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catphil1213 72dpiRecertified as one of the 
"finest smaller charities
Greater Washington has to offer" 
by the Catalogue for Philanthropy

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Photo Gallery   Volunteer Profiles


In May 2013 ANS worked with a group of 6 seniors from St. Andrews High School. Each of them contributed 60 hours of volunteer service.

EPA ELN (Emerging Leaders Network) working
with the St. Andrews volunteers
Master Naturalist Tom Smerling leads a 4-day
garlic mustard pull with St. Andrews volunteers
GreenKids School Stream Clean Up at Arcola Elementary School, St. Andrews volunteers
Preschoolers smelling mulch with St. Andrews volunteers
Trail Team work day with St. Andrews volunteers


Master Naturalist Volunteer Training,
a  joint ANS - University of Maryland Extension program,  has completed its third year.  Graduates commit 40 hours to naturalist-related volunteer service annually. Congratulations to the 2013 graduating class!

ANS Master Naturalist class of 2013.  Standing: Nancy Voit, Frank Sanford, Darlene Robbins, Sylvia Diss, Joyce Bailey, Donald Dittberner, Rich Griffin, Bob Hirshon, Chris Ley, Heleny Cook, Julie Bloss Kelsey.   Kneeling: Susan Dunnell, Susan Schober, Rosewitha Augusta, Adriana Delgado, Suzanne Shewtz  Missing from photo:  Colette Cowey, Ramona Winkelbauer















 Previous Master Naturalist Graduating Classes:  20122011

Volunteer Profiles

CindyToddAfter moving here from Indiana in the 1970s, Cindy Todd discovered the joys of mid-Atlantic birding. While working as head reference librarian at the University of Maryland's McKeldin Library, she found time for trips to Bombay Hook and for ANS programs, including several Nature Travel tours and Natural History Field Studies certification. Since retiring in 2011, she's been able to get
even more involved and to give back to ANS in many ways.

Cindy took Maryland Master Naturalist Volunteer Training, a program run by the University of Maryland Extension Service at various host sites, including ANS. After several weeks of intensive learning about Maryland's ecosystems, participants maintain certification by contributing 40 hours of volunteer time and taking 8 hours of advanced training per year. To this end, Cindy is using her administrative skills to support the Master Naturalist program at ANS: selecting teachers, reviewing applications, and interviewing applicants, as well as reporting participants' service and training to Maryland Extension. She has taken a soil class and is planning to take another on fungi.

Cindy lives in White Oak, where she is active in the Colesville Presbyterian Church. She is also active in the campaign to save Ten Mile Creek. Around Woodend Sanctuary, you may spot Cindy monitoring
nest boxes, filling bird feeders, or brainstorming with Volunteer Coordinator Pam Herrick, who says Cindy's help with the Master Naturalist program is invaluable.  ~Mary Ann Daly, ANS volunteer, 2013

The ANS volunteer water quality monitoring (WQM) program depends on teamwork, 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 many 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 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.ProfileCharliesite

"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!   ~Liz Jones, former Volunteer Coordinator

ElisaYaelcopyIt 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.   ~Liz Jones, former Volunteer Coordinator, 2008

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