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RappU - Classes Guaranteed to Stimulate Your Mind!

Natural Environment

Introduction to Forest Management


with Joseph Rossetti

Calendar Oct 2, 2018 at 9:30 am, runs for 5 weeks

Students will be exposed to basic concepts of forestry such as tree identification, forest ecology and succession, forest and wildlife management, timber harvesting, and common forest needs.  A combination of classroom and field work will be included. 

Note: Participants will need two books which they may purchase at the first class for $5.00.  The books are Common Native Trees of Virginia and Common Native Shrubs and Woody Vines of Virginia.  Alternatively, they can download the books and print them at home from

Joe Rossetti is the Senior Area Forester for the Virginia Department of Forestry in the Northern Virginia Work Area.  Joe has been working in Rappahannock and surrounding counties since 2007.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources Management from West Virginia University. 

Will run

Invasive Plants in Rappahannock County: Understanding, Identification, Control, and Replacement


with Mike Wenger

Calendar Sep 19, 2018 at 2:30 pm, runs for 4 weeks

Whether it’s Oriental Bittersweet devouring forests or Autumn Olive taking over pastures or Garlic Mustard squeezing out forest wildflowers, non-native invasive plants have rapidly become a severe threat to Rappahannock County. This course is appropriate for anyone interested in learning how to understand and address that threat. The course will address invasive plants with a particular emphasis on a Rappahannock view. It will cover an overview of the problem, plant identification, the importance of native plant alternatives, and the various control methods. Course participants will also have a chance to meet and interact with multiple subject matter experts; to engage in practical, hands-on plant identification; and to outline and begin to develop their own invasive control and replacement plan. Landowners, property managers and anyone interested in preserving the environment will find this course of value. The course will include two local field trips to practice identification and observe actual control efforts.

Instructor: Mike Wenger is a Certified Master Naturalist with the Old Rag Master Naturalist Chapter, and he has worked with a variety of public organizations on invasive plant control and replacement.  He will coordinate a variety of experts and moderate a series of panels addressing invasive plant  identification, control methods, native plant alternatives, and development and implementation of a control plan.

Will run

Weather and Climate, or Is It Climate and Weather? Or Both?


with Bob Ryan

Calendar Nov 4, 2018 at 12 pm, runs for 1 week

“This isn’t the weather I grew up with” is a familiar reaction to what seem like significant changes in weather patterns. Bigger, more costly storms, floods, droughts, and weather extremes are having societal impacts on hundreds of millions around the world and economic impacts worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Is the weather changing, or is modern society just more vulnerable to the vagaries of the atmosphere and oceans? What are weather and climate? How do we forecast tomorrow’s weather and climate or the weather and climate our grandchildren will experience? This presentation will review the history and methods of the science of weather forecasting. Politics and policy can drive discussions and views of weather, but “Nature has no agenda.” The outlooks for tomorrow’s weather and climate are questions science is trying to answer.

Participants should attend with an interest in the science of climate change.

A fixture for decades on local television networks, Bob Ryan retired as a broadcast meteorologist in 2013. Most recently, he was chief meteorologist for WJLA Channel 7, but the bulk of his career he served as chief meteorologist at Washington NBC affiliate WRC-TV from 1980-2010.  Prior, he was the Today Show's first on-air meteorologist, which was also the first network television meteorologist position.  Ryan has a Bachelor's Degree in physics and a Master's Degree in Atmospheric Science from the University at Albany. He worked as an atmospheric researcher at Arthur D. Little Inc. Ryan is a past president of the American Meteorological Society, and he wrote and published the Weatherwise Almanac, an annual meteorology almanac for 25 years that detailed weather events of the year.


Will run

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