Educator Summer Program


Using Authentic Data to Assess Environmental Trends

For Maryland Educators

A Joint Program of

The Maryland Ornithological Society


The Washington College Center for Environment and Society

June 25 – 30, 2017

Washington College

Chestertown, MD

Download Application

Application Deadline: March 30

Program Overview

Birds, aside from being a fascinating part of the natural world, provide a critical insight into the quality of different habitats in the environment. They are easily accessed by anyone in any area of the State, and there exists a significant amount of authentic and area-specific data that can be used in the classroom and other learning venues.

Too often programs focus exclusively on identification, a skill requiring years of experience. Fear of misidentification and lack of optics prevent many from venturing into the field. However, bird behavior and song are much easier to observe and involve little need for expensive equipment. The workshop will show participants how birds can be easily incorporated into a wide variety of curricula and experiences.

During the week, participants will both work in the field and classroom. They will both collect and learn to access numerous available on-line data sources.  In the field they will get involved with several data collecting projects and research activities that can be done with children. All participants will develop a small project which incorporates the world of birds and authentic data and which can be used in the classroom or in an applicable field program.

The program is being offered to both adults and students going into Grades 8 – 12. Both groups will work together in the field, but will be offered different experiences in the classroom.

Tentative Program Schedule

Sunday, June 25

3:00 PM – Check in and Orientation at Washington College – Calvert House

3:30 PM – Birding Orientation

5:30 PM – Dinner at Hodson Hall

7:00 PM Computer Lab

– Google Earth

– eBird

Monday, June 26

6:00 AM – Depart dorm

7:00 AM – Birding by Habitat at Andelot Farms

12:30 PM – Lunch at Hodson Hall

1:30 PM – Computer Lab Session

– Introduction to Ornithology

– Bird Data Entry

– Breeding Bird Determination

6:30 – 8:30 PM – Picnic Dinner at Andelot Farm (Kent County)

8:30 – 10:00 PM – Night Bird Hunt – Owls and Nightjars

Tuesday, June 27

6:00 AM – Depart for Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge – Aquatic and Marsh Birds

2:00 PM Lunch on the Road

4:30 PM – Free Time

5:30 PM   Dinner at Hodson Hall

6:30 PM – Computer Lab

– eBird

– Bird Breeding Atlas Protocols – How to Tell if a Bird is Breeding

– Birding by Ear – Bird Song and Spectrograms

Wednesday, June 28

5:00 AM – Depart for Spocott Farms (Dorchester County)- eBird Census and Bird Breeding Determination

1:00 PM – Lunch at Spocott Farms

2:30 PM – Nest Box Survey

5:30 PM – Depart/Dinner on the road

8:00 PM – More Night Birding

Thursday, June 29

6:30 AM  – Depart for Elk Neck State Park – Hunting for Warblers, Birding by Ear

2:00 PM – Lunch in Elkton

4:30 PM – Free Time

5:30 PM – Dinner at Hodson Hall

7:00 PM – Computer Lab

– Birding Research

– YMOS Activities

Friday, June 30

6:00 AM  – Bird Banding at Chino Farms

10:00 AM – Return to Washington College

10:30 AM – Clean-up and Program Evaluation

11:30 AM – Lunch at Hodson Hall

12:30 PM Departure – Pick up at Washington College at Calvert House

No previous birding experience is required for this program. The program will be adapted for the level of experience of each participant.


Binoculars and Field Guides will be available for loan to each participant for the duration of the program.