Clifton Institute hikes: Birds and mosses, 27 and 28 October

Photo by Barbara J. Saffir (c)

Fourth Saturday Bird Walk

Saturday, October 27 at 8:00AM

Novice and experienced birders will enjoy these guided 1-2 mile hikes to look for the many species of birds that can be found on the field station. As fall migration proceeds, we’ll see different species of birds every week. Help us find that Bicknell’s Thrush that must be passing through!

Moss Identification and Biology

Sunday, October 28, 2:00PM – 4:00PM

The Clifton Institute is home to a diverse community of mosses and liverworts. Join moss expert Dr. Ralph Pope as we explore the field station and learn about these often overlooked plants. Ralph is the author of Mosses, Liverworts, and Hornworts: A Field Guide to Common Bryophytes of the Northeast and he is an experienced field trip leader. Bring your hand lens!

Walker Nature Center Bird Walk, October 14th

Bright Pond, Bright Pond Lane, Reston VA

Sunday, 14 October 2018

9 am – 12 pm

Learn about local Reston birds during this early morning bird walk. For more information and to see other upcoming Walker Nature Center events, please visit the event calendar. Free event.

Build You Own Tumbling Composter, November 10th

City of Falls Church Community Center

223 Little Falls St.
Falls Church, VA 22046

Saturday, 10 November 2018


Start with a pile of lumber, a recycled pickle barrel, and assorted screws and bolts, but leave with a fully functioning tumbler composter! Staff from the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District and the City of Falls Church will guide you through the construction steps. All lumber will be pre-cut and all tools and materials will be provided. The cost is $80 and registration is limited to 12 people, although you may bring helpers to assist with construction. Please RSVP to Dan Schwartz: or (703) 324-1422.

Write articles for FCPA ResOURces newsletter (yes, for credit)

If you enjoy writing about the natural world, and want to educate and inspire visitors to Fairfax County parks, consider becoming a volunteer journalist. In this capacity, you’ll choose a recreation center or park site and learn as much as you can about it. When you’re ready and the deadlines are within reach, you will write articles for the ResOURces newsletter. (And earn service hours–good deal in the wintertime, especially). Code EO12

Interested? Contact Tammy Schwab

Edible Insects and Human Evolution, at Museum of Natural History

FREE ticketed event

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 
6:45 PM – 8:30 PM 
Ground Floor, National Museum of Natural History
10th St. and Constitution Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20013-7012

In her new book, Edible Insects and Human Evolution, author Julie Lesnik traces evidence that humans have been consuming insects throughout the course of human evolution, and provides a compelling case for why we should bring them back into our staple diets.

Lesnik points out that insects are highly nutritious and a very sustainable protein alternative. She believes that if we accept that edible insects are a part of the human legacy, we may have new conversations about what is good to eat—both in past diets and for the future of food.

Join the Museum of Natural History for a talk by Lesnik, and later, see edible insects from the entomology collection, and chat with scientists Briana Pobiner, a paleoanthropologist whose research centers on the evolution of human diet, and Seán Brady, an expert in bees and wasps and Chair of the Department of Entomology.

Edible Insects and Human Evolution will be available for purchase and signing at the program.

About the Author

Julie Lesnik is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She studies the evolution of human diet with a specific interest in how humans have gathered, farmed, and cooked insects for food. She received a PhD in anthropology and a MS in kinesiology from the University of Michigan in 2011.

What’s in these streams? Come find out!

Ever wonder what’s living in our local streams? Join a stream monitoring team and help gauge local water quality by surveying aquatic organisms living on the stream bottom. Led by certified stream monitors, the teams welcome interested observers and offer an opportunity to explore Northern Virginia’s lovely creeks.

NVSWCD Sugarland Run Stream Monitoring Workshop
When: Saturday, 6 October 2018, 10 am-12:30pm
Where: Sugarland Run Stream Valley Park, Herndon

Registration is required and limited. Register by email to Ashley Palmer at, Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District Conservation Education Specialist.

Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy Stream Monitoring Session
When: Sunday, 7 October 2018, 10:30am-12:30pm
Where: Goose Creek

Limit 7. Registration required. The exact location will be sent to registered participants closer to the date. The rain date for this event is October 14. Contact for registration and questions.

Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy Stream Monitoring Session
When: Sunday, 14 October 2018, 9-11am
Where: Waterford

Limit 7. Registration required. The exact location will be sent to registered participants closer to the date. The rain date for this event is October 21. Contact for registration and questions.

Reston Association Stream Monitoring Workshop
When: Saturday, 20 October 2018, 1-4pm
Where: Reston
Get involved with a small team to collect data and identify insects with the goal of assessing the health of Reston’s stream. Not only do you get to learn about streams, it also provides an opportunity to make new friends. Learn more and register.
Holmes Run Stream Monitoring Session
When: Sunday, 21 October 2018, 9am-12pm
Where: Falls Church
Join a volunteer certified stream monitor as she assesses ecological conditions in streams, based on the presence and abundance of bottom-dwelling invertebrates. Registration is required and limited. Register by email to Valerie Bertha.
Hidden Pond Stream Monitoring Session
When: Saturday, November 3, 9:00am-12:00pm
Where: Springfield
Join a volunteer certified stream monitor as she assesses ecological conditions in streams, based on the presence and abundance of bottom-dwelling invertebrates. Registration is required and limited to 5 registrants. Register by email to Susan Demsko.

Health and Nature Connection Workshop and Conference

Department of Energy and Environment‘s Biophilia Initiative working groups are reconvening after six months of work! At the culminating meeting: The Nature Health Connection: Biophilic Practices for a Healthy, Livable DC members are invited to share their best ideas. Join Biophilic DC and others as we tune into their presentations and participate in a timely discussion for our city.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018
4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
UDC David A. Clarke School of Law

Find out more and RSVP here. Free.

From Cyanobacteria Blooms to Clear Water: The Remarkable Story of the Tidal Potomac River Recovery

Talk by Dr. Christian Jones, Professor and Director, Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center, George Mason University. Part of George Mason University’s “Galileo’s Science Cafe” series of free science lectures open to the public.

25 October 2018
7:00-8:00 pm
Hylton Performing Arts Center, 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, Virginia

Learn more

Wildlife Ecology class

This class runs 2-9 October 2018, 6-8 pm, at Graduate School USA. Cost $365

Course description

Gain an understanding of wildlife techniques and theory, including the basics of life history, identification, population and community ecology, habitat management, and animal behavior. Learn how institutional missions and federal laws influence wildlife and habitat conservation, and how humans affect and are affected by wildlife in rural, suburban, and urban environments of the Mid-Atlantic region. Pressing concerns about invasive species, the effects of climate change on wildlife, and the loss and degradation of habitats will also be discussed.

Previous courses such as Biology for Naturalists (NATH1110E) and Intro. to Ecology (NATH1160E), or equivalent, are recommended. Field Trips: October 20, November 3, and November 17, 2018.

If minimum student enrollment is not reached by one week before the scheduled start date, the course may be canceled.


Designing for Environmental Sustainability and Social Impact

This is an online, self-paced class from +Acumen, taught by MAVA Foundation. It begins 9 October and ends 20 November. The class is free.

Course Description

How do you solve a problem like deforestation? How might you restore a marine ecosystem, while recognizing that the community depends on fishing to survive? When your renewable energy product is no longer wanted, does it end up in a landfill?

The challenges of poverty and environmental conservation are interconnected. This course will introduce mindsets and methodologies to help you promote both environmental sustainability and social impact in your work.

You will discover the dynamics that contribute to complex environmental and social challenges using systems thinking. Then, you will learn about the circular economy and find opportunities to reuse resources and reduce waste. Next, you will explore how behavior change principles can encourage people to act in ways that benefit the planet. Finally, you will make the case for environmental conservation with lessons from the natural capital movement.

The course features insights from Mark Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy; Vien Truong, CEO of Green for All; and Michael Kobori, Vice President of Sustainability for Levi Strauss & Co. It also shares case studies from social entrepreneurs and conservation organizations around the world.

What You’ll Learn

  • Explore opportunities for collaboration between social entrepreneurs and conservation organizations to promote environmental sustainability and social impact
  • Discover mindsets and methodologies for tackling environmental challenges, including systems thinking, circular design, behavior change, and natural capital
  • Understand how to design products and services that contribute to a circular economy, and how to change behavior to conserve biodiversity
  • Make the business case for investing in environmental conservation with lessons from the natural capital movement

This is a hands-on, project-based course for teams or individuals that consists of weekly readings, videos, and workshops. In the first week of the course, you will select an environmental challenge to explore. In each workshop, you will apply the concepts you learned in the reading to propose solutions to the environmental challenge.

More Questions

Please visit our +Acumen Page for more information.

Is This Course for You?

  • You are a social entrepreneur who wants to design solutions that create social impact and promote environmental sustainability.
  • You are a conservation specialist who wants to apply entrepreneurial methodologies to environmental challenges.
  • You are an innovator in a company or corporation who wants to make the business case for investing in conservation.