Northern Neck Master Naturalists
Trained & Certified Virgina Master Naturalists


Northern Neck Master naturalists

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Capture and Curation Methods for Studying Terrestrial Vertebrates and Invertebrates: Discovering How Important Scientific Specimens Can Be!


Two curators from the Virginia Museum of Natural History are offering a one-day, hands-on "field and lab methods" workshop at Gloucester Point, Virginia on March 14, 2018.  They taught a similar workshop there last October, and it was very well received.

The Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia, along with the Virginia Museum of Natural History, is pleased to offer the following one-day workshop:

Capture and Curation Methods for Studying Terrestrial Vertebrates and Invertebrates: Discovering How Important Scientific Specimens Can Be!

WHAT and WHO: This day-long workshop will provide details about how terrestrial vertebrates and invertebrates are captured for scientific study and how they are prepared and curated as museum specimens for long-term preservation.  The instructors will also provide examples from their own research programs of how museum specimens are used to further our understanding of Virginia’s fauna.

The instructor for the vertebrate portion is Dr. Nancy D. Moncrief, the Curator of Mammals at the Virginia Museum of Natural History.  Nancy studies mammals that live on the Virginia barrier islands; she also investigates evolution in tree squirrels of eastern North America.  Most native mammals in Virginia are small, secretive, difficult to identify, and are active mostly at night!  Therefore, the only effective method for studying many of these species is trapping.  In a half-day session, we will explore various methods of capturing mammals.  Participants will accompany the instructor as she checks previously set live traps.  We will observe and photograph the animals we capture, and then release them where they were caught.  We will also review various other methods for studying mammals that do not require capture and handling.  Many of the techniques for capturing and studying terrestrial mammals are also used for birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

The instructor for the invertebrate portion is Dr. Kal Ivanov, Assistant Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the Virginia Museum of Natural History. Kal’s research focuses on the taxonomy, systematics and natural history of ants, but his interests also include biodiversity inventories, arthropod collecting techniques, community ecology and invasion biology. Virginia’s invertebrate fauna is not fully known but most of the 20,000 species expected to occur in the state are small, secretive and often difficult to find.  Because they are small, and the majority cannot be identified without the examination of minute morphological characters, entomologists often make and maintain research collections. However, before the specimens make it into a research collection they have to be first captured. In a second half-day session, we will explore various ways for catching arthropods and other invertebrates. These will include, but not limited to: 1) active techniques such as hand collecting, sweep netting, and collecting with beat sheets; and 2) passive techniques such as Winkler litter extraction, pitfall traps, Malaise traps and other passive trap types, some of which are baited with small bits of sweet foods (such as cookies).

WHEN:  March 14, 2018   -   8:30 am – 3:30 pm

WHERE:  Catlett-Burrus Research and Education Laboratory/Wilson House – at the CBNERRVA Offices, on the campus of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, Virginia

*Important information - you are able to submit your payment using a credit card!  Please pay careful attention to the information below:

  *   The cost of this one day course is $30.00
  *   You must pre-register, and I must receive both your payment and information before your registration is ‘complete.’
  *   *Registration is a 2-step process – 1) submission of the required information, and 2) submission of a $30.00 payment.  *Your registration will not be complete without payment (a place will not be held for you, until you complete both parts!)
  *   Required information for registration is: name, email address, professional affiliation, and telephone number.  Kindly send this information to:<mailto:sy>.  If you would like to mail your payment via the US Postal Service, please email Sandra Erdle first for a pre-registration OK.
*To pay with a credit card – click the following link: (*be sure to click the CBNERRVA Capture and Curation Methods Workshop!) 0604_ustores/web/store_main.js p?STOREID=4&clearPreview=true& SINGLESTORE=true

  *   Upon receipt of your payment, you will receive an email confirmation and receipt.  Remember - you still need to submit the requested information to me! (Name, email address, professional affiliation, and telephone number.)
  *   We reserve the right to cancel the workshop if necessary, in which case you will be refunded the full amount.
  *   If you must cancel after submitting payment, you will be refunded the full amount prior to March 1, 2018, and a partial amount after that.
  *   Your registration fee covers workshop costs, snacks and breaks.
  *   Participants must bring their own bag lunch – however, drinks and dessert will be provided!
  *   *Space is limited – register early!

Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at<mailto:sye>, or 804 – 684 – 7144.  Thank you for your interest – best wishes -  Sandra Erdle

Sandra Y. Erdle, Coastal Training Program Coordinator
Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
phone: 804.684.7144  /  fax: 804.684.7120
P. O. Box 1346, 1375 Greate Road, Gloucester Point, Virginia  23062<mailto:syerdl> / oastal_training/index.php
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