Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Announcement for Oct 3 Botanic Garden Walk

Sue will tell us how to identify native mosses, ferns, and lichens growing in the garden by their vegetative and reproductive characteristics. Come enjoy these little mysterious plants and the old growth forest!
All ages are welcome.

Attendees should wear hiking footwear, preferably waterproof.

The WVBG is located on Tyrone Road between
Snake Hill Road and Route 7.
The entrance gate will be open to allow parking at the lower parking lot.

For more information about your Sue Studlar who will lead this walk read on.

Dr. Sue Moyle Studlar has taught botany for over 30 years. For the past 15 years she has taught Plant Diversity, Plant Geography, and Plant Anatomy at West Virginia University as a Visiting Associate Professor. She has led many public moss walks, most recently for the West Virginia Wildflower Pilgrimage. The walk may also consider human uses of mosses: traditional, current, and future.

Dr. Studlar graduated from Carleton College in Minnesota with a B.A. in Biology, and was inspired to specialize in mosses by a field botany course in the North Woods. She earned a Ph.D. in botany at the University of Tennessee (Knoxville), where she studied bryophytes under Aaron J. Sharp. Dr. Studlar has spent most of her professional career in or near the Appalachians. Her first job was at Wellesley College in Massachusetts where she taught Basic Horticulture and Plant Biology. At Centre College (Danville, Kentucky) she became an Associate Professor of Biology and maintained an active research program at the University of Virginia's Mountain Lake Biological Station. Her research projects (and publications) at Mountain Lake included studies of : host specificity of epiphytic bryophytes, bryophytes in bird nests, bryophytes and slime molds, and trampling effects on bryophytes. She also studied the bryophytes of the New River Gorge of Kentucky and compiled a checklist of Kentucky bryophytes. While at Centre, Dr. Studlar switched to Adjunct status to meet the challenges of raising two boys; since then, she has also held Visiting positions at Oklahoma State University and West Virginia University.

In West Virginia Dr. Studlar's collaborative projects have included: effects of stream acidification on bryophytes, a checklist of West Virginia bryophytes, and moss harvest in West Virginia (the stripping of forest mosses from logs and rocks for use in arts and crafts). She and Elizabeth Byers reported the re-discovery (by E.B.) of dung moss (Splachnum ampullaceum) in West Virginia. Also (with two WVU engineering students) she reported on the survival of peat mosses (Sphagnum) launched into the stratosphere by two WVU engineering students. Dr. Studlar curates bryophytes at the WVU Herbarium, and has helped develop a Plant Conservatory (Teaching Collection) and Native Wildflower Garden for the Department of Biology.

Dr. Studlar lives in Morgantown, WV with her husband Don. She enjoys hiking, nature photography, and gardening. Her extensive summer travels have included visits to their fledged, adventurous sons in Vermont, El Salvador, and Japan. She has also studied plants abroad, including in Australia (as a Visiting Fellow at Australian National University) and Saskatchewan (as a Visiting Research Scholar at the University of Regina).

Sierra Club sponsoring moderate intensity hike

On Sunday, Oct 4, the West Virginia Sierra Club is sponsoring a 7.2 mile moderate intensity hike at Cooper's Rock North. The hike will connect Ken's Run Trail with the Virgin Hemlock Trail in a less well-known area of Cooper's Rock State Forest. Info: Ann Devine-King, or (304) 594-2636.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Update on Sept 24 Wildflower Class

From Ellen Hrabovsky:

As I understand it, the only class you lack for this year is the wildflower class which was to take place on the 17th. I will be conducting that class this coming Thursday 09/24/09 from 5:30 till its too dark to continue at the WV Botanic Garden at 1061 Tyrone Road.

The gate will be open so drive down to the lower parking area. We will meet there to start.

If you have any questions you can e-mail Ellen at:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

National Hunting and Fishing Days show next weekend

West Virginia wildlife officials are gearing up for the largest single weekend event in the state for outdoors pursuits like hunting, fishing and bird-watching.
The state's annual celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Days is scheduled for Sept 26-27, at Stonewall Resort State Park.
The event, sponsored by the state Division of Natural Resources, includes demonstrations on everything from fly casting to field dressing squirrels.
DNR Director Frank Jezioro said the goal of the exhibition is to recruit people for pastimes like hunting, fishing and camping.
For more information, contact Jerry Westfall at (304) 558-2771

Friday, September 18, 2009

Volunteers sought to help restore public lands

The US Army Corps of Engineers is looking for volunteers to restore America's public lands.
The Pittsburgh District corps will host National Public Lands Day at Tygart Lake on Sept 26. In honor of this year's theme, water quality, volunteers will be cleaning up and restoring the lake's shoreline.
The work day lasts about 5 hours and will be followed by a picnic at the project pavilion at Tygart Dam.
Volunteers are to assemble at 9am Sept 26 at the Tygart Lake State Park Marina boat launch area to register and organize the day's events (call office for directions).
All volunteers are to wear proper safety attire, such as long pants, boots, weather gear and gloves.
Preregistration is encouraged, but not required. Info and directions: Park Ranger April Hawkey, (304) 265-1760.

Earn certification through workshop on saving streams

The Society of Environmental Professionals, a WVU student organization, will host its second annual "Save Our Streams" workshop and certification program Saturday. The program is designed to give citizens the knowledge needed to monitor and make general health assessments of the streams and rivers in their communities. Certification is obtained following successful completion.
The workshop will be led by a representative of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. All participants will meet at 9:30am, in 1030 South Agricultural Sciences Building, on WVU's Evansdale Campus and, following lunch, will travel to Cobun Creek at White Park for additional hands-on instruction. The workshop will conclude at about 4:30pm.
The workshop is free and open to the public. Preregistration is required. To register: Info: or Amanda Savage at or (304) 288-3099.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Next week we will be meeting at 5:30 at the WV Botanic Garden. Initially we will be studying fall wildflowers then we will move inside as it gets dark. Will post more details as they become available.

September 17 MN Class

Bill's original plans were for us to meet at the Botanic Garden for two hours of wildflowers tonight. In case of rain we were to meet at Percival Hall for an hour of Names & ID followed by two hours of autumn wildflowers.
We will still be meeting tonight at Percival Hall where we will be discussing our current program and what our future plans will be. Melissa Brodsky, volunteer coordinator for the Marion County MN program will be there. Additionally Emily Grafton will join us. Please be ready to share your stories about Bill and bring any pictures you might have.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ellie and I send out our heart felt sympathy to Emily and the rest of Bill's Family. I am thankful to have made his last Master's Naturalist class on thursday nite. He was happy and I remember him laughing it up with the rest of us while Erin taught the class on Ecology. He left us healthy happy and teaching with no suffering at the end. I even took a picture of him with my cell phone, I will treasure it and all he taught us. He was a fine man and a great teacher to us all.

Dr. David Ahrend.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bill Grafton

It is with great sadness I bring you the news that Bill Grafton passed away Friday, September 11, 2009.

Bill was a leading supporter of our West Virginia Master Naturalist program and did so much to pass on his love of nature, discovery and education through the tireless efforts and countless hours he selflessly dedicated to WVMN.

In speaking with his wife Emily, she tells me Bill simply collapsed on campus while outside speaking with a student and never regained consciousness.

Emily says there is a memorial service to celebrate Bill’s life tentatively scheduled for Saturday September 26, mid-afternoon. She asks that you watch your emails for further updates once she confirms the time.
Bill's currently scheduled Mon County MN classes are canceled for the time being. Until further notice Bill's MN students, graduates and certified MN's can feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns regarding the Mon County MN program.
I apologize that some of you may receive this notice multiple times as we are using several of Bill's list serves to ensure proper notification to all those that knew and loved Bill.
Melissa Brodsky, volunteer Coordinator
Marion County Master Naturalists
Rt. 4 Box 569B, Tunnel Hollow Rd.
Fairmont, WV 26554
(304)-366-1420 office/fax
(304) 282-2260 cell

Trout for Cheat dinner to be at Prime Thyme

Trout for Cheat is hosting an elimination social beginning at 6pm Oct 10 at Prime Thyme at Preston Country Club. Tickets are $100 and admit two. Free cocktails will be available. Dinner includes barbecued ribs, grilled chicken, vegetables, salad and dessert. Info: Art George at (304) 288-8097 or (304) 329-1780.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sierra Club sponsoring hike of Quebec Run Wild Area

The West Virginia Sierra Club is sponsoring an 8.9 mile moderate intensity hike. Sept 19, in the Quebec Run Wild Area just north of Bruceton Mills.
Enjoy the heavily wooded forests as you hike along streams, pass the ruins of a grist mill, and appreciate the watershed area of several streams, including Quebec Run.
Participants should bring rain gear, lunch and water.
In order to participate, you will need to sign a liability waiver.
Info: Ann Devine-King,, or (304) 594-2636.
Carpooling is a private arrangement among the participants and Sierra Club assumes no liability.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Volunteers sought to plant trees during Public Lands Day

The Monongahela National forest, the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, and WVU Adventure Club have teamed up to host a National Pulic Lands Day event Sept 26.
Volunteers are being sought to help plant native red spruce seedling on the forest and adjacent refuge lands to protect high elevation streams and connect spruce in the higher elevations to the floor of Canaan Valley.
People willing to assist in the red spruce planting project should meet at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center at 10 am Sept 26.
Gloves, sturdy shoes or boots, long pants and appropriate rain gear should be brought by each volunteer, along with food and water. National Public Lands Day 2009 T-shirts will be given to the first 100 volunteers.
The project is part of a long-term landscape scale effort by a consortium of partners cooperating as the High Elevation Working Group to converve high elevation habitats in West Virginia.
A major focus of the group's efforts is on restoring a functioning red spruce-northern hardwood forest ecosystem across both public and private lands.
Among the wildlife species which will benefit from the additional planting of red spruce in Canaan Valley are the threatened Cheat Mountain Salamander, the West Virginia norhtern flying squirrel, which was only recently removed from the federal list of threatened or endangered species; rare birds such as the northern goshawk and saw-whet owl; and other species that inhabit the limited spruce-fir forests in West Virginia.