Meeting Minutes

General Membership Meeting Minutes

The Mid-Coast Chapter General Membership met on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 10:00 am at the Rob and Bessie Welder Wildlife Foundation. Twelve members and 2 guests attended: Donna Bailey, Claire Barnhart, Bill Burge, Julie Hejducek, Larry Henneke, Ray Kirkwood, Kris Kirkwood, Melanie Konarik, Wilfred Korth, Barbara Mathis, Phil Stapleton, Rebecca Stapleton. Bob Cunningham arrived to give his report before going back to the training class. Guests: Selma Glasscock, Jace Tunnel.

Advanced Training Presentation/Program:

Jace Tunnel is currently the director of the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Reserve. He was the president of the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation from 2016 to 2018, earning the award as Conservationist of the Year in 2017 by the Coastal Conservation Association. His conservation efforts include educating the public about plastics pollution, estuarine science, and protection of our natural resources. Jace spoke to us regarding plastics pollution in general, and more specifically about his work with the Nurdle Patrol project. The presentation was 1 hour and provided hands-on training in how to find nurdles in beach sand as well as how to perform a 10-minute survey and report the results: send a picture of nurdles, the number found, and the location to

Everyone remembered to bring reusable drink containers!

Welcome: Dr. Selma Glasscock, WWF assistant director, welcomed us to Welder. She spoke about volunteer opportunities at Welder and gave us contact information for Angie Arredondo, Conservation Education and Volunteer Program Coordinator, who has the full list of volunteer opportunities. Angie’s email is

Business Meeting

The business meeting was called to order at 11:25 am.


President Claire Barnhart – Claire announced:

  • an opening for someone to organize the Victoria Academy of Life-Long Learning classes formerly managed by Brigid Berger.
  • Janet Cunningham has volunteered to become the Treasurer once she completes her initial training class.
  • There is an open position for an outreach committee chair under the Communications Director.

Vice President Bill Burge – Bill reported he is looking for upcoming meeting locations. He encouraged members to give suggestions.

Secretary Melanie Konarik – Minutes from general membership meeting February 9, 2019 were posted on the website. The minutes had one correction, replacing Pat Garland’s name with Wilfred Korth as Communications Director. Claire Barnhart moved we approve the minutes with correction. Bill Burge seconded. Motioned passed.

Treasurer Jynatha Kleypas – Absent. No report filed

Membership Director Rebecca Stapleton – Rebecca reported we currently have 5 applications on file for the 2020 class. Some have paid the application fee and some have not. She reported the difficulty of getting applicants to pay the fee so that membership of the class can be determined and requested that the form be changed to indicate that the fee should be paid at the time of application. Discussion indicated that the Board needs to consider changing deadlines for paying fees and setting the final makeup of the class at the July Board meeting.

Rebecca announced that Hospitality duties will be taken over by Debbie Nelson and Ruth Friedrichs.

VMS Membership Report:

  • As of May 3, 2019, 98 members of the Chapter were TMN-Active or TMN-In-Training and eligible to report hours. Five members of the chapter have not paid dues after several requests and have been notified by U.S. mail that their memberships have been suspended per chapter policies and procedures. They will be marked TMN-Inactive in VMS, bringing our active membership down to 93. TMN-Inactive records remain in the database, and these members can be reinstated at any time by paying dues.
  • So far this year, 71 of the current members have reported hours – 72.4% of 98 members eligible to report hours.
  • 12 members have recertified for 2019 and earned the 2019 Golden-cheeked warbler pin. State has not yet received the pins.
  • 15 of the 18 members of the Class of 2019 are on track to complete initial training. All 15 are already reporting volunteer service and/or AT hours. Two applicants have not been present at any of the training classes, and have been marked TMN-Inactive in the VMS database. One class member has recently deferred the remainder of training until next year because of personal or family health issues. Pamela Lewis, who transferred to our Chapter March 4, has been attending initial training sessions.

Advanced Training Director Linda Shirey – absent. No report filed.

Initial Training Director Bob Cunningham – Bob reported that Riparian/Riverine initial training was being held at the Welder Rotunda since Fennessey Ranch roads were too wet to drive.

All active training class participants will graduate. Two people never showed, and one person has family medical issues and has communicated they will continue the class work next year.

Projects Director Ray Kirkwood – Ray reported that Cathy Koenig will assist with finding north region projects. Three projects were approved for work by individual Master Naturalists Karen Benson, Brigid Berger, and Dennis Durkee.

Plant sale – Donna Bailey reported on the plant sale. Vickie Wilson has offered to use her yard to store plant deliveries before the HummerBird festival. Donna is continuing to see if that is the best location. She made a request for boxes customers can use to take purchased plants away.

Communications Director Wilfred Korth – Wilfred reported status of his committees:

  • Publicity – Dennis Durkee
  • Newsletter – Dennis Durkee
  • Outreach – chair needed. Wilfred reminded members that we need a good salesman in the outreach position.
  • Historian (Archivist) – Kris Kirkwood reported no change to status
  • Webmaster/Social Media – Ray Kirkwood reported he and Kris have worked 2 months with the web developer to set up a completely redesigned website. He demonstrated how to access the website, which is now protected by SSL and very readable on cell phones as well as computers. The chapter now has a Facebook business page and an Instagram account in addition to our Facebook Group page. Use of these social media outlets will continue to be discussed. StudioSR, LLC has done an excellent job on working on our new website. Sylvia Rankin was the lead developer working hand-in-hand with Ray and Kris Kirkwood and donated most of her time to the project. A motion was made by Claire Barnhart to give Sylvia Rankin an honorary membership to Mid-Coast Master Naturalist for her outstanding effort and support. Wilfred Korth seconded. The vote passed.

Past-President Larry Henneke – no report

Class Representative Rob Snider – absent. No report

Chapter Advisor Trey Barron – absent. No report

Old Business


New Business



  • 2018 Recertification pin presented: Claire Barnhart. Not present to receive recertification pins—2017: Glenn Gomez, Diane Roseberry; 2018: Rebecca Bootzin, Claudia Dorn, Glenn Gomez, Ernie Schertz, Marti Sterne, Linda Swiggett
  • Julie Hejducek received her 2018 initial certification pin and plaque. Not present to receive 2018 initial certifications: Debbie Kucera and Vickie Wilson.


The meeting was adjourned at 12:22 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,
Melanie Konarik, Secretary