Master Naturalist Convention at Pipestem Resort State Park – June 7-9, 2019

On Saturday 9 am-noon Jan will be teaching the class, “Birding Skills.”

Whether you are an experienced birder or a rank beginner, this class will help you expand and improve your birding abilities. We will explore bird appearance, behavior, location, and sounds. Part of the class will include an outdoor bird walk so dress for the weather.

Left to right – White-breasted Nuthatch, Eastern Bluebird and Gray Catbird (Photos (c) Bill Beatty)

On Saturday 1-4 pm I will be teaching the class, “You Are What You Eat.”

Stores offer countless food choices, but there are many wild plants that are just as edible and in some cases far more nutritious than their supermarket counterparts. Best of all, edible wild plants are free and fun to find. This class will look at the variety, identification, natural history, and nutrition of many wild edible plants. We will also share some insights into the taste and preparation of these common healthy foods. In the outdoor portion of this program we will look for and discuss edible, medicinal, and poisonous plants.

Clockwise from top left – Broad-leaved Cattail, Common Dandelion, Great Chickweed and Wood Nettle (Photos (c) Bill Beatty

On Sunday 9 am-noon I will be teaching the class, “Yours For a Song.”

The sounds that birds make can be learned and used for identification. Some birders do 95% of their birding by ear. This class will start with an indoor program discussing bird songs and calls, including strategies for learning them. An outdoor walk will demonstrate how to apply these skills. Bird songs are fun and students will discover they can interpret bird sounds without visually identifying the birds.

Clockwise from top left – Scarlet Tanager, Kentucky Warbler, Ovenbird and Blue Jay (top left photo (c) Jan Runyan, other three photos (c) Bill Beatty)

Additional information and registration:

Directions to Pipestem Resort State Park:,-81.0504442,13.25z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x884e64b6952d8fa5:0x54813f39f1d56660!8m2!3d37.533853!4d-80.9947527

Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines class for the Master Naturalist Program – May 26, 2018, 9-Noon

This class is open to the public, but you must preregister.

Left to right… Deciduous Forest, Highbush Cranberry and Dutchman’s Pipe Vine (Photos (c) Bill Beatty)

In this class, students will learn some of the more common woody plants, what makes woody plants different, and clear up the confusion over deciduous, evergreen and coniferous trees.  We will also discuss how to collect and preserve woody plants, the importance of woody plants to humans and wildlife, and how to approach further study, including helpful references.
This class is held at the Good Zoo at Oglebay Park.  Part of the class will include hands-on working with the plants and references materials outdoors so dress for the weather.
Call – 304-243-4100 to register

Wildflowers and Weeds for Master Naturalist, April 28, 2018, 9 am – Noon

This is a beautiful time of year to be in the woods!  Join me to learn about the incredible spring ephemeral wildflowers and those things we call “weeds”.  This program is open to the public, but you must pre-register.

Left to right… Sharplobe Hepatica, Blue-eyed Mary and Bloodroot (All photos (c) Bill Beatty)

Learn the major groups and important families of flowering plants.  Discover basic terms for describing flowering plants as well as how to collect and preserve plants.  Identifying flowering plants using field guides and keys will also be covered, as well as approaches to further study, including helpful references.  This class will meet at the zoo, then drive to the woods surrounding West Liberty University.  Participants will provide their own transportation to West Liberty.

Master Naturalist Program – Northern Panhandle Chapter

Master Naturalist Program

Area nature lovers, 16 years of age and older, can now be trained and certified as Master Naturalists. The new program was developed by the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, and the Good Zoo at Oglebay has been chosen as a training site. The cooperative program, led by the WV Division of Natural Resources with assistance from Davis and Elkins College, Canaan Valley Institute and the WV Cooperative Extension Service, has selected the Good Zoo at Oglebay as a training site. Good Zoo educators will be teaching the classes, along with the Schrader Environmental Education Center staff, the West Virginia Department of Natural Resource’s biologists, and university experts.