2019 CNP Classes

Sustainable Landscape Management
Instructor: Lyn Rutherford
Saturday, January 12, 2019
9 am – 12 pm EST
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
ELECTIVE Class (4 credits)

How can we make gardening more “green”? How do native plants fit into a broader land ethic? Sustainable landscaping means many different things to different people. A fairly useful and comprehensive definition might be: “environmentally conscientious gardening and landscaping that endeavors to conserve or restore natural resources, habitat, human communities, and ecosystem health”

Students will learn about a number of programs and organizations working to make the field of landscaping more sustainable. We will discuss things that homeowners and professionals can do to have a mutually beneficial relationship with the lands we manage. This class will mostly concentrate on small-scale residential landscapes, but many concepts will be applicable to rural and wildlands management.

Topics we will discuss include: reducing pollutants in your environment, protecting natural resources like water, soil, and air, creating habitat with native plants and conscientious management practices, managing exotic invasives, connecting people and social needs with nature, action you can take in your community, and, of course, reducing, reusing, and recycling!

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Biology of Liverworts, Mosses and Ferns
Instructor: Charlotte Freeman
Saturday, February 9, 2019
9:00am – 12:00pm
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
ELECTIVE Class (4 credits)
Back in the days of ol’, biologists grouped plants into higher and lower plant groups.  That is obsolete now but we do have plants that reproduce by seeds and plants which never make seeds.  Most of the plants we put in native gardens are seed producers, but we should not neglect these beautiful non-seed producers.  Biodiversity is increased when we have both growing!We will expand your understanding of botany with this course that examines the life cycles of non-seed bearing plants.  Liverworts, mosses, ferns and other allies such as lycopodium and horsetails are included in these plants that typically require moist, shady conditions to thrive.   This will be a classroom study with specimens in pots and/or terraria for you to examine as well as some microscopic views of the spores, sporangia, etc.  Information will be presented at the beginner level and we will compare the non-seed cycles with the seed bearing cycles.  You will understand why these plants are more dependent on moist conditions than some of the seed bearing plants.
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Spring Wildflower Hike
Instructor: Jon Evans, PhD
Saturday, April 13, 2019
9:00am – 12:00pm CST
Shakerag Hollow Trail
Sewanee TN

This course will explore the rich spring flora of Shakerag Rag Hollow, an old-growth cove forest located on the campus of the University of the South in Sewanee, TN.  Participants will be taught how to identify over 30 species of wildflowers and learn about the ecology of this highly diverse forest community.  The wildflower display in Shakerag Hollow rivals that found in the Great Smoky Mountains and this course will occur during peak flowering time.

Participants will be required to make a ½ mile leisurely trek along a moderately steep trail into the cove and then back out again.  PLEASE NOTE: People with mobility and balance issues have found this hike too challenging. Hiking shoes and rain gear will be needed.  We will meet at the Shakerag Hollow trailhead on the University of the South campus.

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Ecology of Wetlands
Instructor: Bill Phillips, PhD
Saturday, June 8, 2019
9:00am – 12:30pm
Volkswagen Chattanooga Classroom
Chattanooga TN
ELECTIVE Class (4 credits)

A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is inundated by water, either permanently or seasonally, where oxygen-free processes prevail. The course will discuss freshwater wetlands typical of this region, their role in water purification and their characteristic vegetation.  The instructor will describe the development and execution of the plan to restore the 40 acre wetland  on the Volkswagen Chattanooga campus, creating a biodiverse environment, including 167 species of birds that migrate through the property or have made it home. The last part of the course will be a tour of the now 88 acres wetland, with a discussion of how the plant communities have changed since the original restoration.

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Summer Tree Identification
Instructor: Hill Craddock, PhD

Saturday, July 13, 2019
9:00am – 12:30pm
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
Chattanooga TN
ELECTIVE Class (4 credits)

This workshop will look at the primary characteristics of Tennessee Valley area native trees such as leaf structure, branching patterns, bark, habitat and other identification features.  Dr. Craddock will also discuss tree biology, including some of the newer research on the critical nature of mycorrhizal associations in the forest, and tree care.  This workshop is part classroom and part field work, starting out with a classroom discussion and then some time in the field.  Some walking will be necessary but not physically demanding.

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Pressing Plants: Connecting Science, Art & the Natural World
Instructor: Mary Priestley, Sewanee Herbarium Curator
Saturday, August 10, 2019
9:00am – 12:30pm CDT
Sewanee Herbarium
Sewanee TN
ELECTIVE Class (4 credits)

In this class we will learn classic and more modern herbarium procedures, with emphasis on methods of pressing and mounting plants. We will collect, press, and mount plants, and record important information about each. We will discuss how best to preserve color and form and compare a variety of plant presses. We will peruse the Sewanee Herbarium and learn about herbaria in general and their role throughout history, as well as in current plant conservation efforts.

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Information about additional 2019 classes will be posted soon.
Please check back at this site.