2017 Webinars - Profiles in Service

2017 Webinars - Profiles in Service

Please consider participating or viewing our quarterly OCVN webinars. This year the series will focus on volunteer service and highlight what service volunteer naturalists are participating in Ohio and beyond as well as examine the needs and service opportunities. Please see the list below for dates and times of the webinars. A recording will be posted on this page following the program. More information on the program and connection details for all the programs will be posted later.


December 13  - 12 noon -1:00 pm - Ohio Dragonfly research, presented by Jim Lemon, OCVN


2017 is the first year of a planned three-year statewide survey; the first large scale effort since the 1990’s. We are looking to get good data primarily through photographic observation and also collecting. We will be using iNaturalist for photo submissions. Many of our OCVN’s volunteer in good Odonate habitats and can contribute if they can make photos and submit them to iNaturalist. Most of our Odonates can be identified from photographs. The use of iNaturalist is a good system for citizen science. OCVN’s do not need to be experts as the community will help with identification. We are looking for data by species, location, habitat, and flight date. By this fall, we should have a good handle on our survey process, first season data and goals for next year (2018). Jim

Jim Lemon is retired. He has an MS in Entomology from OSU. Jim has been an OCVN since 2014. He volunteers at Cedar Bog (monitor of Dragonfly, Butterfly, Moth). He is currently the Incoming (2017) president of Ohio Odonata Society; Co-Chair of the Urbana Tree Commission and a nature photographer. He speaks on insects, invasives and Urban Forests.

Photo: Jim Lemon - Blue Fronted Dancer
Please join me in an Adobe Connect Meeting.

If you missed the webinar, click below to watch:



Previous 2017 webinars

April 12 noon-1PM; Preservation and Long Term Stewardship in Northern Ohio—this webinar will focus on two unique efforts aimed at long-term stewardship and preservation of northern Ohio’s biotic communities.

Sherwick Tree Stewards, Greg Cada

Project Description:
The goal of the Sherwick Tree Stewards program is to enhance urban forests in and around the City of Cleveland by educating and encouraging tree planting. Greg will describe his role in this effort and how he obtained his knowledge and skills. This effort could serve as a template for other locations interested in encouraging forestation in urban and suburban settings.

Greg completed the OCVN program last year. He volunteers at ODNR's Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve, Cleveland Metroparks and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. He is also an OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer.  Photo credit: Greg Cada

Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Natural Areas, Renee Boronka and Ashley Hall, Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Project Description:
The Museum established its Natural Area Program in 1956, when it acquired Fern Lake Bog. Over the years, many other sites have been preserved, with a total of nearly 8,000 acres currently under protection. The vision of the Natural Areas Division is to create a system of nature preserves that best represents the broad spectrum of biodiversity found within the geographic area of northern Ohio. Each of our preserves harbors one or more distinct biotic community; including hardwood forest, Lake Erie island, fossil dune ridge, marsh, swamp and glacial wetland, among many others. They serve as an outstanding resource for studying and teaching about the remarkable biological diversity of the region. Museum preserves are model scientific field laboratories in which researchers can conduct long-term studies in locations relatively free from human interference, as well as spectacular locations to take Museum members on field trips.

Renee Boronka has worked in the Botany Department and Natural Areas Division since 1995. She graduated from The Ohio State University in 1993 with a BS in Natural Resource Management. Renee directs the management of the Museum's 8,000-acre system of natural areas; as well as assisting in the curation of the Museum Herbarium, a 75,000-specimen collection of plants.

Ashley Hall is the Adult Programs Coordinator at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. She manages the Naturalist Certificate Program and coordinates the museum’s many adult learning programs and field trips. She has a B.A in Anthropology from Indiana University Bloomington and is a published paleontologist and naturalist.

To listen to the recorded April 12 webinar, click:    http://carmenconnect.osu.edu/p72v4fqpyv0/



July 12  - 12 noon -1:00 pm  - - Engaging the Public in Natural Resource Conservation Through the Virginia Master Naturalist Program presented by Michelle Prysby, Virginia Tech

In case you missed it, listen to the webinar:  http://carmenconnect.osu.edu/p1g3va4bfhq/

Using a chapter-based model, Virginia Master Naturalist program has grown to a thriving statewide network of nearly 2,000 active volunteers. In this presentation, Michelle Prysby will discuss the keys to the success of the program as well as challenges it has faced along the way, and she will share stories of some of the most impactful and original service projects VMN volunteers have accomplished. She will also highlight different models for Master Naturalist programs that other states use.

Michelle Prysby is the Director of the Virginia Master Naturalist program and an Extension faculty member in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech. She is also the current president of the Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs, a network of Master Naturalist-type programs.

“Virginia Master Naturalists conduct education, citizen science, and stewardship projects to benefit natural resources in their communities. Photo by VMN-Pocahontas Chapter.”

Michelle D. Prysby

Director, Virginia Master Naturalist Program

Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Virginia Tech/Virginia Cooperative Extension

460 Stagecoach Road, Charlottesville, VA 22902

Phone: 434-872-4571

Email: mprysby@vt.edu

Web: www.virginiamasternaturalist.org


October 11  - 12 noon—1:00 pm  - Volunteer opportunities at the Wilds, presented by Stephen Spear, Director of Wildlife Ecology


The Wilds is a 10,000 acre reclaimed mineland that is a center for ecological research and restoration in eastern Ohio. Our ecology work is focused both on wildlife and restoration, with overlapping projects between the two departments. Restoration efforts focus on removing invasive and exotic species and replacing with natives: prairies in the grassland area, woodland species in the forest. Wildlife projects involve environmental DNA surveys for hellbenders and other aquatic species, monitoring American burying beetle reintroduction, bird surveys and nest box maintenance, wetland surveys and restoration, and bat conservation work. Volunteer labor is an integral part of our efforts here. Volunteers help us to improve this habitat for wildlife while improving ecosystems and conserving native plants. The Wilds offers volunteer opportunities for a range of experiences and interests, and we are happy to work directly with volunteers to tailor projects to their interests.

Dr. Stephen Spear is the Director of Wildlife Ecology at The Wilds. He received his B.S. at the University of Richmond, M.S. from Idaho State University, PhD from Washington State University, and now works on a variety of wildlife conservation projects incorporating field ecology, genetic laboratory work, and GIS modeling. His background is primarily focused on reptile and amphibian conservation, but enjoys the challenge of working on multiple species and systems at The Wilds. He also serves in positions in a number of conservation groups, including as secretary for the Ohio Fish and Wildlife Management Association and as Deputy Chair for the IUCN global Viper Specialist Group. He can be contacted at sspear@thewilds.org.

Stephen Spear, Ph.D

Director of Wildlife Ecology

The Wilds

14000 International Road

Cumberland, OH 43732

Office: 740.638.5030 ext 2301

Fax: 740.638.2287



If you missed the webinar today, it’s worth hearing for some new ideas on volunteering at The Wilds!

Here is the recording:



Previous 2016 webinars

OCVN at The Wilderness Center

Carrie Elvey is the Park Naturalist with The Wilderness Center (TWC) and highlights three cornerstones that they feel have contributed to the success of their OCVN course and network.  If you would like to find out more about TWC, please visit their website http://www.wildernesscenter.org/education/programs/


Recording Information



Discussion notes from the presentation


You may want to check out these free webinars as well.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology  http://www.birdsleuth.org/free-webinars/#garden


If you are interested in a variety of environmental topics such as climate change, clean rivers, and Ohio’s forests, visit the Environmental Professionals Network website to view upcoming campus programs and the recorded programs.


Keys to Effective Pollinator Partnerships with Schools

Explore a case study on the design of a pollinator habitat garden with grade school age students.  Discover what makes native pollinator conservation such an effective way to engage students and teachers in hands-on science exploration.  Colleen M. Sharkey is an environmental educator and naturalist for Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks.


To access the webinar, click below:


Bird Conservation in Ohio and the Role of Citizen Science 

Citizen science has been playing an important role in bird conservation in Ohio.  This Research to Practice webinar will highlight two current examples of the role of citizen science in bird conservation using two examples:  1) the Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas II, and;   2) Urban backyard bird research on the role of vegetation, feeders and how birds and their nest predators interact.  Matthew B. Shumar, Research Associate - The Ohio State University and Stephen N. Matthews, PhD, Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University.

To access the webinar, click below:

Introduction:  http://carmenconnect.osu.edu/p7z4d6xi4sz/
Main:     http://carmenconnect.osu.edu/tnzvzm3.2ngg2g/


Climate Change and Impacts on Ohio’s Forests

This webinar explores climate change and it’s impacts on Ohio’s environment and natural resources (mainly forests). http://carmenconnect.osu.edu/p67bebedw16/

Supporting articles:

Regional Highlights from the Third National Climate Assessment, Climate Change Impacts in the US 2014 (Midwest)

Resources on Community Outreach for Climate Professionals