This unique continuing education program for adults provides a comprehensive and stimulating view
of our region’s natural history and conservation issues.

Open to adults 18 years of age or older, professionals and amateurs alike.

Summer 2021 Courses

Summer 2021 NHFS Courses
Summer Tree Identification (June 14 - August 16)

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SUMMER TREE IDENTIFICATION
Field trip option full

NATH7148, 3 CEUs

Learn about trees, shrubs, and vines in this 10-week intensive course! Taxonomy, plant morphology, and forest ecology will all be explored. The course will focus on the identification of our region’s woody plants with the use of local dichotomous keys. Field trips will emphasize plant associations and reinforce the use of keys by highlighting identifying characteristics of various woody plants. If minimum student enrollment is not reached by one week before the scheduled start date, the course may be canceled. Registration closes June 11.

Class Schedule: June 14 - August 16, Mondays, 6–8 pm
Class Location: Online via Zoom

Field Trips: Patuxent River Park – Jug Bay Natural Area, Group A: June 19, Group B: July 3; Little Bennett Regional Park, Group A: July 17, Group B: July 24; Sugarloaf Mountain, Group A: August 7, Group B: August 14

Course Fees
Zoom Lectures Only: ANS members $240, nonmembers $265
Zoom Lectures + Field Trips: ANS members $300, nonmembers $330

Required Books:
• Tree Finder: A Manual for Identification of Trees by Their Leaves (Eastern US) (Nature Guides) Paperback by May Theilgaard Watts
• Common Native Trees of Virginia by Ellen Powell

Recommended Books:
• Plant Identification Terminology: An Illustrated Glossary
• Muenscher's Keys to Woody Plants: An Expanded Guide to Native and Cultivated Species by Edward A. Cope
• Trees in My Forest by Bernd Heinrich

About Your Instructor:

Bradley Simpson

Bradley Simpson

Bradley Simpson is the Restoration Manager for the Audubon Naturalist Society, working to improve habitat quality at Woodend Nature Sanctuary. He has led the effort to survey the trees of Woodend's forest, tagging over 4,000 trees. B.S., Environmental Science and Policy with a concentration in Wildlife Ecology and Habitat Management, University of Maryland.

REGISTER ONLINE

Insect Life (June 15 - August 17)

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INSECT LIFE

NATH7130, 3 CEUs

Delve into the world of the tiny but often overlooked animals that run the world. Learn to identify insects to the order level and discover their roles in the balance of nature. Study their life histories, the ecologies of important insect forms, the necessity of insects in biotic communities and principal insect families of the Central Atlantic region. If minimum student enrollment is not reached by one week before the scheduled start date, the course may be canceled. Registration closes June 11.

Class Schedule: June 15 - August 17, Tuesdays, 6–8 pm
Class Location: Online via Zoom

Field Trips: 1. Daytime insects, Woodend Sanctuary (9 am - 12 pm) - Group  A June 26, Group B  June 27.
2. Night insects, Patuxent Park (7 pm - 10 pm) - Group A  July 30, Group B  July 31

Course Fees
Zoom Lectures Only: ANS members $240, nonmembers $265
Zoom Lectures + Field Trips: ANS members $300, nonmembers $330

Required Materials 
• National Wildlife Federation’s Field Guide to Insects and Spiders of North America by Art Evans, Sterling Publishing, New York. 2007.
• A bound notebook for sketching and taking notes on specimens and field observations.
• A 10X (or higher) loupe and/or a camera with macro ability.

Highly Recommended 
• Field Guide to the Insects by Eric R. Eaton and Kenn Kaufman. 2006

About Your Instructor:

Cathy Stragar

Cathy Stragar

Cathy Stragar manages the Plant Protection and Weed Management’s biocontrol program for the Maryland Department of Agriculture. She has a Masters in Entomology from the University of Delaware and is a lifelong naturalist and educator, regularly leading programs with the Audubon Naturalist Society.

Summer Bird Life (July 22 - August 12)

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SUMMER BIRD LIFE

NATH7116, 1.5 CEUs

Bird activity is especially busy in the summer, with courting, nesting, and fledging happening in the space of a few short months. Learn about local summer birds and their breeding strategies, nests and nestlings, habitat requirements, and much more. We will discuss the current state-wide atlas, and what we can learn from atlasing activities. A field trip to a local park will help participants learn to identify local nesters, their nests, and young birds.  If minimum student enrollment is not reached by one week before the scheduled start date, the course may be canceled. Registration closes July 16.

Class Schedule: July 22 - August 12, Thursdays, 6–8 pm
Class Location: Online via Zoom

Field Trips: Group A July 31, Group B August 1. Location TBA

Course Fees
Zoom Lectures Only: ANS members $150, nonmembers $180
Zoom Lectures + Field Trip: ANS members $190, nonmembers $220

Recommended Books: Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America by Roger Tory Peterson

About Your Instructor:

Gemma Radko

Gemma Radko

Gemma Radko is the Communications/Media Manager for the American Bird Conservancy. She completed MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) training through the Institute for Bird Populations in1998. A licensed bird bander, she operated the MAPS station at Adventure in Potomac, MD. B.A., Allegheny College.

What students say about
Natural History Field Studies:

“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to take classes in the NHFS program. Most environmental education is aimed at children and youth. Because nature programming wasn’t a part of my suburban childhood (and I might not have cared about it or retained it in any case) I am thrilled to be able to learn about natural history as an adult – ‘when the student is ready, the teacher appears.’ Thanks to the Audubon Naturalist Society, natural history is becoming a passion.”
- R. Gray, NHFS Student