Coastal Master Naturalists...

Advanced Training Opportunites

Dear Coastal Master Naturalists,

The end of the year is coming up fast and many of us have not had the opportunity to collect our eight hours of Advanced Training. Here is a fun, simple and local way of doing just that with our own Keith McCullough, Kristina Wheeler and/or Chet Morse leading the way.

Following are three opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, learn some fascinating information about our local flora and fauna, network with other Master Naturalists or would be MNs and perhaps gather at a nearby café for lunch or cup of hot tea to warm ourselves after several hours on the beach, in the maritime forests or on the rice fields at Caw Caw.

To register please click this to go to the CCPRC programs or call 843-795-4386. The course numbers are listed with each description simplifying your search.

JAMES ISLAND BIRD WALK   Course # 47263 

November 10, 2016 8:30-10:30 am 

James Island County Park offers diverse birding habitats. Explore and count songbirds, birds of prey, wading birds and others with one of our Master Naturalist instructors. This walk will count towards two hours of advanced training.


November 11, 2016 8:30-10:30    

Explore the wonderfully diverse areas of Folly Beach, marshland and maritime forest habitats. Shore birds, sea birds and much more will be identified and counted under the able leadership of one of our Master Naturalist instructors. This walk will count for two hours of advanced training.  

CANOEING at CAWCAW: Habitat to Heritage   Course  #47202

November 19, 2016   9:00-12:00pm

Explore the history of rice while you travel back through time. Historians and naturalists will point out evidence of rice culture and the incredible diversity of wildlife found here today. This fun trip on the water will earn three hours of advanced training. This trip is near full capacity and won’t have spots for long.

 Kim Norris

CMNA Chair of the Advanced Training Committee

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Plant Sale/Open House at Roots and Shoots ~ Saturday November 5th 2016

Here is a message from the owner, a fellow Master Naturalist……….

Greetings gardeners and naturalists,

We hope you’ll save the date and join us for our fall open house on Saturday, November 5th from 8-3. We are located at 7 Briarcliff Dr, Charleston SC 29407. We have lots of great perennials, shrubs, trees, grasses and vines. There will even be some tasty fruits (non-native) that are a great addition to an ecologically diverse yard! Check out our availability here and visit our website if you’d like to see some pictures.

David Manger


SCNPS Plant Sale Volunteer Opportunity!!

Help is needed for the SC Native Plant Society Plant Fall Sale at Charles Towne Landing in West Ashley. Click this link for more info scnps_fall2016

They need volunteers on Friday, October 21st 2016 from  830am-noon to unload plants, water and weed plants, set-up tables and tents.

They are also seeking volunteers on Saturday, October 22nd 2016 from 730am-noon to prepare for the beginning of sale, assist at holding area and for loading plants.

*Volunteers wishing to shop early on Saturday (8am) must work a minimum of 3.5 hours either on Friday or Saturday or both.  Please contact Miranda Sanders if you are interested in volunteering and indicate your availability. 



Caterpillars Count! Citizen Science Project

Caterpillars Count! is a project that relies on citizen scientists (you!) to help understand some of the most important organisms in our ecosystems—caterpillars and other insects—by conducting surveys of the plants and trees around them.

Your observations can also help track how the abundance of caterpillars and other insects varies over the seasons. The seasonal timing of caterpillar availability is especially important for birds which try to time their spring migration so that there will be lots of insect food around (caterpillars are an especially tasty treat!) to successfully raise their young. Visit this site for more information and how to become involved with this research!


Marsh Dagger Caterpillar ~ Photo by Keith McCullough

Zugunruhefest – Center for Birds of Prey ~ September 15-17 2016

Introducing Zugunruhefest – the Southeast’s most comprehensive migration-focused birding festival. Zugunruhe (zu – gun – rue) is a German word derived from Zug (move, migration) and Unruhe (restlessness). This state of restlessness is commonly noted in migratory animals, especially birds. As fall approaches and instincts prevail, birds are compelled by this silent call to take flight to their wintering grounds. As part of the Atlantic Flyway, the Lowcountry serves as a predictable thoroughfare for migrating raptors and shore birds during fall migration passage. Exploiting the Center’s strategic location, Zugunruhefest will afford numerous opportunities for observers, both novice and advanced, to experience fall migration from an exceptional vantage point. In addition to onsite vendors and children’s activities, the festival will include three days filled with naturalists, ornithologists, and educators leading bird walks, flight demonstrations, informative lectures and programs, and more. The festival will culminate with a panel of avian experts in a round-table discussion and reception. Significantly, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which provides over-arching legal protection for all migratory birds, is marking its Centennial this year, a fitting context and milestone to recognize as we celebrate the wonders of migration.

When: Thursday – Saturday, September 15 – 17, 2016

Where: Avian Conservation Center/Center for Birds of Prey, 4719 North Highway 17, Awendaw, SC 29429. Bird walks, field trips and excursions will take place in additional locations throughout the Lowcountry.

Admission: Fees vary depending on activities chosen. For a complete schedule of activities with pricing, please visit or call 843.971.7474 to have a schedule emailed to you.  

**There are a few volunteer opportunities available if you are interested in manning an education table, please call Emily Davis at 330-607-5914

Day by Day Details

Event Schedule



The Coastal Geology and Ecology of South Carolina Lecture ~September 6th 2016

The coastal geology of South Carolina is complex, formed by the combined processes of sea level rise, sediment supply, waves, and tides. This presentation consists of two parts. Part I describes the general processes and landforms of the coast, explaining the history of how the South Carolina coast evolved and how processes such as waves, tides, sediment supply, and sea level rise have combined to produce the modern coastal features such as barrier islands, deltas, estuaries, tidal flats, and salt marshes. Discussion of the impacts of hurricanes, changes in sediment supply that are both natural and man-made, the beach cycle, and methods to control erosion is included. Part II describes in more detail the coastal geomorphology of each of four compartments: the Grand Strand; the Delta Region; the Barrier Islands; and the Low Country. Explanations are provided for key features of the coast such as Carolina bays, capes, barrier islands, and tidal inlets.

This lecture will be given by Drs. Miles O. Hayes and Jacqueline Michel, on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016 from 4:30 – 5:30m SSM 129, College of Charleston (202 Calhoun St.) Signed copies of their book, A Coast for All Seasons: A Naturalist’s Guide to the Coast of South Carolina, will be available for purchase at $20.

A Coast for All Seasons




Wood Magic Forest Fair Volunteers Needed!!

Consider volunteering your time to help South Carolina’s students know the importance of forests and the forest industry to their everyday lives.

There will be three events this fall:

            Piedmont Forestry Center (Tamassee)-September 20-23

            Harbison State Forest (Columbia)-October 10-14

            Hobcaw Barony Discovery Center (Georgetown)-November 15-18

To conduct these programs they need approximately 30 volunteers each day to serve as guides, instructors, and helpers.  Each volunteer is given a t-shirt, lunch, and the satisfaction that they have helped provide the youth of our state an important pro-forestry experience.  

To sign up, first visit the WMFF instructors’ web site at to see what days and positions are available (this is updated weekly). You can also find lesson plans, driving directions, and other information at this site. Then contact Matt Schnabel, Assistand WMFF Coordinator at or 803-896-8892 to let him know for which days and positions you would like to volunteer. (Please note the above website is not where you sign up, but where you see what volunteer slots are still needing to be filled.


Crabbers Needed for a developing Diamondback Terrapin Study!!

Diamondback terrapins are the only exclusively estuarine turtle found in North American and in South Carolina, they are listed as a “high priority” species for conservation in the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy.

Dr. Michael D. Arendt, Assistant Marine Scientist at the SC Department of Natural Resources is still looking for folks that would be interested in participating in a Bycatch Reduction Device (BRD) evaluation study. He is looking for both commercial and recreational blue crabbers to help test out BRDs on crab traps. Please visit this link to fill out a short survey OR feel free email him at or call 843-953-9097 for more information.

Another way you can help out this research, if you are not a crabber, is to act as a citizen scientist and become familiar with the Diamonback Terrapin Reporting Form. Use it as often as you can, along with telling others about it! Click here for access to this form! and for more general information about these amazing reptiles click on this link!



Free Workshop on Communicating about Climate Change ~ Friday September 9th 2016

Hosted by ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve and SC Department of Natural Resources, this workshop will provide a review of climate change causes and impacts and introduce participants to the elements of strategic framing of varying climate change topics. The workshop takes place from 8:30am to 12pm at the Fort Johnson Marine Research Resource Institute Indoor Classroom and it aims to increase participants’ confidence in their ability to communicate climate change issues in an efficient manner. The event is free to the public, but space is limited. Click on the following link to Email for more information and to register.

Red Knots

Volunteers Needed for the Annual SC Coastal Raptor Migration Survey!!

Fall is rapidly approaching and that means one thing… Hawk Watch is back! The Center for Birds of Prey is recruiting volunteers for the annual South Carolina Coastal Raptor Migration Survey and would love your help! The survey runs September 1st through November 30th and standard observation hours are 10am-1pm, but observation beyond these hours is welcomed. Their goal is to have a shift leader (someone who is knowledgeable about raptor identification and has participated in a hawk program in the past) and at least one observer (anyone interested in participating, not necessarily an experienced birder). Protocols for Hawk Watch will be to complete the standard HMANA data sheet.

Please contact Audrey Poplin, Husbandry Coordinator and Educator at The Center for Birds of Prey at or call 843.971.7474