Review aquatic ecology publications for VMN

Virginia Cooperative Extension has a 2009 publication series set to expire, “Sustaining America’s Aquatic Biodiversity”. VMN uses publications in this series as part of the VMN curriculum, particularly for the Aquatic Ecology and Management topic. To renew these publications so that they do not expire, they need to review them to make sure the information is still accurate, links still work, etc.

What You’ll Do

They are seeking volunteers (just one or two per publication) to review twelve publications. Each publication is typically just 4-8 pages long, with illustrations. They are all written for a layperson audience, and you do not need to be a professional biologist to review them. You will be asked to:

  1. Read through the publication to check for any information that may no longer be accurate. Most of the text is general and likely still correct. Things that may have changed are likely number-based facts.
  2. Using reliable sources, find updated information to replace anything that is no longer accurate. For example, if the publication lists the number of federally endangered salamander species, you would want to do further research with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to see if that number is still correct.
  3. Look at the illustrations and confirm that the drawings and pictures are labeled correctly.
  4. Correct any typos found in the publication.
  5. Test any internet links provided and make sure they work. Update the URLs as needed.
  6. Handwrite your edits directly (and neatly!) on a printed copy of the publication. Then, either scan and email the revised version back to me, or snailmail me the printed version.
  7. Communicate with Michelle Prysby if questions come up along the way.
  8. Complete all your edits and send them back by October 23.

You will be recognized in the acknowledgements of the revised publication once it is updated in the Virginia Cooperative Extension publications system online.

They are looking for reviewers for the following publications

  1. What is Aquatic Biodiversity and Why Is It Important?
  2. Why is Aquatic Biodiversity Declining?
  3. Aquatic Habitats: Homes for Aquatic Animals
  4. Freshwater Mussel Biodiversity and Conservation
  5. Crayfish Biodiversity and Conservation
  6. Freshwater Fish Biodiversity and Conservation
  7. Selected Freshwater Fish Families
  8. Frog Biodiversity and Conservation
  9. Salamander Biodiversity and Conservation
  10. Turtle Biodiversity and Conservation
  11. Freshwater Snail Biodiversity and Conservation
  12. Aquatic Insect Biodiversity and Conservation

To volunteer

Please contact Michelle Prysby by September 15 and let her know which of the twelve publications you would be willing to review. She will send out the final assignments shortly after that date, and you’ll have approximately one month to complete your review. Depending on the volunteer response, she will try to assign volunteers to just one or two publications, unless someone really has a lot of time on their hands!

Hike organizer/leader wanted for FMN Chapter CE events

The Continuing Education (CE) Hike Coordinator is responsible for scheduling about 4- 6 hikes per year depending on interests of the members.  The coordinator can conduct surveys once or twice a year to help determine the CE needs. The coordinator determines the hike topic, finds the leaders and schedules the hike, and then advertises the hikes to the members via the newsletter.  In the past we have used Sign Up Genius to track sign ups.  There is an excel worksheet that lists hike leaders with contact information.  We are open to finding new leaders!  The coordinator also either attends the hike or asks one of the attendees of the hike to act as the sweep and carry a first aid kit.  Contact the chapter at vmnfairfax@gmail.com if you are interested.

Runnymede NatureFest 2019 volunteers needed, Sept. 29th

Photo by Ryan Dunn. Used with permission of Connection Newspapers.

Runnymede Park
195 Herndon Pkwy, Herndon VA
Sunday, 29 September 2019
1-5 pm

Friends of Runnymede Park is hosting this free, family-friendly event.  There will be live animals, games, exhibits and hands-on activities at stations throughout the park. Participants include:

– Leslie Sturges, “Save Lucy the Bat” will bring live bats.
– Blue Ridge Wildlife Center with live mammals.
– Lois Auer with live raptors.
– Reptiles from Riverbend Park.

Plus Bees, Butterflies, Crafts, Games and Much More!

For more information, visit our website, frpweb.org, or email friendsofrp@yahoo.com.

Volunteers needed! Please contact Carol Hadlock.

Two bioblitzes – citizen science in action, Sep. 13-14 & Sep. 29

Eastern Virginia Rivers National Wildlife Refuge Complex is doing a couple of BioBlitzes this September:

BioBlitz: Presquile NWR
What? A BioBlitz is an intense period of biological surveying in attempt to identify all living species within a unit of the refuge. During this BioBlitz, biologists and citizen scientists will have the opportunity to assist the refuge with a biological inventory of Presquile National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Surrounded by the James River, Presquile NWR contains freshwater marshes, a network of creeks, fields, and hardwood forests. While attending this event, surveyors are welcome to explore the extent of the refuge and will be given a data sheet to record all identifiable species. You can also opt to record your information in your iNaturalist app.

When?

Surveyors have the option to choose between two survey periods. Space is limited as each survey period can have 14 surveyors. Spots will be filled on a first come first serve basis. Please specify which survey period when you RSVP to Lauren_cruz@fws.gov.

Survey Period 1: An overnight survey for those who plan to inventory wildlife at night and/or in the early morning. Overnight surveyors will be able to stay in the bunkhouse. The pontoon boat departs for Presquile at September 13, at 5p and returns for pick up on September 14, 9a. (max. capacity 14 surveyors)

Survey Period 2: Pontoon Boat Departs on September 14 at 10a and returns at 3pm. (max. capacity 14 surveyors)

Where? Henrico, VA. Directions to the pontoon boat launch will be distributed closer to the event.

What to Bring? Any equipment you may need to complete your survey (ie, binoculars, field scopes, water quality measurement devices). Survey Period 1: We will send a separate email closer to the event. Survey Period 2: We will provide water and snacks but be sure to bring your own water bottle and lunch.

RSVP? Email Lauren at Lauren_cruz@fws.gov with your specified Survey Period if you are interested or have any questions. We look forward to seeing you there!

BioBlitz: Fones Cliffs
What? A BioBlitz is an intense period of biological surveying with the objective of identify all living species within a tract of the Refuge. During this BioBlitz, biologists and citizen scientists will have the opportunity to explore our newest Refuge tract while contributing valuable data to the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge. This Refuge tract contains various habitats. It borders the Rappahannock River and consists of fields, mixed forests and ravines. While attending this event, surveyors are welcome to collect data within the extent of the Refuge and will be given a data sheet to record identifiable species. Surveyors can also opt to record information in the iNaturalist app. Please note, surveyors are only to collect data within the Refuge boundary which will be represented on a map upon arrival.

When? Sunday, September 29, 9a-3p

Where? Carters Wharf Road, Warsaw, VA; Google Maps Link: https://goo.gl/maps/CykA8ZSUmH4BJMGMA. Signs will guide you from Carters Wharf Road to the cliffs on the day of the event.

What to Bring? Any equipment you may need to complete your survey (ie, binoculars, field scopes, snake tongs, field guides). We will provide water and snacks, but be sure to bring your own water bottle and lunch.

RSVP? Please email Lauren at Lauren_cruz@fws.

Casey Trees needs volunteers, Sep. 21st and beyond

Casey Trees Farm
2498 Briggs Rd., Berryville, VA 22611
Saturday, 21 September 2019
9am – 2pm

Casey Trees Farm is a non-profit organization dedicated to research, collaboration and environmental stewardship.  They are in the process of being certified organic and are opening up their fifth field this summer. The field is almost ready for production and they want to bring in volunteers for the final step towards production, planting over 2000 trees into their grow bags! This will be a tiring day of service, but will be followed by a picnic lunch. (Hotdogs, baked beans, and chips).

Visit this link to learn more about the event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/volunteer-september-casey-tree-farm-event-registration-69181661211 . The password VA is needed to access tickets.

In addition, Casey Trees is looking to start a corps of volunteers that are able to aid them in maintaining their tree farm in Berryville, VA year round with events and open volunteer hours, so if you are unable to join them for this event but are interested in learning more about the farm and helping out at a later date. let Chelsea MacCormack know and she will add you to the farm events newsletter.

Hidden Oaks 50th Anniversary Celebration, Oct. 19th

Hidden Oaks Nature Center
7701 Royce St., Annandale VA
Saturday, 19 October 2019
11 am – 4 pm

Visit for a day of fun, music and special activities in honor of Hidden Oaks Nature Center’s 50th anniversary! Opened in 1969 as the first nature center in Fairfax County, Hidden Oaks now serves over 30,000 visitors a year. Enjoy a Reptiles Alive presentation, music from the School of Rock honoring Woodstock’s 50th year and other children’s music groups, go on a Hidden Treasures of Hidden Oaks hunt, see demonstrations of Monarch butterfly tagging and release and enjoy the new playground and chainsaw tree art. Fun for all ages!  Parking in Annandale Community Park except for special permit parking.  Free.

Have some natural knowledge and can assist with a learning station?  To volunteer, contact Suzanne Holland, Suzanne.Holland@fairfaxcounty.gov. Master naturalists, record your hours as E110: FCPA Nature Programs.

Stiltgrass overwhelms natives! Help remove it Sep. 7th

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
1551 Trap Rd., Vienna VA
Saturday, 7 September 2019
9 am – Noon

The meadow garden at the  Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts is in the one-acre circle (or “Dimple”) in front of the ticket windows. It is a vibrant pollinator habitat and nectar source but will not continue to thrive if the stiltgrass remains. Japanese stiltgrass is an aggressive invasive species that pushes out beneficial native plants. Late summer is the perfect time to pull it, right right before it flowers and re-seeds.

No experience necessary! Training on how to ID and remove stiltgrass will be provided at the event. Please bring water, garden gloves, insect repellent, and sun protection. Please RSVP herehttps://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0a45a5aa22a4f94-stiltgrass  

This volunteer event is organized by the Friends of Wolf Trap and Fairfax Master Naturalists. FMNs may record service hours to S263: Wolf Trap Stewardship Projects.

Try Nest Quest Go to help the Cornell Lab

In the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s new crowdsourcing project, you’re invited to delve into decades of handwritten nest data cards and the valuable information they hold.

You can help them digitize these cards while taking a trip back in time and peeking into the stories inside birds’ nests.

Just sign up for the project via Zooniverse—even a few minutes is really helpful. Our current project is on American Kestrels, with more species lined up for the future (we can even send you notifications about new projects).

Check out Nest Quest Go and start on your first nest card!

Stream monitoring events, August 14-24

Reston Association (RA) Stream Monitoring Workshop

Walker Nature Center
11450 Glade Dr., Reston VA
Wednesday, 14 August 2019
1-4 pm

It’s hot! What better way to enjoy summer than to get your feet wet in one of Reston’s streams? RA welcomes new volunteers to assist with stream monitoring at several locations. Get involved with a small team to collect data and identify insects with the goal of assessing the health of Reston’s streams. Not only do you get to learn about streams, it also provides an opportunity to make new friends! Learn more and register.

Wolftrap Creek Stream Monitoring Workshop

Wildwood Park, Vienna, VA
Valley Drive SE to Mashie Drive SE
Friday, 16 August 2019
5-7:30 pm

Join the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District as they discover aquatic life in Wolftrap Creek at certified monitor Ho Yeon’s site in Wildwood Park! This official NVSWCD stream monitoring workshop covers watershed health, what macroinvertebrates tell us about stream quality, and what you can do to prevent pollution in your local stream. This workshop will also help to prepare you to become a certified stream monitor. Registration is limited. Send questions to Ashley Palmer and RSVP here.

Holmes Run Stream Monitoring Session

Near Hockett Street, Falls Church VA
Sunday, 18 August 2019
9 am-12 pm

Join certified stream monitor Valerie Bertha at her site in Holmes Run. Registration is limited. Contact Valerie for more information or to register.

Pohick Creek Stream Monitoring Session

Hidden Pond Nature Center
8511 Greeeley Blvd., Springfield VA
Sunday, 18 August 2019
1:30-4 pm

Join certified stream monitor Susan Demsko at her site at Hidden Pond Nature Center. Registration is limited. Contact Susan for more information or to register.

Reston Association (RA) Stream Monitoring Workshop

Reston, VA
Saturday, 24 August 2019
8 -11 am

Cool off by getting your feet wet in one of Reston’s streams! RA welcomes new volunteers to assist with stream monitoring at several locations. Get involved with a small team to collect data and identify insects with the goal of assessing the health of Reston’s streams. Not only do you get to learn about streams, it also provides an opportunity to make new friends! Learn more and register.

Volunteer with the Farmers Market team

Are you a local food enthusiast?

Love the outdoors and don’t like being tied to a desk? 

Would you like to help bring fresh, healthy, local produce to your community?

Are you interested in supporting local farmers/producers and contributing to their livelihood?

Then this volunteer opportunity is for you!

The primary Market Manager duties include opening and closing the markets, and serving as the face of the Farmers Market Program to customers and vendors. The Market Manager helps promote the markets and answers customer questions. They monitor safety and help resolve minor issues or report incidents. Volunteers should be outgoing, passionate about buying local, and enthusiastic about connecting community members with local farmers and producers. Must offer a three month to one year commitment. We are currently seeking assistance at the following markets:

McCutcheon/Mount Vernon

Wednesdays, 8 a.m. – noon

May 2 – December 19

Sherwood Library

2501 Sherwood Hall Lane

Annandale 

Thursdays, 8 a.m. – noon

May 3 – November 1

Mason District Park

6621 Columbia Pike

Kingstowne 

Fridays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

May 4 – October 26

In the Giant parking lot

5870 Kingstowne Towne Center

Burke

Saturdays, 8 a.m. – noon

April 14 – December 22

VRE parking Lot

5671 Roberts Parkway

Lorton

Sundays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

May 6 – November 18

VRE parking lot

8990 Lorton Station Blvd

The primary Market Manager duties includes to open and close the markets, and serve as the face of the Farmers Market Program to customers and vendors. The Market Manager helps promote the markets and answer questions of the customers who visit. They monitor safety and help resolve minor issues or report incidents.

Volunteers should be outgoing, passionate about buying local, and enthusiastic about connecting community members with local farmers and producers. Must offer a three month to one year commitment.

For more information or to join our team please fill out an application through Fairfax County’s Volunteer Management System (VMS). If you have additional questions give us a call at 703-642-0128 or email us at Hala.Elbarmil@fairfaxcounty.gov.