Members Only

Chapter Meetings, Advanced Training and Projects

Chapter Meeting Schedule

July 17, 2019 Chapter Meeting at Eastern Shore Community College, 5:30 pm Meet and Greet, 6:00 pm Meeting. Speaker Todd Engelmeyer, DGIF “Coyotes”

September 18, 2019 Chapter Meeting at Eastern Shore Community College, 5:30 pm Meet and Greet, 6:00 pm Meeting. Speaker Chris Hobson, “Dragonflies”

November 20, 2019 Chapter Meeting at Eastern Shore Community College, 5:30 pm Meet and Greet, 6:00 pm Meeting. Speaker Megan Ayers, DCR “Native Pollinators”

January 22, 2020 Chapter Meeting at Eastern Shore Community College, 5:30 pm Meet and Greet, 6:00 pm Meeting. Speaker Speaker Zak Poulton, TNC “Use of Drones in Biological Research”

Annual Butterfly Count Volunteer Opportunity

Volunteers don’t need to be skilled at butterfly ID.  This is intended to be a learning experience.

We will be “butterflying” at Natural Area Preserves.

  • Magothy Bay Saturday, August 3, 10:00-noon
  • Savage Neck, Tuesday, August 6, 9:00-11:00
  • Mutton Hunk, Sunday, August 11, 10:00-noon.
  • Cape Charles has a count but has sufficient volunteers.

Please sign up with Carolyn McGavock  757-798-8698.


Programs meet at 7:30 p.m. at The Hermitage in Onancock (directions below) Pre-program dinner/social at 5:30 p.m. at Bizzotto’s Gallery-Cafe in Onancock.

A reminder that joining the bird club and participating is a way to get almost all of your advanced training hours.

Make reservations with Thor Gormley, 757-377-3513 Field Trips Contact leader for reservations, details and specific directions.

Directions to The Commonwealth Senior Living at the Eastern Shore (formerly The Hermitage)
Meetings are held at “The Commonwealth Senior Living”, 23610 North Main St., Onancock, VA 23417
Directions:   From the stoplight in Onley on Rt. 13, take VA Rt. 179 West into the town of Onancock. Pass the Roseland Movie Theater on your left, then take next right onto North St. (Rt. 658). The Hermitage is ½ mile on your left.

Brownsville Preserve & Parramore Island (Eastern Shore)

  • 3-trip commitment, trips run through the school year
  • Youth Safety Training Required

The Nature Conservancy’s Virginia Coast Reserve is seeking volunteer assistance with outdoor field experiences for 5th, 7th, and 10th grade classes during the school year (September-May). Field experiences will take place at Brownsville Preserve in Nassawadox (5th and 7th grades) and on Parramore Island out of Wachapreague (10th grade). We are seeking 4-5 dedicated volunteers to assist with class field trips during the spring and fall (field trips typically run from 8:30 a.m. till 1:00 p.m. on weekdays).  Prior environmental education experience is preferred but not required. It is essential that applicants are comfortable and capable of working with and leading youth groups in an outdoor environment with the help of Conservancy staff. Applicants will be required to undergo a background check (requires SSN) and Nature Conservancy Youth Safety Qualifications prior to volunteering which will take 1.5-2 hours of time. Volunteers will be trained on field activities, and all necessary equipment will be provided. You must be able to commit to helping on at least three field trips. Trips will start in mid-February and run through May 2017 and will pick up again in September. Field trip activities include hiking, kayaking, crabbing, nature scavenger hunts, species observations, water quality assessments, and other fun, outdoor scientific investigations. If you’re interested in helping please call, text or email Jen Dalke, volunteer program manager, at or 434-951-0572 (w) or 540-335-1302 (c).

The 2019 Virginia Master Naturalist photo contest rules have been issued by the state organization.  As in past years, each chapter is welcome to submit one photograph in each of the judged categories – Virginia Native Wildlife, Virginia Native Plant and Fungi World, Virginia Native Landscapes, Virginia Native Macro and Night Photography, and Virginia Master Naturalists in Action.  Submissions are judged and winners are exhibited at the annual Virginia Master Naturalist conference in the fall.

2019 Photo Contest (July 19, 2019 deadline)

You are invited to submit photos to our chapter “contest” which will result in the selection of one photo from each category to send to the state VMN as our chapter submission. Each submission must comply to the technical specifications and rules stated in the VMN website.  Robert Suppa, an active member with technical photography knowledge, will be your contact to accept and verify that the pictures meet the technical requirements.  An INDEPENDENT group of 3 judges, representing our members, will select the photos to submit to the state VMN. (Robert will not have input on the selection.)

The below attachment outlines the process to submit pictures to be considered for our chapter.  I know there are lots of avid and amateur photographers in our group who may have photos to submit.  Please consider participating!

Advanced Training

 Under the Sea, Part 3: The Biology and Ecology of Marine Organisms

Instructor: Dr. Edward O. Murdy,

Study of relationships between organisms and physical-chemical-biological factors of the marine environment, from open-ocean to coastal and estuarine ecosystems. Special consideration will be given to the biota of the Chesapeake Bay. In the four classes this Fall, we will be discussing: Ocean realms; earth structures; plate tectonics; Seawater properties; Atmospheric and oceanic circulation; Waves and tides; Biological concepts; Plankton; Nekton (fishes & cephalopods); Nekton (birds, reptiles, mammals); Factors in plankton abundance; Seaweeds, seagrasses, and benthic microorganisms; The diversity of benthic invertebrates (sponges – tunicates); Benthic life habits; Intertidal communities; Seagrass communities; Coral reefs; The deep sea.

This is the third in Dr. Murdy’s lecture series: Under the Sea. Participants do not need to have taken Parts 1 or 2. This series covers material not included in the previous parts of the series.

Four sessions: Fridays, Sept 13 –  Oct 4, time TBA               

At Eastern Shore Community College

Ed Murdy received a B.S. and a M.S. in Biology from Old Dominion University and a Ph.D. in Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University. He has approximately 50 scientific publications including four books, two of which deal with fishes of the Chesapeake Bay.

Instructions for Accessing the Volunteer Management System

If you have questions about the Virginia Master Naturalist Volunteer Management System please contact the chapter’s timekeeper:
Sharon Renshaw
856 524-6586.

Your personal data has been entered into the Virginia Master Naturalist Volunteer Management System.  After your final training class you will receive an automated email from Sharon Renshaw providing access to this system.  The message will contain a link which allows you to log on to the Volunteer Management System.  The link only works once!

Click on the link and you will see the home page of the Eastern Shore Chapter’s section of the Virginia Master Naturalist Volunteer Management System where you will enter and track your volunteer and advanced training hours.

  1. The very first action you should take is to look under “Your Information” in the upper left corner of the page.
  2. Choose  “Edit Your Profile
  3. Scroll down to the box that says “Change Password.”  Choose and enter a password.
  4. Be sure to click onSAVE INFORMATION” at the bottom of this page.

From that point on, you will be able to enter the system with the following address: .
Username: your email address
Password:  the password which you have just chosen.

You will not receive or use the initial invitation again.  If, in the future, you have problems with your password contact Sharon Renshaw.  I will send another automated email message to you.  Follow the same steps.

You will use this site to enter your volunteer and advanced training hours.  You can also use this site to edit your profile, check for chapter announcements, review definitions of all projects and find contact information for other members.

Webinar Training

The Atlantic Byway Shorebird Initiative, along with Virginia Tech and US Fish and Wildlife Service developed has developed a useful document “Guidance and Best Practices for Addressing Human Disturbance to Shorebirds at Fall Migratory Stopover Sites” for the Northeastern U.S. This integrates guidance and best practices aimed at contributing to Atlantic Flyway-scale (e.g., Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Initiative) and regional (e.g., Northeast National Wildlife Refuge System) conservation goals.  

?The webinar is this Thursday from 2-3pm. Register at

The webinar complements this document. See the website above for info on the document or who to contact to find out.

Using the Virginia Master Naturalist Volunteer Management System (VMN-VMS)

To enter the system:

    Enter your email address
    Enter your password
  2. To Enter Volunteer Hours.
  • Under “Your Information” on the left side of the home screen, choose “Add New Hours.”
  • In the top box of the next screen, enter a description for your volunteer event (e.g. cleaned the shoreline at Savage Neck Dunes NAP )
  • Enter the date.
  • Next choose the official title from the approved volunteer projects listed in the drop-down box. This includes administration, citizen science, educational programs and stewardship. Administration (A-1) is only used for chapter administration.
  • Enter the number of volunteer hours. This includes activity time and travel time combined.
  • There is also a field for entering your miles driven. In 2017 you could use miles driven for a federal tax deduction for volunteer activitie.  There may be changes in 2018 deductions.
  • The “Population Served” section should be completed any time you have had a face-to-face interaction with the public.
  • VERY IMPORTANT –SAVE your information using the Save Hours button at the bottom of the page.
  1. To Enter Advanced Training Hours
  • Advanced Training is used when you receive the education/training from someone else.
  • Choose  “Add New “ from the upper left corner of the screen.
  • Enter a description of the class or training which you attended.
  • Enter the date.
  • Choose the official title of A-2 Advanced Training”
  • Enter the hours in the Continuing Education box—not volunteer hours.
  • Do not add travel time for advanced training.
  • Do not fill in the population served section.
  • SAVE your information at the bottom of the page.
  1. To correct or delete hours which you have already entered.
  • Choose “ View Your Hours” from the upper left corner of the home screen.
  • Click on the entry which you wish to change.
  • Make any changes which you need to make.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the screen and
  • To delete an activity, choose the activity, scroll to the bottom of the screen and choose DELETE.
  1. To update your personal information.
  • Use Update Profile when you need to change personal information or want to change your pass word.  SAVE

GENERAL INFORMATION at the bottom left hand corner of the screen

  • Use Chapter Roster find contact information for chapter members
  • Use the Projects link to see the complete list of approved projects and to find details about the projects.

Accessing the Virginia Master Naturalists Webinar Advanced Training.

To be certified and maintain certification every year as a Virginia Master Naturalist, volunteers are required to complete 8 hours of continuing education.  To assist volunteers needing to meet this requirement, the state program office offers continuing education through our annual statewide conference, an online webinar series, and regional workshops associated with specific projects.

Use this link to register for webinar advanced training

Ordering Clothing with our ESVA Master Naturalist Logo

You can order any type of clothing that is carried by the Lands End business clothing division.  To do this use the steps listed below:

1.            Enter the following link into your address bar:

                You MUST use the above link—NOT in order to reach the logo.

2.          Shop any of the styles/products/colors in the catalog, the way you normally would shop.  When you have chosen your item, you will see a box which says ADD LOGO.  At this time you will be given the opportunity to add our butterfly logo with chapter name for $5.95 to $8.50 extra.  Because you have entered using the above link, Lands End will automatically show you the ESVA logo. You will be able to see howthe logo will appear on your chosen item.   This site includes all types of clothing, as well as promotional items such as bags, mugs, office supplies, etc.

3.          You may also enter Lands End business using the link on the lower right corner (front screen) of the volunteer management system which you use to enter hours.