefore a subjective experience, but this does not in any way make it illusory or restrict it to the province of human observers or participants. Recall Stephan Harding’s statement in chapter 3 that to a muntjac deer, a single bush can be meaningfu...
Chapter
Schools, churches, and the media are all beginning to sound the same message. We, and especially the children, hear more and more that it is our duty to live lightly on the land, to refashion our lives in at least modest ways to make amends for the environmental woes we are causing. It can all be quite depressing. We begin to think of our own speci...
Chapter
The evolutionary epic is the grand creation story for those of us who follow the way of science. The diversity of life, past and present, contributes all the characters for the Earth episodes of this epic. Plants, animals, fungi, protoctists, and bacteria alive today are the current players in a multi-billion-year, continuing saga. This pageant of...
Chapter
Can Sagan, Gary Snyder, Diane Ackerman, Edgar Mitchell,1 and many other scientists and writers (especially astronauts!) have written eloquently on the most powerful image of the twentieth cen-tury: the view of Earth from space. The American space program gave us more than an image, however. It prompted a scientific insight that launched a whole new...
Chapter
“The evolutionary epic is probably the best myth we will ever have.” This sentence stopped me in my tracks when I came upon it a decade ago.1 Since then I have come to agree with its author, Edward O. Wilson —and then some. The evolutionary epic is indeed the best myth our kind has stumbled upon in its tens of thousands of years of weaving stories...
Article
Full-text available
This short article in Wild Earth magazine was a preview of the conservation biology section of Barlow's 1997 book, Green Space Green Time: The Way of Science. It is one of her earliest writings in the field of religious naturalism. In 2014, Barlow was invited onto the advisory board of the Religious Naturalist Association.
Book
Review in Library Journal: "This unique anthology of 39 major selections explores the basic issues and disparate interpretations of science, philosophy, and theology regarding evolution. The topics covered include complexity, diversity, contingency, dominant types, symbiosis, and mass extinctions; evolutionary worldviews ranging from Darwinian mate...
Article
Full-text available
Full text is freely viewable online at: http://sci-hub.tw/10.2307/1312175 This is a shortened, popularized version of the technical paper published in Biosystems in 1990, titled "Open Systems Living in a Closed Biosphere: A New Paradox for the Gaia Debate," which is freely viewable at http://sci-hub.tw/10.1016/0303-2647(90)90018-V
Book
Review in New Scientist: "A crash course in modern biological thought... Many of the unmissable modem masters are here: James Lovelock on Gaia, Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan on symbiosis in the cell, Robert Axelrod and William Hamilton on the evolution of cooperation, E.O. Wilson on sociobiology and Richard Dawkins on selfish genes and memes. It i...
Article
While energetically open, the biosphere is appreciably closed from the standpoint of matter exchange. Matter cycling and recycling is hence a necessary and emergent property of the global-scale system known as Gaia. But how can an aggregate of open-system life forms have evolved and persisted for billions of years within a planetary system that is...
Book
The US surpasses all other countries in natural gas production and consumption, partly because reserves in the Soviet Union and Middle East are not yet marketable commodities. Following a historical review of the natural gas industry's developing in the US and the evolution from manufactured to natural gas, subsequent chapters deal with the efforts...
Article
In the March 4, 1982, Public Utilities Fortnightly, the authors declared that the fly-up is now (not in 1985, as most analysts believed) and that the most fashionable slogan in the gas industry may soon be 'I can't take and I won't pay, so sue me.' The authors now follow with a warning that the gas shortage is over for good and that those companies...
Article
A theme that runs through the long, convoluted history of natural gas regulation is the seemingly inexorable expansion of government intervention. Regulation has spawned further regulation; soon after one regulatory gap was filled, another appeared. Municipal franchising and price regulation of gas distributors led to state oversight of intrastate...
Article
The thesis of this article is that federal regulation of the natural gas industry reached a peak in 1978; that phased and partial deregulation of wellhead prices in the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 was tantamount to complete deregulation of final consumer prices and set in motion forces that will ultimately lead to the demise not only of that act...
Article
Immediate deregulation of natural-gas prices by repeal of the Natural Gas Policy Act will complete an inevitable trend that began in 1978. Producers, utilities, and free-market and consumer advocates alike should welcome the reduction of government intervention. The authors trace the course of natural-gas regulation and its effects on the supply-an...

Questions

Questions (3)
Question
I just looked up my own longer name, Connie C Barlow, and found 1 paper there that does not appear on my Connie Barlow researchgate page. The same happened when I searched for Robin Wall Kimmerer. The only links for that were authors who had written about her book, Braiding Sweetgrass, where she uses her middle name too. But her scientific papers and her researchgate are found only at Robin Kimmerer. Yet, if you do a search for the longer name, the search tool doesn't suggest looking for the name without the middle name. How often is this a problem, and how can we ask the Researchgate computer techies to try to design in that form of AI into the standard search tool for researchers?
Question
We Torreya Guardians, working with endangered Florida Torreya trees, are trying to understand differences in success of seeds or seedlings planted in wild forest settings northward in sync with climate change. Specifically, if the evergreen Torreya is planted beneath a pure deciduous canopy (near genera, such as Acer, that utilize the same mycorrhizal group) do the fungi transport sugars to the seedlings/saplings during full-shade summer, and then "value" the sugars produced by the little Torreyas in full-sun late fall and early spring? Note: This question arose for me as I posted my latest video of a site visit in central Ohio onto the Torreya Guardians homepage. The two seedlings in full-shade deciduous are thriving there.
Question
Climate model range maps (USFS Moscow ID) show that Alligator Juniper (whose northernmost range is n. New Mexico) will prove less viable there by 2030 and have ideal range nearly 200 miles north of its present range. How will it get there? Note: I am the activist who conducted the 2008 "assisted migration" of the endangered Torreya taxifolia conifer tree into the mountains of North Carolina.

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Projects

Projects (11)
Project
This new wikipedia page appeared February 2021. I encountered it in July 2021 and spent about a week adding content and images, while benefiting from the structural organizing and superb content and reference skills of the wiki editors engaged with this new page. Although I had participated in creating an original "assisted migration" wikipedia page in 2007, contributors retitled it "assisted colonization" in 2013. The page, not surprisingly, focused on the complexity and risks of long-distance assisted migration of animals. As my participation in advocacy and on-the-ground implementation is entirely centered on trees, I found the original page no longer helpful — nor representative of most of the actual projects underway, as these pertain to plants. Thus, a stand-alone forestry A.M page gave me an opportunity to apply my knowledge of forestry scholarship and projects in a way that can help others grasp the climate-adaptation awareness and accomplishments of North American forestry scientists and managers. Here is the url for the wiki page, as surely it will continue to be worked on and updated: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assisted_migration_of_forests_in_North_America
Project
Video-documentation in coastal Washington State (Puget Sound) of historic groves of Coast Redwoods, planted horticulturally some thousand kilometers north of native range and now thriving and naturalizing seeds and seedlings into adjacent regrowth wild forest. Sites documented thus far are "Seabeck Conference Center" (on Kitsap Peninsula) and "Hutt Park" (north of Seattle). Access all 8 episodes of video-documentation at: http://thegreatstory.org/climate-trees-legacy.html#redwood