Friday, April 20, 2012

Native Flower workshop May 13

On Sunday May 13 we are having a workshop on Native Plants - their uses and folklore at the Botanic Garden from 12:30 to 4:30. Diane Anestis is a well known expert in this field and has agreed to do this program. She was here with Doug Wood for the tracking workshop and added immensely to that program. (She's Doug's wife.) We will do this the same way as the tracking program. Because of space limitations we will be limiting the attendance to 25 people. So please register with me as early as possible. Members of the 2012 Monongahela MN class will not be charged a fee. For all others the fee is $10.00 to help cover expenses for the day. I will send final instructions to the registered participants a few days before the event. This is a good program for certified members who need class hours for re-certification. Looking forward to hearing from you. Ellen

Garlic Mustard schedule for next week

Dear volunteers, Hurrah! Great progress has been made in this quick spring, and we're also seeing the effects of past efforts. I estimate the total haul from the Arb in 2012 will be about seven heaping truckloads, or about 60% of last year's yield, from the same area. We're not done yet, though. There is still more on the flood plain, and we have yet to tackle the area to the Morgantown side of the Service Road and above the rail-trail. After that, there are a couple of little hot spots I know of, and some areas we should cruise in search of gm in the hope of not finding any. Pulling sessions are scheduled for 8:30 AM Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday next week, April 24, 25, and 26. The plan is to tackle the known infestations on days when several volunteers come, and cruise in search of hot spots on other days. THANK YOU for your good work so far. Please come at one of the scheduled times next week if it suits your schedule. We are making a real dent in the persistent seed bank for this troublesome species, and native plants including Impatiens, goldenseal, and many others are benefiting. Jon

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring Bird Walks at the WVU Core Arboretum

Tuesdays; Join us in viewing neo-tropical migrants and other birds, beginners and experienced birders welcome. For all walks, wear appropriate hiking/walking shoes, and bring binoculars and bird guides if you have them.

7:15 ~ 9:30 am - meet at the Arboretum parking lot. Walks will be led by Audubon members. Be prepared for somewhat steep but smooth trails as we walk down to the river, then back up. Leader – LeJay Graffious
April 17 at 7:15 Guest Leader- Hillar Klandorf
April 24 at 7:15 Guest Leader-Sue Olcott
May 1 at 7:15 Guest Leader – Terry Bronson
May 8 at 7:15 Guest Leader- Caden Haines
May 15 at 7:15 Guest Leader - Derek Courtney

Guided wildflower walks begin at WVU Core Arboretum

The Department of Biology is continuing its long tradition of offering guided wildflower walks at the Core Arboretum beginning at 2 p.m. on the last three Sundays of April. This year’s walks will be April 15, 22, and 29. Many wildflowers have bloomed early in 2012, so the guides will discuss spring botany in general as well as the remaining wildflowers. Guides will be Jon Weems and Rodney Dever. Participants will make many stops while walking a mile in about two hours. No reservations needed.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Garlic Mustard Pullers Needed ASAP

Dear volunteers,

Yikes! As the heat returns and the dryness continues, spring advances at a breathtaking pace. This includes rapid maturation of garlic mustard, and a need to get serious about pulling plants, lest we lose ground after the last two years of great progress.

The time for playing hooky has ended. Please come as your schedules and other circumstances permit. Pulling sessions are scheduled for 8:30 Monday through Thursday, April 16, 17, 18, and 19. Also, student pulling sessions are tentatively scheduled for 1:00 PM Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday next week, and you are welcome to join in. One intrepid volunteer has signed a waiver form and is set to pull on his own in the evenings and on weekends. This is an option for anyone comfortable with it.

Thank you very much for being who you are and doing what you do. I hope the "what you do" will include helping with garlic mustard pulling in the Arboretum this year.

Best wishes,

Jon Weems
Arboretum Specialist
WVU Department of Biology
Morgantown, WV 26506-6057

Saturday, April 7, 2012


West Virginia Master Naturalists
3rd Annual Meeting

Davis & Elkins College, Elkins, WV
June 8 - 10, 2012

Schedule of Classes and Events

Friday, June 8th

4:00 - 6:00 PM Registration - Lobby of Graceland Inn

DINNER - on your own

7:00 - 7:15 PM Welcome Session - Room 400, Eshleman Science Center

7:15 - 8:15 PM Screech Owl Talk - Room 400, Eshleman Science Center

8:15 - whenever Social time - Ice House open- bring a musical instrument and enjoy

(also posible "Owl Prowl" and/or session on building a simple planetarium)

Saturday, June 9th

6:00 - 7:30 AM Bird walk with Rich Bailey, WV State Ornithologist

7:00 - 8:30 AM BREAKFAST - on your own unless staying at Graceland Inn and Conference Center

8:00 - 9:00 AM Late Registration – Lobby of Graceland Inn

All day sessions (9:00 AM - 4:30 PM)

Appalachian Geology and Natural History Fieldtrip (Jim Van Gundy)

Lepidoptera and the WV Lepidoptera Atlas (Sue Alcott)

Aquatic Ecology Fieldtrip and WV Fish Taxonomy (Dan Cincotta)

Mushrooms and Other Fungi (Walt Sturgeon)

Herpetology and Herp Field Study Techniques (Noah McCord & Jim Fregonara)

Morning Classes:

9:00 - 12:00 AM Nature Photography 101 (Bill Beatty)

9:00 - 12:00 AM Birding by Ear, WV Birds (Rich Bailey)

9:00 - 12:00 AM Invasive Plants (Rosalie Santerre)

NOON to 1:00 PM LUNCH (bag lunch included in Meeting Registration fee) 

Afternoon Classes:

1:00 - 5:00 PM Soils (Steve Carpenter)

1:00 - 5:00 PM West Virginia Plants That Changed The World (Bill Beatty)

1:00 - 5:00 PM Crayfish (Zach Loughman)

5:30 - 6:45 PM DINNER - Benedum Hall (meal included in Meeting Registration fee)

Evening Activities

7:00 - 8:30 PM Annual Business Meeting - Byrd Conference Center

8:30 - 9:30 PM Building a Planetarium for Children - location TBA

8:30 - whenever Social time - Ice House open- enjoy the company of your fellow Master Naturalists

Sunday, June 10th

6:00 - 7:30 AM Bird Walk with Kent Kariker

7:00 - 8:30 AM BREAKFAST - on your own unless staying at Graceland Inn and Conference Center

9:00 - 2:00 PM Ferns and Their Allies (Emily Grafton)

9:00 - 2:00 PM Mushrooms (Walt Sturgeon) - this is a slightly abbreviated version of Saturday's class

9:00 - 4:00 PM Appalachian Geology and Natural History (Jim Van Gundy) - this is a repeat of Saturday's fieldtrip

NOON LUNCH (bag lunch included in Meeting Registration fee) 

Click HERE for a printable version of this schedule.


If you plan to attend the Meeting, you are encouraged to register as early as possible. Registration is done online from this website - click the "Registration" link below. The cost of the meeting is $45 per person for the entire weekend if you sign-up by April 30th. The registration includes lunches on Saturday and Sunday, and dinner on Saturday. The cost for those who register after April 30th will be $55. Sign-up for classes in the same manner - click on the "Sign-up for Classes" link below.

Davis & Elkins College is making rooms and meal service available for meeting participants at the Graceland Inn and Conference Center. There is a separate charge for these services and you must register (and pay) for them in advance. Information on how to reserve a Room is available on the "Registration" page. These rooms will be held only until April 30, 2012 and there is no guarantee that rooms will be available after that date.

All classes will have limited enrollment and will be filled on a first-come first-served basis.The cost of all classes is included in the Meeting Registration Fee and classes may be used to satisfy the requirements for Master Naturalist Certification. Classes are open to any interested person over the age of 18 years. Preference in class registration will be given to those already pursuing Master Naturalist certification through a local West Virginia Master Naturalist Local Chapter.

Sign-up for Classes

Information on the Elkins Area
Elkins Motels
Elkins Restaurants

Davis & Elkins College Campus Map
Printable D&E Map
Elkins Area Map

Copyright 2012 by Master Naturalists of west Virginia. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Garlic Mustart Pulling Starts Monday, April 9

Dear volunteers,

Thank you for your responses. Let's begin next week with morning sessions beginning at 8:30 next Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, April 9, 11, and 12. We'll see how it goes next week before setting the schedule for the following week.
For those of you who can come Monday, the forecast calls for a chilly day with showers possible. We'll see. Dress appropriately and remember, you're volunteers, if the weather gets too nasty you may leave! I like to work in the cool, but not in a steady rain and certainly not in a downpour.
I will bring bags and liability waiver forms. You should bring gloves and a large screwdriver or other tool to help uproot garlic mustard plants. After a hot and dry March, the ground is harder than usual for this time of year, and lots of the plants I've tried to pull so far have broken off at the root crown. Recommended clothing includes closed-toe footwear, socks, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, a hat, and a water repellent jacket or windbreaker.
In case you arrive after we've already started, we will begin along the Strausbaugh Trail, the one high on the hillside and below the Coliseum parking lot, heading toward Star City. Look for us there.
Thank you all, have a great weekend, and I hope to see some of you Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday.

Jon Weems
Arboretum Specialist
WVU Department of Biology
Morgantown, WV 26506-6057


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Volunteers Needed at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge

The Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge needs volunteers for their red spruce planting on Saturday, April 21, and Sunday, April 22. Volunteers should meet at the Refuge Visitor Center on Route 32 in Canaan Valley at 10 am. Join the Refuge staff, their partners in the Central Appalachian Spruce Restoration Initiative, along with the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy for this fun work day. Come help us in our efforts to restore the red spruce ecosystem in the West Virginia Highlands. Contact Marquette Crockett by email at or call 304.866.3858, ext. 31 for more information: