Category: Education

Sign up for the Fall Class

Calico Pennant (Morven Park)

Applications are being accepted for the 2017 training program. Classes are led by experts and meet two Saturdays a month from September 2017 through April 2018.  Each class will cover one or two topics such as local plants, mammals, birds, trees, fish, mammals, soils, weather and more, and typically include field exercises to further explore [Continue]

Continuing Education

Widow Skimmer

Exactly what events qualify for CE credit has been a source of confusion, and sometimes controversy, since the VMN Program’s earliest days.  I recently corresponded with the State Office and asked for some guidance on their current understanding.  They started by citing the entry on page 16 of the Volunteer Handbook and Policy Guidelines, which [Continue]

What do YOU Know About American Chestnut Tree Restoration?

By Larry Johnson Question– Is an American Chestnut tree growing on BRNP property? Question– Does a wild (native survivor) American Chestnut tree exist in Loudoun County? Answers at end of article. Looking for a botanically-focused venture, this past June 2016, I volunteered for a week-long annual inoculation project at The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) Research [Continue]

Book Review: Feathers, the Evolution of a Natural Miracle

By Sheila Montalvan Feathers, the Evolution of a Natural Miracle. By Thor Hanson. New York, NY: Basic Books. 2011, 336pp. Recently I heard about an exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in New York called Dinosaurs Among Us that features a 23-foot- long feathered tyrannosaur (Yutyrannus huali) and a small dromaeosaur with “four wings and vivid plumage.” [Continue]

Upcoming VMN Training Class Schedule published

The Banshee Reeks chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalist program just published its upcoming class schedule.  The What You’ll Learn section of the Virginia Master Naturalist website provides a good high level overview of what the classes cover. The Banshee Reeks chapter’s upcoming classes start on September 17th, 2016 and run through April 2017 on [Continue]

Dragonfly resources

Widow Skimmer

          Dragonfly Key – Dragonfly ID – Pond Watch – Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy has a Loudoun county list of dragonflies The best website for Northern Virginia is . Some Facebook groups of interest: Odonata of the eastern United States – Northeast Odonata – Larry Meade has some great pictures (mostly local) –

Cornell Labs offering its Spring Field Ornithology course online

Red-headed Woodpecker in Loudoun county

From a Cornell Lab’s email: “Each spring for 40 years, bird enthusiasts have gathered at the Cornell Lab for Spring Field Ornithology to learn from world-renowned ornithologists. This year, for the first time, anyone, anywhere can take the course online.  Focused on species native to the Northeastern U.S., course lectures are packed with bird identification tips designed to expand your [Continue]