Natural History Workshop Calendar

Upcoming events

    • Saturday, March 11, 2017
    • 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    • 407 Reservoir Road, Leetown, WV
    • 12

    What: Natural History Workshop: Vernal Pools

    Where: 407 Reservoir Road, Leetown, WV (Directions below)

    When: Saturday, March 11, 2017

    Time: 8:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

    Cost: $20 for PVAS Members, $25 for general public

    Instructors: Clark Dixon, PVAS and Kevin Oxenrider, WVDNR

    PVMN Re-Cert Eligible 

    Join Clark Dixon for this natural history class on Vernal Pools on Saturday, March 11th. 

    The focus for this class will be on the need for Citizen Science involvement to survey local vernal pools. This four hour natural history elective will include a basic introduction to vernal pools with a visit to observe a local vernal pool. 

    The class which is limited to 20 participants will be held at 407 Reservoir Road, Leetown, WV (Directions listed below).  The day will begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 12:00 noon.  Our special guest will be Kevin Oxenrider.  Kevin is the new WVDNR Wildlife Diversity Biologist in District 2, Romney.  

    Kevin is currently implementing a (WVDNR) pilot project that is intended to assess the extent of Ranavirus and other amphibian diseases throughout WV.  Kevin will outline the goals, needs, and methods for this project which include developing a statewide database of wood frog and spotted salamander vernal pool and breeding pond locations and other wetland areas in WV that have breeding populations of spotted salamanders and wood frogs.  This disease survey and monitoring effort will heavily rely on Master Naturalists and other citizens to cover local areas in the state. 

    Join us to learn more about this important WVDNR Citizen Science project.  This is a great opportunity for Master Naturalists to provide meaningful service to improve WVDNR ability to implement this amphibian and reptile disease surveillance project.

    Please dress for the weather, wear sturdy walking shoes and bring along drinking water. 

    This event is limited to 20 participants and registration is required.

    Directions: Vernal Pool class will be at the National Fish Health Research Laboratory in the Leetown Conference Room. The address for the entire complex is 11649 Leetown Road; directions can be found at: The address of the Fish Health Laboratory itself is 407 Reservoir Road. Once you pull onto Reservoir Road, the parking and building are immediately on your right. Enter the parking lot on the Reservoir Road side of the building (just off Leetown Rd).

    Here’s the confusing part: the entire complex covers both sides of Leetown Road, so the first step is figuring out which building on which side of the road. The new buildings (USDA Cold and Coolwater Research Lab) are on one side; you want the older buildings on the OTHER side of the street. When you pull into the lot with the two older buildings, the Fish Health Building is on the left. The Leetown Conference Room is in that building, on the left after you enter.

    Please contact Krista Hawley at or 703-303-1026 with any questions you may have. 

    • Saturday, March 25, 2017
    • 10:00 AM - 2:30 PM
    • Cool Spring Preserve, 1469 Lloyd Road, Charles Town, WV
    • 9

    What: Natural History Workshop: Structural Pruning of Trees

    Where: Cool Spring Preserve, 1469 Lloyd Road, Charles Town

    When: Saturday, March 25, 2017

    Time: 10:00 AM - 2:30 PM

    Cost: $20 for PVAS Members, $25 for general public

    Instructor: Shawn Walker

    PVMN Re-Cert Education Hours Eligible 

    Join Shawn Walker, local Master Naturalist and certified arborist, for his Natural History Workshop on the Structural Pruning of Trees. 

    This workshop is an introductory, yet thorough, workshop that will cover the essentials of tree pruning, with an emphasis on structural pruning of small/young trees for structural integrity and health. 

    The class will do a walk-through/talk-through examining several trees on the Cool Spring property and discuss possible pruning approaches one might take. Then participants will apply the concepts by pruning those trees. 

    Ladders will be available but most of the work should be possible with both feet on the ground. 

    Shawn will provide the majority of the tools needed, however please wear sturdy closed-toes shoes, work gloves, eye protection and any pruning tools you may have. 

    In addition, as the program will span the lunch hour (10-2:30) , please bring along a bag lunch. 

    Dress for the weather and bring along plenty of drinking water. 

    The registration is limited to 15 participants so please register early. 

    Please contact Krista Hawley at or 703-303-1026 with any questions you may have. 

    • Thursday, April 06, 2017
    • 7:00 PM
    • Saturday, April 29, 2017
    • 9:00 PM
    • NCTC, Shepherdstown, WV
    • 0

    Sorry, but this event is now sold out. You can join the waitlist and we will send you an email when additional spaces become available.

    Join waitlist

    What: Birding 101

    When:  Classroom Sessions:  Thursday evenings April 6, 13, 20, 27.
    Field Trips: Saturday mornings April 8, 15, 22, 29.

    Time:  Classroom Sessions: 7-9 p.m.
    Field Trips: Saturday mornings (typically 7am-12pm)

    Where: Classroom Sessions: National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown WV.
    Classrooms TBA

    Field Trips: various locations around the Panhandle

    *Price: $90  per person for PVAS Members and   $110 per person for the general public.  The higher fee includes a one-year family membership in PVAS.

    Workshop Leaders: Wil Hershberger and Lynne Wiseman

    PVMN Re-cert Hours

    Birding 101 is tailored for beginning birders. It utilizes both classroom sessions and field trips to teach everything from bird identification to field etiquette to birding techniques and resources. This year the course will be taught by local birding experts Wil Hershberger and Lynne Wiseman. An impressive collection of images and recordings, many captured by the instructors, enhance the course. 

     The classroom sessions will be held at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Conservation Training Center. The classrooms will be announced. The field trips will be held at various locations around the Panhandle from roughly 7 a.m.–12 noon on the corresponding Saturdays (April 8, 15, 22 and 29).

    Class size will be limited to 24 participants. The course is open to people of all ages but children younger than 15 must be accompanied by an adult.

    Registration is required. 

    $50 of the program fee is non-refundable. 100% of the fee is non-refundable if cancelled within 7 days of the course/event.  
    PVAS reserves the right to cancel the workshop due to unforeseen issues. In this case, a full course fee ($90) refund will be given. PVAS membership fees are not refundable.

    Please email any questions to Krista Hawley at or call 703-303-1026.
    • Thursday, May 25, 2017
    • 5:30 PM - 9:30 PM
    • Cool Spring Preserve, 1469 Lloyd Rd, Charles Town, WV 25414

    What: First Aid and CPR Certification Training

    Where: Cool Spring Preserve, 1469 Lloyd Rd. Charles Town, WV

    When: Thursday, May 25, 2017

    Time: 5:30 - 9:30 PM

    Cost: $70 for PVAS Members, $75 for general public

    Trainer: Brian Kearney

    Contact: Krista Hawley or 703-303-1026

    PVMN Re-Cert Eligible 

    Brian Kearney will be conducting a three hour First Aid and CPR course at PVAS's Cool Spring Preserve.

    Upon successful completion of the course, you will have earned the standard first aid and CPR certificate. The certification is through the Emergency Care Safety Institute (ECSI) and the local vendor is Emergency Training Resource (ETR)

    The course will be held in the upstairs classroom in the main building at Cool Spring Preserve. 

    Dress in comfortable clothes, bring along drinking water and eat dinner before arriving. The class will start promptly at 5:30. 

    Cool Spring Preserve is located at 1469 Lloyd Rd. just outside Charles Town, WV. Parking is available at the parking lot to the front of the building. 

    The workshop is open to anyone with an interest, however registration is required and limited to 10 people. 

    In order to receive the certification, you must attend the full three hour course.

    PVAS reserves the right to cancel the workshop for unforeseen circumstances. In this case, the full fee will be refunded. $50 of the fee is nonrefundable and 100% of the fee is nonrefundable within 7 days of the workshop. 

    • Thursday, August 10, 2017
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Hospice of the Panhandle, Education Center. 330 Hospice Lane, Kearneysville, WV

    What: Natural History Workshop: Butterflies for Beginners: A Photographer's Point of View

    Where: Hospice of the Panhandle, Education Center, 330 Hospice Lane, Kearneysville, WV

    When: Thursday, August 10th, 2017

    Time: 7:00 PM

    Instructor: Penny Stritch

    Cost: $10 for PVAS Members, $15 for general public

    PVMN Re-Cert Eligible 

    Love to watch the butterflies in your yard? Are you interested in learning how to identify them? Wondering what plants attract them? Looking for tips on how to take a quality picture of these fluttering beauties?

    Join Penny Stritch for this Natural History Workshop: Butterflies for Beginners: A Photographer's Point of View. 

    As a self-taught backyard naturalist, Penny has documented 50 different species of butterflies in her yard. She is excited to share her impressive photographs of butterflies as well as give you a photographers viewpoint of:

    • which butterflies you can expect to find in your yard
    • where to look for them
    • what to plant in order to attract them to your yard
    • useful field guides 
    • tips on how to take pictures of these fluttering insects
    • clues on how to ID skippers
    • and much more!

    This workshop is open for anyone interested, however registration is required. 

    Penny has spent years creating a backyard habitat that is home to hundreds of butterflies, as well as numerous other insects. She will be leading an educational tour of her yard on the Saturday following this Workshop. However registration for this tour will be limited so make sure to register early! Registration for the tour available here.

    The Workshop is held at the Hospice of the Panhandle located at 330 Hospice Lane, Kearneysville. From W.Va. Route 9, take the Short Road exit. If heading east, turn left off of the exit. If traveling west, turn right off of the exit. Follow to the stop light at Sheetz. Turn right. Take the next left across from the Shop N Save (formerly Food Lion) onto Hospice Lane. Follow the road back to the Education Center. The Education Center will be on your left, and the inpatient facility will be on your right.

    Please contact Krista Hawley at adult or 703-303-1026 with any questions you may have. 

Past events

Saturday, September 10, 2016 Natural History Workshop: Antietam Creek 'Water Canaries'
Thursday, June 09, 2016 Natural History Workshop: Birding 101
Saturday, March 12, 2016 Winter Wildlife and Tracks Walk at Cacapon State Park
Saturday, January 16, 2016 Tour the Grapevine Road Recycling Center
Thursday, December 03, 2015 Appalachian Fruit Research Station Tour
Saturday, November 14, 2015 Medicinal Plants: Past, Present & Future
Saturday, August 15, 2015 Natural History Workshop; Mushrooms
Saturday, July 25, 2015 Natural History Workshop; "Wasted Light, Stolen Night: An Introduction to Light Pollution"
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Project WET/Project WILD/Project Learning Tree Workshop for Teachers
Saturday, May 30, 2015 Natural History Workshop; Campfire Cooking Class
Saturday, May 30, 2015 Fern Walk at Eidolon Nature Preserve
Sunday, May 17, 2015 Natural History of the Timber Rattlesnake
Sunday, May 03, 2015 Field Trip to Eversweet Apiaries; Intro to Honeybees, Honey & Beekeeping
Sunday, April 19, 2015 Natural History Workshop: Sharing Nature With Children: Spring and Summer
Thursday, April 02, 2015 Natural History Workshop: Birding 101
Saturday, March 07, 2015 Winter Wildlife and Tracks Walk at Cacapon State Park
Saturday, March 07, 2015 Natural History Workshop: Project Learning Tree, Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood
Saturday, January 10, 2015 Natural History Workshop: Safety in the Outdoors
Thursday, September 11, 2014 Natural History Workshop: Advanced Birding Series - Raptors
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 Natural History Workshop: Advanced Birding Series - Shorebirds
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 Natural History Workshop: Introduction to Butterflies
Saturday, May 10, 2014 Natural History Workshop: Geology of Hardy County WV
Sunday, April 06, 2014 Natural History Workshop: Nature Sketching
Saturday, March 08, 2014 Natural History Workshop: Exploring Vernal Pools

          © 2016 Potomac Valley Audubon Society

              P.O. Box 578 • Shepherdstown, West Virginia 25443
              phone // 304-676-3397

Yankauer Nature Preserve (Berkeley County)
Eidolon Nature Preserve (Morgan County)
Stauffer's Marsh (Berkeley County)
Cool Spring Nature Preserve (Jefferson County)

Kristin Alexander, Executive Director //   304-676-3397

Ellen Murphy, Program Specialist //    

Krista Hawley, Adult Program Coordinator
// 703-303-1026

Bridget Tinsley, Land and Watershed Program Manager // 304-261-6016

Amy Moore, Cool Spring Preserve Manager and Naturalist // 240-818-4714
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