by Scott Hudson, NTMN class of 2018
One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between man and nature shall not be broken. – Leo Tolstoy
At this writing we’re starting our Third Annual Fall Bioblitz, documenting area biodiversity on iNaturalist. If past events are any indicator, we’ll record hundreds of species and thousands of individual observations. I hope everyone has a chance to add to the effort. While you’re doing so, you’re also building that link between man and nature. Thanks for your many contributions to citizen science.
Annual Meeting Time!
Excitement is building about next month’s meeting. I want to encourage your participation in the Texas Master Naturalist Annual Meeting, October 20-23 in Houston. If you’re on the fence or just haven’t got around to registering yet, here are a few points to consider.
Huge range of topics – This excellent agenda offers something on most every aspect of being a naturalist and furthering our mission. Just a sampling: managing invasives, prairie restoration, birds/bats/bugs/coyotes/ocelots/spiders, host plants, volunteers, interpreting. On the tech and technique side, there are sessions on iNaturalist, VMS, camera trapping, and photography. Well over 100 sessions to engage and equip you to be a better Master Naturalist.
Scholarships available – Your board is hoping everyone who wishes to attend will be able to. Some scholarship funds are still available to assist by reimbursing in-person registration fees. You can apply via this form. The deadline for applications has been extended to September 15th. Please contact Susannah Moore, Vice President, with questions at email@example.com.
Virtual Option – If making the trip to Houston doesn’t work for you, a significant part of the meeting will be available virtually at a reduced registration rate. The virtual agenda is available here and will be available for later viewing with any meeting registration.
NTMN is well represented – Two presentations feature North Texas Master Naturalists. Synopsis excerpts follow; more details are in the agenda.
Ned Fritz: Founder of Nature Preservation in Texas – Amy Martin and Kristi Kerr Leonard
“Close readers of the TMN textbook know Ned Fritz, who appears in two entries. No one had a greater impact on Texas nature than Ned and his wife, Genie…Join us for an inspiring presentation woven with excerpts of Fritz’s nature poetry and photos of places he protected. Learn how he used lawsuits, policy papers, negotiations with politicians and bureaucrats, alliances and coalition building, and media outreach to achieve his goals.”
Supporting Full and Equal Access to a Community’s Natural Environment: A Class Project Case Study – Kristi Kerr Leonard, Shelby Smith, and Rebecca Poston.
“A case study in the historically marginalized Bonton + Ideal Black and Brown communities. It evolved from the Buckeye trail restoration, to a simple community event, to the start of much deeper community relationships…We will share key lessons learned from this experience to help inform other Master Naturalist community outreach efforts.”
Silent Auction – A fun way to raise funds for TMN project grants and bringing speakers to future meetings, bidding on travel, books, gear, and art. Auction items can be brought to the meeting.
Schedule – A few key dates to bear in mind.
September 28 – Registration closes
September 30 – Last day for Photo/Art/Media Contest entries online
October 1 – Virtual registration closes; late virtual registration begins
October 1 – Entries due for Chapter Advisor Award, Chapter Project Contest, Video Contest
Hope to see you at the meeting!
NTMN Chapter President