The Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs (ANROSP) quarterly email newsletter includes board meeting summaries, and other relevant news.  If you have something to contribute to the quarterly email, please contact Denise Parsons parsonsd@unce.unr.edu.

A NOTE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Thank you for being a part of the Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs!  ANROSP is a wonderfully small association representing 28 programs that contribute to its success.  Whether it is sharing your knowledge with everyone at the annual conference or serving as the President of the Board of Directors, you all pitch in to help ANROSP be an invaluable network of people, programs, and resources. I hope you will take advantage of all your membership has to offer. Hope to see you in Tennessee! 
 

Staci R. Clark

ANROSP President


REGISTER NOW!  11th Annual ANROSP Conference to be held at Montgomery Bell Park outside of Nashville, Tennessee on September 15-17, 2015! 

Come and join us at Montgomery Bell State Park near Nashville, Tennessee for this year's dynamic conference:  "Everything Counts"!
While there, you'll have the opportunity to gain knowledge from a diverse range of programs, network with colleagues, and obtain valuable tools to enhance your existing program or develop a new one.  Click here for Conference Agenda:http://www.anrosp.org/pdfs/DRAFT%20AGENDA-2015.pdf

KEYNOTE:
Dr. David Haskell, nationally recognized Professor of Biology at the University of the South, and author of the award winning book: The Forest Unseen, will share some of the stories and scientific insights from his book. 

The Forest Unseen chronicles the experiences of biologist David Haskell as he observes the same, one-square-meter patch of old growth forest in the mountains of Tennessee for one year.

Dr. Haskell's classes have received national attention for the innovative ways in which they combine scientific exploration, contemplative practice, and action in the community. In 2009, the Carnegie and CASE Foundations named him Professor of the Year for Tennessee, an award given to college professors who have achieved national distinction and whose work shows “extraordinary dedication to undergraduate teaching.”  The Oxford American featured him in 2011 as one of the southern U.S.’s most creative teachers and his teaching has been profiled in USA TodayThe Tennesseean, and other newspapers.

He holds degrees from the University of Oxford  (B.A. in Zoology) and from Cornell University (Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology). He is Professor of Biology at the University of the South, where he has served both as Chair of Biology and as an Environmental Fellow with the Associated Colleges of the South. He is a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies and was granted Elective Membership in the American Ornithologists’ Union in recognition of “significant contributions to ornithology.” He served on the board of the South Cumberland Regional Land Trust, where he initiated and led the campaign to purchase and protect a portion of Shakerag Hollow, where the book is set, a forest that E. O. Wilson has called a “cathedral of nature.”

Check out his blog "Ramble" at: https://davidhaskell.wordpress.com/

Off-site Field Trips
In addition to the fabulous presentations, classes and workshops offered at this year’s conference, two off-site field trips are being included at no additional cost.
 
Off-site field trips this year include Harpeth River State Park and Long Hunter State Park. At Harpeth River State Park we will visit Mound Bottom, a large Mississippian Period town and ceremonial site located on the Harpeth River in Cheatham County, Tennessee. The town is probably more than a thousand years old, estimated to have been populated between around 900 AD and 1300 AD based on radio carbon dating. The site contains 14 mounds surrounding a plaza area, including a large platform mound. This mound probably supported the house of the town leader and/or a town house or temple used for civic or religious purposes. Results of archaeological excavations conducted in 1926 indicate that all of the mounds around the plaza supported some type of buildings, possibly the homes of town officials. Most of the people lived in houses arranged in rows outside the mounds around the plaza. The town was enclosed on the north, east, and south sides by a wooden palisade. For additional information, visit the following website:www.nativehistoryassociation.org/moundbottom.php .
 
Also at the Harpeth River State Park we will visit the Narrows of the Harpeth. Located in the Narrows is a 100 yard tunnel, hand cut through solid rock in 1818 and was one of the great engineering feats of the time and is today an industrial landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. Montgomery Bell an early iron industrialist, was so proud of his steel mill that he lived within the sound of this waterfall and is buried across the river from the tunnel.

At Long Hunter State Park we will visit a cedar glade. A cedar glade is a habitat type unique to the central eastern U.S. where limestone bedrock occurs near or at the surface. Therefore there is very shallow soil or exposed bedrock which creates a unique environment. For additional information, check out www.mtsu.edu/mtsucee/cedar_glades.php, the Center for Cedar Glades Studies at Middle Tennessee State University.
 
Lodging is available at Montgomery Bell State Park Inn. The rates are $84 plus 14.75% tax per room per night, single or double occupancy. If you are paying with a government credit card, bring a tax exemption certificate from your state and save the state sales tax. The Inn has rooms on hold for us until August 3 so don’t delay. Call (615) 797-3101 to reserve your room. The group reservation is under the name ANROSP.
 
The conference fee of $150.00 includes coffee, Danish, juice, muffins, and hot tea on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday, a BBQ outing on Tuesday evening (complete with band) and an awards breakfast on Thursday morning.  It also includes the field trips.

To register:
https://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1728420

In addition to registering for the conference, the Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs Board of Directors has a number of opportunities to share with you.  

Conference ScholarshipsANROSP has allocated funds to provide scholarships for this year’s annual conference.  Our goal is to provide assistance to individuals who would not otherwise be able to attend the conference.  Please see the attached scholarship application and return it to me by August 31, 2015 for consideration.

http://anrosp.org/pdfs/ScholarshipApplication.pdf[anrosp.org]

                                                                                                                                                                                          

Request for Bids to Host the 2016 Annual Conference-  We are requesting proposals from eligible programs to host the 2016 annual conference.  Potential host sites are those that have an ANROSP member program in good standing, a commitment to providing local support for the year of the conference, will provide at least one person to serve on the conference committee and lead the local arrangements committee. Here is a list of previous years conferences: Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Texas, and West Virginia, Illinois, Utah, Pennsylvania, Mississippi and Nevada.

RFBs have been extended to August 31, 2015.

http://anrosp.org/pdfs/ANROSP%20conf%20host%202016%20rfp%20(Clark,%20Staci)-4.pdf[anrosp.org]

 

Financial Aid- The ANROSP Financial Aid (previously called the mini-grant) is intended to further support our programmatic member’s efforts in developing, building and expanding their state-wide programs. The dollars are flexible allowing for a variety of proposals from education and outreach to capacity building to natural resource management. This is one of the many benefits of being an ANROSP member.  The attached financial aid application is due by August 18, 2015. This year’s recipients will be announced at the annual conference but is an ongoing award open to membership.

http://anrosp.org/pdfs/ANROSP%20Financial%20Aid%20Application-2015.pdf[anrosp.org]

 

Call for Presentations- The due date for proposals to present at this year’s conference is  July 31, 2015.Presentations on  Environmental Education, Interpretation, and an array of topics related to program management are being considered. Please refer to the attached Call for Presentations for more information. This year’s theme is “Everything Counts!” This could include everything from counting impacts of volunteers, citizen science based inventories, or interpretive evaluation.

 http://anrosp.org/pdfs/CallforPapers.pdf[anrosp.org]

 

Apply Now for 2015 ANROSP Program Awards!
The ANROSP awards committee encourages  you to apply for an ANROSP award for your program, educational materials, volunteer project, program evaluation or outstanding teamwork.  All of our member programs are outstanding and it is time to be nationally recognized for your efforts.  We encourage you to nominate yourself, your program, group or volunteers  for these awards. Who understands your work better than you?  This is a great addition to your CV or resume. Awards applications are due to Vice President, Amanda Tedrow by August 18, 2015. For additional information and/or to apply contact Amanda at atedrow@uga.edu

 

Here are the five ANROSP award application links: 

 

Program of the Year: http://anrosp.org/pdfs/ANROSP%20Program%20of%20the%20Year%20Application.pdf[anrosp.org]

 

Outstanding Educational Materials: http://anrosp.org/pdfs/ANROSP%20Outstanding%20Support%20Materials%20Application.pdf[anrosp.org]

 

Outstanding Volunteer Project:http://anrosp.org/pdfs/ANROSP%20Outstanding%20Volunteer%20Project%20Application.pdf[anrosp.org]

 

Outstanding Program Evaluation: http://anrosp.org/pdfs/ANROSP%20Outstanding%20Program%20Evaluation%20Application.pdf[anrosp.org]

 

Outstanding Team: http://anrosp.org/pdfs/Outstanding%20Team%20Award%20Application.pdf[anrosp.org]

 

Annual Elections-

ANROSP is currently seeking nominations for the annual election to be held in Tennessee. Consider serving on the board or as an officer. Nominate yourself or someone you know. Our Board Member at Large, Mark Larese-Casanova will soon be sending you a nomination request.

ANROSP operates entirely on volunteer service.  There are no paid staff to help with important tasks like maintaining the membership database, organizing the annual conference, or writing newsletters.  Each year, we aim to build the membership  of ANROSP’s committees to accomplish the mission of the organization.  Would you like to help us by volunteering for one or more of these committees in 2016?

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee is responsible for developing and reviewing fiscal procedures, a fundraising plan, and an annual budget with staff and other Board members. If you are great with numbers and managing project budgets, this is a great committee to serve on! 

Elections Committee

The Elections Committee is responsible for seeking out new Board candidates and maintaining a geographic diversity as well as balance of representation of member programs. If you would like to get to know ANROSP’s members and help find leaders for the organization, please join us.

Conference Committee

The Conference Committee is responsible for planning all aspects of the annual conference.  This is a great chance to help plan the one big event that brings us together in a beautiful part of the country each year.

Communications & Marketing Committee

This committee is responsible for maintaining the ANROSP web site, newsletter, and other communications and marketing needs.  It’s easy, but very important behind the scenes work.

Membership Committee

This committee manages ANROSP’s membership, approval of programmatic membership applications, dues, and renewal notices.  Help us continue to bring new members and perspectives to ANROSP from exciting outreach programs from across the country.

Program Resources Committee

This committee is responsible for finding and sharing opportunities for programs, professional development, or training; curriculum development and review; service initiatives; program start-up packages; and training workshops for mentoring teams. We also manage the monthly Mentor Conference Calls and Annual Awards.

Strategic Planning Committee

This committee identifies critical issues facing ANROSP and helps develop a strategic vision, and the goals and objectives needed to carry out that vision.  If you like thinking ‘big picture’, this is the committee for you.

 

Silent Auction Donation

Also, just a friendly reminder: in addition, at this time we are seeking donations of goods for the annual silent auction. All proceeds will go towards future ANROSP activities and scholarships. if you will be bringing any items or if you are not attending and would like to send items to be auctioned. Items in the past have included logo t-shirts and clothing, field guides, and site specific goods. Coffee, honey, lotions, handmade items are also nice. The silent auction will also occur at our annual conference. Please notify Board Member at Large, Mark Larese-Casanova atmarklc@usu.edu if you will be bringing any items or if you are not attending and would like to send items to be auctioned.

 
Program Spotlight!

Texas Master Naturalist Program

 
Since 1997, the Texas Master Naturalist™ (TMN) Program has grown to include 45 chapters and more than 9,600 volunteers serving Texas communities throughout 80 percent of the state’s counties. The mission of the program is “to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities for the state of Texas.”
 
What makes the work of a Texas Master Naturalist so important is that they are not only individuals who love nature and offer their time, but are also trained naturalists with specialized knowledge of different ecosystems, species, habitats, and environmental demands that is priceless when determining how to best manage natural resources. These skilled volunteers work with communities and organizations across the state to implement youth outreach programs; help operate parks, nature centers, and natural areas; and lead local natural resource conservation efforts. In addition, private landowners depend on the expertise of these volunteers to help them gain a broader scientific understanding of the ecology and management of their natural resources.
 
An individual gains the designation of Texas Master Naturalist after participating in an approved chapter training program with a minimum of 40 hours of combined field and classroom instruction, obtaining 8 hours of approved advanced training, and completing 40 hours of approved volunteer service. Following the initial training program, trainees have one year in which to complete their 40 hours of volunteer service and 8 hours of advanced training. To retain the Texas Master Naturalist title during each subsequent year, volunteers must complete 8 additional hours of advanced training and provide an additional 40 hours of volunteer service coordinated through their local chapter. Though that seems like a lot for a volunteer program, so many volunteers do even more; 52 volunteers have given over 5,000 service hours, and 9 volunteers have given over 10,000 service hours!
 
The program currently has trained 9,676 Texas Master Naturalist volunteers in 45 local chapters across the state.  Whether it’s designing nature trails, conserving habitat, setting up birding stations, or planting wildflowers, TMN volunteers are creating a better environment for their fellow Texans. Since its establishment in 1997, TMN volunteer efforts have provided over 2,833,064 hours of service valued at more than $65.2 million. This service has resulted in developing and maintaining more than 1,946 miles of trail; enhancing 218,762 plus acres of wildlife and native plant habitats; reaching more than 2 million youth, adults and private landowners. One member even discovered a new plant species.
 
Funding for the Texas Master Naturalist Program is provided by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. In Texas, this partnership among the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and some 398 local partners has resulted in a unique master volunteer organization. At the state level, the organization is directed by a statewide program coordinator and assistant statewide coordinator. The Program also receives direction from an advisory committee providing training guidelines, program marketing and promotion, curriculum resources, and advanced training opportunities; along with a volunteer representatives committee responsible for representing the varied interests of the chapters and providing a communication link to state committees and program leaders.
 
In 2014, the Texas Master Naturalist Program was awarded two highly accomplished awards, the Governor’s Volunteer Award in the Community Leadership category and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Environmental Excellence Award in the Civic/Community category.
 
Growing Into the Next Level
 
To grow beyond the level of success that the Texas Master Naturalist Program has already achieved over the years is an ambitious goal and one that the program has begun to initiate. These growths include the growth of new chapters, growth in the curriculum being taught around the state of Texas, growth of the program’s structure through further developed protocols and bylaws and growth through a new online volunteer management system.
 
As the current 45 chapters cover 194 counties out of the 254 counties in the state of Texas, the growth of new chapters in new regions is limited. The counties without chapters across the state are those typically that have relatively low populations per acre or do not have major metro areas within a cohesive distance to make volunteer gathering easy. The growth of new chapters in new regions has slowed, but the growth of new chapters within currently existing chapters is one that has begun. There have been two chapters within the last year that have developed from one chapter splitting their territory. This growth has allowed for expanded volunteer participation, diversity of audiences and more dynamic volunteer groups. One of these new internal growth chapters developed in partnership with a local university and includes a targeted college student population, an audience and concept that is new to the ranks of the Texas Master Naturalist Program.
 
The other three growths that have rounded out the Texas Master Naturalist Program’s stellar 16 years of service in the state has been the update and release of three guiding development, organizational and educational resources. With these resources in use and in the hands of the 9,000+ trained Texas Master Naturalists, the program will only continue to grow.
 
NEXT MONTHLY ANROSP MENTOR CONFERENCE CALL - Thursday, August 13, 2015

We invite you to join the next regular Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs (ANROSP) Mentor Conference CallThursday, August 13, 2015 at 12:00 noon Central time (1:00 pm Eastern Time, 11:00 Mountain, 10:00 Pacific) Joining us as Facilitator for the August call will be Alycia Crall, Virginia Master Naturalist Program Coordinator; and co-host will be Denise Parsons, Nevada Naturalist Program Coordinator.
Please join us on this call to share your experience, ask questions, learn from colleagues, and network with similar programs.  All members are welcome to participate, regardless of whether you are a newly developing program or an experienced program!  The format is very open.
Call topics will include anything that participants want to ask, discuss or share.  ANROSP has worked to ensure that there will be ANROSP board members representing member programs on every call, and those individuals will rotate so that each call has representatives with different interests and expertise.
Please do not forward this opportunity to non-members as mentor conference calls are a benefit of ANROSP membership and are only open to ANROSP members.  To join the fun, call 712-432-0927, access code 919711#.  Your regular long distance fees apply.
We hope to talk with everyone on our August call!
For more information contact:  Michelle Haggerty at MHaggerty@ag.tamu.edu

NOTE:  There will not be a Mentor Conference Call in September due to the National ANROSP Conference being held September 14-17, 2015 in Tennessee.


Highlights of recent Mentor Conference Calls
 

ANROSP Mentor Call Notes
July 9, 2015
Attending: Mindy Block, Long Island, NY Naturalist Program,
Wanda MacLachlan, MD Naturalist Program,
Co-host/facilitator, Michelle Haggerty, Texas Master Naturalist Program,
Co-host and featured program, Amy Rager with the Minnesota Master Naturalist Program.

Amy began with describing the Minnesota MN program.  The program is a Train the Trainer program.  It's currently 10 years old with 1,600 volunteers and 200 trained instructors. 
Mindy asked for advice on marketing her program.  Amy mentioned their program has had good success with Social Media including FaceBook and Ning for ‘private’ internal communications among members and member interest groups.  Amy described Ning as a subscription based private type of FaceBook that the MNMN program has purchased.  Mindy mentioned she has been using “Meet-Up” in a similar fashion.  Amy mentioned they have tried that in the past but found it to be problematic for members in rural areas where internet was not reliable or strong.
Mindy asked if any programs on the call had been developing Jr. MN programs.  Amy described the Jr. MN Explorers Program that MnMNP had developed.  The program was developed with the financial assistance of their states lottery funds which requires the funds support education.  The program was first developed to focus on 5th and 6th grades but program leaders quickly learned that 5th & 6thgrades was too late to introduce youth to the program.  They were already overscheduled with sports and other organized programs.  They refocused their efforts toward 3rd and 4th grades which was better but even still their experience was that  3rd and 4th graders were very ‘scheduled’ by that time too (though not as much as 5th & 6th grades).  The program and curriculum is based on phenology and seasons and targets after school program settings.  Adult MNMNP volunteers were trained to deliver the programs in the after school settings.  All of the MN Jr MN Explorers Program info and curricula resources is available on the MNMN Program Website.  The curricula was first developed around seasons with Spring Fall and Winter units developed.  Summer just being developed now since the program targets afterschool programs and youth are not in school during the summer.  However, the program has received requests for the summer unit since its first development.  Amy advised that overall, the youth program was less successful than they thought they’d be.  Sports seem to win over environmental education all the time.  There is too much competition for kids’ time (sports are after school too).  Additionally, the MNMN Program has evaluated that they cannot continue to spend any additional time and money to throw at the program.  It did not prove to be profitable for them.  The program takes A LOT of time, energy and money (almost double what the adult program takes) and there is little to NO return from the youth program.  The MN Jr. MN Explorers program is consciously not affiliated with 4-H.  Partnerships were attempted with the 4-H program in this state but each of the organizations wanted to go in different directions.
Amy also mentioned that the Safety of minors policy recently updated by the University has made it even more difficult and time consuming to manage a youth program.
Wanda reported back on an issue and question she had from earlier in the spring where the MDMN Program had a deaf student apply to the program and they had never encountered the issue before.  The University Wanda works for indicated that yes, they have to provide accommodations for the applicant but that the MDMN Program would need to do so at their own expense, Extension and the University would not provide the services and expenses for them to accommodate.  Sigh Language interpretation is very expensive ($100 or more per hour or $40-$50 per hour was the non-profit cost estimate).  In the end Wanda was able to find students from a local community college to offer the sign language interpretation for their trainings for college credit toward their degrees.  Amy mentioned that they have had a few to several deaf students they have accommodated in their trainings and their University has an office of Diversity and Inclusion that provides the services and/or funding for the sign languages interpreters.  Take home message was that each state, stage agency involved and partner is going to have different requirements and provisions available for these cases and you will need to investigate those in your own programs.  Michelle asked what is the total commitment programs have needed to provide for the deaf students—was the sign language interpretation commitment needed for general chapter meetings and/or service projects the member worked on too or what where the total requirements the programs needed to provide for?  Amy mentioned that in their case they were required to provide for trainings and Advanced Trainings but nothing beyond that.  One attendee asked about the longevity of deaf members in their programs and no one had really followed up on looking at the longevity of their past deaf student members yet… but that it was a great question to learn more about. 
Amy asked if anyone has encountered LBGT issues yet especially with overnight accommodations where single room options may not be available.  No one else on the call had encountered a situation like this yet, but some of the programs on call already offer a range of rooming (i.e single rooms) options where they can—even if it was offering a commuter rate and contacts for other local hotels, camps, rv parks, camping or other options in the area aside from the program’s contracted accommodations.  Bottom line is that we need to make everyone involved feel safe and welcome!
Amy asked if anyone on call was going to attend the Points of Light Foundation’s Conference in Houston, TX this year October 19-21st.  Amy said it has usually been a good informative conference to attend.  Michelle mentioned its too close to their own TMN State Conference that same week to be able to attend. 
Discussion ended with those on call talking about the ANROSP conference in September and whether anyone had submitted proposals to present this year.  So far Texas and MN had and some discussion of their topics submitted ensued. 
The call ended at 12:44 PM.


 ANROSP Mentor Call notes
June 11, 2015
Attending: Mindy Block, Long Island, NY Naturalist Program
Brooke Gamble, California Naturalist Program
Featured Program Co-Host and call facilitator, Michelle Haggerty, Texas Master Naturalist Program
Featured Program Co-Host, Mary Pearl Meuth, Texas Master Naturalist Program
Kate Helgrin, Florida Master Naturalist Program
Kim Aston, Texas Master Naturalist Program Special Projects Intern.
 
After introductions , Mary Pearl gave an overview of the Texas Master Naturalist Program. The Texas Master Naturalist Program has been in existence since 1997.  Since that time the program has trained over 9,672 members providing over 2.83 MILLION hours of service to date with nearly 400,000 hours of service in 2014 alone.  Program members obtained 51,422 hours of Advanced Training in 2014 and over  446,840 hours of AT to date.  Last year TMN volunteers lead over 5,580 outreach events with 4,360 of those events being direct outreach evens reaching some 233,220 youth, adults and private landowners.  They also reached nearly 300,000 people through indirect outreach events. The program has made an impact on more than 218,762 acres of habitat, 1,941 miles of trail and has developed nearly 400 partnerships while doing so.  Nine TMN members have reached the 10,000 hour milestone award for the program.  In addition to the 10,000 hour milestone award the program offers a 250-hour, 500-hour, 1,000-hour, 2500-hour, 4,000 hour + PVSA Award and a 5,000-hour award.  Members also receive a new annual specially designed recertification pin for each year they re-certify as a Texas Master Naturalist.
The Texas Master Naturalist program is sponsored at the state level by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The program is a chapter-based program model with over 45 Texas Master Naturalist chapters across the state—three of those chapters have developed in the past year.
In the past 12 months the Texas Master Naturalist program has undergone several significant programmatic updates.  The program has completely revised is original curriculum developed 10 years ago and will be offering the 2nd edition of the curriculum in early 2016.  This revised curriculum has a total of 26 units.  The original 22 units have all been updated by original and additional authors.  There are 4 new units that will cover Texas Water Resources, Stewardship, Laws & regulations for the Naturalist and a Citizen Science Unit. The new curriculum is currently undergoing layout and production through the Texas A&M University Press.
The Program is also working on enhancing their statewide annual meeting with moving the meeting to a resort hotel.  Typically the TMN annual meeting has 350 to 450 attendees with over 90 different advanced training and program topics their members can attend in one 3-day weekend. The new venue will allow wifi for all training rooms and participants but there are drawbacks in what the grounds can support for natural resource based training outside. There are also increased costs with moving to a resort as well that the program is working on negotiating as they don’t want to out-price their participants.  In the past the conference has been held at large church camps and conference centers offering hotel-style lodging with a mixture of other lodging types as well. This year’s annual meeting will also be using more apps and technology (such as ExOrdo and GuideBook) for proposal submissions, program development and registration. 
The Texas Master Naturalist Program office is also implementing an on-line Volunteer management and tracking system for all of its chapters and members’ reporting so by the end of the year all members and chapters will begin using the system.  There is a four-phase onboarding process for all of the program’s chapters and they are half way through implementation now.  The system being used is called Samaritan.  To assist with the implementation Michelle was able to hire (or have some people volunteer) to assist with the roll-out.  All members of the roll-out team have been professional systems analysts in previous careers and they are all Texas Master Naturalists. The group has developed an on-line help desk for support and trouble shooting too. 
The last program updates the TMN program has undergone is a significant revision and update of all of the program’s guiding documents.  All documents are available on the program’s website http://txmn.org the program has updated their Bylaws, Program Protocols and operating procedures, Chapter Operating handbook and their Roadmap for Chapter development. These documents have undergone the most significant changes in this past year since the program was developed in 1997. 
Brooke asked what kind of Advanced Training and field trips the TMN program would have at their annual conference.  Mary Pearl described some of the early plans for those field-based training experiences at the annual meeting.
Mindy asked how programs have or are funding the development of their curriculum. In the case of Texas, the curriculum was developed with the assistance of a grant over the course of 2 years.  The grant allowed the TMN program to hire a curriculum coordinator who organized and communicated with the authors, collected materials, resources, images, etc. and the entire first edition was edited, laid out and produced in house.  The grant also provided funding for the first mass printing of the curriculum too.  From there, future reprints of the curriculum are funded by the sales of the curriculum to the chapter training classes.  Each TMN member is required to receive a curriculum.
Brook asked what type of “stuff” or gifts programs give out to their annual meeting registrants.  Many had given note pads, mini flashlights, lawn chairs, t-shirts, lunch bag coolers, water bottles, pens, pencils, bookmarks, Sand County Almanac books, and other ‘gadgets’ with program logos on them. Some states mentioned they are doing a statewide annual conference in even years and then regional meetings/conferences in odd years.  Other states, like Texas, still hold a conference every year.
Mindy asked for advice on how to reach out to a potential partner for her Long Island, NY naturalist program. Those on call suggested that both parties identify areas where they may be able to help each other and go from there. 
 
Lastly Kim Aston, The TMN Program Special projects intern described the Jr. Master Naturalist survey she is working on this summer which will evaluate all of the Jr. MN/Jr. Naturalist activities TMN chapters are working on and the resources they are using so the program can start building a collection of resources, examples and list of project leaders for each chapter.

Board Meeting Highlights
The Board of Directors recently voted to implement the software, "Wild Apricot", to update and manage our membership.  For those not familiar with "Wild Apricot" , it is a web-based software that automates and simplifies the management of your membership and your website. Wild Apricot consists of several modules that work together:
  • membership management
  • website (CMS)
  • event registration
  • online payments
  • emails
  • donations
Michele Richards, Membership Committee Chair, is spearheading this effort. We will keep everyone up-to-date on the progress.
 

Looking forward to seeing everyone in Tennessee!

Denise Parsons
ANROSP Secretary & Communication Committee Chair

 


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