ANS’s New Online Naturalist Hour Helps Lowers Stay Connected to Each Other and the Outdoors


he organizer of Black Birders Week, UMD’s “Bug Guy” and Marine Biologist from The National Aquarium among speakers

For Immediate Release: August 14, 2020
For more information and to arrange interviews with speakers, contact [email protected], or 240-899-9019, or [email protected], or 301-523-5394

CHEVY CHASE, MD – Back to school isn’t just for kids. The Audubon Naturalist Society is helping nature lovers (of all ages and stages of curiosity) boost their nature IQ and stay in touch with nature – even if they’re indoors — in new and diverse ways. The Naturalist Hour, a new monthly series of online talks presented by experts in entomology, marine biology, birds, and more, provides a hot topic for discussion for all who are nature curious. Topics range from sharks and reptiles to crickets, ferns, and fungi. The speakers are diverse, too. They range in age – from their 20s to 70 and older – and come from black, white, Latinx, Asian racial and ethnic backgrounds. Most hail from the DMV region, with talks that are highly specialized, such as a recent one called Wild Sex (How birds, bees, and orchids procreate) and others that are more general, such as the upcoming primer on the true nature of sharks.

On Tuesday, August 18th, at 7 p.m., the National Aquarium’s Education Programs Manager, Symone Johnson Barkley, will present Perceptions of Sharks: Is the ‘Man-Eating’ Fear Justified?

Thursday’s, August 20th 7 p.m. presentation Seasons of Change: From Black Birders Week to Fall Migration, will be given by the National Audubon Naturalist Society Society’s Tykee James, a co-founder of Black Birders Week. James was recently quoted in the CNN article:  “A bird named for a Confederate general officially has a new identity.”

The final two speakers for August are Longwood Garden’s Lea Johnson and the University of Maryland’s Mike Raupp, who has been featured on The Tonight Show, NPR, and in the New York Times. Johnson’s August 25th talk “The Bluebirds of Longwood Gardens” will touch upon efforts to preserve the species. Raupp’s August 27th talk “Cicada Safari: An Exploration of a Periodical Wonder” will provide deep insight into these fascinating creatures ahead of their expected mass emergence in 2021.


Follow ANS at: Naturalist SocietyNaturalistSociety, 
and @ANSNature on Instagram.

About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region’s iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS‘s nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.