Attend workshop: The future of our forests, 29 September

Join the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal for a series of talks by leading experts on the eastern deciduous forest biome and a tour of SCBI’s research forests. Walter Carson, Ph.D. (University of Pittsburgh), Jenny McGarvey, M.S. (Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay), and Bill McShea, Ph.D (SCBI) will cover topics including deer browse, fire, invasive species, water quality, climate change and more. A detailed agenda and speaker bios are available on our website.

Do not miss the opportunity to learn from and interact with researchers who are investigating the future of our forests. This workshop is free, but registration is required. Space is limited.

Saturday, 29 September 2018
9:00AM – 2:00PM

Doors open at 8:30AM, program begins promptly at 9:00AM. Optional lunch with speakers and attendees from 12:45PM-2:00PM. Lunch not provided but available for purchase (see registration page for details).

Register online or contact Charlotte Lorick (540-635-0038, LorickC@si.edu) for more information and to register by phone.

Late summer wildflower walk at Clifton Institute, 1 September

Asters and agrimony, louseworts and lobelias! Join Clifton Institute Board member Jocelyn Sladen for a delightful walk in search of late season wildflowers in the warm season grass fields and pond edges of Clifton Farm. Waterproof hiking shoes, hats, binoculars, cameras, water bottles, and insect repellent are recommended. RSVP required. Please register here https://cliftoninstitute.org/evrplus_registration/?action=evrplusegister&event_id=43  or by emailing sgarvin@cliftoninstitute.org.

Saturday, 1 September, 10:00am to 12:00pm. Date and time subject to change based on weather.

The walk will be held at the Clifton Institute. The address is 6712 Blantyre Road, Warrenton, VA 20187. From points north (I-66 at Marshall) take US 17 going south for about 7.5 miles and turn left on Blantyre Rd. From the south (Warrenton) take US 17 going north, go 2 miles north of the 17 bypass and turn right on Blantyre Rd. Once you turn on Blantyre, go 1.2 miles to 6712 Blantyre Rd. and turn left into one of our two driveways. The second driveway has a Clifton Institute road sign. Follow the driveway all the way to the pink house (the driveways connect before reach.

Raising monarchs, National Wildlife Federation, 22 September

Monarchs and their amazing migration to Mexico are in peril for many reasons. In this informative session, learn about the monarch life cycle, migration, cycle, how you can attract them to your home garden or favorite public space, and how to raise them to send them on their fall journey. Resources for milkweed and garden design come with the program.

Instructor Georgina Chin is an elementary school teacher with a passion for monarchs and an instructor with Monarch Teacher Network.

National Wildlife Federation

11100 Wildlife Center Drive Reston, VA, 20190

22 September 2018

1:00-3:00 PM

Cost: Audubon Society of Northern Virginia members: $18; Non-members $22

Counts for continuing education credits for FMN members

Green Spring Garden Talk: Planting Trees and Shrubs

In this program at Green Spring Gardens, learn how to select trees and shrubs that thrive in Northern Virginia, and how to handle bareroot, balled, wrapped, and container plants. Receive helpful guidance from Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners on planting, feeding and caring for new trees and shrubs.

4603 Green Spring Rd, Alexandria, VA 22312

28 September 2018

Cost: $10 per person

Register online

For more information, call 703-642-5173

Counts for continuing education credit for FMN members

 

Try your hand at the Smithsonian’s Conservation Discovery Day, 6 October

This one is an awesome twofer: attend to learn (as a high school or college student or as family member, friend, teacher, neighbor…) and get continuing ed credit (Smithsonian Conservation Discover Day). Attend as a volunteer, and get service hours (C-200).

If you want to attend as a learner

Conservation Discovery Day at the Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, includes hands-on activities, research demonstrations, and career panel discussions with conservation biologists, field ecologists, research scientists, veterinarians and animal keepers.

It’s the one day of the year this facility is open to the public, so don’t miss your chance to learn how you can join the conservation ranks and make a difference for wildlife and habitats worldwide!

Purchase a pass for these activities on Saturday, 6 October, 9:00 am-4:00 pm

If you’re willing to volunteer be part of the team delivering a fantastic visitor experience

Lend a hand to SCBI scientists, veterinarians, animal keepers, and researchers as they run their exhibits; or help facilitate hands-on themed games and activities; or  help engage visitors and raise awareness of SCBI’s vital conservation work. Your skills are quite welcome at Conservation Discovery Day. The day runs offers two shifts: 8:30 am-12:30 p.m. and 12:30-4:30 p.m. You can sign up for one or both.

If you are interested in volunteering , please complete the on-line application, https://nationalzoo.vsyslive.com/pages/app:CDD2018 or if you have any questions, please contact Nick Davis, Volunteer Program Specialist, 540-635-0495 or davisnic@si.edu

 

Here are the activities of the day

Big Killers Come in Small Packages

Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) is a leading cause of death in young Asian elephants. The EEHV Lab at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo runs EEHV diagnostics for U.S. zoos and helps develop EEHV testing labs in other countries.

  • Learn about molecular diagnostics of EEHV and check out some elephant poop, teeth and tails
  • Hear how EEHV affects elephant conservation efforts
  • “Diagnose” EEHV in your own elephant

Bird Banding

Experience one of the main methods that Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center scientists use to study birds: bird banding!

  • Learn first-hand how scientists attach bands and what information banding provides
  • Observe wild birds up close
  • Discover how humans influence ecosystems in ways that help and hurt bird populations

Caught on Camera: Wildlife Monitoring Booth

Discover how SCBI researchers use camera traps to monitor wildlife around the world and to address important conservation-related questions.

  • Learn about the exciting camera-trapping projects SCBI scientists are conducting around the world
  • Receive tips and hints for identifying species in camera trap images
  • Participate in eMammal photo identification through Zooniverse, an online resource where anyone can be a researcher

Cheetah Conservation

SCBI scientists study cheetahs living in managed collections in human care to better understand cheetah biology.

  • Find out how much scientists can learn from cheetah poop! They use it to study all types of biology, including reproductive hormones, pregnancy and gut health.
  • Cheetah matchmaking — discover what goes into creating the perfect cheetah breeding pair.

The Doctor Is In: Veterinarians and Conservation Health

Meet the veterinary staff who are committed to saving species at SCBI and beyond!

  • Learn how veterinarians at SCBI care for more than 20 different species.
  • Go behind the scenes at the vet hospital to see where and how SCBI veterinarians and vet technicians help animals.

Dynamite DNA: What Animals’ Genomes Tell Us

For more than 20 years, the Smithsonian’s Center for Conservation Genomics has helped elusive and endangered species like tigers, Asian and African elephants, San Joaquin kit foxes and maned wolves by studying their genomes.

  • Learn how an animal’s genomes can help scientists identify appropriate conservation methods, while providing data on an animal’s sex, mating patterns and relationships.
  • Get the chance to “perform” a DNA extraction and test.
  • Participate in interactive demos and discussions with scientists.

Please note: This is a timed tour with limited space. Registration at the information desk on the day of the event is required. Space is limited and is first come, first served.

Freezing for the Future: Smithsonian Frozen Collections

Scientists working with the Smithsonian’s cryo-collections have the COOLest job!

  • Find out what cryopreservation is and how it’s saving species.
  • Participate in games and interact with scientists to learn what and why these scientists freeze and how they reanimate living cells.

GIS Lab: Wildlife Tracking & Forest Mapping

SCBI researchers and scientists use geographic information systems (GIS) mapping to monitor animal movement and quantitatively map habitat using satellite technology.

  • Try your hand at a computer-based exercise of forest mapping using satellite images.
  • Borrow one of the lab’s GPS devices to go on a scavenger hunt in the field.

Global Canid Conservation

SCBI scientists and researchers use multidisciplinary approach ranging from reproductive technologies to field conservation to solve conservation issues of threatened and endangered canids around the world.

  • Discover the world of canids. How many are wild canids? Where are they? Why are maned wolves so unique?
  • Learn how to grow eggs in the lab and how an animal’s gut microbial community can impact overall health.
  • Explore SCBI’s tracking techniques for dholes in Thailand.

Kiwi Conservation

Brown kiwi, flightless nocturnal birds, are native to New Zealand and are endangered due to nonnative predators introduced by humans. In 1975, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo became the first organization to hatch a brown kiwi outside of New Zealand. SCBI has hatched six kiwi eggs since 2012.

  • See life-size models of kiwi adults and chicks, as well as a kiwi skeleton with an egg.
  • Watch videos of various kiwi research, kiwi in the wild and kiwi hatching.

Life in the Forest

Did you know that the Smithsonian leads a global forest monitoring network, is the leader in camera-trap monitoring wildlife and is part of the National Ecological Observatory Network? Learn how SCBI and NEON scientists measure trees, study animals and assess the health of forests and freshwater ecosystems in Virginia and around the world.

  • Visit SCBI’s forest plot to learn about forest research here and around the world.
  • See how wildlife cameras work.
  • Learn how NEON measures stream biodiversity.

Please Note: This is a timed tour with limited space. Registration at the information desk on the day of the event will be required. Space is limited and is first come, first served. This tour is only accessible by shuttle and involves walking through a forest with uneven terrain in thick vegetation. Closed-toed shoes are required for this tour; tennis shoes or hiking shoes are recommended.

One Health: Humans and Wildlife

The Global Health Program employs wildlife veterinarians, pathologists, biologists, researchers and technicians to address wildlife health concerns, investigate diseases that can infect both humans and animals, and conduct international training programs. GHP has projects around the world and is dedicated to global wildlife health and conservation.

  • Field Scientist #Selfie Booth: Dress as a field scientist and snap a selfie! Pose with an array of props, including headlamps, traps, protective equipment and gear, nets and (pretend) bat patients.
  • Tools of the Trade: See some of the equipment used by wildlife and research veterinarians, including field anesthesia, darting equipment, diagnostics and more. Meet real field veterinarians and learn about their international projects and what it takes to be a wildlife veterinarian.
  • Suit Up! PPE Race: When working with infectious organisms, it pays to keep yourself safe! See the gear that scientists in the field use to protect themselves from pathogens like bacteria and viruses. Race your friends to see who can suit up the quickest!
  • Pole-darting Practice: Discover how research veterinarians immobilize wild patients, and practice your aim!
  • What’s Your Diagnosis? Learn about some of the most pressing infectious diseases affecting wildlife species around the globe. Answer questions correctly to earn some prizes!

Remount History: Photos and Artifacts

How did Remount Road get its name? Where is the recognized birthplace of America’s K-9 Corps? Discover the inspirational and unique 100-year history of the land that is now home to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

  • Hear fascinating stories about this Front Royal property from the early 1900s through the Cold War.
  • View rare period photographs and historical artifacts.

Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation: Help Save the Planet!

The Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation offers interdisciplinary programs in conservation biology for undergraduate and graduate students and professionals.

  • Learn how SMSC students play an active role in sustaining biodiversity and promoting conservation.
  • Learn about and participate in radio telemetry practice, insect specimen prep, native bee habitat construction and a GPS/orienteering scavenger hunt.

Please note: These are timed presentations with limited space. Registration at the information desk is required. Space is limited and is first come, first served. Each presentation lasts 30-45 minutes and university representatives will be answering questions between sessions.

Wildlife Endocrinology: Unlocking Animal Hormones

The Endocrinology Research Laboratory at SCBI is the oldest and largest wildlife endocrinology lab in the world.

  • Learn about endocrinology and how it can be a useful tool in wildlife conservation.
  • Discover how scientists study hormones of different species to help evaluate the health and breeding window of an animal.

Directions to SCBI

Learn how native plants support wildlife, September 12th

Join the Friends of Dyke Marsh to hear Dr. Desiree Narango speak about her research on how residential landscapes influence biodiversity.

Common yellow throat

The talk will focus on her research comparing how well native and nonnative trees provide food for insect-eating Carolina chickadees.  She will share results from her work that can help you choose trees and shrubs that will support habitat for birds and other backyard wildlife.  She is a postdoctoral researcher at University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The program is sponsored by the Friends of Dyke Marsh and co-sponsored by Plant NOVA Natives, the Northern Virginia Bird Club, and the Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society.

Huntley Meadows Park Visitor Center, 3701 Lockheed Boulevard, Alexandria VA

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

7:30 pm

 

 

Watch August VMN Continuing Ed webinar: Forest Health in Virginia, 16 August

Access for streaming the 2018 Virginia Master Naturalist videos is now available. Michelle Prysby will restore access to earlier videos, starting with 2017, later this month.

To watch any of the 2018 videos now and the earlier videos later in August, see VMN’s Continuing Education web page.

The August webinar will be on Forest Health in Virginia, with Virginia Department of Forestry’s Forest Health Manager, Lori Chamberlin.  It will take place Thursday, 16 August, at noon. 

For master naturalists, watching the VMN webinars counts toward continuing ed credits.

Learn about dragonflies in Reston, 26 & 28 July

Dragonflies are fascinating and colorful insects with bizarre behavior.  An educational program on dragonflies will be offered in Reston on July 26 and 28, 2018.  The program consists of a class on the biology, conservation, and identification of local dragonflies followed by an opportunity to observe dragonflies in the field.   The class will be taught on Thursday, 26 July 2018 by Ken Rosenthal, Park Naturalist, Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation, Gulf Branch Nature Center, and Don Coram, Fairfax Master Naturalist, Class of Fall 2016.  The field observations will be held on Saturday, 28 July 2018, going out from the Walker Nature Center.  A dozen or more different dragonflies may be observed.  The class and field observation are free if you do both; the class is $5.00 if you just take the class.  To register, sign up on the Reston website, www.restonwebtrac.org, or call the Nature Center, 703-435-6530.

Walker Nature Center

11450 State Rte 4721, Reston, VA 20191

Class:  Thursday, 26 July 2018

7-8:30 pm

Field observations:  Saturday, 28 July 2018

9:45 am-1 pm

 

Join Dragonfly Workshop at Clifton Institute, 11 August

On Saturday, August 11, 1:00PM-4:00PM, join Dr. Steve Roble, zoologist with the Virginia Division of Natural Heritage, for a program on dragonfly and damselfly biology and identification. Dragonflies are some of the most mysterious and beautiful animals that live at the Clifton Institute. And northern Virginia is a hotspot of dragonfly diversity, with at least 65 species present.

Steve Roble is a leading expert on the dragonflies and damselflies of Virginia. He will present on the fascinating biology of these insects and then we will explore the field station in search of dragonflies. We will visit lakes, streams, and fish-free vernal pools, each of which host distinct dragonfly communities. So far we have observed 34 species of dragonflies and 14 damselflies at Clifton.

Clifton Institute has a project on iNaturalist to host your observations.

Come help us add to the list! To RSVP please email Bert Harris at bharris@cliftoninstitute.org.

Professional development courses for teachers from Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Join the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for a five-day summer professional learning adventure on the Bay or one of its tributaries. More than 30 courses are offered that will explore the mountains of Virginia, the rivers of Pennsylvania, the islands of the Bay, and many places in between. Learn how to integrate the environment into your classroom and to help your students achieve environmental literacy success.

Learn more