PVAS offers monthly programs that are free and open to the public.
These presentations feature expert speakers on a variety of natural history and conservation topics with in-person programs. They are a great way to learn more about our natural world and meet others who love to learn too!
PVAS Monthly Programs occur on the second Wednesday of each month from 7:00- 8:00 pm, excluding the summer months of June, July, and August, with some social time with light refreshments starting at 6:30 pm. We also skip December to allow for those who are traveling for the holidays.
The programs are offered both in person at Hospice of the Panhandle and live via Zoom.
Click here to see what programs we have scheduled.
Thank you to Hospice of the Panhandle for hosting these monthly programs!
VIEW PAST PROGRAMS
If you are a Master Naturalists, these programs count towards your ongoing education hours.
Wednesday, November 8, 2023
For as long as humans have lived with volcanoes, humans have had deep, multifaceted connections to these landforms that have shaped their lives in so many ways. Volcanoes can be a source of harm for the hundreds of millions of people living on or near their slopes. Yet volcanoes are also a source of good. These majestic, beautiful landforms inspire. They create rich, diverse ecosystems, near and far. They are the source of many materials used by people since time immemorial to the present day.
Come and learn about some of the many ways to think about and appreciate these awe-inspiring forces of nature! Sonja will cover topics ranging from the science of volcanoes to human connections to volcanoes. She will bring some of her personal collection of volcano art, photos, and other doodads from her time at volcanoes.
About the Presenter – Sonja joined the PVAS team in Spring 2023. Sonja began her career in environmental education during her time as a camp counselor during summers in college in western Pennsylvania. In 2008, Sonja earned her B.S. in physics and geology from the University of Pittsburgh and her M.S. in geology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Since then, Sonja has worked in informal education at Montserrat Volcano Observatory, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, and Mount St. Helens Institute. Sonja enjoys crafting (especially crocheting), reading/learning about new topics, and spending time with her dog Pepper and other loved ones.
Unboxing the Conservation and Management of West Virginia’s Box Turtles
Wednesday, October 11, 2023
Most folks have a fond memory of seeing a box turtle. Whether it’s witnessing a box turtle stroll through their backyard, or visiting their garden, or helping one that has accidentally made its way onto a road, people often have positive, caring interactions with box turtles, and for this reason, the species serves as a phenomenal ambassador for connecting people to nature. But box turtles are in trouble—a variety of threats, from habitat loss to illegal collection have resulted in declines of box turtles across the species range, prompting biologists to take action. In West Virginia, the WVDNR has been working diligently to enhance box turtle conservation and develop new and effective conservation strategies to keep the charismatic box turtle on the landscape and continuing to promote wild and wonderful West Virginia. Come learn about box turtles, how the WVDNR are working to protect West Virginia’s box turtles, and how you can take action to help protect them.
About the Presenter – Kevin Oxenrider is the Amphibian and Reptile Program Leader with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Kevin oversees conservation, management, and research actions for West Virginia’s diverse amphibians and reptiles statewide, and represents West Virginia on regional, national, and international working groups and committees to collaborate on amphibian and reptile conservation. He serves as a leading partner on the Eastern Box Turtle Working Group and has been an integral part of developing range wide conservation actions for box turtles.
Pioneering Women in Conservation History- Herstories of the Known and Unknown
Wednesday, September 13, 2023
Let’s travel back in time to visit with women in conservation history—with naturalists, scientists, adventurers, and advocates. How did a couple of cousins hosting tea parties in Boston play a role in stopping the slaughter of birds for fashion? What did a New York socialite and suffragist-turned-
About the Presenter – Maria Parisi is a Potomac Valley Master Naturalist and Potomac Valley Audubon Society member who works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, WV. As the Partnerships Team Lead, she co-manages the History, Library, and Partnerships Branch where she also edits the Service’s Conservation History journal. After working on a journal issue with a feature essay on the history of conservation in the United States, which told the story of a few white men we credit for legislation that informs conservation today, she turned to explore women in conservation history—in and beyond the Service. In her free time, Maria can often be found in her garden planting natives and improving habitat for wildlife.
Raptors in Flight
Wednesday, May 12, 2022
Matt Orsie will lead a fascinating discussion about the identification of hawks and eagles on the wing as well as information about the timing of migration. Click HERE for the video recording.
Clint Hogbin talks about the trends in the Berkeley County recycling and litter control programs and discuss Entsorga; a mechanical and biological treatment plant located in Martinsburg, WV. Click HERE for the video recording.
Presenter: Alison Zak, founder of the Human-Beaver Coexistence Fund (HBCF)
Alison Zak presents “Coexisting with Beavers: A Dam Worthy Challenge”. Everyone is welcome to join PVAS for our (Virtual) February Monthly Program where Alison Zak discusses a little beaver ecology and behavior, a lot about the benefits beavers provide for people/other species/the environment, and most applicably, how to coexist with beavers! Click HERE for the video recording.
Randy Robinson, USFWS, presents Bald Eagles of the Potomac Valley. Randy coordinates the NCTC Eaglecam project in partnership with the Outdoor Channel and the Friends of NCTC to support conservation education. During this presentation, he will give an in-depth look at the bald eagles of the Potomac Valley. Randy will use photos and video clips to discuss bald eagle behavior, biology, nest history and some of the technology needed to keep the eagle nest video streaming to our homes and school classrooms. Click HERE for the video recording.
Watch Here https://youtu.be/Pk8k_jLLshQ