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April 2012 Archives

This event is an annual advanced learning and celebration opportunity for active Master Naturalist Volunteers and Instructors. The 2012 Minnesota Master Naturalist Annual Conference will take place on May 18-20 at the Verizon Wireless Center, Mankato, MN. Session topics include dragons & damsels, edible plants, pollinators, photography, insects, reptiles & amphibians, prairie restoration and others. There will be a choice of three field trips to either tour New Ulm, Minneopa State Park, or native grasses and trees. Pre-Conference workshop sessions are optional and include Digital Photography Bridge to Nature and The Interpretive Equation. Meet other Master Naturalists, learn from outstanding presenters, eat fabulous food, and get revitalized for future volunteering!

VIsit www.minnesotamasternatrualist.org for more information about the Minnesota Master Naturalist program.

On Monday, April 16th, Graduate Assistant, Sarah Shimek, will share her thesis research in SpHC(Sports & Heath Center) room 9A at UMD from 3-4pm. The presentation "Connecting Scientists and Adult Leaders through Technology to Further Authentic Science Inquiry by Youth" will share the results of a recent study exploring the preferences of potential adult leaders towards the use of internet technologies to support connections with professional scientists and facilitate authentic scientific inquiry among middle-school aged youth engaged in citizen science research. Using the University of Minnesota Extension Driven to Discover: Authentic Inquiry through Citizen Science as context for the study, Shimek interviewed licensed teachers, informal science educators, and youth development leaders to answer the research questions:

  1. How do adult leaders describe the potential for using web-based technology as a means to achieve the scientist contribution to youth-based authentic science inquiry?

  2. How do adult leaders perceive plans to develop a website to facilitate the ongoing relationship of scientists, adult leaders, and youth? What do they perceive as needs and barriers for using this planned website? What website characteristics would encourage them to use this planned website?

Visit Driven to Discover:Enabling Youth Inquiry Through Citizen Science to learn more about this project, funded in part by the National Science Foundation. Sarah Shimek is a graduate student in the University of Minnesota Duluth Center For Environmental Education.