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

May 2012 Archives

Minnesota Master Naturalist.pngCongratulations to Tom Wilcox, Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteer. He was named 'Volunteer of the Year' by St Paul Public Library for his weekly work at Collectors' Corner Neighborhood Trading Place. This is a place at the Rice Street library where youth can bring natural objects, or personal art about the object and share what they know to earn points, which can then be used to trade for other natural items.

Click to read a St Paul Public Library story about Tom Wilcox and his award-winning work at the Collectors' Corner.

Visit to learn more about becoming a Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteer.

Minnesota Master Naturalist.pngThe 2012 Minnesota Master Naturalist Conference was a huge success. This year's conference was held in Mankato at the Verizon Wireless center and attended by 115 volunteers and instructors. Participants attended sessions on topics ranging from "leave No Trace", to wild edibles, and odonata research. Field trips were to a local prairie and tree restoration, the city of New Ulm, and Minneopa State Park. Illuminating the conference theme - "Explore", the keynote this year was Greg Petry, kayaker who paddled around Lake Superior. In the words of one participant, "Thanks for your time, energy and effort in putting on the conference this weekend. I give it two thumbs up! The program was strong, presenters were great and the food and arrangements were high quality."

The Annual Conference is a weekend-long advanced training opportunity offered each year to Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteers and Instructors. To learn more about the program, visit

Congratulations to the Year 3 group of Adult Leaders and staff, who will complete training this this afternoon at the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. Over the weekend, the adult leaders have been immersed in learning about citizen science data, conducting scientific investigations, and facilitating inquiry learning with youth. During the coming summer, these leaders will work with teams of youth to collect citizen science data, and conduct science investigations. Some of these leaders will carry the project outside of Minnesota for the first time.

Monarch View.png

Click the link to learn more about Driven to Discover: Enabling Youth Inquiry Through Citizen Science. This National Science Foundation funded project seeks to expand the reach of Citizen Science for middle-school youth. Typically, citizen science--or public involvement science--involves the general public in collecting data that can be analyzed and interpreted by professional scientists. This project will carry citizen science a step further, enabling youth to design, carry out, and even report on their own research questions under the mentorship of science advisors at the University of Minnesota. By giving them the freedom and responsibility to design their own projects the students will gain a greater understanding and appreciation for science, and will grow to see themselves as scientists.

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