Help with the Arlington Bioblitz, September 15th

Glencarlyn Picnic Pavillion #1, 401 S. Harrison St., Arlington VA

Saturday, September 15th

9 am – 4 pm

Celebrate Arlington’s biodiversity by helping us conduct a citizen science inventory of plants and wildlife that will help shape the County’s updating of its Natural Resources Management Plan.
Participating in the Bioblitz is a great way to discover and get to know the wildlife and flora of Arlington. We will team participants with experts to help find, identify and catalog plant and animal life, using a free application called iNaturalist. Novices are welcomed. Please let us know if you would like to be a team leader (what’s your expertise?) or participant.
For more information and to register call Alonso Abugattas at 703-228-7742 or email NaturalResources@arlingtonva.us.

Check out a tutorial on how to use iNaturalist, which will be the primary recording tool for this project.

Sign up to help with the event.

Enjoy Runnymede Park NatureFest

Runnymede Park, 195 Herndon Parkway, Herndon VA

Sunday, 23 September 2018

1 – 5 pm

Explore various nature stations throughout the park including butterflies, bees, life in the meadow, web of life, and much more. Live animal shows throughout the day with bats, mammals, raptors, and reptiles. Arts and crafts and fun for the whole family will be included! The event is co-sponsored by The Friends of Runnymede Park and Herndon Parks and Recreation Department. Call if your group would like to volunteer (703-435-6800 ext. 2014). Satellite parking with a passenger van shuttle will be available to and from the Herndon Police Station, 397 Herndon Parkway. Learn more from the Friends of Runnymede Park website. Free event.

NoVA PRISM Restoration Events in Arlington and Falls Church

NoVA PRISM is a collaborative effort by several NGOs, governmental entities, volunteer groups, and Dominion Energy to manage invasive species in the Northern Virginia region. Arlington County is the grant administrator. NoVA PRISM has been developing pilot projects in Northern Virginia on or near the W&OD Trail, and two of them, Isaac Crossman Park in Falls Church and Bluemont Park in Arlington, will involve planting native species this September and October. Organizers will need the assistance of volunteers to complete these planting efforts.
Here are the details for the pilot projects:

Isaac Crossman Park

535 North Van Buren Street, Fall Church VA

Saturday, 22 September and Saturday, 20 October 2018

9 am – 12 noon

Contact: Alex Sanders, novaprism1@gmail.com, (703) 772-7032. Details: At the Van Buren Street entrance, follow the gravel path until you find the booth. For GPS direction purposes, the closest street address to the park is 501 Van Buren Street. Participants will plant grasses, herbaceous species and shrubs in an ongoing effort to restore a riparian forest habitat.

Bluemont Park

601 N Manchester St, Arlington, VA

Saturday, 27 October 2018

9 am – 12 noon

Contact: Alex Sanders, novaprism1@gmail.com, (703) 772-7032.  Participants will plant meadow grasses and herbaceous species.

Volunteers should wear clothing appropriate for the weather.  Please bring water, any personal items that you might need, and lots of energy!

Volunteer for an Animal PJ Party Program

Hidden Oaks Nature Center

7701 Royce Street, Annandale, VA

Saturday, September 8, 2018

6:30-8:15 pm

Assist with a nature program for children and their parents.  Program includes hearing animal bedtime stories, meeting live animals, and wishing goodnight to the center’s live animals.  To volunteer or for more information, contact Suzanne Holland at  suzanne.holland@fairfaxcounty.gov or 703-941-1065.

Master Naturalists, record your service hours as E110: FCPA Nature Programs.  Include the number of participants in the Contacts field.

Volunteer for children’s program at Hidden Oaks, 8 Sept

Hidden Oaks Nature Center needs a naturalist to assist with a program for children and their parents on Saturday, September 8, 6:30-8:15 pm.  Program includes hearing animal bedtime stories, meeting live animals, and wishing goodnight to the center’s live animals.  

To volunteer or for more information, contact:  Suzanne Holland, suzanne.holland@fairfaxcounty.gov or 703-941-1065.

(If you’re recording your service hours, use E110: FCPA Nature Programs. Include the number of attendees in the Contacts field.(

Volunteer with Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture

Ivy Mitchell, the farm education manager for Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture, is seeking master naturalists to to help with their field trips this fall. This project has been approved for volunteer hours as E252: Sustainable Growing Educator.

What it involves: Each field trip begins with a garden tour, in which you can point out parts of the plant and talk about the life cycle of a plant, as well as taste the vegetables. Then each volunteer is assigned to teach one hands-on station, while the groups of children rotate through the four stations. The two stations relating most to our mission is 1) “Pests and pollinators” (bees as pollinators) and 2) “Superb Soil” (about compost), and you can request to be assigned to one of these two stations in order to earn master naturalist volunteer hours. (The topics of the remaining 2 stations are chickens–they help eat some of the garden pests–and healthy vegetables.)

Time: Volunteers generally choose one day of the week to volunteer–Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday–through the season (fall/spring). This fall’s season runs from 27 September – 2 November, or 6 weeks, with training days during the 2 weeks before field trips begin (Thursdays or Fridays). However, scheduling can be flexible, and even if you can only commit to some of the days, Ivy can make it work.

Location: 9000 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, VA. The farm is located on Woodlawn Estate, near Fort Belvoir.

If you’re interested, please contact Ivy Mitchell at fieldtrips@arcadiafood.org

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

Join the Fairfax Master Naturalist chapter workday at Hidden Oaks, September 8!

Hidden Oaks graciously allows Fairfax Master Naturalists to host chapter meetings in their nature center at no cost. Each season, the chapter expresses its appreciation by sponsoring an FMN Chapter Work Day.

Join FMN members as they manage invasives, maintain trails by spreading wood chips, and plant natives in the wildflower garden.

Coffee, juice, and bagels served. Please park at the Packard Center lot. Participants will be meeting at the Native Wildflower Garden. Eligible for service hours (S109).

Saturday, 8 September, 9.00AM-Noon

Questions? Email Bob Dinse or call 201 738-4560

Participate in the 2018 International Coastal Cleanup

The International Coastal Cleanup began more than 30 years ago, when communities rallied together with the common goal of collecting and documenting the trash littering their coastline.   The Friends of Accotink Creek (FACC) will be working to clean up Fairfax County’s waterways as part of this effort.

How can you help? – Join them at one, two, or as many cleanups as you like.

Have friends? – Invite them to join. Spread the word. Your civic association, club, school, business, etc. is welcome to join or share the news in newsletters or websites!

Are you a leader? – Take charge of one or more of the cleanup sites, by registering and directing volunteers.  FACC provide supplies for the day of the cleanup, including trash bags, gloves, and sign-in sheets.

Learn more, see the schedule and register here.

Fall volunteer opportunities at Hidden Oaks Nature Center

Want to share your love of nature with children and families?  Great opportunities are coming up this fall for Master Naturalists and other interested volunteers. Here’s a sampling:

Meaningful Watershed Education Experience, Hidden Oaks, Sept. 26 & 27, 9am-12:24pm; Oct. 2, 3, 4, 5, 17, 18, 24, & 25, 9:15am-12:45pm.  Assist at stations including stream studies, stewardship, benthic macroinvertebrate study or live animal exhibits for 7th grade classes.  Contact Kim Young, kim.young@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Fear-less Fest, Hidden Oaks, Oct. 27, 5:30pm-9:15pm. Join as a trail leader or costumed creature explaining away their scary reputations, or lead a craft.  Light supper provided. Contact Fiona Davies, fiona.davies@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Monarch Tag and Tea, Hidden Oaks, Sept. 9, noon-4pm.  Assist with crafts and monarch butterfly tagging.  Can do part of presentation, if desired. Contact Fiona Davies, fiona.davies@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Nature Playce Celebration, Hidden Oaks, Sept. 29, noon-5pm.  Hidden Oaks celebrates outdoor play and environmental stewardship at the 10th anniversary of Nature Playce and the watershed-friendly parking lot.  Lead a craft or activity station. Can volunteer for a minimum of two hours.  Contact Fiona Davies, fiona.davies@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Plants and Trees for Child Care Professionals, Hidden Oaks, Oct. 13, 7:30am-12:45pm.  Prepare crafts in advance or assist on the day for Office for Children Institute of Early Learning workshop on native plants and trees for up to 50 licensed child care professionals.  Contact Suzanne Holland, suzanne.holland@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Master Naturalists can record hours for the programs above as E110: FCPA Nature Programs.

Find more opportunities by contacting a Fairfax County nature center or park near you.  Hidden Oaks, Huntley Meadows, Riverbend, Ellanor C. Lawrence, Frying Pan, Green Spring Gardens, Hidden Pond, and Cub Run RECenter have a wide variety of volunteer needs in nature programs, citizen science and stewardship.