Spring will be here before you know it and with it comes our Spring Natural History Field Studies Courses

As a reminder, registration closes on March 15 (two days left) for the upcoming courses which begin on March 20. Enjoy a comprehensive and stimulating view of our region’s natural history.


Spring Wildflowers: ID and Ecology 
Class night and time: Mondays, 6-8 pm
Class meetings: March 20-May 22 (no class April 3)
Field trip dates: Saturday, April 1 (10-12 pm): Woodend Sanctuary; Saturday, April 15 (9-12 pm): Carderock; Sunday, May 7 (9-1 pm): Thompson Wildlife Management Area
Location: Online via zoom
Instructor: Clare Walker
Follow the changing of the season this spring as we look closely at wildflowers blooming in the Mid-Atlantic each week. The class will include field identification during different life stages, plant family relationships and habitat preferences so you can get outside and hunt for flowers (record flower observations in an optional iNaturalist class project where we will look at the strengths and weaknesses of the app at identification). Classes will include the chance to work in groups to identify flowers. Explore the relationships between the plants and their pollinators and seed dispersers to gain an understanding of each flower’s role in the ecosystem. Spring wildflowers deserve our admiration for their incredible adaptations to overcome seasonal vagaries from low temperatures to short growing seasons. The field trips feature two of the area’s best wildflower locations as well as a session to learn the use of guides and apps for identification.


Introduction to Botany 
Class night and time: Tuesdays, 6-8 pm
Class meetings: March 21- May 23
Field trip dates: Saturday, April 1 (10 am-1 pm): Patuxent River Park – Jug Bay Natural Area; Saturday, April 15 (10 am-1 pm): Woodend Nature Sanctuary; Saturday, April 29 (9 am-12 pm): Thompson Wildlife Management; Saturday, May 13 (10 am-1 pm): Buck Lodge Community Park
Location: Online via zoom
Instructor: Bradley Simpson
Learn the basics of botany by exploring the evolution of plants through taxonomy. From club mosses to ferns to conifers and flowering plants, students will explore the various characteristics that define each group as unique. Our hands-on field trips will give you the opportunity to experience all these plants live and investigate their features further by seeing trailing lycopods, the unfurling of polypodiopsida, the cones of gymnosperms, the flowers of monocots, and the leaf veins of eudicots.


Introduction to Ornithology
Class night and time: Wednesdays 6-8 pm
Class meetings: March 22-May 24
Field trip dates: Saturday, April 1; Saturday, April 29; Saturday, May 20
Location: Online via Zoom
Instructor: Gemma Radko
Learn about birds and their unique characteristics. Study bird anatomy, plumage, evolution, classification, distribution, and much more. Field trips emphasize field identification, bird song, and other behavior.