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Teen Naturalist Volunteer Training Program
Water Quality Monitoring
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By Plimun Website Design
The ANS volunteer water quality monitoring (WQM) program depends on team work and you would be hard pressed to find better team players and team leaders than Gretchen Schwartz and Charlie Dorian.
Gretchen and Charlie first became involved with the ANS community through the WQM volunteer program about 16 years ago when Gretchen saw a notice on the comics page of The Washington Post. Charlie has been a team leader since 1994 and Gretchen became a Hipwader, a select group of monitors who teach children and other interested persons about stream health and about the macroinvertebrates living in streams.
Not only did Gretchen and Charlie take on a second site that recently lost its leader, they also teach WQM classes, help with stream programs for the ANS GreenKids program, and volunteer at the WQM table at our annual Nature Fair. This dedicated husband and wife team has also worked hard to update and improve some of the teaching materials, including developing a new Power Point presentation for a macroinvertebrate class. Gretchen created the presentation using Charlie's striking, high magnification photos.
"Gretchen and Charlie each bring their special gifts to the water quality program," said WQM Coordinator Cathy Wiss. "It has been a joy to work with them." With a seemingly boundless interest in the out-of-doors and in sharing discoveries and information with others, Charlie and Gretchen are natural and effective teachers. It comes as no surprise to learn that they are both scientists with teaching interests. Gretchen is a semi-retired research biologist and is currently a consultant and adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland, University College. Charlie has a PhD in chemistry and is considering teaching now that he is retired. What keeps Gretchen and Charlie volunteering?
"Volunteering at ANS has been a great opportunity to meet a lot of very interesting people and to learn new things," said Gretchen. In addition to enjoying the ability to "share what I know," Charlie finds volunteering with Gretchen a great way to spend time together.
Thank you Charlie and Gretchen for choosing to spend time volunteering with ANS! ~Pam Herrick, Volunteer Coordinator
It was one lucky day, three years ago, when Elisa Rapaport (shown here with her daughter, Yael) answered our web ad placed with the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Since then, this busy mother of two has worked on the Audubon Naturalist News, and helped guide its evolution to the magazine-size, color-filled, post-consumer product in your hands. She also designed the much-loved logo and printed materials for our Nature Fair.
"Elisa's truly gifted," said editor Lynda DeWitt. "She has endless creative ideas and can turn any page into a work of art."
Born and raised in Florida, Elisa came to Washington, D.C. after college. She has a graduate degree in public health, and it was when she was making posters to advertise community health programs that she discovered her love of graphic design. She studied at UCLA and is now working at Nana Design in Wheaton, where she was recently given an award for recycling! A longtime recycling advocate, Elisa helped the 15 small businesses in her office suite comply with the county's recycling efforts, and in June, was recognized by Montgomery County for her "outstanding achievement in recycling." Congratulations and thank you, Elisa, for your commitment to the environment and to ANS. ~Pam Herrick, Volunteer Coordinator
One of the highlights of the Nature Fair is the marketplace with its wide array of art, handmade artifacts, and native plants for sale. This year the number of booths was increased substantially thanks to the effective and generous assistance of volunteer Kitty O'Hara.
Retired from the U.S. Agency for International Development, Kitty accepted the challenge to fill the Marketplace Coordinator position as soon as the notice for this new volunteer position was put out after the 2007 Nature Fair. She made time to balance this project with her other ongoing volunteer commitments, which include leading school groups at Colvin Run Mill Park and working at the Park's historic store. Kitty began immediately to scout out new artisans for the ANS Fair. Having attended craft fairs for years, she knew just where to begin.
Kitty was introduced to ANS several years ago by a birder friend, and she soon became an ANS member as she particularly valued the local aspect of the ANS mission. Kitty volunteered at ANS Holiday Fairs and Nature Fairs before stepping up to Marketplace Coordinator. Kitty says she enjoyed working with the artisans and having a chance to learn a little more about the creative process. In fact, it was a positive experience for all and Kitty has agreed to continue with the 2009 Nature Fair. Thank you, Kitty, for all you do! ~Pam Herrick, Volunteer Coordinator
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