Course Description: Butterflies are beautiful and easily observed insects which fly in every life zone of Rocky Mountain National Park. This class will begin with a short, indoor introduction to basic butterfly biology and butterfly family identification. In the field, we will visit several different habitats to search for summer species, such as Rocky Mountain Parnassian, Edwards' Fritillary, Ruddy Copper, and Arctic Blue. We will learn to ID these species and also discuss their amazing life histories and ecology, host-plant associations, and conservation concerns. The class will focus on butterfly observation through binoculars; however, the instructor will have a net-and-release permit to allow participants a close-up look at a variety of species.
The seminar will include short-distance walks throughout the day on primarily level terrain.
Brief Instructor Biography:Stephanie Mason has been a research associate with the Rocky Mountain Butterfly Project since 1997.This long-term volunteer research effort has documented more than 140 species in RockyMountainNational Park.When she is not chasing butterflies in Rocky, she serves as senior naturalist for the Audubon Naturalist Society, which is based just outside Washington, D.C.She manages the society’s adult education program and leads classes and field trips on many aspects of natural history including butterflies and plants.
Expectations: Professional conduct will be expected from participants at all times.Individual ideas will be respected.Except during course breaks, cellular phones, pagers, and personal entertainment devices are strictly prohibited in the classroom and during field sessions.
Car-pooling:Rocky Mountain Field Seminars courses utilize car-pooling to limit vehicles traveling into the Park.Car-pooling makes it easier to keep the group together, reduces transit time, and allows courses greater access because fewer parking spaces are required at destinations.In addition, it provides an opportunity for participants to discuss course material in small groups during transit.Typically, a few participants from each course volunteer the use of their vehicles for car-pooling to course locations.
Tentative Course Schedule:
What to Bring:
Sack lunch, snacks, energy bars, Water
Binoculars (preferably close-focusing)
Butterfly and plant field guides (optional)
Wear comfortable, natural-colored clothing
Remember to Bring the 10 Essentials:
RockyMountainNational Park recommends that hikers always carry the 10 essentials in their daypacks.
RaingearMap and compassFlashlight or headlamp
Sunglasses and sunscreenCandlesMatches or other fire starter
PocketknifeFirst-aid kitExtra layers of clothing
Sack lunch, snacks, water
Note:Rocky Mountain Field Seminars recommends that participants for all courses dress in layers and wear comfortable, sturdy hiking boots/shoes.Participants should be prepared for sudden changes in temperature and weather conditions.
Teacher Recertification Credit:
Most seminars are eligible for teacher recertification credit through the Centennial Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES).The new fee is $25.00 per seminar (.5 units) or $25.00 per series of threaded seminars (1.0 - 3.0 units).A list of threaded seminars can be found in the Field Seminar catalog or online at www.rmna.org.Participants must enroll in all seminars of a threaded series in order to qualify for the $25.00 multi-unit fee. Please be prepared to pay for this credit with a check, made payable to BOCES, on the first day of a seminar or on the final day of a threaded series of seminars.
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