Master Naturalists receive awards for service

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Master Naturalists in Brazoria County were recently awarded for service at their recent meeting.. Recipients include Don Sabathier (1,000 hours),  Chip Sweet (500 hours), Kristina Rivers, President, Larry Ruhr (500 hours), Herb Myers (1,000 hours),  and John Boettiger, membership chairman. 

By Karolyn Gephart

Six Master Naturalists recertified for 2019 at their Brazoria Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists meeting August 14 at the First Presbyterian Church in Angleton while the AgriLife building is being remodeled.

Bill Ahlstrom, Julia Geisler, Cindy Goodrum, Ellen Lasseter, Georgia Monnerat, and Rose Wagner recertified for 2019 and received the Warbler pin.  To recertify, members need a minimum of 40 service hours and 8 advance training hours for the calendar year. 

Milestone levels were achieved by Herb Myers and Don Sabathier who received the 1,000 service hour Gold Dragonfly Pin .  Chip Sweet and Larry Ruhr who received the 500 service hour Silver Dragonfly Pin. 

At the meeting, Chapter members learned they have impacted 27,295 youth and 10,121 adults to date through the Birds of Prey school programs and the Discovery Environmental Education Programs at Brazoria NRW along with several outreach events throughout the county. 

Nature Notes was presented by Candace Novak whose topic was Mollusks, the animals within the exoskeletons.  Novak featured the Conus Ermineus or Cone Snail.  These snails have complex venom and can be fatal to humans.  Currently, researchers are studying how the snail’s toxins block nerve channels to someday benefit Alzheimers, Parkinson, and Epileptic patients.  Ziconitide is a pain reliever derived from the Cone Snail’s toxin.

Featured speaker was Dr. Robert Lonard, biologist and professor emeritus from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Lonard’s topic was Texas Barrier Islands and he discussed the impact of rising sea level and the importance of plants in maintaining the Texas Coast barrier islands.

The Texas Master Naturalist Cradle of Texas Chapter is one of 48 chapters within the Texas Master Naturalist Program. They are based in Angleton, Brazoria County and serve members from Brazoria and nearby counties. The Cradle of Texas Chapter is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

The mission of the Texas Master Naturalist Program is to develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities for the State of Texas.

The meetings are usually held at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service at 21017 County Road 171 in Angleton.

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