VMN CE webinar: Building Cultural Competence

Thursday, 25 July  2019
12:00 pm
Meeting Number: 908-683-587
Link to Join: Join Webinar
Link for recordings of this and past webinars:
VMN Continuing Education Webinar page

This workshop will take an active, participatory approach to building cultural competence. As we walk through the world, our own bias can effect how we interact with people and places. By recognizing our identity, we can increase our ability to create welcoming environments to serve our stakeholders. Building cultural competence can help attract and retain youth and participants from diverse audiences and encourage the Virginia Master Naturalists to expand capacity in their volunteer network to continue managing natural resources and natural areas in their communities.

Dr. Tiffany Drape is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education at Virginia Tech. She conducts research and teaches about program planning and evaluation.

Chesapeake Bay Ecology trip, August 17-18, 2019

Calvert County, MD
Saturday, August 17, 9:30 a.m.
Sunday, August 18, 11:00 a.m.

Fee: $95 Audubon Society of Northern Virginia members, $115 non-members, includes guided tour of Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, lunch on Saturday, admission at the Calvert Marine Museum, and a two-hour private charter on the Dee of St. Mary’s.

Group Limit: 15 participants.

The group will explore Calvert County, MD. They’ll meet at 9:30 a.m. at Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, where they’ll explore one of the northernmost naturally occurring bald cypress stands in North America. Then they’ll head to Solomon’s Island for a guided tour of the Calvert Marine Museum and private charter on the Dee of St. Mary’s, one of the few remaining skipjacks on the Chesapeake Bay. We finish our visit with an early Sunday morning visit to Calvert Cliffs State Park (state park fee $7/car), the site of astonishing quantities of prehistoric marine fossils. Although Calvert County is close by, it still seems remote and is a treasure to visit.

The Chesapeake Bay provides the ecological, cultural and historic foundation of our region. To understand the bay, its seasonal narration, complex history, and stewardship needs each of us should be grounded in this place. For over 150 years, our stewardship of the bay region has been disrespectful to the complex natural systems. Water quality, indigenous species, and even people living around the bay have suffered from the impacts of mistreatment. With increased public awareness, public policy has slowly changed, and some progress has been made. Join Dr. Tom Wood on this experiential learning weekend to explore this national treasure.

Dr. Wood is an Associate Professor of Integrative and Interdisciplinary Studies in the School of Integrative Studies at George Mason University. He conducted his doctoral research at the Smithsonian and helped create the Smithsonian-Mason Semester and directed the development of Mason’s joint program with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

Hotel Reservations: A block of rooms has been reserved at the Holiday Inn Solomon’s Conference Center and Marina at a rate of $109 (not included with fee.) Please make your reservation no later than July 26. Group rate code will be included in the confirmation email sent from EventBee.

Register here.

VMN CE webinar: Wilderness Preparation and Safety, July 16th

Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Meeting Number: 849-499-650
Link to Join: Join Webinar
Link for recordings of this and past webinars: VMN Continuing Education Webinar Page

Have you led a community group on a wildflower walk in the woods, either on trail or off? Hiked off-trail to retrieve a wildlife camera? Been to a remote corner of your county for a bird or frog survey? Some naturalists spend a lot of time outdoors, occasionally in remote places. Whenever you are going into the field, no matter how short or long of a distance, it’s important to plan ahead and prepare to help you and everyone in your group stay safe. In this session, you’ll learn from an expert about how to plan ahead for your field experiences, as well as what safety-related items to carry with you. While this session won’t substitute for an in-person first aid class, it will help you think through likely risks you might encounter in the field and how to prepare for them.

The presenter is Matt Rosefsky,a certified Wilderness EMT and Geo Medic. He has been a wilderness medicine instructor for MEDIC SOLO Disaster + Wilderness Medical School since 2007, teaching more than 200 courses and more than 3,000 students. He is a volunteer with Blue Ridge Mountain Rescue Group and the Medical Reserve Corps. Over 19 years he has led hundreds of outdoor adventures through groups such as Outdoors at UVA, the Sierra Club, and the Outdoor Adventure Social Club. Backpacking is Matt’s favorite outdoor activity.

Smithsonian Gardens presents Habitat

HABITAT is a two-year Smithsonian-wide exhibition exploring one big idea: Protecting habitats protects life.

Here are the 14 exhibits:

  1. Sheltering Branches
  2. Life Underground
  3. Dead Wood Is Life
  4. We Need You!
  5. Nests
  6. Bug B&B
  7. Biomes: Life in the Balance
  8. Key to the Forest
  9. Sign of the Dragonfly
  10. Foundation of the Sea
  11. Homes
  12. Monarchs on the Move
  13. Habitat of Flight
  14. Native Landscape

Learn more


Service opportunities with Plant NOVA Natives

Photo by Barbara J. Saffir

“Art Director” needed – Some concepts are expressed better with art than with photos or words. If you would like to coordinate the work of artists who might enjoy donating artistic interpretations for the PNN website and other purposes of things like  “Baby birds need insects, and insects need native plants,” email plantnovanatives@gmail.com.

A second website manager needed – The work is light, but it is good to have more than one person doing updates to the PNN website.

Know of any good lawn and garden maintenance companies? PNN would like to compile a list of vendors that have experience in maintaining native plantings and/or environmentally friendly landscapes. Email your recommendations to plantnovanatives@gmail.com. PNN will then email the companies and ask them if they would like to self-identify as ones that have that kind of experience.

Help label plants at garden centers – There are now 16 garden centers where we are putting red stickers on the Virginia native plants. PNN needs more volunteers at several of those nurseries (particularly Lake Ridge Nursery in Dumfries, Merrifield Fair Oaks and Burke Nursery, but there are others as well). It is a great way to get to know your native plants, and very fun as well! PNN tries to have someone visit each nursery a couple times a month and to have at least two volunteers at each place. They also need help approaching garden centers that are not yet participating.

Another volunteer opportunity – Sept 29: NatureFest, Herndon. Sign up here.

Next Steering Committee meeting – All are welcome! The next meeting is scheduled for August 13 at 10:30 am, but please always check the Event Calendar in case there is a change.

Raptors of the East Coast Region presentation Sept. 26th

National Wildlife Federation
11100 Wildlife Center Drive, Reston 20190
Thursday, 26 September 2019
7 – 9 pm

Field Trip:
Waggoner’s Gap (At top of Kittatinny Ridge, near Carlisle, PA)
Saturday, 28 September 28 2019
9:30 a.m.

Fee: $50 ASNV members, $60 non-members

Join the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia for Stacia Novy’s presentation on birds-of-prey. She will discuss flight characteristics, identification and migration patterns, focusing on raptor species of the East Coast region. The presentation will be followed by a field trip for a day of hawk watching. You’ll apply knowledge learned in the workshop by observing kettles of Broad-winged Hawks, falcons, and other migrant raptors making their way south for the winter.

Stacia Novy has been involved with wildlife conservation projects for over 30 years, specializing in birds. She is on the Board of Directors for Save the Prairie Society, an organization that saved Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve from urban development in Westchester, Illinois. She has conducted avian surveys for Wolf Road Prairie, the Audubon Center at Riverlands, Missouri, and the USDA Henry White Experimental Farm. She collected nesting data on Elf Owls, Gilded Flickers, and Yellow-billed Cuckoos for Tucson Audubon Society and Sonoran Audubon Society to establish Important Bird Areas (IBAs) for those species in Arizona. Stacia has also worked with Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge biologists to band birds, radio-track ocelots, and conduct nocturnal surveys of mammals. In Texas and Belize, she assisted in releasing endangered Aplomado Falcons and Orange-breasted Falcons for The Peregrine Fund.

Register here.

Butterflies and dragonflies at Walker Nature Center, July 18, 20, 25, 27

Butterfly Class: An Introduction

July 18
7:00-8:30 PM
Reston, VA Vernon Walker Nature Center
Butterfly count July 20

Discover the colorful and diverse lives of Reston’s “flying flowers.” Learn how to identify Reston’s common butterflies and get a basic introduction to their life history. This class is a great way to prepare for the Reston Butterfly Count.

Register by July 15. Free for participants in July 20 count, otherwise $5. (Click on Nature, then scroll down for Walker Nature Center and scroll to Wildlife Counts and Classes.)

Dragonfly Class: An Introduction

July 25
7:00-8:30 PM

Reston, VA Vernon Walker Nature Center
Dragonfly count July 27

Discover the fast and fascinating lives of Reston’s “flying dragons.” Learn basic identification, natural history and conservation of local dragonflies. Learn to identify Reston’s common dragonflies and get a basic introduction to their bizarre behavior and complex history.

Register by July 22. Free for participants in the July 27 count. (Click on Nature, then scroll down for Walker Nature Center and scroll to Wildlife Counts and Classes.)


Project Confluence Webinar, July 23

Do you want to know what engineering and scientific skills and resources are ready to be mobilized in service of communities? Are you curious about the kinds of incentives and barriers that might exist to collaborative work with communities? Are you interested in learning about how engineers and scientists value collaborations with communities?

Tune into Project Confluence Webinar 2 on July 23rd, 2019 at 11am PT/2pm ET held by re-Engineered at Arizona State University to hear more about our research findings from a national survey of engineers and scientists interested in communitybased work (Project Confluence) and find out how to get involved. This webinar is meant for anyone—including working professionals, community leaders, government officials, students, and academics—who cares about promoting engineering and science that serves public need.

This is the second in a series of webinars re-Engineered will host that aim to highlight opportunities for collaboration between community groups, engineers, and scientists to address environmental, climate, and energy concerns. You can view our first webinar here: https://www.reengineered.org/projectconfluencewebinar

DATE: July 23rd, 2019 (Tuesday)

TIME: 2pm Eastern / 11am Pacific

DURATION: 1 hour

REGISTER HERE: https://asu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_3nrMTIxWSF650vqbQ99prQ

A recording of the webinar will be made available at reengineered.org/projectconfluence within 24 hours in case you cannot make the live webinar.

ABOUT US: We are a group of interdisciplinary researchers (engineers, planners, and social scientists) at Arizona State University focused on building the technical capacity of environmental, climate, and energy justice groups across the US. As a first step in our work, we are talking to communities to see what technical resources are needed to meet their goals. You can find out more about our work at reengineered.org.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED: If you are a community group or non-profit, engineer or scientist, that wants to get involved with Project Confluence, please reach out to us! You can contact us with any questions, comments, or ideas at darshan.karwat@asu.edu (re-Engineered’s lead), anthony.levenda@asu.edu (post-doctoral fellow), or reengineeredlab@gmail.com (re-Engineered’s group email). You can also follow us on Twitter @reengineeredlab.

(If you belong to FMN and want credit, be sure to add this project to the CE calendar)

Join bioblitz at Oxbow Farm, near Front Royal, July 14

Joe Guthrie of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute invites you to a citizen science volunteer opportunity (Service Code C200). On Sunday, July 14th 2019 VWL and their partners at The Clifton Institute (www.cliftoninstitute.org) are co-hosting a BioBlitz at Oxbow Farm in Warren County, near Front Royal (What’s a BioBlitz? See here)

The Oxbow Farm BioBlitz will be limited to 30 participants, including staff from VWL and Clifton. To ensure a spot at this one-time event, register by using the following link (scroll to the bottom of the linked page and look for the REGISTER icon; select “1” and leave the registration fee at 0.00, then click “Submit”): https://bit.ly/2xijEhK


The draft schedule is as follows:

6:30-9:30 AM: Bird walk

10:00 AM-12:00 PM: Reptile and amphibian walk

3:00-4:00 PM: Flying insects walk

4:00-5:00 PM: Terrestrial arthropod walk (turning over logs and rocks)

3:00-5:00 PM: Fungi walk

3:00-6:00 PM: Plants & wildflower walk

8:30-10:00 PM: Night creatures (insects at black lights, reptiles and amphibians)


We will use the popular iNaturalist platform/app to collect, review and document everything we find during the BioBlitz.

If this interests you, please sign up by registering at the link above. If you have questions, please email azak@cliftoninstitute.org (cc-ed above) and Joe Guthrie (GuthrieJ@si.edu). Some of you may have visited Oxbow in the past and know how special it is. For those of you who’ve not seen Oxbow, here’s an opportunity.

99th Green Breakfast, July 13th

Brion’s Grille
10621 Braddock Rd, Fairfax, VA 22032
Saturday, 13 July 2019
Breakfast begins at 8:30 am
$10 at the door, cash preferred
No prior registration required.

A Look Back: 20 Years with the Soil and Water Conservation District
Asad Rouhi, Ph.D.
Urban Conservation Engineer, Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District

As he ends his tenure with the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District and looks forward to retirement at the end of July, Dr. Rouhi joins us to share his wit and wisdom after more than 20 years of service with the district.

Breakfast includes an all-you-can eat hot buffet with fresh fruit and coffee, tea, orange juice or water. No prior registration required. If you have any questions, please contact the Northern Virginia Soil and Water at conservationdistrict@fairfaxcounty.gov.