of West Virginia
********** REGISTRATION UP AND READY **********
2016 Master Naturalist Conference
North Bend State Park
The seventh annual Master Naturalist Conference will be held Friday June 10 – Sunday June 12 at North Bend State Park. The Conference schedule, Description of classes and instructor Bios may be found on the home page of this site.
The Conference registration fee for 2016 is $75.00 for early registration and $100.00 if postmarked after May 2. Lodging arrangements must be made directly with North Bend SP at 304-643-2931.
After submitting the online form, make a copy of it and send it along with your check made out to D&E Master Naturalists to Kathy Shreve at WVDNR, Elkins Operation Center, P.O. Box 67, Elkins WV 26241.
Please contact Kathy by email at Kathy.firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-637-0245 if you need assistance.
*** Mark your 2017 calendar for the Eighth Annual MN Conference at Chief Logan Lodge and State Park, June 9-11, 2017. ***
Pre-conference activities. Friday June 10
Registration in North Bend Lodge lobby all day
Breakfast Buffet on your own
Guided Kayak / Canoe Trip on North Bend Lake – Friday, June 10 – 9:00am and 1:00pm
A 2 hour guided boating trip on the North Bend Lake will take place in two sessions, one at 9:00am and one at 1:00pm with Ken Zebo, Park Naturalist. Bring your own kayak or canoe or rent one from the concessionaire, North Bend Outfitters. There are a limited number of kayaks
and canoes, so make sure to register for space by May 1.
A new perspective for wildlife observation from the water will give you special opportunities for upclose and rare sights. Wildlife on the lake abounds and occasions to see a variety of birds, including Red Headed Woodpeckers, King Fishers, Green and Blue Herons, an active beaver
lodge, deer, and Bryozoan aquatic invertebrates.
Ken Zebo is the Park Activities Coordinator and Naturalist for North Bend State Park and has been with the West Virginia State Park system since May 2010. He has completed an Environmental Education internship, a Biology internship, and led a Youth Conservation Corps crew with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Patuxent Wildlife Refuge in Laurel, Maryland. He has also completed temporary work assignments with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a Visitor Use Assistant. Ken was also a RESA certified substitute teacher for Harrison County schools prior to employment with West Virginia State Parks. Ken is originally from Northwestern Pennsylvania and moved to West Virginia in September 2009. He graduated with an Environmental Studies and Geography Bachelor’s degree from Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has been accepted and will begin a Graduate degree program in Parks and Resource Management online from Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.
Walking Tour of Harrisville, West Virginia – Friday, June 10 – 12.30pm Meet at the Lodge
Harrisville, first known as "Mealey's Settlement," was first settled in 1801 by Lawrence Mealey. Thomas and John Harris, brothers, arrived soon after in 1807. Thomas Harris, was a settler and prominent citizen who was instrumental in locating the county seat in Harrisville. He also plotted
the town which would be his namesake. Much has changed in the past two hundred fifteen years, but the charm of Harrisville has remained.
Meet David Scott, Ritchie County Historian at the General Thomas Harris School Museum for a little history lesson. Then accompany him on the streets of Harrisville visiting the shops and tourist attractions of this quaint town of 1,876 people.
Your walk thru the past will include Berdine’s one of the oldest five and dimes in the country. “The Building” Cliff’s Museum of Car Memorabilia is another must stop while in the area. You will have the chance to visit a framing shop, thrift shop, as well as an indoor flea market.
Blennerhassett Island State Park – Friday, June 10 – 9:00am
Meet in the Lodge Lobby at 9:00pm to caravan to Parkersburg, WV and Blennerhassett Island State Park. Blennerhassett Museum should be the first stop of your tour. It is the perfect orientation for all that you will see throughout the day. Your museum visit begins with viewing a video that briefly explains the lives of Harman and Margaret Blennerhassett. You will then be free to tour the three floors of intriguing archaeological and historical exhibits.
While on the island, visitors can enjoy picnicking, horse-drawn wagon rides, shopping at the Blennerhassett Gift Shop, the refreshment stand, bike rentals, nature walks, and of course, touring the beautiful Blennerhassett Mansion. The island ticket booth sells tickets for the mansion and wagon ride tours. Blennerhassett's tranquility enthralls many of our visitors as they walk the wagon trailroad encircling the upper end of the island.
Hours of Operation:
Museum – Friday 10:00am – 5:00pm; Saturday 10:00am – 6:00pm; and Sunday 11:00am – 6:00pm
Sternwheeler – Friday 11:00am – 4:30pm; Saturday 11:00am – 5:30pm; and Sunday 12:00pm – 5:30pm
Sternwheeler goes to the Island on the hour and returns on the half hour.
Pre-Conference Bike Hike, June 10
North Bend State Park is a great state park to take part in many outdoor activities. While making plans to attend this year’s Master Naturalist Conference consider arriving a day early to take part in a pre-conference Bike Hike.
The Bike Hike will take in the North bend Rail Trail on Friday, June 10. Tentative plans are being worked out to make this an enjoyable and exciting preconference activity. Conference participants will gather at the park lodge at 8:30 a.m. and depart at 9 am. The Bike Hike will
take 2-3 hours and cover approximately 15 miles round trip, depending on the pace of the group. Participants will end the Bike Hike back at North Bend in time for lunch (on your own).
Bring your own equipment (bike, helmet, lock) or plan to rent those items through North Bend State Park. 304-643-2970. While bikes should be available on Friday morning you can call in a reservation ahead of arrival. Mountain, Hybrid, and Cruise bikes are suggested for use on the
crushed limestone trail surface. Also dress for comfort taking into consideration the weather and the activity. Include a small day pack to carry water, snacks, and other personal items.
In the event of electrical storm or heavy rain in the morning the activity will be cancelled with possible rescheduling in the afternoon weather permitting.
Cookout at Pavilion #3 at 6:00 pm
Campfire to follow (bring an instrument or skit – contact Sam Muncy at
email@example.com if you want to participate in the program.)
Saturday June 11
6:00 am Bird Walk
Short walks and standing; At North Bend
A field course in the identification of West Virginia breeding birds in North Bend State Park. Course will emphasize identification of birds mostly through calls and songs (using such techniques as mnemonics), as well as through visual cues. Participants should bring their own binoculars if at all possible
Jerry Westfall is the Assistant District Wildlife Biologist with West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (District 6 – 10-County area). He helps manage all game species (deer, bear, turkey, squirrel, etc.) within the District. Responsible for the collection of biological information, review of
harvest data, input into season structure, answering general wildlife questions, etc.
Management of Game Mammals
8:30 am field trip, prepare for some walking on rough terrain
This is a game management class dealing primarily with white-tailed deer and furbearers. Emphasis will be on the socio-economic impact of game animals, hunter ethics and land use as related to deer management. Topics of discussion will include chronic wasting disease, epizootic hemorrhagic disease, and supplemental feeding and baiting of deer.
Jeff McCrady has been a wildlife biologist with the WV DNR for more than 30 years, Current position: District Wildlife Biologist. Education:
B.S. in Wildlife Mgt.- West Virginia University, M.S. Wildlife Science - South Dakota State University.
Taxonomy and Biology of Invertebrates
8:30am At North Bend, short walks
Why are there so many species of invertebrates? Why are they so successful? We’ll take a look at the breadth of arthropod diversity in the classroom than venture out into the field to see what is out. We’ll look at basic taxonomy (Order level) and ecology in the classroom and discuss identification aids and techniques for catching and examining insects in the field in the afternoon. Weather and schedule permitting we might even set up some light traps after dark.
Dave McShaffery is a professor of biology, environmental science and leadership at Marietta College with BS and MS degrees from the University of Akron in aquatic biology with expertise in water pollution biology, limnology and aquatic insects, and a PhD in entomology from Purdue University with expertise in the feeding behavior of mayflies and other aquatic insects and sidelines in forensic entomology and hydrodynamics. At Marietta he has worked mostly with dragonflies, co-editing the 2002 Dragonflies and Damselflies of Ohio and writing several chapters of that text. He is currently directing the Barbara A. Beiser Field Station at Marietta College and working on an All-Taxa Biotic
Inventory (ATBI) of the station. He also does a LOT of nature photography, mostly insects and have had images published in field guides, textbooks, other books, park brochures and bandanas.
Geology Field Trip along U.S. Route 50 in Wood and Ritchie Counties, WV and of the Burning Springs Anticline
Dr. Ed Crisp
8:30 am Short walks. Bring a hand lens.
Here in the western portion of the Appalachian Plateau we will examine Upper Paleozoic rocks that were dormed during the Pennsylvanian and Permian Periods of geologic time (about 320 to 250 million yearsago). These sedimentary rocks were deposited primarily by stream deposition. The rocks consist primarily of sandstone and shale and these rocks outcrop along U.S. Route 50 in Wood and Ritchie counties and to the east of Parkersburg, WV. The rocks in this part of West Virginia are nearly horizontal, except for the north-south trending Burning Springs Anticline which crosses eastern Wood County and western Ritchie County and is a unique structural feature of the western Allegheny Plateau . We will also
discuss economic resources (such as bituminous coal, oil and natural gas, and limestone from a mine on the crest of the Burning Springs Anticline) and fossils in the rocks (both terrestrial plant fossils and marine fossils). Time permitting we will identify some sedimentary rock samples and compare these to rocks seen during our trip.
Ed Crisp is retired as an Emeritus Professor of Geology from West Virginia University at Parkersburg and also currently as an Adjunct Professor of Geology at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.
Ongoing projects: 1) WV Master Naturalist Program and 2) Writing a book dealing with evolutionary biology.
Hobbies include: Reading, walking, wildflower identification, nature hiking, collecting and exploring for fossils, kayaking, biking, etc.
Morehead St. Univ. 1965-1969 B.S.- 6/69 Geology/Biology Morehead, Kentucky
Univ. of Kentucky 1969-1971 M.S.- 5/73 Geology Lexington, Kentucky
Indiana Univ. 1971-1974 Ph.D. - 1/75 Geology/Biology Bloomington, Indiana
Birding the Ohio River Valley
8:45 am Short and long walks in varied terrain, Bring binoculars and field guides.
The Ohio River between Newport, OH and Parkersburg, WV provides varied habitats for birds as well as breathtaking scenic views. Join us as we search for resident birds along the river and its backwaters. See two active eagle nests and, hopefully, view the inhabitants. Ospreys may also
make an appearance.
Pat Collins grew up in a birding family along the Ohio River where his mother used the then common bobwhite call to summon her sons. The day following retirement from the Willow Island Power station he was out birding with the Mountwood Bird Club of which he remains a member. Pat
also serves on the board of the Ohio River Island National Refuge. He spends time outside in his woodlands where he built his home and birds by recumbent bicycle on rail trails.
Project Learning Tree
9:00 am at North Bend
Project Learning Tree® (PLT) is a program of the American Forest Foundation that uses the forest as a window on the world, engaging the next generation of America's thought-leaders and decision makers. We provide educators with peer-reviewed, award-winning environmental education
curriculum resources that can be integrated into lesson plans for all grades and subject areas.”
Developed in 1976, our 50-state network includes more than 500,000 trained educators and materials that cover the total environment. PLT in the classrooms helps educators teach tomorrow’s decisionmakers how to think, not what to think, about complex environmental issues.
When you attend a Project Learning Tree workshop you will receive a Pre-K-8 Environmental Education Guide with over 96 activities.
Georgette F. Plaugher, a native of Ritchie County, is the Program Coordinator for the WVU Extension Oil and Natural Gas Program. She has worked for WVU since 1999 and has served as a small ruminant research assistant, the Tucker County Extension Agent, and a visiting instructor over the past 17 years. Georgette has degrees in Animal and Veterinary Science and Wildlife and Fisheries Resources from WVU. She and her husband live on his family farm along the Cheat River in Tucker County with her dog, cat, and horses. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, snorkeling, canoeing, and traveling.
Aquatic Habitats and Freshwater Mussels
Doug Wood 9:00am
Exploring the North Fork of the Hughes River will require wading and navigating slick stream banks.
This all-day class will include Aquatic Habitats and Freshwater mussels. Using investigative and experiential techniques we will explore a variety of stream and pond habitats from headwater streams to reservoirs. We will focus attention on fresh water mussels as examples of how organisms and the environment work together to sustain ecosystems.
*Note: This class will count for the Aquatic Habitats MN core class.
Doug Wood retired from the Water Resources agency in the WVDEP. He conducted water research for 33 years in the field in WV. He has a B.S. in Wildlife Management and currently serves as a volunteer board member on six outdoor recreation and environmental management entities.
Note: All classes on Saturday will meet from the scheduled time until no later than four pm. Box lunches are available for all participants.
Please make your selection from the following:
_____ Hummus Wrap
_____ Ham and cheese
Includes: Fresh fruit, Chips, Cookie and Bottled water
All sandwiches on whole grain bread
Dinner 5-7 on your own. Buffet at the Lodge (dessert later)
Business meeting in Conference Room 7-8. All participants are encouraged to attend.
Elections of officers on the agenda.
Selection of 2018 conference site
Doug Wood – Master Naturalists make a difference at the Kanawha State Forest
Sundae Bar to follow
Sunday June 12
6:00 am Bird Walk
Short walks and standing; At North Bend
Field course in the identification of West Virginia breeding birds in North Bend State Park. Course will emphasize identification of birds mostly through calls and songs (using such techniques as mnemonics), as well as through visual cues. Participants should bring their own binoculars if at all possible
West Virginia’s Geology and Volcano’s History
8:30-12:30, Short walks in and near Volcano, WV
Wear appropriate hiking shoes/boots
This workshop focuses on connecting West Virginia’s 300 million year old geologic history to the local 160 year old history of Volcano, an early oil boom town. We begin with hands-on activities to identify common rocks and their clues to the state’s ancient history. Next, we carpool as we apply this information to road cuts en route to Volcano. On site, Michael Naylor, local historian, will give us a tour of the Volcano Museum and the remains of the former oil boom community. We continue to search for geology clues in this portion of the trip. Bringing a bag lunch to picnic at the museum is suggested. Restrooms are available at the museum.
Claudette Simard (M.S. in Geology WVU) worked as an Economic Geologist at the WV Geological Survey before switching to teaching Earth Science courses at Fairmont State University. Claudette also teaches geology to the public through North Central Byways and Backways booklets and, since 2005, Master Naturalist workshops. Passions include gardening, traveling, and enjoying and photographing nature.
Guided Nature Hike – Sunday, June 12 – 9:00am
A 2 hour, 1.2 mile guided nature hike on the Overlook Trail of North Bend State Park with Ken Zebo, Park Naturalist. This 1.2 mile loop trail is accessible by the cabin area and features a number a different wildlife habitats and environments. Mild to moderate grades, strenuous in
parts with changing tread surfaces and sight lines. Hikers will experience numerous elevation changes through mild to moderate slopes and flat
sections of trail. An overlook of the dam and lake, rocky outcrops, and riverside access are some of the highlights of the trail. A variety of wildlife and wildlife signs are apparent on the trail, along with several opportunities to view native plants.
Nature walk with Cynthia Burkhart 8:30 – 1.5 mile hike over some uneven terrain with
elevation changes. Dress for walking and the weather. Cameras and Binoculars.
Join me on a rambling nature hike on our 70 acres just 1.5 miles from the Park. With over 40 species of birds, 18 species of ferns, 40 tree species and moss, lichens, wildflowers, fungi, insects and amphibians there is always plenty to see. I never know exactly what I will find out
on the trials – just that it will be wonderful! I look forward to meeting you all and sharing our special place.
Cynthia grew up near Pittsburgh, PA, in a family that was always interested in the natural world. After graduating from CarnegieMellon
University with a BFA in Architecture, she worked for 4 years with a golf course architect. In 1976, Cynthia and her husband moved to the then
completely undeveloped acres in WV. She keeps goats, horses, and chickens and also grows lots of flowers and vegetables; makes soap and cheese and enjoys birding and photography..
Wildscaping - The art of attracting wildlife to your land
William Healy 8:30
We will take a walking tour of a 200 acre farm that is managed for wildlife by a retired biologist. The landscape is a mix of hayfields, scrub lands, forests and wetlands. Tractor, chain saws and hand tools are used to maintain and enhance plant diversity. About 140 bird species have been observed; butterflies and pollinators abound. Most of the management techniques can be applied to your backyard.
Bill Healy is a retired US Forest Service Research Wildlife Biologist. He has published extensively on Wild Turkey and Oak forest ecology. Bill is also an avid naturalist and hunter and land manager - which he calls "Wildscaping". He has Master Degrees from Penn State in Forest Management and Wildlife management and he has earned a PhD at WVU in Forestry.
Mike Williams 8:45am
Mike taught Nature Photography at the state conference two years ago. More information to follow separately. Bring your camera.
Attached you will find the reservation form for the 2016 Wildflower Pilgrimage held at Blackwater Falls. If you are unable to open the document, please let me know and I will mail you a paper copy. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
We are again able to take reservations over the phone with a credit card. You will need to call and speak with me in order to do that. If I am unable to answer, please leave a message. All messages are dated and timed and will be processed in the order they are received.
We look forward to seeing you at the Pilgrimage!!
Wendy L. Greene
West Virginia Divison of Natural Resources
324 4th Avenue
South Charleston, WV 25303
NEW CHAPTER SCHEDULES
Chapters are starting to announce their schedules for the coming year. Check under Local Chapters to see if your chapter has been posted.
Sam Muncy was asked by several people in the Astronomy class for his instructions to build MICAN. He has provided the instructions in pdf format. If you have any questions, please contact Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org
NPR wants to help you decode the sounds of animals in your backyard.
Wondering what kind of bird delivers your early morning wakeup call? Or which frogs are croaking and lurking in your pond? Use your smartphone or a tape recorder to capture the sounds (at least 15 seconds) of the mysterious creatures in your backyard and send the audio file to email@example.com with the subject line "Decoding Nature." We’ve enlisted the help of researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to help decode the sounds in your recordings and identify the creatures. Make sure to include your full name and where you live in your email. And if you’d like, share your best guess as to the identity of your mysterious, noisy neighbor.
Be sure to visit Events & Volunteer Opportunities for upcoming state events.
There are eight currently active Master Naturalist Chapters located around the state and more can be expected to be added as interest develops.
If you are interested in becoming a West Virginia Master Naturalist, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill-out the form available under the "Contact Us" heading in the Menu Bar at the top of this page.
Also be sure to click on
which will take you to the Official West Virginia Master Naturalist website which is operated by the Wildlife Resources Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.