“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.” Field Studies student R. Gray
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.
SUMMER 2020 CLASSES CANCELLED
The summer term of Natural History Field Studies classes will not run due to the continuing “stay at home” and physical distancing orders from area governments in response to the Covid 19 pandemic. Since the most important feature of these natural history and environmental courses is the linking of field experiences with classroom learning, we are pausing the program until we are able to safely offer field trips again. We hope that this will be possible by the fall quarter.
In late summer, we will assess the situation re: COVID-19 and if a return to the usual format of classroom lectures with 2-3 field trips is not possible we will consider the feasibility of another model. This might take the form of Zoom lectures with field trips in groups of no more than 10, with appropriate precautions. Courses currently under consideration for the fall include Bird Life, The Living Soil, Wildlife Ecology, and Fungi.
The Audubon Naturalist Society will communicate any changes regarding this status as soon as we are able. Keep an eye on our website, our monthly E-news, and our Facebook page for updates. We will also contact former NHFS students directly when fall plans are determined.