Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Naturalist classes start in March

Classes for the Monongahela Chapter of the West Virginia Master Naturalist program will begin on March 23.  To become a master naturalist, each student must complete 64 hours of study and 30 hours of volunteer service over a 1-4 year span. Classes will cover subjects such as ecology, mammals, wetlands, trees, vines and shrubs. About two thirds of the course will be indoor work and the remainder will be held outdoors.  Classes will be Thursday nights from 6-9 p.m. and some Saturdays or Sundays for field trips.  The cost for the course is $60, which includes a manual, a name tag from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, a magnifying lens and a tree identification key.
Info, meeting location: Ellen Hrabovsky at 304-296-1887 or ellen1121@comcast.net

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Volunteers needed for WV Land Trust Field Work

Master Naturalists needed to help me remove invasives at Elizabeth's Woods Nature Preserve this spring?  I want to ramp-up this effort this spring and summer. I can commit a day every other week, at least, if I can get 3 or 4 people to help.

Rick Landenberger, Ph.D.
WVU Dept. of Geology and Geography
P.O. Box 6300
137 Brooks Hall
Morgantown, WV 26506-6300
304-293-9468 (office)
304-692-6172 (cell)

First kayak trip this Friday, February 24

First MAP Paddling Trip 2017, this Friday, February 24:  Monongahela River from Uffington North and back.  Weather amazing - high 77, sunny, winds 5-10 mph - yes, it's February!  Meet at the Uffington boat ramp south of Morgantown, ready to paddle at 12:30 p.m.  Be sure to bring sun screen, sun hat, snacks/lunch, and PLENTY TO DRINK, as it will be warm.  Also life preserver/PFD.  Morgantown lockage will be optional, depending upon the group; PFD required.  Any questions, shoot me an email or give me a call.

Cheers, for a new, exciting, safe year of flatwater boating!
Mary Wimmer
Organizer, Morgantown Area Paddlers
361 Laurel St.
Morgantown, WV  26505
Cell phone:  304-685-5270

Monday, February 20, 2017

New Facebook Page for our Chapter

Madonna Bird has created us a Facebook page: Monongahela Master Naturalists
Be sure to visit and like our page.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Citizen Science Project at WVU Core Arboretum

The WVU Core Arboretum is asking for volunteers for a phenology walk this year.

A phenology walk is a mapped trail with a series of marked plants that citizen scientists observe regularly to record the phenophase.  We will use the Nature’s Notebook website (https://www.usanpn.org/natures_notebook) which is administered by the USA National Phenology Network (NPN) as the web interface for our phenology walk.  Nature’s Notebook is a website that anyone can join and record observations of phenology and places like arboreta can use to develop phenology walks.  A phenology walk is a good tool for science because with many people observing the same plants it is easier to pinpoint the timing of phenophase changes.  A phenology walk is also a great way to get people started collecting data that they can collect anywhere.  

We are seeking volunteers to participate in this citizen science project.  There will be training sessions in mid-March to teach volunteers all about phenology, how to observe phenophases, and the Nature’s Notebook web interface.  There will also be on-site tours to orient volunteers to the phenology walk and point out the mapped and tagged trees.  Participants should plan to visit the Arboretum regularly in spring and fall to do the phenology walk and record data.  We will be available throughout the project to answer questions and help participants.

We here at the Arboretum are really excited about this project, and we look forward to getting lots of citizen scientists engaged with the process of science and generating real data this spring!  If you would like to volunteer to join the program, or if you have any questions, please email Zach Fowler, WVU Core Arboretum Director, at zfowler@mail.wvu.edu

Zach Fowler
WVU Core Arboretum Director
Clinical Assistant Professor
WVU Department of Biology

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Morgantown Urban Hike, Saturday, February 18

Saturday, February 18, 2017
Urban Hike Morgantown: Parks, Reservoir, Cemetery, Neighborhoods and Downtown

Join Sierra Club hike leader Ann Devine-King and longtime Morgantown resident and urban hiker, Bill Case on this 4.5 mile urban hike, starting and ending in the parking lot of the Morgantown Ice Rink on Mississippi St. in White Park, Saturday morning.

We'll walk through the park and view the Cobun Creek Reservoir (the reserve water supply for Morgantown and much of Monongalia County. ) A path from the dam leads into the city's First Ward, where we will walk through Jack Roberts Park, a park created by a community effort after the neighborhood school there was closed in the 1990s. Our route also passes through one of Morgantown's oldest cemeteries, along Wagner Road, one of the city's few remaining brick-paved streets, and into Downtown, where we can stop for coffee at the Blue Moose. 
From Downtown, we'll cross into the South Park neighborhood, and climb a couple of hundred feet in elevation  to the upper part of the area. We'll wind our way back to the starting point past South Middle School and the Monongalia County Technical Education Center, on some of the connecting paths children use to walk or bike to the schools.

This should be a fairly easy hike, as most of the route is along gravel paths or sidewalks. However, make sure to dress for the weather.  There could be icy spots to watch out for.  Depending on weather, Trax type shoe grippers can help.  We hope to finish by noon.

The attached map is just an estimate of our path; we may take a slightly different route.  If you'd like a detailed map of the proposed route see: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=7014688

For start time and to preregister, contact  Sierra Club leader, Ann Devine-King at atdking@gmail.com or call 304-594-2636.
Signup Restrictions: Minors (under 18 years of age) must be accompanied by a parent or a legal guardian, or they must have both 1) a signed permission slip, and 2) the leader's prior consent to participate