Extension > Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Education > Archives > January 2012 Archives

January 2012 Archives

Minnesota Master Naturalist.pngThe Minnesota Master Naturalist Program is a volunteer program that trains adults about Minnesota`s natural resources, teaches how to educate others, and provides opportunities to do conservation projects. We rely on a corps of trained instructors, who deliver Mastre Naturalist courses across MN. Your organization can offer these 40-hour courses by sending a staff member to the Instructor Training course.

A few seats are left in our February 9-10 Instructor Training in Minneapolis. You must have a letter of support from your agency or organization and pay 75.00 to participate in the training. If you conduct a training of your own within one year, you will receive a refund of the 75.00. Students are asked to bring their own laptops and LCD projectors if they have one. The focus of the training is to teach you to use the materials prepared by the Master Naturalist program, not content. We ask that potential instructors have a degree or experience in a related field. Lunch and snacks are provided. If you have special dietary needs please let us know. Scholarships are available. If you have questions, please call 1-888-241-4532.

Earlier this month, a small group of experts announced a new framework for assessing environmental literacy. It is one of the resources that Extension staff will consult in developing and evaluating Environmental Science Education programming.

Whether working with passionate volunteers or natural resource professionals, one of the chief aims of University of Minnesota Extension Environmental Science Education programming is to improve environmental literacy. What exactly do we mean? Environmental literacy is a complex set of values, knowledge, and skills that enable individuals to act intentionally toward the environment. But resources like the new framework help us improve our aims, and impact.

A series of report cards on environmental literacy have consistently suggested that Minnesotans score above average on a general assessment of their literacy. But we have significant room for improvement. Improvements in environmental literacy can subsequently better prepare us to effectively tackle natural resource issues.