Monday, February 28, 2011

2011 Monongahela Master Naturalist Schedule

The schedule of classes is just about finalized. I will be getting it posted soon, but for a quick peek, check the schedule here.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Beginning Schedule from Canaan Valley

Attached are the Core and a few elective classes for the Master Naturalist Program of Canaan Valley for 2011. I will send you a complete schedule when I have gotten all the electives together. Please spread this to your class members or anyone you feel may be interested. Thanks.
Andy Dalton

Canaan Valley 2011 Master Naturalist Schedule (Part 1)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

From Erin Smaldone:

Dear Master Naturalists,

Nicole Good is currently organizing the annual "Celebration of the Outdoors" for the Cooper's Rock Foundation in Morgantown, WV. The all-day event, which will take place on Saturday, June 11, features morning and afternoon educational workshops for the public centered around hikes or activities in the state forest. In the past, we have had programs on a wide variety of topics, including stream ecology, tree identification, invasive species, bugs, bird walks, wildflower sketching, and mushroom hunting.

She is seeking workshop leaders for this year's event, and would love to have one or a few of you lead a workshop. They are especially in need of workshops geared toward children and families.

Please email or call her at the contact info below with any questions. She will need to have a commitment before March 10th.

Nicole Good
Cooper's Rock Foundation
Morgantown, WV
(304) 208-5013

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Special Invitation from Project Wild

From: Karen A. McClure
Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2011 2:45 PM
Subject: A special invitation from Project Wild

On behalf of the WV Wildlife Resources Section, I’d like to invite you to become a part of the Project WILD family. As the new state Project WILD Coordinator, I am recruiting and training a core of Project WILD facilitators from around the state to help lead workshops in their local area. This is a great opportunity for you to share your enthusiasm for learning about wildlife. The fun facilitator training is free and includes an overnight stay at Jackson’s Mill, complete with lodging and meals. The dates for the training are May 21-22, 2011. It will begin with dinner on Saturday and end after lunch on Sunday. You would need to provide transportation to and from Jackson’s Mill, located eight miles off I-79 near Weston.
You have been invited because of your interest in teaching people about wildlife. The workshop will consist of training in facilitator skills, review of the curriculum materials, and conducting hands-on activities. We will be working mostly with original Project WILD K-12 and Growing Up WILD for ages 3-7 this year. If it has been a while since you worked with the project WILD family, check out: and . As a facilitator, you will be expected to lead one workshop a year (or more if you would like). This is a very flexible volunteer opportunity, so you can volunteer when it works best for you.
I need to confirm my tentative reservations soon, so I’m asking you to consider the invitation and call or email me within the next two weeks. I look forward to hearing from you and hope you decide to be a part of the West Virginia WILD family.

Karen McClure
WVDNR Wildlife Resources
4300 First Avenue, Suite 100
Nitro, WV 25143

Friday, February 18, 2011


From Ellen:
One more event - Last year we had our first state-wide Master Naturalist Conference. It was held at Davis & Elkins College in Elkins and was a great time. We earned 7 hours of elective credit by participating in the offered courses. They were really good! The 2nd annual conference will take place June 10-12 at D&E. Block off that weekend if you are interested. When I have more specifics I will let you know.


We have started putting together this year's course schedule and as soon as a few more dates are finalized, Ellen will be getting out the schedule. Encourage friends and neighbors to join us for the 2011 class. The first class is March 24, 6-9. We will be meeting this year at Percival Hall on the Evansdale campus - Room 308. For those unfamiliar with the area, there is free parking next to the building.

Remember these classes are also open to those already in the program who still need some hours and to those Master Naturalists who need the hours for recertification.


Last year's class still needs "Insects" to finish. Ellen is happy to report that we will be having a class on April 21 led by a person from Entomology at the WVU Ag School.


The Tracking workshop will be held on Sunday, Feb. 27, 10-2 at the WV Botanic Garden. Our instructor is Doug Wood who leads the tracking class at Twin Falls. We will begin indoors at the Imperial East sales/contractor trailer with some introductory information and then will go into the WVBG to 'Track'. Because we will be starting in the contractor's trailer, this workshop will be limited to those in the Master Naturalist program.

Directions to the sales/contractor's trailer at Imperial East:

Coming from Rt. 7 go north on Tyrone Road about 1.6 miles and look ON YOUR RIGHT for the entrance to Imperial View (it is a big brick structure and the road leading in is divided). As soon as you pull in, take the first road on the LEFT. Following this road, the first building you come to is the sales/contractor's office.
If coming from the opposite direction, pass the WVBG entrance and continue round the bend. The Imperial View entrance will be on your left.

If you plan on parking at the office, please carpool. You can also park in at the WVBG. Walk down the entrance hill and bear to the right on the trail. At the South end of the reservoir basin you are behind Imperial East. There is a chain gate and a gravel trail leading right to the trailer where we are meeting. (Alternately you may gather at the parking lot in the Botanic Garden and carpool from there.) You might want to bring a drink and a snack. This will be a great learning experience.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wildlife refuge holding Canaan showshoe walk

Nature Conservancy Ecologist Amy Climarolli will lead a snowshoe walk at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge to a few different habitats to look and listen for wildlife at 10am Sunday. Participants will meet at White Grass. The event is free and open to all and co-sponsored by Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, White Grass and WV Highlands Conservancy. Snowshoes for the walk can be borrowed from White Grass free of charge. Participants should wear warm, comfortable walking boots and weather-appropriate clothing, and should bring drinking water.
Info: 304-866-4114

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

GBBC - eNewsletter - January 2011

January 2011 eNewsletter

The GBBC is just weeks away!

Just another quick reminder of the dates: February 18-21. Now is the perfect time to brush up on your winter birds, and remind family and friends that the 14th annual GBBC is just around the corner. Downloadable flyers and web buttons are available on the GBBC website to you help you spread the word.

Each year we rely on GBBC participants to help us tell others about the count and encourage more new people to join in—these are our trusted ambassadors. Ambassadors may distribute GBBC flyers in their community. Some really get into the spirit and hold workshops showing others how to take part in the GBBC and helping identify what birds might be seen in their area during the count. Our GBBC PowerPoint presentation (with script) is handy for these presentations—you may want to consider sharing it with your local bird clubs, schools, libraries, or other organizations. Some ambassadors also speak to newspaper, television, and radio reporters about the GBBC. If you’re interested in doing more to promote the count, please visit our GBBC ambassador page.

Social networking is the electronic "word-of-mouth" you can use to help spread information about the GBBC far and wide. So go ahead and tweet about what you’re doing to get ready for the GBBC—tag your tweet with #gbbc and it will be drawn into a special widget that will appear on the GBBC home page. You can also be a fan on the GBBC Facebook page and share your images, videos, and other bird-related activities as we get closer to the count. GBBC participants are a fun bunch and connecting this way will help us build a great seasonal birding community!

On New Year’s Eve, about 5,000 blackbirds died in Arkansas after fireworks scared them from their roost and they collided with houses, mailboxes, and possibly each other as they flew about disoriented in the dark. The incident sparked a flurry of media coverage. But it’s the constant, chronic loss of birdlife because of habitat destruction and other causes that should really be headline news. Click here to read a recent New York Times article on the matter. An estimated 100 million birds die from window collisions in the United States alone each year. That’s more than 270,000 per day on average! Outdoor cats are estimated to kill another 100 million per year.

Citizen-science participants have contributed decades of data highlighting other alarming declines:

* Rusty Blackbirds have declined by 95% since the 1960s, indicating a loss of tens of millions of birds. Join the “Rusty Blackbird Blitz” January 29- February 13 if you live in one of the targeted states. See map and find out more.
* Data from Project FeederWatch show that Evening Grosbeaks have declined rangewide since the 1980s.

Your participation in the Great Backyard Bird Count is one piece of the puzzle that helps scientists get the big picture about changes in bird populations.

To learn more about identifying birds by size and shape, watch our “Inside Birding” tutorial.

Thank you for caring about the birds!

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a nonprofit membership institution interpreting and conserving the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. Visit the Cornell Lab’s website at

Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Our national network of community-based nature centers and chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of areas sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of people of all ages and backgrounds in conservation.

Bird Studies Canada ( administers regional, national, and international research and monitoring programs that advance the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of wild birds and their habitats. We are Canada's national body for bird conservation and science, and we are a non-governmental charitable organization.

National Audubon Society
225 Varick Street
New York, NY 10014
Call: (212) 979-3000

Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Call toll-free (800) 843-2473

Bird Studies Canada
Box 160
Port Rowan, ON N0E 1M0 Canada
Call: (888) 448-2473 or (519) 586-3531

Growing Loblolly Pine Forests

Interesting upcoming educational opportunity-
Growing Loblolly Pine Forests
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.; Registration begins at 6:00 p.m.
Location: Lyon Tower, Morgantown, WV
Date: Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Registration: $5 at the door; free to students with ID.

Click here for more information.

RSVP to me or to HR Scott if interested in attending.

Sheryl Bergen Jarvis
Administrative Asst., Agriculture
WVU-Monongalia County Extension
34 Commerce Dr. Suite 106
Morgantown WV 26501

Monday, February 7, 2011

Top Ten Things Everyone Should Know About WV Geology

I just got word today of this colloquium coming up at WVU this Thursday -- it would be a good thing for the website/blog. If any of the MNP folks have free time at 4 pm on Thursday, this item may be of interest. The colloquia are free and in Brooks Hall (next to the Beechurst PRT station) of the downtown campus.
Best Regards,
John Bocan

Geology Colloquium

Dr. Joe Lebold
Department of Geology & Geography
West Virginia University

Top Ten Things Everyone Should Know About West Virginia Geology

Date: Thursday, February 10th, 2011
Place: 325 Brooks Hall
Refreshments: 3:45 p.m.
Presentation: 4:00 p.m.

Please click here for more information.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New River trail plans will be reviewed

CHARLESTON - An open house to review plans for two hike-and-bike trail systems in the New River Gorge National River will be held next week.
A West Virginia newspaper reports that the National Park Service will hold a meeting from 3-7pm Thursday in the Canyon Rim Visitor Center near Fayetteville.
Funding was allocated to design and build new stacked-loop trails in the New River Gorge in 2009. The parks service is offering three alternatives for the trails.
New River Gorge Superintendent Don Striker said the public has expressed a great interest in developing additional trail opportunities for both hiking and bicycling within the park.
In addition to the open house, the plans are available for online viewing and commenting at the park's website,