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For descriptions of the Refuge's Educational programs, go to Nature's Classroom.
Environmental Education Specialist Update
- Went from 8 programs to 18 programs.
- Correlated programs to Sunshine State Standards, National Science Standards and FCAT science vocabulary, now converting to Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.
- Created pre and post tests for programs.
- Created pre and post activities for programs.
- Created application form and invoice for transportation scholarships.
- Awarded > 25 transportation scholarships to schools that could not afford to come to the refuge for field trips.
- Became a Project Learning Tree (PLT) facilitator.
- Created Power Point presentation for Butterfly Encounter, Feathered Friends and Digital Photography Programs.
- Developed education brochure to showcase education programs offered (translated to Russian)
- Routinely order and replace materials for all 18 programs offered.
- Increased the number of participants reached through our environmental education programs and outreach from 5,437 in 2007 (first year in depth records were kept) to over 12,700 in 2011 fiscal year (a 134% increase in 4 years).
- Instrumental in designing and planning new Environmental Education facility, Nature's Classroom.
- Created use policy and reservation forms for the new St. Marks NWR education facility.
- Increased contacts with homeschool groups, audiences of faith, pre-school age students, high school students along with 4-H and Scout groups, out of state groups and special needs students.
- Complete and edit quarterly newsletter since fall of 2007.
- Update St. Marks NWR website.
- Supervised SCA student Feb. - May 2011.
- Supervise and coordinate EE volunteers.
- Created partnership with Nims Middle School for their 6th grade students, to raise their FCAT scores. (Partnered with DEP, Magnet Lab, IFAS and Co. Ext. Agency, etc. to accomplish this task.)
- Gadsden Elementary Magnet School (GEM); provided programming to all of their students through monthly programs.
- EPA grant Collaborative Conservation through Birds and Citizen Science with Cornell University, connecting to nature through migratory birds.
- NCTC; hosted and helped set up logistics for the "Creating a Schoolyard Habitat/Outdoor Classroom" course held in Nov. of 2011.
- ES Partner in Panama City Field Office to provide funding for winning schools participating in the NCTC course Creating a Schoolyard Habitat/Outdoor Classroom, $8,000.
- NCTC; Hosting the Connecting People to Nature through Birds course, to be held in March 2012.
- More Kids in the Woods, Project Wild Grant, partnered with NWTF (National Wild Turkey Federation), US Forest Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, FL Division of Forestry, and the Beau Turner Youth Conservation Center to provide the outreach efforts of the partners to reach 1000 kids, including 250 who are underserved from Leon and Wakulla counties near Tallahassee, FL. Specific project outcomes will include increased participation in outdoor activities and increased knowledge of conservation, forestry and wildlife, fall of 2010 and again in early spring 2012 (another 1,000 students).
- Apalachee Bay Charter School after school program, provided environmental education programs to over 100 students each time, went March-May 2011, and scheduled for winter of 2011/2012.
- Eco-Ambassadors at Crawfordville Elementary; provided programming for their after school club throughout the spring of 2011.
- LIFE (Learning in Florida's Environment) program; became a more active partner in programs held on the refuge, updated lab and we now staff it completely.
- DEP and Science on the Gulf to provide curriculum enhancements for Wakulla County Department of Education.
- Operation Migration; education programs on endangered Whooping Cranes.
- Museum of Florida History; provided programs for their 2nd Saturday at the Museum.
- Get Outdoors Florida, committee member for curriculum development.
- Early childhood coalition; presenter at Science is Everywhere Conference.
- FSU Beyond the Borders; provided programming to students from Germany, Costa Rica,
- Wakulla County Library (summer education and outreach program)
- Panama City Field Office (helped each other with festivals.)
- Children and Nature Network
- Texas General Land Office's Coastal Management Program Grant Cycle 15 and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance's Environmental Education Best Practices Grant to the Science & Spanish Club Network with both grants administered by the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, (Whooping crane and habitat education).
- Created an academic review team (S.M.A.R.T. St. Marks Academic Review Team) of teachers from local schools that we work with on a regular basis to increase the effectiveness of our programs and curriculum materials to provide what the teachers want and need.
- Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever and LEP; partnered in creating new activity cards to go along with the LEP curriculum.
- Have been asked to act as State Coordinator for the Leopold Education Project.
- FWCC; Project Wild workshops.
Maintained partnerships with:
- PLT schools; Shadeville Elementary, Medart Elementary, and created new PLT partnerships with Riversink Elementray and Crawfordville Elementary.
- National High Magnetic Laboratory
- FAMU (PLT)
- Flagler (PLT)
- FWCC Kids Fishing Clinic
- DEP; Earth Day event.
- Florida Diabetes group; summer camp.
- Created Early Childhood Project Learning Tree teacher workshops and presented to teachers for the PAEC and Wakulla County Pre-schools.
- Hosted EPA connecting people through birds "Bird Sleuth" workshop in Fall of 2011, second one in the works.
- PLT facilitator at workshops in spring and fall of each year.
- LEP facilitator workshop planned for spring of 2012.
- LEP teacher workshops planned for spring of 2012.
- Organized and managed the annual Wildlife Heritage and Outdoors Festival since 2008, creating application form and inviting over 30 organizations, agencies and clubs each year.
- Helped with Monarch Butterfly Festival
- What's Your Wild Event during Take A Child Outside Week.
- Applied for National Forum on Children and Nature, Discover Florida's Oceans, Girls Get IT, and Gannett Grants
- Created Animal Olympics Trail to be used at Wildlife Heritage and Outdoors Festival, other festivals and off-grounds programs, used nationally now.
- Promote and conduct a spring and fall Environmental educator training for volunteers.
"We strive to leave a lasting impression on the minds and hearts of today's youth so that they may care about nature and wildlife and take up the cause to care and become stewards of our lands."
Report produced by Lori Nicholson, Environmental Education Specialist
Check out Nature's Classroom for descriptions of the Refuge's Educational programs.
For more information call (850)925-6121 or email