Biology (Botany Concentration)
The Miller Welch-Central Kentucky Wildlife Management Area (CKWMA) in Madison County, Kentucky, is 747.5 ha (1847 acres) with roughly 60% open land and 40% forested with scattered streams and ponds (Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources). The CKWMA is in the Outer Bluegrass physiographic region and is a popular resource for shooting sports, hunting, hiking, bird dog training, and many other outdoor recreational activities. A survey of the vascular flora is being conducted to document the plant biodiversity in the area. Over 600 collections were made during the 2019 growing season including the charismatic Monotropa uniflora (L.) (Ghost Pipe), which is only the third documented occurrence of this species within a very heavily collected county. Surveying will be continued into the 2020 growing season to find species overlooked in the previous year. After being identified, mounted, databased, and imaged, all specimens will be deposited in the Ronald L. Jones Herbarium at Eastern Kentucky University. Once the floristic survey is finished, the results will be distributed back to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife for assistance in land management. With increasing rates of loss in biodiversity throughout Kentucky and the temperate zone, cataloging of our natural world is needed to monitor changes in plant diversity.