Guest Blog: Introducing Master Naturalist John McGlaughlin

As mentioned in our last post, we are beginning our series of Guest Blogs with PA Master Naturalists. Here Naturalist-in-training John introduces himself and shares his video: “Birds, Arthropods, and Herpetology“.

John McGlaughlin Hi all,
My name is John McGlaughlin and I am a PA Master Naturalist in training. I hail from the Roxborough section of Philadelphia and am a Public Defender by day and a Naturalist by night. I live a stone’s throw away from Fairmount park and spent much of my life ‘back the crick’ enjoying the many splendors of the great outdoors. The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education is another great resource that is also right around the corner from my house. I was even lucky enough to intern with the environmental education department of the Schuylkill Center during my college days at Temple University. Roxborough has so many outdoor opportunities that it’s earned the nickname Philbilladelphia.

The PA Master Naturalist program has been nothing short of amazing so far. I heard about the program back in January by way of e-mail and had my application sent out the following week. I worked as an environmental educator a few years back at the Schuylkill Center and another place called the Ashokan Field Campus up in the Catskills. But then law school disrupted most of my environmental ed. opportunities and I’ve been hankering to get back into the field ever sine. I’m hoping to use my newfound Naturalist position to get back into teaching young people and sharing some of the great things I’m learning in the program.

So, everybody asks ‘What do you do in the Master Naturalist program?’ Well, so far we’ve done a whole lot. The course consists of weekly ecological readings, in-class lectures with environmental professionals, full day field trips and periodic nature journaling. Our coursework will culminate in a capstone project where each Naturalist develops a service project and then presents their idea to a panel of environmental experts.

This past week we focused on arthropods and ornithology but previous Naturalist topics included Wissahickon Geology, Biodiversity, Upland Habitats, Watersheds and Natural Selection. To get a better sense of the hands-on component of the Naturalist Program I brought my camera along for our ornithology/herpetology/arthropods session this past weekend to capture some of our adventures from the field.


New Feature: Guest Blogs from PA Master Naturalists!

People throughout Pennsylvania are doing amazing things to protect and preserve our environment. We at GreenTreks always strive to share these stories with you — both in our documentaries and through our blog posts.

We are thrilled now to be able to share the experiences of two people going through the Pennsylvania Master Naturalist program!

The Pennsylvania Master Naturalist program is a growing, statewide initiative designed to train master volunteers to conduct conservation education and outreach, citizen science, and service in their communities. The Program emphasizes community-based conservation by forging vital partnerships among community members and local organizations through service activities. The Pennsylvania Institute for Conservation Education administers the Master Naturalist program.

Over the course of the next several weeks, Master Naturalists Donna and John will be guest-blogging on the GreenTreks blog. We hope you enjoy hearing about their work in our community!