Spring 2021 Training Course

Spring 2021 Training Course

Virginia Master Naturalists Course Information for Applicants

Holston Rivers Chapter – Spring 2021

Many of you have shown interest in knowing more about nature. Some of you have said you’d like to take the Master Naturalist training class— but couldn’t do the schedule. But guess what?? Our classes (Holston Rivers Chapter) are online this year! Aaaaand the cost is reduced. Aaaand you still get to meet the same great teachers. Aaaaaand you’ll be able to do outdoor assignments on your own time.

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Virginia Master Naturalist (VMN) with the Holston Rivers Chapter. The VMN training class prepares you to become a Certified Virginia Master Naturalist volunteer. The VMN Program is a statewide corps of volunteers providing education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities.

Please note: VMN is a volunteer training and service-based program. If you do not intend to be an active volunteer and help to support our local natural resources through your volunteer service, then this class and organization may not be for you.

The basic training course covers the background knowledge and skills to prepare you for service as a VMN volunteer. This includes a wide range of topics in many areas relating to the natural sciences. Initial certification, as well as annual recertification, requires 8 hours of approved continuing education and 40 hours of approved volunteer service within a year following completion of your basic training course. You can complete your volunteer service in any of four key areas: citizen science, stewardship, education and outreach, and chapter administration.

Basic Training Course details are provided below:

  •  Classes run March 4-May 27, 2021
  • We strive to keep safety precautions in place and follow the guidance of our state organization and CDC.
  • Classes meet virtually (online) through the Zoom platform.  Field trips are at various locations in order to highlight the locations where we will be doing service hours.
  • Attendance is mandatory for certification, but allowances can sometimes be made to make up a class. These are to be made up within 12 months of completion of basic training in one of the following ways: during the next training cycle if yearly, with another VMN chapter, or by making special arrangements with approval from the Basic Training Committee Chair.
  • It is highly recommended that trainees have an email address and internet access since program communications and volunteer hour reporting are usually done in this manner.
  • Program is targeted toward adults, 18 or older. Youth, age 14-17, may apply under specific conditions.
  • Class size is limited to approximately 24 trainees.
  • Course fee of $65 covers basic training and course materials. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. To request a scholarship, attach a letter to your application stating your need and the portion of the course fee that you can pay.
  • Send your completed Applicant Questionnaire and signed Enrollment Agreement, along with a check for $65 made payable to Holston Rivers Va. Master Naturalists Application, c/o Monica Hoel, PO Box 877, Emory, VA 24327. It must be postmarked by March 4, 2021.

Download the Application/Enrollment Agreement here:  

Check out the schedule here!

VMN Volunteer Application – 2021

Individuals with disabilities desiring accommodations in the application process should notify the Chapter Advisor, Tanya Hall at 276-781-7413 or (TDD number 1-800-828-1120) by the application deadline.

All applicants will be notified by email of their selection status.

Questions? Send an email to Monica Hoel

Virginia Master Naturalist Program 2020 Statewide Photo Share

Many VMN volunteers enjoy working on perfecting their photography skills. Others just like to share snapshots of nifty nature observation. Some like to use photos to document their volunteer work and its impacts.

Everyone can participate in our 2020 VMN Statewide Photo Share!

Each current VMN volunteer or chapter advisor may submit one photo that illustrates your connection with nature in this unique year. It can be a selfie of you doing a naturalist activity, a photo documenting an exciting wildlife encounter you’ve had, a photo of a special natural place that has brought you joy during the pandemic, or anything else that you feel fits the theme of how you’ve connected with nature this year.

Depending on the number of photos we receive, we will share all or a subset on our website and in a slideshow during an end-of-year online event on December 15. This is not a competition! As long as the photos are in the correct format, we will include them.

• The photo must be taken by you, the currently enrolled VMN volunteer or chapter advisor.

• The photo must be taken in Virginia.

• The photo needs to be in .jpg format.

• The photo file name should be YourLastNameYourFirstName_PhotoName.jpg. Fill in your name and the photo name in that format. (for example, MouseMinnie_JamesRiverAtSunset.jpg).

• Only one photo per volunteer is allowed.

• Please do not have any views of children’s faces or other information from which they could be personally identified.

• To make sure that your photo displays well, please make sure that it is at least 2200 pixels on its longest side at 72ppi resolution. We will still try to include your photo if it is smaller, but it might not look wonderful. Ideally, work from the original image from your camera or mobile device, not an image that has been sent through email or downloaded from Facebook. To check your photo’s size from a computer, right-click on the image file and select “Properties” on a PC or “Get Info” on Mac.

• Submit your photo using this survey form. It will prompt you to upload the photo.

• On the survey, we will also ask you to choose categories for the photo, just to help us put similar photos together. We also will ask you for your name, email address, VMN chapter name, a title for the photo, and a brief statement of how the photo illustrates your connection with nature this year.

• Submit your photo no later than November 30.

Help us create a fabulous slide show that captures how our volunteers have connected with nature!

Hidden Rivers Movie Night

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2020 AT 7:45 PM – 9 PM
Park Place Drive In Theater: 301 Park Blvd, Marion, VA 
hidden rivers (2)
Watch the trailer! https://vimeo.com/66103145
Ten years in the making, Hidden Rivers is Freshwaters Illustrated’s newest feature film that explores the rivers and streams of the Southern Appalachian region, North America’s most biologically rich waters. The film follows the work of conservation biologists and explorers throughout the region, and reveals both the beauty and vulnerability of these ecosystems.
We are grateful to PARK PLACE DRIVE-IN for hosting this event! The public is welcome at only $5 per car!
Concessions available.
Audience members may sit outside their cars, but must remain with their cars.
Brought to you by Upper Tennessee River Roundtable, Holston Rivers Virginia Master Naturalist, Hungry Mother State Park, and Park Place Drive-in.

VMN Statewide Photo Contest 2019

The 2019 VMN Statewide Photo Contest allows each chapter to submit in any/all categories that they would like. They allow one submission per category per chapter.

The Holston Rivers Chapter would like to have a mini photo contest. Judges will choose the lucky winner(s) to submit to the state on behalf of the Holston Rivers Chapter.

Deadline to submit photos for chapter contest will be July 9th, 2019.

Email your photos to holstonriversmn@gmail.com with your name, email, image title, location, date image was taken, species name (common & scientific), and any additional information you would like to submit.

*** by submitting your photo to the contest you are giving permission for the local chapter and state program to use your photo in marketing, social media, and publications.***

There are 5 Categories:
1. Virginia Native Wildlife
2. Virginia Native Plant and Fungi World
3. Virginia native Landscapes
4. Virginia Native Macro and Night Photography
5. Virginia Master Naturalists in Action

We look forward to seeing your 2019 photos!

2019_vmn_statewide_photo_contest_rules_final

The 2019 VMN Conference

Our 2019 event will be Friday, September 20 through Sunday, September 22. Pre-conference field trips and activities will take place during the day on Friday, and the main event will run Friday evening through Sunday mid-day.

In 2019, our VMN-Headwaters Chapter welcomes VMN volunteers from across Virginia to the Shenandoah Valley. We’ll be based at the Massanetta Springs Camp & Conference Center, five miles from downtown Harrisonburg. From there, it is a short trip to terrific field trip sites, including Shenandoah National Park, George Washington National Forest, several DCR Natural Area Preserves, the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum, and more.

Registration for the event will open in summer 2019, and all current VMN volunteers will receive notifications about registration dates and procedures via emails through the Volunteer Management System.


The Massanetta Springs Camp & Conference Center has on-site lodging, dining, and meeting rooms, as well as trails and outdoor spaces. (Photo credit: Massanetta Springs Camp & Conference Center.)

Have you seen an Eastern Spadefoot?

Our friends at the Virginia Herpetological Society shared this citizen science opportunity!

If you see, hear, or make any observation of an Eastern Spadefoot, then take several digital photos of it from a side view and a back view. You may also digitally record it calling. Please send digital photos, recordings, or any observations (including location information) to:

Jason Gibson – Patrick Henry Community College – Send Email

Travis Anthony – Reynolds Community College – Send Email

Eastern Spadefoot