Curriculum

Curriculum for the 2017 - 2018 Tennessee Naturalist Program

All class sessions typically last for 4 hours; prepare to stay longer. Attire and footwear should both be appropriate for hiking and outdoor activities.

So You Want to Be a Naturalist? Future Focus
Session 1: Saturday Aug. 26, 2017; 9 a.m. (bring a lunch)
Session 2: Thursday Aug. 24, 2017; 1 p.m. (bring a snack)
Instructors
Session 1: Margie Hunter
Session 2: Margie Hunter
Class Outline:
  • Introduction to the Tennessee Naturalist program (What is a naturalist?)
  • History of important naturalists in Tennessee
  • Tools of a Naturalist, including outdoor clothing
  • Members of local environmental and nature oriented organizations will present  TNP approved volunteer needs from their site.
  • Class members will be able to register for these opportunities to fulfill the 40 hour requirement for volunteer work.
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The World of Invertebrates:  Pollinators, Predators, Pests and Parasitoids
Session 1: Saturday Sept. 16, 2017; 9 a.m. (bring lunch)
Session 2: Thursday Sept. 21, 2017; 1 p.m. (bring a snack)
Instructors
Session 1: Dr. Steve Murphree
Session 2: Dr. Kayshalya Amarasekare
Class Outline:
  • Characteristics and life cycles of insects
  • Identification of insects using keys
  • Overview of other arthropods (spiders, isopods, mites, etc.)
  • Methods of collecting and observing insects and other arthropods
  • Ecological roles of arthropods
 
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The Ecology and Geology of Tennessee
Session 1: Saturday Oct. 14, 2017 9 a.m. (bring a lunch)
Session 2: Thursday Oct. 12, 2017; 1 p.m. (bring a snack)
Instructors
Session 1: Margie Hunter
Session 2: Margie Hunter
Class Outline:
  • Overview of ecology and ecological systems
  • Physiographic regions of Tennessee
  • Geology and soils of Tennessee
  • Weather and Climate of Tennessee
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Nocturnal Naturalist
Session 1: Saturday Nov. 11, 2017; 4 p.m. (supper provided)
Session 2: Thursday Nov. 16, 2017; 4 p.m. (supper provided)
Instructors
Session 1: LEAPS Environmental Consulting
Session 2: LEAPS Environmental Consulting
Class Outline:
  • Overview of astronomy
  • Identification of common constellations
  • Nature at night
 
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Tennessee Mammals: Creatures of Habitat
Session 1: Saturday Feb. 3, 2018; 9 a.m. (bring lunch)
Session 2: Thursday Feb. 1, 2018; 1 p.m. (bring a snack)
Instructors
Session 1: Dr. George Murphy
Session 2: Dr. George Murphy
Class Outline:
  • Overview of Tennessee Mammals
  • Characteristics of this class of animals
  • Different groups of mammals found in Tennessee
  • Behavior, physiology and ecology relating to habitat needs, environmental adaptations and ecosystem roles
  • Human interactions with mammals
 
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Tennessee Reptiles and Amphibians: Scutes, Scales and Skin
Session 1: Saturday Feb. 24, 2018; 2 p.m. (bring a snack)
Session 2: Thursday Mar. 1, 2018; 2 p.m. (bring a snack)
Instructors
Session 1: LEAPS Environmental Consulting
Session 2: LEAPS Environmental Consulting
Class Outline:
  • Overview of Tennessee reptiles
  • Overview of Tennessee amphibians
  • Life cycles, habitats, ecology
  • Conservation issues
 
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Forests and Trees of Tennessee
Session 1: Saturday Mar. 24, 2018; 9 a.m. (bring a lunch)
Session 2: Thursday Mar. 29, 2018; 1 p.m. (bring a snack)
Instructors
Session 1: Dr. Cindi Smith-Walters & Dave Walters
Session 2: Margaret Cameron
Class Outline:
  • Characterization of Tennessee Forests
  • History of our forests
  • How trees grow
  • Twigs & bark as a way to identify trees
  • Selecting and maintaining urban trees
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Feathered Fauna: The Birds of Tennessee
Session 1: Saturday Apr. 14, 2018; 7:30 a.m.  (bring a snack)
Session 2: Thursday Apr. 19, 2018; 1 p.m. (bring a snack)
Instructors
Session 1: Polly Rooker and Cynthia Routledge
Session 2: Polly Rooker and Cynthia Routledge
Class Outline:
  • Overview of birds in Tennessee
  • Migration and flyways
  • Permanent residents, winter residents, summer residents, transients
  • Bird identification by sight and sound
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Forbs, Ferns, Fungi and More
Session 1: Saturday May 19, 2018; 9 a.m.  (bring lunch)
Session 2: Thursday May 17, 2018; 1 p.m. (bring a snack)
Instructors
Session 1: Margie Hunter
Session 2: Margie Hunter
Class Outline:
  • Overview of herbaceous plants, identification and keying
  • Overview of non-vascular
  • Overview of fungi
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Tennessee's Living Waters
Session 1: Saturday May 26, 2018; 9 a.m. (bring lunch)
Session 2: Thursday May 31, 2018; 1 p.m. (bring a snack)
Instructors
Session 1: Margaret Cameron and Nancy Garden
Session 2: Margaret Cameron and Nancy Garden
Class Outline:   
  • Watersheds of Tennessee
  • Rivers and streams
  • Wetlands
  • Water quality Assessment
  • Aquatic flora and fauna