Hello, VMNs. Thanksgiving is next week! As you plan your feasts of turkeys and all the fixin’s, take a few minutes to read the latest edition of The Pollinator and catch up on past Bi-weekly emails.
This email includes:
- Re-enrollment Updates
- VMN Continuing Education Webinar
The 2024 Re-enrollment Period will open on December 1, 2023. All VMNs will receive an email with information about whether they need to Re-enroll and if so, instructions for how to complete it. Re-enrollment will be done in Better Impact but those without access to the internet and/or a computer, tablet or phone may request a paper form.
Here is how the process works - Each returning VMN will need to answer the six Re-enrollment questions in Better Impact. The VMN State Office will review those answers and either award the Re-enrollment badge in Better Impact (not automatic!) or follow up with the individual if needed.
If you joined VMN in 2023 (Welcome!), you do not need to complete Re-enrollment for 2024. An email will be sent to you indicating this.
VMN Continuing Education Webinar
It is our final installment of the VMN CE Webinar Series for 2023!
Title: Emerged, Emerging and Potential Infectious Diseases of Virginia Wildlife
Date/Time: Thursday, December 7, 12:00-1:00 pm
Registration: Pre-registration required
Description: As Virginians, we live in a unique, diverse but fragile ecosystem comparable to any area on earth. A realization of this is made obvious when one considers the havoc that an introduced infectious disease can have on a wildlife population. In this presentation, the biology and impact of three different infectious diseases will be presented and the roles Master Naturalists could play in recognizing and controlling these diseases. The first is an infectious disease that has emerged: white nose syndrome of bats that is devastating the bat population in our state. The second, chronic wasting disease of deer, an emerging disease that is slowly spreading through the deer population of Virginia with potential public health implications. The final disease is Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (a.k.a. Bsal) a deadly disease that has recently spread from Asia to Europe and is expected to soon be found in North America. North America has the greatest salamander diversity in the world with much of this diversity occurring along the mid-Atlantic Appalachians.
Presenter: Robert “Bob” Dunstan is a veterinary pathologist who has over 100 publications dealing with diseases of animals and humans in their many manifestations. He was a full professor of pathology at Michigan State University and at Texas A&M University where he specialized in dermatopathology. In 2004, he was recruited by Pfizer to help develop new treatments for dermatologic diseases in humans. To do this he started using artificial intelligence to quantify the microscopic effects of emerging topical therapies. Four years later he was recruited as a distinguished investigator by Biogen, where he studied Alzheimer’s disease as well as several autoimmune diseases. He finished his career working for Abbvie, applying deep learning methods on inflammatory bowel disease. Retiring this year, Bob became a Master Naturalist in 2012.