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.
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.
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
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.
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 (email@example.com) if you have any food sensitivities – chocolates will be used for an activity.
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!!
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.