Our first certification workshop of Spring 2023 was a great success. About a dozen people came together in the Environmental Learning Center out at Black Bayou Lake NWR for a fun and educational experience.

Kim Paxton illustrated her talk on nature journaling with photographs of pages from Amy Ouchley’s nature journalis, as well as from her own. Photo by Charles Paxton.

We spent the first hour and a half on nature journaling, with Kim Paxton standing in for Amy Ouchley. We missed Amy, but Kim did a great job.

After Kim’s presentation, everyone went outside to make some observations and try sketching and writing about those observations.

A split gill mushroom, observed and photographed by Linda Norwood.

Bette Kauffman focused on making observations to be shared with the research community via online platforms like eBird and iNaturalist. Numerous examples show how these databases contribute to scientific understanding of such things as climate change and declining bird populations worldwide. It is thus important that citizen scientists, like Master Naturalists, are thorough and accurate in making and submitting observations. We have a direct impact on the quality of those databases.

We ended the day with instruction on some principles of interpreting nature to various audiences and a quick review of projects the Master Naturalists of our chapter have done to complete their training and become certified.

Coming next: Mammals with Dr. Kim Tolson, March 18, 9-3. Look for a blog post soon. Check the “Events” list in the right hand sidebar of this page for the entire series.

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