The trainee segment of the DC Master Naturalist Training Program is scheduled to run from March 9 to April 27. Depending on COVID-19 restrictions, class sessions will be held on weekday evenings and weekends, either online or in-person on the UDC main Van Ness campus and at field locations around DC.
Lectures, workshops, and field exercises will cover the following areas:
- An introduction to the District of Columbia Master Naturalist Program
- An introduction to natural history, what is ‘natural,’ and definitions and roles of naturalists.
- The physical world: atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere; energy, air, water, geology, and geomorphology.
- The living world: biosphere; taxonomy, biodiversity, adaptation and evolution, and ecology.
- The ecology of cities: how biota adapts to the built environment; how human society mimics and exploits natural systems; concepts of ecological disturbance, resistance, resilience, and restoration.
- Urban microorganisms, fungi, and plants; natives, exotics, and invasive plants.
- Invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals in urban settings.
- Ecological roles of plants and animals: structure, function, and interactions; the ecological hierarchy; ecosystem services.
- Introduction to urban landscapes: anthropogenic disturbance; land use and cultural history; mosaics, patches, corridors, pattern, process; interpretation, analysis, and synthesis.
- Data collection: experimental and monitoring techniques; citizen science; longitudinal studies.
- Urban ecosystems I: forests and woodlands.
- Urban ecosystems II: lakes, rivers, and streams.
- Urban ecosystems III: wetlands and watersheds.
- Urban environmental management: addressing key environmental issues; management planning; ecological conservation; sustainable development; the naturalist revisited role.
Note: Each session will be led by either UDC faculty or an external partner from a DC government agency, federal agency, or DC-based non-profit organization. Specific details to come shortly.