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The Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge: Hot Spots for Virginia Natural History    NEW!

The mountains and valleys of Virginia have driven fascinating stories of human culture and animal ecology. Museum scientists will discuss why these regions are so biodiverse, and how Virginia’s first human cultures gathered resources and thrived. Beginning with invertebrate and amphibian diversity and evolution, the course will explore how a complex landscape has led to unique assemblages of these creatures. The fossil record shows a similar pattern, but over time on a changing planet. The series will conclude with a look at resources use by the first Virginians prior to European contact.

Note: Suggested Reading:

Note there are 5 physiographic regions of Virginia (Coastal Plain, Piedmont, Blue Ridge, Ridge and Valley, and Appalachian Plateau). Each supports distinctive geology and climate, thus affecting the distribution of species in the Commonwealth.;

– Intro to biodiversity from National Geographic and the American Museum of Natural History

– General info on the geological make-up of the Blue Ridge

– Example of rare, isolated habitats

– General info on amphibians

– Example of a rare, range restricted species

– Note diversity and examine distribution maps to compare widespread and micro-range species. Why are there so many species in Virginia?

 – Why are there so many species of ant (over 160 in Virginia alone)?

 – A little info on the millipede genus Apheloria (af-el-or’-ee-uh). Why are they aposematically colored? What is mimicry, and specifically Mullerian mimicry?


The Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge: Hot Spots for Virginia Natural History (SCIT032) NEW!  ONLINE ONLY 

Instructor:  Joe Keiper

Day of the Week: F, Times: 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM.

Dates: 3/25/2022 - 4/22/2022  

Sessions: 5   

Fee: $55.00

Limit (we do monitor enrollment and when possible may add seats): 24 

Course Description: 

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  • -Enrolled members will receive an enrollment reminder with the link: a week before the first class and again before each class in this course. Registration for this course will close the day before it begins to ensure all enrolled members receive the link. 

  • *Our online classes are not recorded due to copyright and privacy regulations. 

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