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Global Water 2020 seeks college intern for fall 2018

Global Water 2020, an advocacy and facilitation initiative based in DuPont Circle, is working to solve various pieces of the global water security challenge. Their projects include: increasing access to sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in healthcare facilities, water in peacebuilding, WASH and water security financing, and WASH in the prevention of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

Global Water 2020 is currently looking to hire a Fall 2018 intern. The intern will be an undergraduate senior or graduate student in public health, environmental health, environmental studies, finance, business, political science, international relations, international development, anthropology, sociology or related field.

Her/his responsibilities include:

•       Research U.S.-based and international non-profit, private sector and educational institutions working on global WASH and health efforts

•       Develop inventory of global WASH and health funders

•       Brainstorm and help identify domestic, regional and global collaboration opportunities

•       Help write, edit, and format materials for Congressional meetings

•       Track global and regional convenings and assist in prioritizing which events Global Water 2020 should influence

•       Maintain the Global Water 2020 website and social media presence

•       Support social media campaigns for global awareness days

•       Assist Global Water 2020 team in all other duties as assigned

The intern will work part-time (20 hours/week) at an hourly rate of $15.00. Global Water will prioritize candidates based in DC.

Interested applicants may email their resume and cover letter to Kelly Bridges: kbridges@GlobalWater2020.org. Please email your application materials as soon as possible, as Global Water 2020 will be considering candidates on a rolling basis.

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

Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay: RiverTrends Water Quality Monitoring service project

The Fairfax chapter has approved a new citizen science service project (C257) to perform water chemistry testing in Chesapeake Bay watershed streams and rivers.

The Alliance’s citizen water quality monitoring program is a regional network of trained volunteers who perform monthly water quality tests that help track the condition of waterways flowing toward the Chesapeake Bay.

Each month,  volunteers complete an observational survey at their stream site and conduct tests for dissolved oxygen, pH, water clarity, salinity (where appropriate), temperature, and bacteria. Data is reported to the Alliance, which partners with other water quality monitoring groups in the Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative.

Volunteers attend a training session where they learn about water quality and how to collect data following standardized protocols. Volunteers spend 1-2 hours monthly collecting data at their stream sites and completing the required tests within 8-48 hours, depending on the test. Volunteers complete a written report and submit data online or mail in the report. Volunteers may choose when they monitor, but they should try to monitor at the same time each month, although there is some flexibility for weather, etc. The Alliance would like each volunteer to monitor at least 10 times per year.

Data is annually submitted the to Virginia DEQ for use in the Virginia’s 305(b)/303(d) Integrated Water Quality Assessment Report to EPA, which summarizes water quality conditions and identified waters that do not meet water quality standards.

All volunteers are trained by Certified Watershed Coordinators under the Alliance’s Quality Assurance Program Plan (QAPP). Training includes an initial session where monitors learn about water quality and testing methods and an annual recertification session to check monitoring equipment, chemicals, and methods.

To learn more about the program, contact the program coordinator Amy Hagerdon at ahagerdon@allianceforthebay.org.

Get help with water-related issues from Conservation Assistance Program

Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District is now accepting site visit requests for both the Conservation Assistance Program (CAP) and the Virginia Conservation Assistance Program (VCAP). Do you have a drainage and erosion problem? Are you interested in improving water quality in local watersheds and the Chesapeake Bay? Funding may be available for you to pursue these types of environmental projects at your home, Homeowners’ Association, or place of worship.

See details here to see if you qualify for either the Conservation Assistance Program or the Virginia Conservation Assistance Program.

Paint Nite for the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center

BlueRidge Wildlife Center is hosting a Paint Nite in the Ronald M. Bradley Learning Center, and invites the community to come paint with local artist Carol Erikson and the staff of BRWC.  Prior to painting, you can visit with their Wildlife Ambassadors.

Blue Ridge Wildlife Center, 106 Island Farm Lane, Boyce, VA

Saturday, August 18, 2018

7 – 9 pm

BYO refreshments. Water is available, but all guests are encouraged to bring drinks and snacks for the event.

Tickets are $45 per person which covers all supplies.

$15 of each ticket will go toward Blue Ridge Wildlife Center’s rehabilitation work.

The deadline for purchasing tickets is August 4th, 2018.

Go to the Paint Nite website to sign up for this fun event!

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.

Join the North American Butterfly Association Count at the Clifton Institute, 28 July

The Clifton Institute is hosting its 23rd annual butterfly count and celebrating its 16th year in collaboration with the North American Butterfly Association July count. They need novice and experienced butterfly enthusiasts to serve as citizen scientists. As a participant, you will be assigned to small teams, led by an experienced butterfly counter. Teams will survey a variety of sites within our count circle.

What you need to know:

Saturday, July 28, 8:00AM-4:00PM (Check-in begins at 8 am with refreshments. Volunteers should be on site no later than 8:30)

$5 fee for participating adults; children 8 and older may participate (fee waived), when accompanied by a parent

Bring your lunch and spend the day. Outdoor clothing and shoes, hats, sunscreen, and water bottles are essential. Cameras and close focus binoculars are suggested. (If you are a photographer, please let us know. We would like to place one photographer on each team!)

Contact Bert Harris at bharris@cliftoninstitute.org for more information and to RSVP (required).

Watch VMN webinar, Coyotes in Virginia, 25 July

This presentation:

  • highlights the history, biology, and ecology of coyotes in Virginia
  • offers suggestions for reducing coyote-human conflicts in both rural and urban environments
  • discusses a coyote research project being conducted in the Appalachian Mountain region of western Virginia
  • will increase your understanding of, and perhaps dispel a few myths related to one of the world’s most adaptable mammals. Although coyotes are a relative new comer to Virginia, they are here to stay and we must learn to coexist with them.

Presenter: Mike Fies, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Mike Fies works as a wildlife research biologist for the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries.  His office is located in the Shenandoah Valley just north of Staunton.  Mike is the state Furbearer Project Leader with job responsibilities that include conducting research, monitoring populations, developing management recommendations, resolving wildlife conflicts, and providing information to the public related to Virginia’s furbearer species. He has statewide responsibilities. Wildlife species included in his job duties include bobcat, fox, coyote, raccoon, skunk, opossum, weasel, beaver, muskrat, mink, otter, and nutria.

Webinar Details

When: July 25, 2018, 12:00 pm

Meeting Number: 450 486 470

Link to join: Join Webinar

(This link will connect you to the video feed, but you will need to connect your audio separately to hear the speaker.  Zoom will prompt you to do that once you have connected the video feed.  See the technical information below for details on connecting your audio.)

Link for recordings of this and past webinars*: VMN Continuing Education page 

*Please note that Virginia Tech is in the process of moving our recordings to a new system, and the recordings are currently unavailable while they work out some technical details.  We hope to have them all back on line soon!

Technical Support

If you have not successfully used Zoom before or if you have made any recent changes in your web browser, we suggest that you try a test meeting well beforehand.  This will prompt you to download the Zoom software that you will need to fully participate.  There is an option to participate just via your web browser, but please be aware that it does not have the same level of functionality.

We will open the webinar at least 30 minutes prior to the start time, and we encourage you to log on early to make sure the system is working for you.

Audio Connection

Please be aware that connecting to Zoom using the link provided allows you to see the presentation, but you will have to then connect your audio separately so that you can also hear the presenter.  Zoom will prompt you to do that once you join the meeting.  We recommend that you join using your computer audio if you are able.  For this option, click the “Join Audio Conference by Computer” button under the “Computer Audio” tab in the audio window that pops up when you join the meeting.

If you can’t call using computer, you can call in by phone at US: +1 669 900 6833  or +1 929 436 2866.  The meeting identification number is 450-486-470.  Long distance charges apply; this is not a toll-free number.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

Please note that this Zoom service allows audio and other information sent during the session to be recorded, which may be discoverable in a legal matter. By joining this session, you automatically consent to such recordings. If you do not consent to being recorded, discuss your concerns with the host or do not join the session.

If you have specific technical questions, try the Zoom Support Center.

Life in the Soil: A Guide for Naturalists and Gardeners, by James B. Nardi

Reviewed by Kathleen Luisa

I have a fairly extensive library of naturalist books and field guides subjects from geology to space to weather to worms to seashells. I even have a field guide to fields!  Many of them really don’t lend themselves to being read cover to cover, but Life in the Soil: A Guide for Naturalists and Gardeners, by James B. Nardi, does.  This is one of the best, most thorough, and most thoroughly enjoyable books I’ve read on, well, dirt.  And everything that lives in dirt.

The book is laid out well, much like an outline for a college course would have been years ago.  It starts from the general (and most minuscule components of the soil) and moves progressively through to the more specific and larger inhabitants. The first of the three parts of the book explains how soil forms from rocks and organic materials through  chemical and weathering processes.  The second part is a wonderfully in-depth explanation and description of the members of the soil community and their relationships. The third part covers how we can work in partnership with all of the foregoing to increase and maintain the health of the soil for the benefit of all without chemicals, and how to prevent many of the problems we enable through erosion and the unfettered use of fertilizers.

The author’s style is engaging, often humorous, and I feel like he’s talking right to me. He clearly has deep affection and admiration for his subject, and he conveys complex information in a way that is easy to understand without sacrificing the scientific quality.  One thing in particular I really like is that the soil community part introduces each new organism with a box that identifies its place in the taxonomic system, its place in the food web, size and its impact on gardens. The illustrations and photos are great, too.

Want to review a resource? We’d love to hear from you. Instructions for submission await your click and commitment.

Looking for continuing education opportunities?

The statewide Virginia Master Naturalists website has a wealth of webinars approved for continuing ed.

There is often an opportunity for a live webinar.  Or, you can review recorded webinars.  A wide variety of topics is available, such as:  Poisonous Plants in Virginia, Butterfly Identification, overviews of several service opportunities like Virginia’s Big Tree Program, and many more.

Learn more: Continuing Education Resources: Webinar Series page of the VMN website

If you are a master naturalist, you can record your CE hours as VMN Continuing Education Webinar Series.

You can also review the classes for Curated Resources and get service hour credit. Good deal.