Advanced Training

*Idea: You may be able to get involved in a volunteer capacity for some events. Consider contacting the organization to ask if they need any help.*

**Please check event pages listed and/or with listed contact person, in case of any schedule changes or cancellations.**

We sometimes add events mid-month. To link to a rolling google document with the most complete list of events, click here



Sat, Jun 8, 1-2pm Raptor Meet and Greet (Conservation Education Center – F.W. Kent Park – Oxford, IA)
Join the folks at Raptology and meet a real live bird of prey! Stop in at the Education Center any time between 1 and 2 p.m. to get up close and personal with some of Iowa’s native raptors. No registration is necessary. More info here.

Tue, Jun 11 7:00-8:30 Ames High School Prairie Reserve Walk with Iowa prairie expert Karl Kurtz.   Meet behind the high school. Park in NW lot and walk to the W entrance.  Wear sturdy shoes and long pants (poison ivy present) Contact

Fri, Jun 14, 7am Bird Watching Hike (Wickiup Hill Learning Center – Toddville, IA)
Naturalist Gail Barels and Cedar Rapids Audubon birder Jim Durbin will lead this leisurely, dawn hike along the trails at Wickiup Hill. Discoveries could include nesting birds, ducks or geese in the wetlands or a unique bird at the feeders. All ages. Cost: $2.50/adult, $1 for children 16 and under or $5 per family. Registration deadline June 12. More info here.

Jun 18-20: Cyperaceae & Juncaceae Workshop (Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt – Maxwell, IA)

June 18 | 9:30 am – 6 pm, June 19 | 8 am-6 pm, June 20 | 8 am – 2 pm. Cost: $125 (before May 18); $150 starting May 18; $50 for students.

Dr. Tom Rosburg (Drake University) and Dr. Bill Norris (Western New Mexico University) are offering a three day Cyperaceae Identification Workshop on the Carex genus and larger Cyperaceae (sedge, bulrush, spike-rush, nut sedge) and Juncaceae (rush) families. Students will engage in hands-on exercises to build understanding of descriptive botanical terminology and the ability to correctly use plant keys. Field work will address topics in Cyperaceae ecology, plant species habitats and distribution, plant adaptations and interactions, and plant collection and voucher preparation. The course is designed to accommodate beginners as well as provide an advanced curriculum for professional conservationists and avid amateurs This event is sponsored by Polk county Conservation.  Pre-registration is required.Registration should be completed online at  (Use the Events tab to search for events in Polk County). If you need assistance while online, call 515/323-5300. The class will be held rain or shine. Questions? – Call Doug or Lael at 515-967-2596 or email

Sat, Jun 22, 10am-2:30pm Iowa Native Plant Society (INPS) Trip to Twin Oaks in Warren County. Twin Oaks is a private property located in SE Warren County. There will be more details forthcoming, including an address. More info here.

Sat, June 22, 9pm Cedar Amateur Astronomers Presentation (Palisades-Dows Observatory) Topic: TBD. More info here.

Fri, Jun 28, 7am Bird Watching Hike (Pinicon Ridge Park) Meet naturalist Gail Barels and Cedar Rapids Audubon birder Jim Durbin in the boat rental parking area for a morning hike along the Wapsipinicon River and through the forested trails of Pinicon Ridge Park.  Cost: $2.50/ adult, $1.00 for children 16 and under or $5.00 per family. More info here.

Sat, Jun 29, 9:00AM-Noon Iowa Native Plant Society Trip  (FW Kent Park) This joint program offered by the INPS and Friends of JCCB will examine the native and planted prairies of FW Kent Park. It will be led by JCCB restoration manager Dave Wehde.  Participants will tour via hayrack, an indoor informational program will cap this event; spaces are limited, so register early for this free program by emailing or calling 319- 645-2315.

Sat, July 13, 3pm Cedar Amateur Astronomers Presentation – Solar Day (Palisades-Dows Observatory)
Topic: Our sun and solar cycles. More info here.

Sat, July 20, 8:30pm Cedar Amateur Astronomers Presentation (Palisades-Dows Observatory)
Topic: Does the earth really orbit the sun? The Importance of Perspective. More info here.

Fri, July 26, 8:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m. Moth Night (Conservation Education Center, F.W. Kent Park)

Come learn about the beauty, life-cycles, and habitats of moths. “Moth-ers” of all ages are encouraged to help us document and celebrate the moths of Kent Park as part of National Moth Week. A short presentation about moths will take place at 8:30pm. Mothing will take place starting at 9:00pm and continuing until at least 10:00pm. This program is free, but registration is requested to ensure adequate supplies and staff. Please register by emailing

Sat, Jun 29, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Backyard Forest Management Field Day (Squaw Creek Park Marion, IA) Join Trees Forever, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Linn County Conservation for a field day in Squaw Creek. Our workshops will cover a wide-range of land management topics, including chainsaw safety and felling, burning, removing and identifying invasive species, and more.  Learn from experts including District Forester Mark Vitosh! Vitosh has been a forester for three decades and works hard to assist private landowners and communities in managing their forests. Registration due by June 27. There is a $10 registration fee. To register. click here Questions? Contact Aaron Brewer 319-440-7529