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Date: 12/30/2019
Subject: NWAMN January Newsletter
From: Jim Klinger


1.) Dues are due so please see below how best to pay those.


2.) Please get all of your 2019 hours entered by January 15th as that is the cut off for certification and awards.


3.) Like many plants and some animals, the NWAMNs go dormant in the winter.  Our activities are in a little lull waiting for some warmer weather.  So you will see fewer activities reflected below.


Newsletter of the Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists

Inspiring a Love of Nature   |   Citizen Scientists   |   Stewards of Nature     Educating All Ages 


Working to Keep Arkansas

in its Natural State

Volume 2 Issue 1
January 2020

Important January Dates

January 14 - NWAMN Board Meeting.  10-noon at Shiloh Museum Meeting Hall

 January 15 - Hours for 2019 due to be considered for Awards and Certifications

 January 19 - Chapter Meeting.  2-4PM at Washington County Extension Office

 January 25 - Washington County NIT Training starts

 January 27 - Eureka Springs NIT Training starts

 February 1 - Benton County NIT Training starts

(OK, not February but pretty close.)

Click HERE for all the January Volunteer Activities


(then maybe de-Extinction?)

Dave started the December Board Meeting with a discussion on Extinction.  Here are some highlights from that talk.  Experts estimate that there have been 5 mass extinctions throughout the course of the world and it appears we are entering the 6th.  And throughout these mass extinctions it is estimated that 99% of all the species that have ever lived are now extinct.  (And as a side note Dave relayed that in 1980 scientists in Panama conducted an inventory of all the species living in 19 trees, just 19 trees.  Not 19 species of trees, just 19 trees.  The scientists found that of the 1,200 species of beetles in those 19 trees 80% were unknown until that inventory.)


But the end of Dave’s talk raised the VERY interesting idea of de-extinction as propounded by George Church, a Harvard geneticist.  De-extinction is using DNA from extinct species to bring them back from extinction.  And one of the first species being considered for de-extinction… the woolly mammoth!  Now that would be quite interesting.

For more information on the concept of de-extinction check these links.  Wiki  and  Science Magazine.


December General Meeting and Potluck

General Meeting December

The December General Meeting had two main features.  We started first with a slide presentation and talk by Denis Dean about the plight of the polar bear.  Denis discussed at length about the melting sea ice the polar bears need to survive and also how polar bears are impacted by that condition.  


Denis also talked about how the polar bear originated from the brown bear and interestingly how now scientists are starting to see some evidence of cross breeding between polar and brown bears as the polar bears are traveling further and further to find food.



The second feature was the potluck.  And what a feast was provided by all the attendees!  There was a plethora of entrees ranging from enchiladas to fried chicken to chili, finger sandwiches, a variety of salads and on and on.  But the desserts took the cake (pun intended!!).  Wow, the dessert table was LOADED.  

The event allowed for some fascinating learning and of course wonderful camaraderie with fellow Master Naturalists.


Those of you who listen to NPR and KUAF Community Spotlight Series might have caught one of our own, Vicky Johnson, interviewed by Pete Hartman December 5th.  Vicky discussed with Pete the upcoming training sessions in Benton County, Eureka Springs, and Washington County.  What a great 2 ½ minutes highlighting our organization.


Click KUAF Interview with Vicky Johnson  to download and listen to the recording.

Hours Entry

(At the risk of sounding like a broken record...)

It is now January and you know what that means… time to get your hours entered.  In order to be able to get the recognitions and awards prepared for the March General Meeting we will need to have your 2019 hours entered no later than January 15th.


If you are not sure how to enter your hours, please email me at

Dues Payment

There are two ways to pay your 2020 Member Dues.  Look below for those two methods.  And remember... either way is fine!!

Preferred Way:

1) Just log in to:

      (each of you must do this separately)

2)  Click on your name at the top right-hand corner

3)  Go to your profile -

            You will see this:

            Type: Renewing Member 

            Status: Active
            Exp. Date: 12/31/2019 

4)  Click on the red renew

5)  Follow the links and the instructions.  You can pay via credit card!

6)  While you are there, check to make sure your contact information is correct and complete the Interests section.


 If you have any trouble contact JB at

Alternate Way:

Mail a $30 check payable to NWAMN and mail to:


            C/O JB Portillo

            3 Kirk Circle

            Bella Vista, AR 72715


JB will post it just as soon as she receives it.

Member Profiles - Nancy Cunningham

Nancy became a Master Naturalist in 2011 with interests in trees and water quality. She worked on a stream team for 7 years (that’s a lot of stream time). 


She volunteers at the Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks every Sunday (which accounts for her numerous NWAMN Volunteer hours) and she volunteers in the Native Plant Garden in the spring.


She has been a Benton County Master Gardener for 10 years and is active in 2 Duplicate Bridge Clubs. And as if that weren’t enough, she thoroughly enjoys exercise and practices yoga and works out in Pilates classes.

Nancy Cunningham

January Full Moon: The Wolf Moon

Howling Wolves in January

The January full moon is often called the Wolf Moon.  Other names include Old Moon, Ice Moon, and Snow Moon, although this name is usually attributed to the February full moon.

Why Do Wolves Howl?

Regardless of where the name Wolf Moon comes from; wolves howl to communicate over long distances both in North America and in Europe. During the denning season in spring and early summer, wolves only howl to pack mates. As the late summer moves towards fall, wolves call more and more to neighbors and enemies. While an average howl from a single wolf lasts from 3 to 7 seconds, a chorus by a pack can last from 30 to 120 seconds and longer during the breeding season in February. So wolves are particularly loud and vocal in the first months of the year, which is probably why people associated the month of January with howling wolves.

January Moon Phases

Book Club News

The next meeting will be January 16, 2020 at the Shiloh Museum General Store.  The book to be discussed is The Inner Life of Animals by Peter Wohlleben.


 Volunteer Opportunities

Make sure to check out the volunteer opportunities.  There are TOO many to list so check out the NWAMN Calendar HERE for all the great and varied opportunities.  (NOTE:  Log into your NWAMN account to see the full calendar of events.)

Four Science Facts

1. Babies have around 100 more bones than adults

Babies have about 300 bones at birth, with cartilage between many of them. This extra flexibility helps them pass through the birth canal and also allows for rapid growth. With age, many of the bones fuse, leaving 206 bones that make up an average adult skeleton.

2. A teaspoonful of neutron star would weigh 6 billion tons

A neutron star is the remnants of a massive star that has run out of fuel. The dying star explodes in a supernova while its core collapses in on itself due to gravity, forming a super-dense neutron star. Astronomers measure the mind-bogglingly large masses of stars or galaxies in solar masses, with one solar mass equal to the Sun’s mass (that is, 2 x 1030 kilograms/4.4 x 1030 pounds). Typical neutron stars have a mass of up to three solar masses, which is crammed into a sphere with a radius of approximately ten kilometres (6.2 miles) – resulting in some of the densest matter in the known universe.

3. In 2.3 billion years it will be too hot for life to exist on Earth

Over the coming hundreds of millions of years, the Sun will continue to get progressively brighter and hotter. In just over 2 billion years, temperatures will be high enough to evaporate our oceans, making life on Earth impossible. Our planet will become a vast desert similar to Mars today. As it expands into a red giant in the following few billion years, scientists predict that the Sun will finally engulf Earth altogether, spelling the definite end for our planet.

4. Polar bears are nearly undetectable by infrared cameras

Thermal cameras detect the heat lost by a subject as infrared, but polar bears are experts at conserving heat. The bears keep warm due to a thick layer of blubber under the skin. Add to this a dense fur coat and they can endure the chilliest Arctic day.

Monthly Board Report  

Treasurer’s Report

The budget for 2020 was approved and includes some exciting new opportunities for our chapter.


As with last month’s report JB Portillo reported that the chapter continues to be in a strong financial position and she again encouraged everyone to think about how we can “Invest in Ourselves.”  


Native Plants

Rose Gergerich relayed to the audience several updates from the Native Plant Team.  Two very exciting ones were there are more than 250 seed species to be included in the upcoming season and there are several new ones and...ALL the pots are now cleaned!  Woo-Hoo!!



The board approved donations be made to organizations who allow us to use their facilities at no charge. To show our appreciation and support, donations will be made in the amounts noted:

  • Friends of Lake Wedington - $200
  • Hobbs - $200
  • ONSC - $200
  • IRWP - $200
  • Shiloh Museum - $400


Cheryl Larson discussed her tests of texting using the Simple Text system and that she found it to be a successful use of texting to reach the membership.  


Rogers Monarch Garden

Phyllis Stair talked about the changes being made at the Rogers Monarch Garden.  She said that the city’s designer had actually initially planned for non-native plants to be used in the new garden!! (WHAT?!?!?)  Luckily, Phyllis was able to get them to agree to use more native plants.  


Board Positions

Dave Leisure gave thanks to the five departing board members for all the work they have done for the chapter and the area.  Those five members are:

Robin Buff

Steve Sampers

Patty Severino

Phyllis Stair

Christie Waggoner


Incoming board members are:

             Carrie Byron – Public Relations

             Denise Klinger – Citizen Science

             Jim Klinger – Volunteer Coordinator

             Deb Shoemaker – Coordinating Policies and Procedures

             Paul Springer – Member-At-Large


Ambassador Program (think of it as a revised Mentor Program)

Deb Shoemaker discussed the changes being made to the program formerly known as the Mentor Program.  This group was formed to see what could be done to improve the Mentor Program.  


Additionally, the program will work with the NIT education coordinators to allocate a few minutes at each class to talk about various subjects.  This is estimated to only be 5-15 minutes per class.


 It was another jam-packed meeting.

There is more info on each topic above so click HERE  for the full Board Report.

Contact Us

Below are the 2020 Board of Directors 
Lilia Beattie
Robin Buff
Carrie Byron
Jane Foster
Ken French
Rose Gergerich
Charlotte Harper
Denise Klinger
Jim Klinger
Cheryl Larson
Dave Leisure
Kathy Mason
JB Portillo
Deb Shoemaker
Paul Springer
Tom Waggoner
Past President
Public Relations
Board Secretary
Member at Large
Member at Large
Member at Large
Citizen Science
Volunteer Coordinator/Awards
Member at Large
Policies and Procedures
Member at Large

Parting Shots

Submit your photos to be added to the Parting Shots in upcoming editions!  We would LOVE to see what you have been doing!!

Send your comments, content and/or photos to:
Cardinal in icy tree photo by Jim Klinger


See you next month, till then, get outdoors!!

Volume 2 Issue 1
January 2020