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.

NHFS Instructor Bios

January 26–April 1, 2019

Geology
NATH7175E, 3 CEUs
Class night and time: Saturdays, 9 am-12 noon
Class meetings: January 26-March 30, 2019
Field trip dates: March 9 and March 24
Location: Capital Gallery, Washington D.C. (L’Enfant Metro)
Tuition: $365
Instructor: Joe Marx
REGISTER ONLINE
We may not have the Rockies in our back yard, but we have the roots of mountains that were as high as the Alps. Although local earthquakes are rare now, this area broke in two twice and oceans flowed in. Central Atlantic geology tells a story as fascinating as any place on the planet. Course lectures introduce the landscapes, subsurface structures and geologic history of our region. Two field trips emphasize the recognition of local landforms and of the geological processes that created them. ACE College Credit Recommendation Service Reviewed. If minimum student enrollment is not reached by one week before the scheduled start date, the course may be canceled. Image credit: NOAA Photo Library 

Rock Identification
NATH7153E, 3 CEUs
Class night and time: Saturdays, 1-4 pm
Class meetings: January 26-March 30, 2019
Field trip dates: during every class
Location: Capital Gallery, Washington DC (L’Enfant Metro)
Tuition: $269
Instructor: Joe Marx
REGISTER ONLINE
The field identification of rocks requires knowing how to conduct a simple chemical test, recognize six common minerals, and distinguish about ten aspects of rock texture and appearance. In this course, we will learn these skills and then apply them systematically to identify the twenty-five or so types of rock common in the Mid-Atlantic. A hand lens or magnifying glass with a magnification of 6 to 10x is required. Each class session will include a walk outside to look at rock samples. If minimum student enrollment is not reached by one week before the scheduled start date, the course may be canceled. Image credit:  United States Geological Survey and the Mineral Information Institute. 

Land-Use Principles
NATH8255E, 3 CEUs
Class day and time: Mondays, 6:30-8:45 pm
Class duration: January 28-April 1, 2019
Field trip dates: February 9, March 2, and March 23 (all 9 am-1 pm)
Location: 
Woodend Sanctuary, Chevy Chase, MD
Tuition: $365
Instructor: Katherine Nelson
REGISTER ONLINE
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

Botany for Naturalists
NATH7125E, 1.5 CEUs
Class night and time: Wednesdays, 7-9 pm
Class meetings: January 30-February 27, 2019
Field trip dates: February 2 and 16
Location: Woodend Sanctuary, Chevy Chase, MD
Tuition: $269
Instructor: Sujata Roy
REGISTER ONLINE
This course will provide the nature enthusiast with a grounding in the science of plants. Green plants (and algae) provide the oxygen that supports life as we know it on earth. Learn about the internal workings of vascular and avascular plants, their life histories, special adaptations for growth and reproduction and their place in ecological cycles. Two field trips are planned to local sites of great plant diversity. Students should have a 10x hand-lens. If minimum student enrollment is not reached by one week before the scheduled start date, the course may be canceled. Image credit: EncycloPetey