Join us each month for TMNTuesday Webinars!
On the second Tuesday of each month at 12:00pm Central Standard Time, the TMN State Office will offer an hour-long virtual advanced training event – with fantastic new and returning guest speakers. Scroll down the page and select a month for upcoming and past 2022 webinars.
Project Fair Contest!
Time To Be Announced: Save 9am-1pm tentatively in your calendars. We will update the time of October’s webinar soon!
List of projects coming soon! We are so excited to share the great projects our members have been working on.
Summer 2022: What Happened and Why
By mid-September, summer will be over, or almost so. It’s time to take stock and figure out how the summer of 2022 stacks up against past summers. This talk will put the summer of 2022 within its historical climate context and explain the short-term, medium-term, and long-term factors that contributed to 2022 being yet another memorable summer in Texas. Also, since Texas Master Naturalist members are spread across the state with varying experiences, we’ll look at where in Texas the conditions were particularly unusual and therefore likely to have an outsized impact on the natural environment.
John Nielsen-Gammon has been on the faculty at Texas A&M University since 1991. He is currently a Regents Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and also serves as the Texas State Climatologist and Director of the Southern Regional Climate Center. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Ph.D. in 1990. He does research on various types of extreme weather from droughts to floods, as well as air pollution and computer modeling. As Texas State Climatologist, he helps the State of Texas make the best possible use of weather and climate information, through applied research, outreach, and service on state-level committees. He is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society.
*Note this #TMN Tuesday talk will be earlier than usual at 10am-11am*
Connecting All Texans to Conservation Through Meaningful, Engaging Interpretation
Join Craig Hensley, Texas Nature Trackers Biologist, on Tuesday, Aug 9, 2022 12:00 pm!
Guest Webinar Moderator: Tania Homayoun, Texas Nature Tracker Biologist and Balcones Canyonlands Chapter Advisor
Engaging Texans of all ages through education and outreach is one of the core tenants of the Texas Master Naturalist program. Delivering programs that are meaningful, accurate, educational, and yes, fun, requires a fundamental understanding of effective communication through interpretive techniques and approaches that lead to conservation action. It is not enough to simply fill minds with facts, or assume our engagement with nature will or should be the same as everyone else’s. Effective interpretation must address not only the resource and topic at hand, but also the audience, recognizing that everyone arrives with unique connections to, experiences with and understanding of, the natural world. Programs that invite all audiences to engage are critical to our success in expanding conservation efforts. This presentation will build upon your existing understanding of interpretation and provide practical and meaningful tips for effective communication with audiences of all ages and backgrounds to help your chapter move toward more inclusive community-wide engagement.
Craig Hensley, as part of the Community Stewardship and Engagement Team with the Conservation Outreach program with Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, works closely with team member Tania Homayoun to create a state-wide community of engaged community scientists to assist with data collection focused on Species of Greatest Conservation Need through outreach focused on the use of iNaturalist. Craig has been an educator, naturalist and interpreter for more than 30 years, including more than seven years at Guadalupe River State Park. He is an advisor for the Lindheimer Master Naturalist Chapter.
Authentic Leadership in Public Service
Dr. Kenneth Anderson Taylor will join TMN this July to define authentic leadership and discuss how nonprofit leaders can transmit leadership to other members of the team. The webinar will explore research data and provide findings and insights on leaders rated by employees on the constructs of self-awareness, transparency, morals, and balanced processing. The discussion will provide recommendations for the next steps participants can take to heighten their development as leaders.
Dr. Taylor is a Professor of the Practice at the Texas A&M Bush School of Government and Public Service and serves as the Director of Outreach and Professional Development within their Center for Nonprofits & Philanthropy.
Date and time: Tuesday, Jul 12, 2022 12:00 pm | (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)
A Master Naturalist in Space!
Astronaut Kjell Lindgren has offered a once in a lifetime experience for the Texas Master Naturalist Program. He’d like to ‘downlink’ from the International Space Station with the Texas Master Naturalist Program and connect his work on the ISS to the service TMN’s provide and answer any general questions that his fellow naturalist volunteers have.
*The date and time may remain flexible based on mission priorities on the ISS so stay tuned!
Tuesday June 14th
The event is scheduled for 3:30-3:55 p.m. CDT (20:30-20:55 GMT), with set up starting at 3:00 p.m. (20:00 GMT)
In preparation for this downlink we have collected questions from fellow Texas Master Naturalists. We will review and synthesize the questions collected, get them approved via the NASA Astronauts team and then submit them to Kjell to review and prep for his downlink discussion. Be aware that not every question submitted or even approved for his response will have a chance to get answered. Note that the event is a one way, 20-minute discussion between the TMN State Office and Kjell on the ISS with those questions being the source for discussion – any chat or comments added into the livestream platforms cannot be asked.
Visit the Texas Master Naturalist in Space page to learn more about Kjell Lindgren and his current mission in space.
NO Registration required!
Crossing the Finish Line: Recovering America’s Wildlife Act with Richard Heilbrun
A bill winding through Congress is about to cross the finish line, and we need to mobilize the entire conservation community. Every TXMN has a role to play here, as Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would bring $55 million each year to Texas, and $1.3 billion nationwide for fish, wildlife, and nature education. This is huge, transformational funding that could reverse species and habitat declines, and finally address nature deficit disorder by investing in nature education and getting more people outside. We need your help to cross the finish line this month, and help us secure the future of 12,000 species of concern! Richard Heilbrun, from the TMN State Program, will discuss what is needed in this final push, and how it will benefit rare species and TMN chapters specifically. This bill won’t get passed unless we all get involved!
Bio: Richard Heilbrun is the Conservation Outreach Program Leader for Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, where his program connects Texans with the outdoors, improves wildlife habitat throughout the state, and manages the state’s most sensitive wildlife populations. He has worked with bighorn sheep, Whooping Cranes, ducks, songbirds, raptors, quail, deer, dove, and bobcats. He serves on the TMN State Committee.
Health and Nature with Sarah Coles
Join Sarah Coles, Texas Children in Nature Network Executive Director, for this month’s presentation on “Ensuring Equitable Access and Connection to Nature for All Children in Texas”!
Historical Women Naturalists: Remembering Forgotten Pioneers
Take a trip through time as we spend the hour reviewing some of the pioneering women naturalists highlighted in Marcia Myers Bonta’s “American Women Afield.” We will explore the lives and scientific pursuits of these women in entomology, botany, ornithology, ecology, and even taxidermy! This is an informative session for any and all to join and be introduced to new (and possibly familiar) faces who all had great impacts on their respective scientific fields.
Join Addison Preston, our former Texas Master Naturalist intern for her presentation honoring Women’s History Month!
TMNTuesday 2022 – March
Seed Collections for Conservation
Join the Texas Master Naturalist program February 8th at noon.
Most people don’t think of seeds as living creatures, but that is exactly what they are! Humans have been collecting and saving seeds for thousands of years, and it’s vitally important that we as Texans utilize this timeless skill to help protect our nature heritage. Join TPWD Botanist Anna Strong, along with Minnette Marr (Conservation Botanist) and Andrew McNeil-Marshall (Arborist) from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center as we learn about the best practices of creating seed and living collections for conservation purposes. Start making those seed collections today!
The State of the Program
Join us for the first #TMNTuesday of the year!
Mary Pearl and Michelle will be going over the state of the program on January 11th at noon!
Our first year of TMNTuesday webinars was a huge success! Click on a month below to see the past webinar.
The Future of Conservation- Will it look the same?
TPWD Hunter Education Coordinator Steve Hall will be joining us!
Recruiting, Retaining and Reactivating (R3) future customers to pay for conservation in Texas is a big deal!
Can the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the State’s fisheries and wildlife management steward, continue to rely solely on hunters, boaters and anglers to pay for conservation and management of wild landscapes, public waters, habitats and species? If so, can it engage enough future customers that participate in these activities to sustain a business model that is declining around most of the country?
The Texas R3 Strategic Plan, just introduced to TPWD employees and many of their agency partners, aims to continue a business model that has sustained conservation efforts in Texas for well over 50 years. But, it must also implement more robust strategies to protect, conserve and engage more urban, diverse customers, far removed from traditional land practices such as ranching, farming, and rural landscaping. There are many threats and barriers towards a thriving future for conservation. But as prideful as Texans are, such negative influences only bolster their wills to do more for this great state in providing for the agency’s mission “to manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing and other recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.”
To take arms against a sea of troubles: Bat conservation efforts in Texas
Bat Biologist Nate Fuller will be presenting on November 9th at 12pm! Register below!
In this talk we will explore the myriad threats to Texas bats and discuss the efforts that TPWD has undertaken to combat them. Along the way, we will discuss some of the known problems in bat conservation and present some of the leading hypotheses that aim to explain the unknowns.
For answers to questions asked during the presentation, click HERE!
Chapter Project Fair Presentations
Join us on Tuesday, October 12th at 9am to hear about all the wonderful projects that our chapters have been working on!
List of Topics:
- Monarch Sanctuary Project
- New Member Trainee Handbook
- Habitats for Monarch Program
- Denton ISD School Days at Clear Creek
- Native Bee Survey
- Pollinators Across the Miles
- Sea Turtle Adventure Project
- Building Bobcat Woods Loop Trail
The Secret Life of Squirrels
Squirrels are so common that we take them for granted, but they really live fascinating lives. For example, did you know that Eastern Gray Squirrels are one of the few animal species known to lie to deceive others, tree squirrels have built-in sunglasses, and flying squirrels are vicious predators? These ubiquitous and adaptable creatures are a great way to introduce wildlife topics to an urban audience, and in this class you’ll learn engaging facts about squirrel anatomy, ecology, and behavior to share with the public. We will focus on three Houston species: Eastern Gray, Fox, and Southern Flying.
Kelsey Low, Adult Programs Manager at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
Here are some of the studies that Kelsey mentioned:
Join us August 10th for a special talk ten years after the fire in Bastrop State Park, by Wade Powell.
Fire in the Pines: The Past, Present and Future of Fire in Bastrop State Park
We will discuss the fire dependent ecosystem in the park including the conditions that led to the historic wildfire of 2011 and its effects on that ecosystem. We will look at the restoration techniques currently being applied and what best management practices will keep fire a healthy part of the landscape. Participants will be empowered to manage and advocate for resilient habitats.
Join us this July 13th, 2021 to learn all about water resources in Texas with Texas Water Resources Institute research specialist Clare Escamilla!
Texas Watershed Protection Planning: Addressing Water Quality and Quantity Issues in Texas
The presentation will provide background on water resources in Texas and how it is managed through state and regional planning. We’ll provide an overview of water quality in Texas and what is being done to improve water quality around Texas. Topics include: watershed protection planning, targeting mailings, and educational programs. There will also be a discussion on what individuals and groups can do to conserve water, prevent nonpoint source pollution, and volunteer with organizations in the future.
This month we get to celebrate the dragonfly, as we bring in TWPD Urban Biologist Sam Kieschnick.
Dragonflies: Pond Patrol
Beautiful, intricate, active predators throughout their lives, the best natural mosquito control, and numerous in Texas – dragonflies! Sam will lead us in an exploration of these amazing insects. Learn all about their biology, their importance in the ecosystem, and how they do what they do. We’ll also talk about how to document these predators and learn how to fill in some of the data gaps of their distribution. Hopefully, we’ll guide you in some new and fun ways to appreciate these magnificent critters while also contributing to their conservation and management!
We’re looking forward to hosting Chris Schenck, the Statewide Prescribed Fire Program Leader in Texas Parks & Wildlife’s Wildlife Division.
Why Burn? Fire History and Fire Effects
Most people are naturally afraid of fire and with some good reasons. But fire carefully applied to the land at the right time and conditions can return things to their natural functioning conditions. This is what Prescribed Fire is and rekindling a “Burn Culture in Texas” is so very important. Texas Master Naturalist can play a key role in this effort.
Resources Shared by the Presenter:
Impacts of Winter Storm Uri on Texas Fish & Wildlife
It’s been more than a month since Winter Storm Uri swept across Texas, but many are still feeling the aftershocks caused by this historic event, especially our wildlife. Come learn about the changes in flora and fauna after the storm (including a citizen science project hosted on iNaturalist) and whether or not we should be expecting similar events as the new normal. We have an excellent lineup of speakers this month from Texas Parks and Wildlife, the Office of the Texas State Climatologist, and Texas SeaGrant.
This month’s #TMNTuesday is a special 3-hour event that you don’t want to miss! Open to the public! Share this with your fellow naturalists!
Download the printable schedule and press release here.
Birdability: because birding is for everybody and every body!
Birding is an activity that can bring so much joy and empowerment to everybody, but not everybody is able to go birding easily. Birdability is a non-profit organization focused on removing barriers to access for birders with mobility challenges, blindness or low vision, intellectual or developmental disabilities (including autism), mental illness, being Deaf or Hard of Hearing and other health concerns; and bringing the joy of birding to people with disabilities and other health concerns who aren’t yet birders. Learn about why this should matter to you (even if you don’t have an accessibility challenge), ways to be a more welcoming and inclusive birder, the Birdability Map (and how to submit a Birdability Site Review) and our resources for birders (and potential future birders) with accessibility challenges… because birding is for everybody and every body! Learn more and find resources at birdability.org
Freya McGregor (pictured), OTR/L, is the Birdability Coordinator and Occupational Therapist. Birding since childhood, her ‘dodgy’ knee often creates an accessibility challenge for her, and she is passionate about enabling all birders and potential future birders to enjoy birding and nature as much as she does.
|Event:||#TMNTuesdays – March 2021|
|Date and time:||Tuesday, March 9, 2021 12:00 pm|
Central Standard Time (Chicago, GMT-06:00)
February’s focus is all about “Nature’s Best Hope.” Particularly, how us humans are nature’s best hope by doing something as simple as turning your yard from an ecological desert into a thriving native oasis. Dr. Doug Tallamy (pictured right) will not only provide the information about his experiences, but he’ll also discuss practical tools that each of you can implement in your own backyards, whether you’re a Texas Master Naturalist or not. Interested in these grass-root approaches to conservation at the local level? Want to help native species by creating wildlife corridors in your own backyard? Then this #TMNTuesday seminar session is for you!
Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 103 research publications and has taught insect related courses for 40 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. Doug has received many awards for his work, and his new book ‘Nature’s Best Hope’ is a New York Times Best Seller.
|Event:||#TMNTuesdays – February 2021|
|Date and time:||Tuesday, February 9, 2021 12:00 pm|
Central Standard Time (Chicago, GMT-06:00)
It’s a NEW Year and new year’s resolutions is a focus for our January TMN Tuesday. In our first monthly #TMNTuesday, we cover a short ‘State of the Program’ summary of 2020 and major focus areas for the coming year. With the remainder of the January TMN Tuesday all about becoming better leaders, both within your chapters and within the communities.
Join us to hear Michelle Haggerty, the Texas Master Naturalist State Program Coordinator, and Mary Pearl Meuth, the Assistant State Program Coordinator, lead a one-hour discussion on Chapter leadership and growth as we head into the new year. Whether you’re a seasoned member, a newly-elected leader within a chapter, are interested in becoming a chapter leader in the future, or simply want to learn more about leadership and growth within the program, then this month’s session is for you!
|Event:||#TMNTuesdays – January 2021|
|Date and time:||Tuesday, January 12, 2021 12:00 pm|
Central Standard Time (Chicago, GMT-06:00)
Frequently Asked Questions