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Rappahannock Community College

Lifelong learning course studies responsible landscaping

By Tom Martin
February 16, 2014

Presenting a topic of immediate interest to area landowners, the Rappahannock Community College Educational Foundation’s Rappahannock Institute for Lifelong Learning (RILL) has scheduled “Environmentally Sensitive Landscaping” with instructors Dr. Carlton H. Hershner, Jr., and Karen A. Duhring, both of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS). The sessions will be held at the VIMS facility in Gloucester Point from 1 to 3 p.m. on March 5, 12, and 19 (Wednesdays).

This course will provide an in-depth look at the functions and ecological value of tidal wetlands, riparian buffers, and coastal watersheds. It will provide practical advice for managing coastal property in an environmentally responsible manner, and will include strategies homeowners can use on their own property. The first two sessions will consist of a one-hour presentation, followed by an hour of open discussion; the final two-hour session will feature a tour of the VIMS facility, including the Teaching Marsh and the Comprehensive Coastal Inventory Lab.

Carlton H. Hershner, Jr., director for the Center for Coastal Resources Management and associate professor of marine science at VIMS, received his bachelor of science degree from Bucknell University and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. His primary research interests are in tidal and nontidal wetlands ecology, landscape ecology, and issues of resources management and policy. Karen A. Duhring of the VIMS Wetlands Program received her bachelor’s degree in environmental studies at New College of the University of Southern Florida, and her master’s in coastal zone management from the Florida Institute of Technology. Her research interests include the long-term effectiveness of “living shoreline” techniques for erosion protection, and facilitating shoreline stewardship and behavior change.

Advance registration, with a tuition payment of $35, is required to take this course. For more information on “Environmentally Sensitive Landscaping” and other RILL courses, or to register, please call Sharon Drotleff at RCC’s Educational Foundation office (804-333-6707, or toll-free at 877-722-3679), or e-mail her at

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