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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.

Sign up for Belvedere Elementary School’s Eco-Day

Stacey Evers, VMN and Environmental Educator, is looking for master naturalists to present environmental programs to students at Belvedere Elementary School on Thursday, June 6, 2019, as part of their annual Eco-Day. Belvedere is at Columbia Pike and Sleepy Hollow Road in the Bailey’s Crossroads/east Annandale part of Fairfax County and is very close to Arlington. Your preparation time and actual service would apply toward service hours.

Please contact Stacey soonest to engage:

703-346-8530 |greenBELVEDERE.wordpress.com

During Eco-Day, grade levels pre-K-5 will circulate through stations of hands-on activities from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. However, they can accommodate a smaller window of time if needed and would welcome one-time presentations and activities such as hikes and surveys that require specific start and end times. The programs could be as simple as sharing a skull or shell collection, identifying insects with students in the pollinator gardens, or sharing activities related to bird beak adaptations. They are also interested in activities that incorporate art or other disciplines beyond science.

You will receive beverages, lunch, and a table and canopy if you need them. That said, presentations/activities must involve hands-on learning or inquiry and not be static displays.

Wildlife Ecology class

This class runs 2-9 October 2018, 6-8 pm, at Graduate School USA. Cost $365

Course description

Gain an understanding of wildlife techniques and theory, including the basics of life history, identification, population and community ecology, habitat management, and animal behavior. Learn how institutional missions and federal laws influence wildlife and habitat conservation, and how humans affect and are affected by wildlife in rural, suburban, and urban environments of the Mid-Atlantic region. Pressing concerns about invasive species, the effects of climate change on wildlife, and the loss and degradation of habitats will also be discussed.

Previous courses such as Biology for Naturalists (NATH1110E) and Intro. to Ecology (NATH1160E), or equivalent, are recommended. Field Trips: October 20, November 3, and November 17, 2018.

If minimum student enrollment is not reached by one week before the scheduled start date, the course may be canceled.

Register

Earth Science Week: Oct 14-20, 2018

What is Earth Science Week?

It is an internationally recognized celebration that helps the public gain a better understanding of, and appreciation for, the earth sciences. Organized by the American Geosciences Institute (AGI), this annual celebration has attracted young people since 1998.

This year’s theme: Earth as Inspiration

According to AGI, this theme will engage young people and others in exploring the relationship between the arts and Earth systems and promote public understanding and stewardship of the planet, especially in terms of the ways art relates to geoscience principles and issues as diverse as energy, climate change, the environment, natural disasters, technology, industry, agriculture, recreation, and the economy.

Did we mention the Earth Science Week 2018 “Earth as Inspiration” toolkit?

  • 12-month school-year activity calendar, suitable for hanging
  • New Earth Science Week poster, including a learning activity
  • NASA materials on school resources and planetary exploration
  • National Park Service posters on caves, plants, and geology
  • Geologic Map Day poster dealing with artistic inspiration
  • Mineral Education Coalition “Quarry to Crop” postcard
  • IRIS material on seismology and earthquakes
  • AmericaView poster on exploring America through LandSat
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute poster on global change
  • UNAVCO materials on Geodesy and websites to explore
  • Fact sheet from Critical Zones Observatories
  • Switch Energy Project information on energy science
  • Bureau of Land Management dinosaur coloring page
  • Material on Constructing the Rock Cycle from GSA
  • Water Footprint Calculator information on water science
  • EarthScope material on what it means to be an Earth scientist
  • CLEAN, AMS, TERC, and GPS information and more

Order the 2018 Earth Science Week Toolkit – Earth as Inspiration!

For more info, please download and read the attachment here, and go to the website: https://www.dmme.virginia.gov/dgmr/EarthScienceWeek.shtml

If you have any questions, please contact:

David Spears, State Geologist: david.spears@dmme.virginia.gov or 434-951-6350

 

Attend Community-driven Citizen Science for Health and the Environment symposium, 14 June

The AAAS Fellows Crowdsourcing & Citizen Science Affinity Group and the South Big Data Innovation Hub proudly present a free symposium: Community-driven Citizen Science for Health and the Environment

The democratization of science and technology represents a tremendous opportunity to empower communities to address issues of local concern and to expand scientific knowledge used in policymaking in both the environment and the health sectors. Citizen science presents a tangible opportunity for the general public to connect with research and science policy by creating opportunities for real, needs-based engagement. However, without intentional processes and design, it is possible to exacerbate existing inequalities. This symposium will address the intersection of two complementary approaches: community-driven research and citizen science.

At its core, community-driven research involves the impacted community into research question and hypothesis generation. Once identified, the research questions may combine traditional and citizen science approaches in data collection and analysis. In contrast,  many citizen science projects are conceived and initiated by scientists to answer research questions and leverage non-professionals as a means to crowdsource data collection and/or analysis. This symposium seeks to focus on questions and techniques developed outside of the traditional scientific community to engage communities in both participation and co-creation.

This symposium will begin with a keynote address presenting a common understanding of community-driven research and citizen science. Related policies, projects, issues, and strategies will then be addressed in a series of three panels that focus on different aspects of community-driven citizen science.

Panels will cover these three themes:

  1. Community-Driven Water Quality Projects Focused on Aquatic Systems
  2. Addressing Equity in Environmental Health Using Community-Driven Citizen Science
  3. The Role of Large Citizen Science Platforms in Supporting Community-Driven Projects

Panelists will reflect viewpoints across the citizen science spectrum: from funders, to researchers, to members of impacted communities. The panelists will address policy considerations and contributions, broadening participation of underrepresented groups, project design and implementation, and outcomes.

Additionally, an expo for local community-driven citizen science projects will highlight local projects and organizations. Lightning talks by the exhibiting groups, sharing their interests in and/or experience with community-driven projects, will provide conversation-starters to facilitate networking.

At the end of the day, the goal is for attendees to gain a better understanding of the potential research, public engagement, and policy applications of community-driven citizen science and to advance their involvement with a broader network of interested communities.

* Co-sponsored by the AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship and the South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub*

Follow the discussion on Twitter with #AAASCitSci and #BDHubs!

Symposium Panelists and Moderators:

Karen Andersen, Friends of the Shenandoah River
Jay Benforado, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Gari Clifford, Emory University
Jennifer Couch, National Institutes of Health
John Dawes, Chesapeake Commons
Julia Drapkin, ISeeChange
Maura Duffy, National Aquarium
Scott Loarie, iNaturalist
Liam O’Fallon, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Raj Pandya, American Geophysical Union
Amanda Rockler, University of Maryland
Rodney Sampson, Opportunity Hub, Brookings
Lea Shanley, South Big Data Innovation Hub
Trey Sherard, Anacostia Riverkeeper
Stinger Guala, U.S. Geological Survey
Sacoby Wilson, University of Maryland

Organizations participating in the Expo:

Reston Association
OpenAQ (as DataKind DC volunteer)
GLOBE Observer/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
ISeeChange
Audubon Naturalist Society
American Geophysical Union/ Thriving Earth Exchange (TEX)
U.S. Geological Survey
Washington Square Park Eco Projects
The New York Botanical Garden
AAAS
SciStarter

Agenda:

8:00 AM Arrival, check in, coffee

8:45 Welcome remarks by Carrie Seltzer and Stella Tarnay

9:00 Keynote address by Raj Pandya, Thriving Earth Exchange

9:30 Break

9:45 Panel 1: Community-Driven Projects Focused on Aquatic Systems

11:15 AM Lunch: Citizen science project lightning talks and expo

12:45 PM Panel 2: Addressing Equity in Environmental Health Using Community-Driven Citizen Science

2:15 Break

2:30 Panel 3: The Role of Large Citizen Science Platforms in Supporting Community-Driven Projects

4:00 Reception & citizen science project expo (continued)

5:30 End

 

American Association for the Advancement of Science
Auditorium
1200 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005

Thursday, 14 June 2018
8:00 am-5:30 pm EDT

Register here: https://www.aaaspolicyfellowships.org/events/symposium-community-driven-ctizen-science-health-and-environment

 

Look for grants from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

State and federal grants are available for these conservation projects:

Learn more

Visit SpringFest Fairfax, 21 April

Saturday, 21 April

10.00 am – 4.00 pm

Sully Historic Site

This is Fairfax County’s official Earth Day and Arbor Day event!  Visit with the Fairfax County Park Authority, workshops, vendors and activities and take action to make a “Healthy Planet-Healthy People.” Over 75 vendors, exhibitors, and food trucks will be at SpringFest.  Admission is FREE! Learn about the great work of Fairfax County Parks; pet an alpaca; run through an environmental obstacle course; participate in environmental crafts; check out the bees and the trees; consult with Fairfax Master Naturalists and Master Gardeners; buy plants for your garden and MORE!

Entertainment includes food trucks, The Recycling Pirates puppet show, petting zoo, Touch-a-Truck, and more!

Clean Fairfax produces SpringFest with our partner Fairfax County Park Authority.  Learn more here.

Come hear Robert K. Musil speak about Rachel Carson’s legacy, 8 May

Tuesday, 8 May, 7.30 – 9.00 pm
Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria VA

Dr. Robert K. Musil discusses his book Rachel Carson and Her Sisters: Extraordinary Women Who Have Shaped America’s Environment and his explorations of nature throughout the nation’s capital, which resulted in his latest book, Washington in Spring: A Nature Journal for a Changing Climate.

Musil followed in the footsteps of nature writers and explorers from Captain John Smith through John Burroughs, Elliott Coues, Louis Halle and Rachel Carson — carefully noting the gradual shift in phenology and species with the progression of global warming in greater Washington. Musil will also sign copies of his books available for sale immediately after his talk.

Dr. Musil is President and CEO of the Rachel Carson Council, Inc. and former Executive Director and CEO, Physicians for Social Responsibility, 1985 Nobel Peace Prize organization.

Brought to you by the Virginia Native Plant Society, Potowmack Chapter.  Learn more.

Review of Crash Course, by Hank Green and John Green

Reviewed by Marilyn Kupetz

Let’s suppose that you are a master naturalist charged with setting up classes in ecology, biology, evolution, and genetics. A clever person, you are opting for flipped classes so that participants can do the fact-based parts of the learning beforehand, while you use class time for hands-on collaboration.

Where do you go for high-quality content?

Crash Course at your service.

The Green brothers, both polymaths, have built a repository of user-friendly lessons on YouTube. Their hilarious 10- to 15-minute bursts are scientifically sound, relevant to what naturalists do, and lots easier to absorb than a long book or classroom lecture.

The Ecology playlist, for example, features Hank’s 12 lessons on the history of life, population ecology, human population growth, predators, succession, ecosystem ecology, hydrologic and carbon cycles, nitrogen and phosphorous cycles, pollution, conservation and restoration—solid stuff, but designed for easy digestion.

Biology offers 40 lessons. Among them, “That’s Why Carbon is a Tramp,” “Animal Development: We’re Just Tubes,” and “Fungi: Death Becomes Them” remind you that humor is an awesome learning lubricant when what needs to go down are bits of covalent bonds and mycorrhizae.

Are these snacks the same as a full-length college course? Of course not, but for concepts, conversation, and test prep, they are delicious and filling.

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