July 29, 2011

August 2011 Chapter Meeting and Guest Speaker

The next chapter meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 16 from 7-9 pm at the Fredericksburg Church of Christ (336 Riverside Drive, Fredericksburg, VA 22401).  The guest speaker will be Jerry Peters.

Jerry Peters is a Certified Master Naturalist and has been a member of the Fairfax chapter since it was chartered in 2007. He serves on the Training Committee and teaches the chapter's Basic Training course on Biogeography, Land Use, and Urban Ecosystems.

He is on the trail of what he believes are the oldest fossils in northern Virginia, slolithos, trace fossils of Cambrian tube worms. In the Potomac and James River watersheds these fossils can be found in what were originally riverine or near-shore deposits that are now stranded on ridge tops along the Fall Line. In his presentation, he will explain how these beach-dwelling worms came to rest on Piedmont ridges and he will show some examples.

To his knowledge, no one has determined whether these fossils occur in the York or Rappahannock watersheds. Jerry wants to encourage other Master Naturalist chapters in these watersheds to determine whether slolithos occurs there or not. Geogists at the U.S. Geological Survey are interested in the results because their presence or absence could be useful in interpreting the geologic history of the Mid-Atlantic region. The citizens' science project he will propose could advance the state of the art in regional geology.

June 14, 2011

2011 Training Class

Upcoming Master Naturalist Training

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Virginia Master Naturalist. The Central Rappahannock Chapter will be holding a training course from August-December 2011. The purpose of the training is to prepare participants for volunteering as Master Naturalists in our community. Though it is an excellent training opportunity, our purpose is for establishing a base of natural resource volunteers.

An Orientation/Introductory class will be held on August 15th at 6:30 PM at Mott’s Run Nature Center in Fredericksburg. The Center is located at 6600 River Road.

Applications for the training can be downloaded by clicking here or obtained by calling 540-663-0181 or e-mailing karen.snape@dof.virginia.gov or j-m-scibek@msn.com.

The cost for the training is $150.

To enroll, submit your application. Fees are due by August 15th and may be paid at the Orientation Session. Make checks payable to VMN-CRC.

Enrollment is limited to 20 on a first come basis. Applications should be submitted to:

Master Naturalist Program
Virginia Dept. of Forestry
11617 Caledon Road
King George, VA 22485

If you have questions, please contact Jim Scibek at masternaturalistcrc@gmail.com or Karen Snape, 540-663-0181 or e-mail karen.snape@dof.virginia.gov

Please note the following:

1. To become a Certified Master Naturalist, a trainee must: 1) Complete the 40 hours basic training course with a minimum of 25% time in the field; 2) Pass the post-training assessment with a score of 70% or higher; 3) Complete a minimum of 8 hours of advanced training, approved by the Central Rappahannock Chapter; and 4) Complete a minimum of 40 hours of service, approved by the Central Rappahannock Chapter. Each volunteer has a maximum of 12 months from the last day of basic training to complete the remaining requirements for certification. Certification is valid through the calendar year following the year in which the requirements were completed. To maintain certification, volunteers complete an additional 8 hours of advanced training and 40 hours of service annually.

2. Due to statewide regulations, applicants must be 18 years old by the start of the training session (August 15, 2011) or aged 14-17 and accompanied by an adult who is responsible for them, as long as they are both registered participants in the program.

3. Training Class Schedule and Location– Classes will be held Monday evenings from 6:30-8:45PM at Motts Run Nature Center in Fredericksburg starting with the Orientation and Introductory session on August 15th. Master Naturalist guidelines require 25% of the training to take place outdoors. Four required Saturday sessions are scheduled. Saturday classes usually last four hours and will be held at Motts Run, the Friends of the Rappahannock facility on Fall Hill Avenue or other location within the CRC chapter’s region. See schedule below.

4. Trainees may not miss more than 2 classes, and all missed sessions must be made up by attending the appropriate class(es) within 12 months of the completion of the training or other approved make-up activities.

5. Additional information on the Virginia Master Naturalist Program can be found at http://www.virginiamasternaturalist.org/

Master Naturalist Training Schedule – 2011*

Aug. 15th Orientation/Intro to Virginia Master Naturalist Program/Admin. Info/Risk Management/American Naturalist
Aug. 22nd Ecological Concepts
Aug. 29th Botany
Sept. 12th Forest Ecology and Management
Sept. 17th Plant Walk
Sept. 19th Ornithology
Sept. 26th Interpretation and Teaching Skills
Oct. 1st Bird Walk
Oct. 3rd Land Use/ Urban Systems
Oct. 10th Geology/ Biogeography
Oct. 15/22 Wetlands and Coastal Ecology
Oct. 17th Weather and Climate
Oct. 24th Soil Science
Oct. 31st Citizen Science
Nov. 5th Biological and Chemical Water Monitoring and Icthyology
Nov. 7th Mammalogy
Nov. 14th Herpetology
Nov. 21st Entomology – Tests Distributed
Dec. 5th TESTS DUE BACK to DOF- King George (Karen’s Office) by 5 PM
Dec. 6th Graduation and Chapter Meeting

*Planned Schedule – Order subject to change pending speaker availability.

Virginia Master Naturalist programs and employment are open to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact VDOF at 540-663-0181 (TDD number 1-800-828-1120 during business hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to discuss accommodations five days prior to the event.

June 7, 2011

Ni River Trail, Salamander Loop - July 10, 2011

Enjoy the Salamander Loop of the Ni River trail by walking with members of the local chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists. Learn some bird calls, identify some trees and wildflowers and possibly see some of the local wild life. Why is it called the Salamander Loop? Come and find out Sunday, July 10 at 9am.

For more information about the Ni River Trail, including directions, visit the Spotsylvania Greenways Initiative Web site

May 19, 2011

2011 Training

We are currently planning the schedule for the next set of training classes.  The 2011 Training Class is expected to begin August 15, 2011.  Classes will meet on Mondays from 6:30-8:45 at the Mott's Run Nature Center.  Additional details will be posted here once they are finalized.  A copy of the 2010 training information is available here.

May 2, 2011

Walk with a Master Naturalist

Enjoy a walk on the Salamander loop of the Ni River trail with Virginia Master Naturalists this Saturday May 7 from 9 to 11 am. This the start of a monthly walk to observe, listen and learn about this natural area. Learn why it was named the Salamander Loop. Walks will be the 2nd weekend of the month at least through the fall. Exact dates will be posted here.

For more information about the Ni River Trail, including directions, visit the Spotsylvania Greenways Initiative Web site.

March 24, 2011

Approved Project - Friends of the Rappahannock Weed Warriors

Join Master Naturalist Jackie Nelson for a morning of learning about and removing the invasive species that threaten native vegetation along the Rappahannock River. Please be prepared to get dirty and dress appropriately. Sunscreen and insect repellent may be needed. Tennis or closed-toe shoes and long pants are recommended. *Be aware that volunteers may be exposed to poison ivy.

Mark Your Calenders: Weed Warriors will meet throughout the year on Saturday mornings (8:30 am-11:00 am), at FOR Headquarters.

2011 Dates: March 26 * April 9 * April 23 * May 7 * May 21 * June 11
                   August 27 * September 17 * October 1

Lake Anna State Park Weekend, April 29-31, 2011

Lake Anna State Park Weekend,  April 29-31, 2011
This is a event for VA Master Naturalists for Exploration, Advanced Training, and social time. We hope you come and enjoy the entire weekend, but if you cannot - come for part of the activities. You are welcome to bring friends and family.

Lake Anna State Park is located in Spotsylvania County 45 minutes southwest of Fredericksburg.

Campsites STD $24/ $30 ELEC, and small “Campcabins” w/ electric (up to 4 persons) $45 per night. Make your own reservations ASAP. Details and reservations are online at http://www.reserveamerica.com or call 1-800-933-PARK.  Book now.

TRAINING: Bird walks by Donna Finnegan both mornings, with an emphasis on birding by ear. Spring is an excellent time to hear calls and see migrants. Tree Identification by our own famous Harry Puffenburger. POND Management and Macroinvertabrates on Saturday. Wildflower Identification on Sunday. Please let Donna know when you’ve made your reservation. (Contact Donna Finnegan at toadrana@earthlink.net)

Naturalist sites will be arranged together. Call or email with questions 540.895.9261.

Time Keeping

The Virginia Master Naturalist Volunteer Management System is now available! Visit it online at