2013 Virginia Master Naturalist Statewide Volunteer Conference and Training

Glen Allen, Virginia
Friday, October 18, 2013
Welcome to the 2013 Virginia Master Naturalist
Statewide Volunteer Conference and Training
 Web Site!

Conference Agenda Overview

Friday, October 18

8:00 am - 5:00 pm   Various optional pre-conference field trips (locations vary)
NOTE: Some field trips are NOT in the Richmond area.

ALL SESSIONS beginning Friday afternoon, going thru Saturday night will be at Wyndham Virginia Crossings Hotel & Conference Center

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm   Conference and Photo Contest check-in, Chapter display set up
5:15 pm - 6:15 pm   General Session, Needs Assessment Presentation
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm   Dinner
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm   Mix-and-Mingle, Chapter Share Fair, viewing of photography contest submissions

Saturday, October 19

 
  8:00 am - 9:00 am    Conference Registration*+
  9:00 am - 12:00 pm  Morning concurrent sessions*+
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm    Lunch*+
  1:30 pm - 4:30 pm    Afternoon concurrent sessions*+
  5:00 pm - 6:00 pm    Pre-Dinner Reception*
  6:00 pm - 8:00 pm    Dinner with Keynote Speaker, Dr. Caren Cooper*
  8:00 pm - 10:00 pm  Band, the Bee Flats*

Sunday, October 20

8:00 am - 12:00 pm Concurrent field sessions at Pocahontas State Park. Start and end times vary.

*Agenda item is included in the "Saturday Training with Keynote Dinner" registration option
+Agenda item is included in the "Saturday Training only" registration option.
You may choose from these registration types.:




Full Conference
Friday Optional Pre-conference Field Trips  (details)
There are 8 choices of concurrent pre-conference sessions.  They vary in times and locations.  We are not providing transportation to these sessions.  The meeting location is listed in the session description, and we will have directions to all locations posted online in September.


Friday Pre-Conference Field Trips  
Add to calendarFriday, October 18, 2013 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM (Eastern Time)

Field Trip to the VCU Rice Center  (details)
NOTE: This session will be at the VCU Rice Center in Charles City, VA.  

Join us for a visit to VCU’s education and research facility on the James River in Charles City County. Tour our LEED Platinum Education Building, see our emerging 70 acre tidal freshwater wetland, and learn about projects involving Master Naturalist chapters from around the region. The tour will involve a moderate amount of walking outdoors and a steep down and back road walk to visit our river pier.

This session will meet at 10:00am at the VCU Rice Center, 3701 John Tyler Memorial Highway, Charles City, VA. Please check directions from your location on Google Maps or another mapping program.
Lunch is not provided so please bring a sack lunch.

Instructor Anne Wright is Virginia Commonwealth University’s Coordinator of Life Sciences Outreach Education. She develops environmental outreach programs and research based investigations for VCU’s Life Sciences and the Inger and Walter Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences.

 

Add to calendarFriday, October 18, 2013 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: VCU Rice Center
$5.00

Conservation Landscaping Field Trip  (details)

Do you know the “8 Essential Elements” of Conservation Landscaping?  Join us for this tour of conservation practices in the Richmond area that illustrate successful methods for managing stormwater and improving habitat in an urban/suburban setting.  The purpose of the trip is to increase your knowledge about conservation “in action,” with particular emphasis on the use of native plants in the landscape, in order to better inform your own presentations to the public.  Plan to bring your camera and take pictures of examples to use in your PowerPoints! We expect to visit at least 3 sites to see a few of the following practices, in some combination:  green roof; permeable paving; rain garden or bio-retention area; native plant meadow; and/or stream restoration. [Specific sites and guest speakers to be determined; please note that plans may not be finalized until Oct. 4.] 

Transportation in vans will be provided, and we kindly ask that you do not plan to drive your own car.  There should be ample parking at DGIF in the morning to leave your car, no charge.  LUNCH will be provided as well.  Primary activity on the tour will be a lot of standing, and getting in and out of the vans.

Program starts promptly at 9:00 a.m. at the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Headquarters (4010 W. Broad St., Richmond 23230), and ends at 2:30 p.m..  Since the field trip is on a weekday, please allow extra driving time in the morning for commuter traffic, so you can arrive before 9:00 a.m.   (After the field trip concludes, it will take you about 20-30 minutes to get to the Wyndham from DGIF.)    

Instructor Carol Heiser is Manager of the Education Section and the Habitat Education Program Coordinator at the VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, where she has worked since 1993.  Her background includes a B.S. in Forestry and Wildlife from Virginia Tech and a Certificate of Landscape Design from George Washington University.  Prior to DGIF, she was a Conservation Specialist for the John Marshall Soil and Water Conservation District and a Naturalist for Fauquier County Parks and Recreation.

Add to calendarFriday, October 18, 2013 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: DGIF Headquarters, Richmond VA
$5.00

Tour of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden  (details)
Enjoy an easy to moderate walk through one of the most-visited attractions in the Richmond area, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Explore the Children’s Garden discovering how we use plants, programs, and outdoor spaces to connect our youngest visitors in a significant way to the natural world around them. We will then meet Community Kitchen Garden Coordinator, Brian Vick, who will demonstrate sustainable agricultural practices used by his teams of volunteers to produce over 10,000 pounds of food donated each year to Richmond FeedMore.

This session meets at the Robins Visitor Center in the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Avenue, Richmond, VA  23228.  Please check Google Maps or another mapping program for directions from your location. Dress for outdoor walking.

Instructor Kristi Orcutt joined Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden as Children’s Garden Program Developer in 2011 to develop outdoor, garden-based educational opportunities for children grades K-12. Kristi offers Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers to encourage them to use their schoolyards for Inquiry-based Ecology Education. Kristi teaches Sustainable Landscaping and Beekeeping at the Garden.

Instructor Brian Vick joined Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden 3 years ago as the Community Kitchen Garden Coordinator after a 30-year career in financial services.  Brian has BFA in communications and an MBA in arts & design. Both instructors are Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association certified horticulturalists.

 

 

 

 

 

Add to calendarFriday, October 18, 2013 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM (Eastern Time)
Location: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond VA
$16.00

Interpretation of Wildlife at Maymont  (details)

Maymont's Environmental Education staff and volunteers lead a wide variety of activities in the Nature Center and throughout wildlife exhibits and gardens across the 100 acre estate. From wildlife presentations to Frog Watch USA, Maymont’s volunteers have many opportunities to find their niche. The group will explore this unique setting and learn about the many ways we are able to educate our guests about the natural world.

Included is a behind the scenes tour of the Nature Center, a walking tour of the grounds and some of the gardens, a dip netting session in the wetlands creek, and a “show and tell” session with our interpretive materials. There will be some walking on mostly paved trails.

The group will meet in the Nature Center Lobby at Maymont (2201 Shields Lake Drive, Richmond, VA  23220). Individuals can meet at 12:00 for a picnic lunch (please contact Kate Quarles (kquarles@maymont.org) if you would like to order a boxed lunch).

Instructor Kate Quarles is the Manager of Environmental Education at Maymont. She began her EE career after collage graduation in 1999.

Add to calendarFriday, October 18, 2013 12:30 PM - 3:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Maymont Arboretum, Richmond, VA
$10.00

37th Annual Fall Forestry & Wildlife Field Tour - Culpeper County  (details)
This is a field trip with the Virginia Naturally Environmental Education Conference.

NOTE: This field trip is in Culpeper County. Participants of this field trip will NOT be back in Richmond for the opening needs assessment presentation but will be back in time for dinner.

Join woodland owners and others interested in the practice of sustainability as it is applied to forest and wildlife management in historic Culpeper County.  Ride in coach-bus style as we visit 2 private properties, one forest industry tract and a wood processing facility to witness the sights and sounds of forest and natural area stewardship.

This Field Trip is from approximately 8:00am-5:00pm. Exact times and meeting locations will be sent to participants by September. Transportation and lunch are included.

Tour will be led by Adam Downing, Forestry Extension Agent, VCE Northern District. Instructors will be natural resource professionals from Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries, Culpeper Soil & Water Conservation District, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Piedmont Environmental Council and Glatfelter Pulpwood.
Add to calendarFriday, October 18, 2013 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Culpeper County
$45.00

History and Nature in One! Ivy Creek Natural Area Tour  (details)
This is a joint field trip with the Virginia Naturally Environmental Education Conference.

NOTE: This field trip is at the Ivy Creek Natural area in Charlottesville, VA.

The 215 acre Ivy Creek Natural Area is also an African-American heritage site. Learn how we run a wide variety of nature programs, some cultural programs and integrate the two kinds together when we have time constraints with schoolchildren. All programs both school field trips and adult programs are thematic in scope. We’ll discuss how each program strives to meet the tenets of interpretation as espoused by Freeman Tilden. We will spend a third of our time indoors and the rest on our feet hiking two to three miles of trails discussing the approaches we take at the Ivy Creek Foundation.

This group will meet at 10:30am at the Education Building in the Ivy Creek Natural Area in Charlottesville, VA. The Education Building is a short walk from the parking lot. Their address is: 1780 Earlysville Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903.

Instructor Bruce Gatling-Austin, our Education Programs Coordinator for the last six years runs thematic field trip program for schoolchildren through trained volunteers, trains new volunteers for schoolchildren and for weekend programs. He also manages all other educational programs as well as creates, presents and promotes some of the educational programs himself.
Add to calendarFriday, October 18, 2013 10:30 AM - 3:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Ivy Creek Natural Area, Charlottesville, VA
$10.00

Explore the World of Caves and Karst  (details)

This is a joint field trip with the Virginia Naturally Environmental Education Conference.

NOTE : This field trip is in GROTTOES, VA.  Participants in this field trip will NOT be able to make it back to Richmond for the opening needs assessment presentation but will be back in time for dinner.

In the morning participate in and learn Project Underground activities. The Project Underground program offers an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the unique karst environment (a land area that includes sinkholes, springs, sinking streams and caves). The lessons in the guide can be used to teach citizens of all ages about karst topography and the management needs of the karst resources. Use these materials with students in classrooms and in outreach programs with citizens and agency staff.

In the afternoon participate in a Cave and Sink Hole experience at Grand Caverns, in Grottoes, Virginia. Enjoy a hike up Cave Hill to see the sinkholes and natural cave entrances and then explore the underground in Grand Caverns.

This group will meet at 9:00am at the Town Hall in Grottoes, VA (601 Dogwood Avenue, Grottoes, VA  24441). Please bring your own lunch, snacks and beverage­s for this workshop. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Cave temps are about 58 degrees so you might want a sweater or light jacket.

Instructor Carol Zokaites is an Environmental Education Coordinator in the Va. Dept. of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Carol’s combined passions for caves and science education has led to 16 years of teaching about groundwater and the unique habitats found in karst terrain. With 40 years of caving experience Carol has surveyed miles of cave passage and participated in many bat hibernacula surveys.

Add to calendarFriday, October 18, 2013 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Town Hall, Grottoes, VA
$20.00

Montpelier Working Woods and Landmark Old Growth Forest Walk  (details)

This is a joint field trip with the Virginia Naturally Environmental Education Conference.

Walk through a demonstration of a working forest. See sustainable forestry practices that can be used for a forest landowner in central Virginia. The demonstration forest is about a 1 mile loop adjacent to Montpelier’s old growth landmark forest. The walk will go through a portion of the old growth landmark forest that contains some of the largest Tulip tree’s (Liridondron tulipfera) in the United States, over 130 feet tall.  Learn a bit of the forest history of Montpelier home of the 3rd President, James Madison.

NOTE 1: This group will meet at the Visitors Center on the Montpelier Estate. The Montpelier Estate is located at 11407 Constitution Highway, Montpelier Station, VA  22957 (located on Route 20, four miles south of the town of Orange). Once on the estate follow the signs to the Visitors Center.

NOTE 2: If you would like to tour the Mansion you may purchase tickets separately at the Visitors Center on the Estate. Touring the Mansion is not part of this Working Woods Walk.

Instructor Harry Puffenberger is Vice President of the Central Rappahanock Chapter of VMN since 2007.  He has a degree in Forestry from Virginia Tech. Mr. Puffenberger leads nature hikes in Fredericksburg and surrounding areas for the chapter and co-leads the quarterly public walks in the demonstration forest at Montpelier. He also teaches the dendrology part of the chapter’s initial training to new master naturalists.

Instructors Jane and Harvey Dalton retired in 2010 to Madison County, VA.  They enrolled in the Old Rag Master Naturalist Chapter Class IV, were certified in 2011, and recertified in 2012.  Jane devotes her Master Naturalist hours to monitoring blue bird boxes in Madison County, eradicating invasive plants at Montpelier, participating in the “Reconnect with Nature” project for senior residents at Dogwood Village of Orange County, and, of course, assisting with the Working Woods Walks at Montpelier. 

Everett Millais retired from a career in public administration and land use planning to a small farm in Madison County, VA. He is a certified master naturalist with the Old Rag Master Naturalist Chapter. He enjoys volunteering with Shenandoah National Park, tending a 15 box bluebird trail at a Madison County park, and leading Working Woods Walks and doing battle with invasives at Montpelier.

Add to calendarFriday, October 18, 2013 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Montpelier, Montpelier Station, VA
$5.00

General Session - Needs Assessment Presentation  (details)
Alycia Crall, our new statewide coordinator, will present the general findings from the focus groups, interviews, and surveys she’s conducted with the volunteers, chapter advisors, sponsoring agencies, and partnering organizations of the Virginia Master Naturalist program as part of the program’s needs assessment. 
Add to calendarFriday, October 18, 2013 5:15 PM - 6:15 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Henrico Ballroom, Madison Building

Friday Evening Dinner  (details)
Dinner will be served in The Glen Restaurant located in the Madison Building at the Wyndham Virginia Crossings. Please check this box if you are planning to attend dinner so that we can get an accurate head count. Thank you.
Add to calendarFriday, October 18, 2013 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: The Glen Restaurant, Madison Building
  • Yes
  • No

Chapter Mix and Mingle  (details)
Meet other Virginia Master Naturalists and help us share successes, questions, ideas, and more!  This time will also be an opportunity to view the submissions to the VMN photo contest.
Add to calendarFriday, October 18, 2013 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Terrace, Madison Building

Saturday Morning Session  
Add to calendarSaturday, October 19, 2013 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Wyndham Virginia Crossings Hotel (WVC)

Add to Wish List: Naturalists Guides Gear and Gadgets  (details)

If VMN has made you want to spend more time outdoors and observing nature, THIS is your class! Session covers basic safety measures and gear needed for day hikes and will expand on the use of field guides and keys. Many samples of gadgets, gear and guides will be available. Be forewarned: sessions of this class in the local chapter have caused long letters to Santa and Amazon Wish Lists.

Please email (bowlturner@gmail.com) if you have any food sensitivities – chocolates will be used for an activity.

Instructor(s)
Ron Circe’: Manager of Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, MSc in biology from Texas A&M a VERY long time ago.

Zoe Irwin: Master Naturalist Supreme and aspiring biologist that LOVES bugs!!

Add to calendarSaturday, October 19, 2013 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: King William Room, Jefferson Building

Understanding the Complicated Info on Air Pollution  (details)

One-half of Americans live in bad air; it is a problem we must address. Air pollution is a complex topic, and this session will explain the chemical actions in the atmosphere in simpler terms. The sources of air pollutants in Virginia are covered. The impacts on human health are explained. Good solutions will be offered.

Instructor Richard Groover is a doctoral candidate at George Mason University, the Department of Environmental Science & Policy.  He is a biology professor in the Richmond area.

 


Add to calendarSaturday, October 19, 2013 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Buckingham Room, Jefferson Building

Reaching New Audiences: Practical Strategies for Diversifying Membership and Program Participants  (details)
This session will focus on practical strategies for engaging diverse audiences and volunteers in the VMN program.  The format will be informational and discussion-based.  We will talk about the benefits of reaching outside of our current circles, identify new partnership opportunities, share strategies for effectively working with underrepresented audiences, and provide resources for working with culturally, generationally, economically, and geographically diverse groups.

Instructor Dr. Crystal Tyler-Mackey serves as one of the Community Viability Specialist with Virginia Cooperative Extension.  She earned her Ph.D. in Family Science at the University of Maryland and has provided training and program to adults and teens on issues related to diversity and working with underserved and limited resource audiences.
Add to calendarSaturday, October 19, 2013 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Powhatan Room, Jefferson Building

Build-A-Study from Citizen Science Projects  (details)
Master Naturalists and volunteers are valuable contributors to science through established citizen-science projects. In this workshop, we will brainstorm about how to leverage the infrastructure of established projects to build-your-own research project of interest, without re-inventing the wheel and while still supporting existing projects. We’ll brainstorm research questions and figure out how to answer them. For example, do your allergies peak at the same time that your bluebirds lay their first eggs? Contribute observations to the National Phenology Network and to NestWatch and then combine your data to find out.  Are House Sparrows more likely to take over nest boxes near street lights? Contribute to Globe At Night and NestWatch and then combine your data to find out. (Warning: this workshop will have a bias towards bird studies). By the end of this workshop, I hope you’ll gain the ability to find and formulate questions that interest you, and know how to build-a-study by tapping the data-in & -out resources of established projects.

Instructor Caren Cooper is a research associate at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, blogger at Citizen Sci in the PLOS Blogging Network, guest blogger for Scientific American, and Senior Fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program. She is co-chair of the publications committee of the newly forming Association for Citizen Science. She is co-editor of an upcoming special feature on citizen science in the open-access journal Ecology & Society. She has authored over 35 scientific papers, co-developed software to automate metrics of incubation rhythms, and is co-creator of NestWatch, CamClickr, Celebrate Urban Birds, YardMap©, and the House Sparrow Project. Dr. Cooper can be followed on twitter @CoopSciScoop. She likes to propel herself on one wheel, two wheel, and eight wheel devices.
Add to calendarSaturday, October 19, 2013 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Dinwiddie Room, Jefferson Building

Virginia Needs You! VMNs and Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs)  (details)

Are you interested in the health of our waters and watersheds? Do you have the enthusiasm, energy and interest to lead others, particularly school aged children, in activities that would help them understand their watershed and their impact on our waterways? Come learn about what a MWEE entails, why Virginia needs your help with MWEEs, and participate in some activities that support the three phases of a MWEE: preparation, action and reflection. This session will be a mixture of some listening, small and large group discussion and hands-on/experiential activities. Nothing too strenuous and hopefully we can be outside for at least half the session!

After more than 20 years of teaching middle school science Page Hutchinson realized her passion for the environment, particularly water and watersheds, had to lead her from the classroom to the outdoors. In 2008 she went back to school to get an MS in Ecological Leadership and Environmental Education from Lesley University through a specialized program called the Audubon Expedition Institute. Page currently works for the VA Dept. of Environmental Quality leading the Watershed Educators Institute to train formal and nonformal educators in meaningful watershed educational experiences, and as the state Project WET Coordinator. Personally she gets outside as much as possible to walk, hike, camp, canoe or kayak, and explore. Page says, “Life IS good.”

Add to calendarSaturday, October 19, 2013 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Surry Room, Jefferson Building

Honeybees, The Gateway Bug  (details)
You’ve heard about Colony Collapse Disorder affecting Honeybees. Find out what researchers are discovering about its causes and determine how other species of bees (there are nearly 500 in Virginia) are also affected. Learn about the important role of Honeybees, Bumblebees and other bees in Virginia agriculture and preview several Citizen Science Projects that help to monitor bee populations. Find out what local beekeepers are doing to solve the problem of disappearing bees and consider whether beekeeping is a hobby for you! An observation hive will allow you to safely view the fascinating complex social behavior of Honeybees. Of course, you’ll have an opportunity to sample several types of local honey and other bee products.

Instructor Kristi Orcutt has enjoyed the past 20 years working as a naturalist and outdoor educator at Pocahontas State Park, Rockwood Park, and currently at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Kristi been keeping honeybees for 7 years, co-founded the Rockwood Park Backyard Beekeeping Association, and has mentored dozens of new beekeepers in the Richmond area.
Add to calendarSaturday, October 19, 2013 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: King George Room, Jefferson Building

Saturday Lunch  


Saturday Lunch  (details)
Lunch will be served in The Glen Restaurant located in the Madison Building at the Wyndham Virginia Crossings. Please check this box if you are planning to attend lunch so that we can get an accurate head count. Thank you.
Add to calendarSaturday, October 19, 2013 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: The Glen Restaurant, Monroe Bldg
  • Yes
  • No

Saturday Afternoon Concurrent Sessions  


Saturday Afternoon Concurrent Sessions  
Add to calendarSaturday, October 19, 2013 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Wyndham Virginia Crossings Hotel (WVC)

Change the World: Building Stewardship through Interpretation  (details)
Knowledge of our natural systems is essential to understanding how the world works, and in knowing what role we can play in conservation, preservation and restoration of the environment. Using that knowledge, and inspiring others to think and to care and to do is the ultimate goal of interpretation. As a master naturalist you’ve already experienced a moment that encouraged you to want to save the world. In this session we’ll explore the who, what, when, where and WHY of interpretation, and what it takes to facilitate understanding and a sense of appreciation that can help you lead others to stewardship and advocacy of the Commonwealths amazing resources.

Instructor Christen Miller is the Visitor Experience Manager and oversees both personal and non-personal interpretation and education for the Virginia State Park system. She is an NAI certified interpretive guide, certified ACA canoe instructor with an adaptive paddling endorsement and a Virginia Master Naturalist.
Add to calendarSaturday, October 19, 2013 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Buckingham Room, Jefferson Building

Wasted Light, Stolen Night: an Introduction to Light Pollution  (details)
This presentation provides an overview of light pollution: its causes, consequences, and solutions.  Special attention will be given to the ecological impacts of this most easily preventable and reversible form of habitat destruction and tips for making homes and communities more natural-night friendly. Participants will have the opportunity to win a free set of “Parshield” covers for floodlights.

This session will also include an on-site walking tour of good and bad lighting; an opportunity to discuss and problem-solve your neighborhood lighting issues; tips on how to make a natural night part of your backyard habitat and the giveaway of a set of ParShield floodlight covers and a signed copy of "The End of Night: The search for natural darkness in an age of artificial light" by author and JMU English professor Paul Bogard.

Instructor Laura Greenleaf has been an active member of the Riverine chapter since 2010.  Originally a social worker, she earned a master’s degree in Public Administration and worked for the Virginia League of Conservation Voters before marrying and having her now 5 year old son.  She is a freelance writer and editor.
Add to calendarSaturday, October 19, 2013 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Albemarle Room, Jefferson Building

Sustaining Ecosystems Through Modeling, Online Collaboration, and Adaptive Land Management  (details)
Modeling ecosystems is a powerful tool for discovering how they work. Furthermore, land managers need a thorough understanding of how an ecosystem works in order to be effective land stewards. In this workshop, participants will learn about creating ecosystem models and using that information for Adaptive Land Management, a technique for continually re-evaluating the way an ecosystem is managed. We will also introduce the NSF-funded project supporting this up-and-coming online class for the Master Naturalists. If you have a laptop, please bring it (not required for participating).

Instructor David Mellor is the Citizen Science Project Coordinator for the Virginia Master Naturalists. After working at Rutgers University on fish behavior and student understanding in science, he came to the Master Naturalists on a project that will create an online space for collaborating on local and regional citizen science projects.
Add to calendarSaturday, October 19, 2013 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Powhatan Room, Jefferson Building

Introduction to Camera Trapping and the eMammal Project  (details)

The session will consist of a 40-50 minute presentation on eMammal and benefits of citizen science in camera trapping, a 1 hour seminar on the basics of camera trapping and camera trap study design for occupancy and presence/absence studies, and a 1 hour hands-on workshop on how to set up camera traps.

Participants will learn about eMammal and potential volunteer opportunities and will learn the basics for scientific camera trapping to answer basic questions about what animals are where.  They will also learn how to set camera traps for baited and un-baited sets.

Instructor Tavis Forrester is the current project manager for eMammal and is a Conservation Biologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Center.  He has worked on wildlife and camera trapping projects in California, Oregon, Alaska, and the mid-Atlantic region.

Instructor Megan Baker is a Biological Technician with the eMammal project and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Center.  She has worked on camera trapping projects in Thailand and the mid-Atlantic region.

Add to calendarSaturday, October 19, 2013 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: King William Room, Jefferson Building

Identifying and Monitoring Virginia's Vernal Pools  (details)
This session will introduce an ongoing project to identify and monitor vernal pool habitats on public lands in Virginia. Participants will be introduced to vernal pool ecology, the obligate species found in VA’s pools, and resources to find pools and collect data on them.

Instructor Anne Wright is Virginia Commonwealth University’s Coordinator of Life Sciences Outreach Education. She develops environmental outreach programs and research based investigations for VCU’s Life Sciences and the Inger and Walter Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences.
Add to calendarSaturday, October 19, 2013 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Surry Room, Jefferson Building

DGIF Permits: What You Need to Know  (details)
Overview of what permits are issued by the Department of Game & Inland Fisheries.  Specific information about each permit issued and when you need to have them.

Jim Husband - James is the Fish and Wildlife Information Section/Permits Manager the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries in Richmond, VA.  He has over 25 years experience with information technology, education, criminal justice, and government agencies and institutions.  In his current position, he directs a multidisciplinary team of biologists, GIS, database, application programmers and Permit Specialists within the Wildlife Resource Bureau of the Department.  

Shirl Dressler – Shirl has been with the Department for 14 years, she has been doing permits for 12 of those years.  Shirl issues the Scientific Collection/Salvage/T&E/Bird Banding permits.  She enjoys being a part of the Department’s mission to conserve the wonderful wildlife of the Commonwealth.

Susan Watson - Susan Watson has worked in the Fish and Wildlife Information Services Section at VDGIF for over 12 years.  In her current position, Terrestrial Wildlife Biologist, she reviews data reported via Scientific Collection, Salvage, and Threatened & Endangered Species Permits, as well as use, maintain, and assist in the use of VAFWIS. 

Ed Steinkoenig – Ed has been the supervisor for the permits section since May 2003.

Dianne Waller – Dianne has been with the agency since April, 1978 – 35 years and I have been doing permits since May, 2003.  The type of permits I am responsible for include – Exhibitor, Wildlife Rehabilitator, Falconry, Shooting Preserve, Foxhound Training Preserve to name a few.

Add to calendarSaturday, October 19, 2013 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Dinwiddie Room, Jefferson Building

Amphibians of First Landing Sate Park  (details)

Part 1, Amphibians of First Landing State Park (FLSP), Virginia Beach, VA: This interpretive presentation examines the importance of amphibians as an indicator species. With the aid of movies, sounds, and graphics, participants will imagine life as an American bullfrog.  The training will cover amphibian behaviors, lifecycles, environmental preferences, and breeding practices.  The session will conclude with an audio quiz on amphibian mating calls.

Part 2, A Geographic Information System (GIS) Approach to Amphibian Breeding Pool Prediction in FLSP:  This presentation will discuss the use of advanced technologies for the citizen scientist.  Specifically, it will focus on using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to predict amphibian breeding pool locations.  The session will show how to use elevation and habitat data to develop predictive maps of amphibian behavior.  The training will cover data requirements, computer modeling, and field work.

Instructor Andrew Becker is a member of the Tidewater Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalists.  He completed his study of amphibians in First Landing State Park as part of a Masters degree in Geographic Information Systems for Pennsylvania State University.

Add to calendarSaturday, October 19, 2013 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: King George Room, Jefferson Building

Saturday Evening Activities  


Sunday Concurrent Sessions  


Sunday Morning Sessions  
Add to calendarSunday, October 20, 2013 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Pocahontas State Park

Birding by Canoe  (details)
Note: This session starts at 8:00 am!

Enjoy an early morning birding walk with two local birders and Pocahontas Chapter Master Naturalists, John and Caroline Coe. Meet at the boat dock. Binoculars and field guides are welcome. Canoes and life vests will be provided.

Instructors John and Caroline Coe are experienced birding guides. They are Virginia Master Naturalists with the Pocahontas Chapter.
Add to calendarSunday, October 20, 2013 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM (Eastern Time)
Location: Boat Dock, Pocahontas State Park

Why is This Park Here?  (details)
Enjoy a visit to the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum and guided walk to discover why the park was created and how it provides a natural escape for thousands of people annually.

Instructor Louise Woolard is the park’s Office Administrator and a Virginia Master Naturalist. Lois Moore is the CCC Museum attendant and very knowledgeable guide into the park’s history.
Add to calendarSunday, October 20, 2013 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: CCC Museum, Pocahontas State Park

Pocahontas State Park Service Project  (details)
This volunteer project is to assist park staff in cleaning and beautifying the park by adding native plants to new gardens to add diversity, wildlife habitat and create an aesthetically pleasing natural space as well as restore historical landmarks in the park. This is a great project to pick up a few VMN hours and receive a Stewardship Virginia certificate for participating. Bring gloves and wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.

Andrea Hasenfus is the volunteer coordinator at Pocahontas State Park and a Virginia Master Naturalist.
Add to calendarSunday, October 20, 2013 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Bright Hope Equestrian Center parking area, PSP

Discovering Macroinvertebrates: What can macros tell you about stream health?  (details)
During this outdoor session we’ll study benthic macroinvertebrates and gain a better understanding of their place in stream ecology and what they tell us about stream health. We’ll spend significant time in the stream finding macros then studying them more closely.  Participants should plan on getting wet and most likely dirty. Closed toed shoes are required. Hats, sunscreen and water bottles strongly recommended.

After more than 20 years of teaching middle school science Page Hutchinson realized her passion for the environment, particularly water and watersheds, had to lead her from the classroom to the outdoors. In 2008 she went back to school to get an MS in Ecological Leadership and Environmental Education from Lesley University through a specialized program called the Audubon Expedition Institute. Page currently works for the VA Dept. of Environmental Quality leading the Watershed Educators Institute to train formal and nonformal educators in meaningful watershed educational experiences, and as the state Project WET Coordinator.
Add to calendarSunday, October 20, 2013 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Outside Nature Center, Pocahontas State Park

Herpetology Hunt  (details)

We'll begin in the park's Nature Center with a living introduction to the reptiles & amphibians (herps) of Pocahontas S.P. and how to locate them.  The herp hike that follows will investigate both wetland and upland habitats along the nearby Beaver Lake trail.  In May, 2011, a weekend Virginia Herpetological Society (VHS) survey in the park produced sightings of 37 herp species and nearly 500 individual animals, so we should find a few critters!

Mike Clifford chairs the VHS education committee and is co-author of the book Snakes of Virginia.

Add to calendarSunday, October 20, 2013 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Nature Center, Pocahontas State Park

Rain Gardens: Function and Form  (details)
The Rain Garden field trip will use the recently installed rain garden at Pocahontas State Park as a point of reference for a general discussion of stormwater management and watershed health before a more specific discussion of how rain gardens function.  Participants will learn how rain gardens remove pollutants in stormwater runoff and how they are designed and installed in the landscape.  Specific information regarding soil and planting specifications in addition to sizing criteria will be provided to participants in handouts.  Rain gardens can be an effective and attractive method to reduce pollutant loading to local tributaries while creating habitat for desirable wildlife; come learn how to design and install them in your community!

NOTE: This group will meet at the picnic tables across from the Nature Center in Pocahontas State Park.

Instructor Kip Mumaw is a water resources engineer specializing in natural resource consulting and ecological restoration.  He graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelors in Civil and Environmental Engineering and has post-graduate training from North Carolina State University and the National Conservation Training Center.  His work focuses on best management practices that emulate natural mechanisms to improve water quality.
Add to calendarSunday, October 20, 2013 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Picnic tables across from Nature Center, PSP

Nature Photography  (details)

NOTE: Participants of this session will need to BRING THEIR OWN CAMERA and camera manual.

Have more fun taking better photos is the goal of Bill Fox’s workshop on nature photography. The workshop includes a brief overview of light, elements of exposure, composition and useful field techniques. The emphasis is on useful field techniques (solve lighting and focus field problems) with many illustrative examples from nature and family/everyday photography.

There will be a 20 minute break for participants to experiment by taking photos with their own cameras.The wrap-up will review the SLR camera field settings and techniques that Bill has found to be especially useful for bird photography.  Also some time will be set aside for participants to show and discuss their own photographs; so participants should bring their favorite camera and manual.

In the early 1960s Bill Fox’s dad gave him a camera and some money to go camping in the Rocky Mountains.  Since then he has always had a camera and photographed nature, family events charity/church events, sporting contests and an occasional wedding. His first digital camera was purchased in 2002 and he has done all digital photography since 2005. He has enjoyed the learning workshops offered by Lynda Richardson, author of “Photo Tips” in Virginia Wildlife magazine, which include Flower Photography, Butterflies and Other Cool Bugs and An Introduction to Bird Photography. He is currently a photography coach in the Chesterfield County Communities in Schools program at Chesterfield Community High Schools and is a Virginia Master Naturalist. His photos have been published the Bluebird Society of Virginia newsletter, The Kiwanis magazine and local Richmond newspapers. Some of his photo galleries can be viewed at: foxfinephotography.smugmug.com. Bill and his wife Margi reside in Chester, Virginia.  They have three children and four grandchildren.

Add to calendarSunday, October 20, 2013 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Heritage Center, Pocahontas State Park

Sunday Lunch  


Sunday Lunch  (details)
Boxed lunches will be provided for conference participants. They can be picked up between 12:00-1:00 pm at the Heritage Kitchen Center in Pocahontas State Park. You can eat there or take it for the road. Please check this box if you are planning to pick up a lunch so that we can get an accurate head count. Thank you.
Add to calendarSunday, October 20, 2013 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Location: Pocahontas State Park
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Contact Information

Payment Instructions

  • Payment by credit card is the quickest way to assure that your registration is complete. 

    If you would prefer to pay by check, please send a check made out to "Treasurer, Virginia Tech" to the following address:
    Tiffany Brown
    Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation (MC0324)
    Cheatham Hall, Rm. 319
    310 West Campus Drive
    Blacksburg, VA 24061

    We will send you an email when your check is received.
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