This email includes:
- Giving Day
- Conference Dates - mark your calendar!
- Being a VMN - Communications
- CE Webinar reminders
Giving Day - All the Info!
Virginia Tech’s Giving Day starts Wednesday, February 21 at noon and runs through Thursday, February 22 at noon. As the VMN program is part of Virginia Tech and Virginia Cooperative Extension, we are part of Giving Day too. In fact, it has become our primary fundraiser for the program and an important source of our annual funding to run the VMN program at the state level.
Here’s Michelle’s direct link for you to give to support the VMN program: https://givingday.vt.edu/amb/vmn (This link should automatically bring up “Area of Support = College of Natural Resources and Environment” and “Fund Designation = Virginia Master Naturalist”, but you can choose those options yourself if needed.)
As a reminder, when 200 donors make a gift to the Virginia Master Naturalist fund, a $15,000 gift provided by a member of the Virginia Master Naturalist program will be unlocked! (Thank you to that generous donor!)
Plus, we are part of two other challenges:
- In honor of former Deans John F. Hosner, Greg N. Brown, and J. Michael Kelly, the two departments or units with the biggest increase in participation from 2023's Giving Day will receive bonus funds courtesy of a gift made by Dean Paul M. Winistorfer.
- The Top-6 areas in Virginia Cooperative Extensions with donors will receive bonus funds.
We will send a couple more announcements over the course of Giving Day.
The 2024 VMN Virtual Conference will be on September 27-29, 2024. Please mark your calendar! The conference schedule will incorporate online plenary and breakout sessions and outdoor service and CE sessions. Many of the online sessions will be recorded and available for a few months after the event but you must purchase a ticket to the event to have access to those recordings. More information about this event will be provided to VMNs as it becomes available.
Being a VMN - Communications Reminder
We are excited that 2,561 volunteers are re-enrolled for 2024, and they are joined by 576 volunteers who have joined the program within the last year. We are glad to have you part of the team. Let’s make 2024 a terrific year for the VMN program!
Part of success depends on good communications, so here is a reminder about communications with/from the VMN State Office.
Bi-weekly Email (what you’re reading now!)
Who receives it? All VMN volunteers in Better Impact with the status “Accepted” and all Better Impact administrators
When? Every other week on Tuesdays
What? Important program announcements, upcoming statewide events, tips on being a successful VMN volunteer, selection (not comprehensive!) of trainings and volunteer opportunities that pertain to multiple chapters, and occasional other news of interest
Where? In your inbox automatically. Volunteers who are not receiving these should check their spam settings. You also can find the last several bi-weekly emails posted on our website.
Who receives it? All VMN volunteers in Better Impact with the status “Accepted”, all Better Impact administrators, and anyone else who wishes to subscribe (they do not need to be part of the program) You may unsubscribe using the link contained at the bottom of the newsletter email.
When? Quarterly on or around Feb 1, May 1, August 1, and November 1.
What? Laurels celebrating chapter and volunteer accomplishments, stories of volunteer projects, natural resource information, articles from our sponsors and partners
Where? In your inbox automatically unless you chose to unsubscribe. You also can find the latest edition on our website.
Follow our program’s page. We share news from our sponsors and partners, news about volunteer projects, natural resource information, and more, but it is not our primary means of communication for important information.
We (Michelle and Tiffany) do our best to respond to volunteers’ calls and emails in a timely manner, but did we mention there are more than 3,000 of you? Here we offer some tips that will help you find answers in a timely manner and help us be able to respond to you more effectively.
- Handy resources for you to consult when you have questions:
- When contacting the state office, please always include your chapter name. We often need to point you toward local information, and including your chapter name saves us the time of looking you up in Better Impact.
- If you do find that you do need to contact the State Office, please note that it might take us 24-48 hours to respond.
Continuing Education Webinars
Reminder: VMN Continuing Education Webinar Series for February
Title: Appreciate, identify and participate in community science with Virginia’s salamanders!
Date/Time: February 27, 2024, 12:00-1:00 pm
Presenters: Dr. Arianna Kuhn, Assistant Curator of Herpetology at the Virginia Museum of Natural History (VMNH) and Dr. Natalie Claunch, Wildlife Biologist at the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services National Wildlife Research Center Florida Field Station
See the VMN CE Webinar Series page for more information, the registration link, and the recording once it is available.
Reminder: Blue Ridge PRISM Brown Bag Webinar: "Spotted Lanternfly Egg Mass Surveys: A Virtual Training for Volunteer Community Scientists"
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 27, 2024; 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Presenters: Lori Chamberlin and Katlin DeWitt from the Virginia Department of Forestry.
See the event page for more information and the registration link. If you have questions, contact Blue Ridge PRISM directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reminder: How to Use the Flora of Virginia App Webinar (Part One of Training for the new Flora of Virginia Ambassador service project for VMN volunteers)
Date: February 28, 2024, 12:00-1:00 pm
The Flora of Virginia (FOV) invites Virginia Master Naturalists to a free webinar that will also serve as partial training for a new Flora Ambassadors project for VMN volunteers in which volunteers lead walks for the public focused on using the Flora App to identify plants
Registration: Free, but pre-registration is required. The webinar will be recorded and will include information for volunteers who are interested in earning service hours by participating in the new Flora Ambassadors project. Details about the project will be presented at the end of the webinar. Volunteers who watch the webinar and complete an additional 6 hours of continuing education and 2 service hours sharing their knowledge will be recognized as Flora Ambassadors. Watch the webinar to learn more or email email@example.com. We encourage all volunteers who want to become Flora of Virginia Ambassadors to register for the webinar, even if you cannot attend live, as this will help the project leaders compile the list of individuals who want to become ambassadors.
Note: Being a Flora of Virginia Ambassador requires obtaining and using the Flora of Virginia App on a mobile device. We recommend that you purchase and download the app before the webinar so that you can follow along on your device.