Maryland Nature Talks and Field Trips

This section currently lists some of the nature talks that Jeff has given and field trips he has led. Handouts or other materials will be added for future activities.

Talks and Workshops

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems at Jug Bay

A three hour seminar to introduce researchers and volunteers to GIS concepts relevant to ecological research and provide familiarity with the types of GIS data available for the area. The seminar included a field exercise to locate particular features identified from GIS layers. A similar workshop was done for the Otter Point Creek component of the Chesapeake Bay Maryland National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems Part 2

A second three hour seminar to integrate GPS data with GIS. This March 2009 seminar included a hands-on activity collecting habitat boundary GPS data in the field and adding it to a GIS project.

Amphibian Call Identification

A presentation to county residents volunteering for FrogWatch for several years. The focus was on identification of frog and toad calls with additional training in using the observation protocol. A shorter version was also presented to county Scout leaders.

Things that Go Ribbit in the Night is a more general program covering local species and introducing several amphibian monitoring programs that use call data. Presented at the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education annual conference in 2010 and 2011.

Fish Identification

A short talk and demo before the attendees assist with fish sampling for a long term monitoring project at Jug Bay.

Purple Loosestrife

An introduction to this invasive plant, its identification, and removal. Presented multiple times at different locations to high school students, college interns, and the general public.

Field Trips

Wetlands Ecology

Jeff has co-led a various graduate and undergraduate day-long field trips, adusting the route and content to best meet the professor's learning objectives for the trip. Jeff typically provided geomorphological context and fish identification.

Marsh Ecology by Canoe

These trips include basic canoe paddling and safety instruction before spending time paddling in the marsh. The content is varied depending upon the participant's interests. Groups have included Cub Scouts, two groups from NOAA, new environmental graduate students, and the general public

Field Methods: Fish Survey

Annual half-day session for a graduate course in Field Methods. included an explanation of the design of protocol as well as application and fish identification.

Stream Walks

For these field trips, we have walked in/along a stream, observing the varied habitats, identifying fishes, benthic macroinvertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, plants, and birds that have been encountered. Depending upon the stream, the emphasis has been on riparian or aquatic habitat change along the stream. The physical characteristics of the stream channel are interpreted as evidence of peak water flows, erosion, deposition, connection to the flood plain. Another version emphasized steam assessment. Groups participating in these trips have included the general public, a graduate class, a Watershed Stewards Academy group and a Maryland Master Naturalists group.

Jeff has also pointed out and described stream life and erosion with volunteers at various stream clean up events. In addition to sharing knowledge, his goal is to help people realize the importance of the stream habitat, the impact of heavy runoff of rain, and that what happens in the drainage area of the stream affects the stream. Expressed more formally, it is "ad hoc outreach and education about the riparian habitat, impact of poor stormwater management, and increasing a sense of caring for the watershed."

Jeff holding a large fish pillow to describe important identifying characteristics of fish.

Jeff using a large fish pillow to point out identifying characteristics for fish.