Fulfill your dream of becoming a naturalist!
Our Natural History Field Studies courses, offered quarterly on a rotating basis, provide a unique opportunity to learn natural science from experts while exploring the ecosystems of the Central Atlantic region. Intended for the lay person and taught at the college freshman level, these evening courses are open to anyone at least 18 years old. Individual courses are useful to professional and amateurs alike in acquiring knowledge of specific subject matter and enhancing enjoyment of the out-of-doors.
The Natural History Field Studies curriculum has been designed to provide participants with a comprehensive and stimulating overview of the regions natural history and conservation issues with an emphasis on learning in the field. A Certificate of Accomplishment is awarded for completion of a required curriculum of 39 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) taken in five subject areas.
Classes are offered at the Audubon Naturalist Society’s Woodend Sanctuary in Chevy Chase, MD, and the metro-accessible Capital Gallery (L’Enfant Plaza stop) in downtown DC. The Natural History Field Studies program is cosponsored by the Audubon Naturalist Society and the Graduate School USA.
January 14–March 17, 2020
NATH8255E, 3 CEUs
Class day and time: Tuesdays, 6-8 pm
Class duration: January 14 – March 17, 2020
Field trip dates: February 1 and 22, March 7 (9 am-1 pm)
Location:Capital Gallery, DC
Instructor: Katherine Nelson
Land use planning decisions made in your community affect you every day: your decision to walk, drive or bike; the placement of parks and green space; your sense of place and connection to the past. Gain a working understanding of the legal and regulatory principles as well as the political forces at work in making land use decisions. Sustainable design and smart growth propose solutions to the tradeoffs between land and people, economic development and environmental protection. This course integrates aspects of ecosystems, conservation, and human ecology to explore how you can influence our existing and future built environment to fit into the natural environment. Field trips allow you to see how the principles and practices are being applied close to home. If minimum student enrollment is not reached by one week before the scheduled start date, the course may be canceled. Image credit: Alan Scott Walker
NATH8280E, 3 CEUs
Class night and time: Wednesdays, 6:45-9:15 pm
Class meetings: January 15-March 4, 2020
Field trip dates: February 9 and 29 (9 am-2 pm)
Location: Woodend Sanctuary, MD
Instructor: Gogi Kalka
Although existing in habitats of their own design, humans cannot escape the biological and physical constraints on energy use, food production, population growth and interactions with other species. Applying ecological principles, students will examine our role in pressing environmental problems such as global climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation and learn to critically evaluate possible solutions. We will explore renewable energies, sustainable food systems and other inspiring global and local sustainability initiatives. Recommended prior course: Introduction to Ecology (NATH1160E), or equivalent. If minimum student enrollment is not reached by one week before the scheduled start date, the course may be canceled.
Winter Bird Life
NATH7163E, 1.5 CEUs
Class night and time: Wednesdays, 7-9 pm
Class meetings: January 22-February 12, 2020
Field trip dates: January 25 (Black Hill Regional Park) and February 2 (Blackwater NWR)
Location: Woodend Sanctuary, MD
Instructor: Gemma Radko
Woodland birds are easy to sight in winter when leaves are off deciduous trees, and waterfowl are numerous and easy to locate. Learn about avian winter survival strategies, how to attract overwintering birds, where to look for birds in winter, and the essential connection between waterfowl and the Chesapeake Bay. Two field trips will provide opportunities to identify and study winter birds and their behavior. Image credit: If minimum student enrollment is not reached by one week before the scheduled start date, the course may be canceled.