Recently in Educational Category

Master Water Stewards Training

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Want to protect clean water in a lake or stream you care about? The Master Water Stewards program can give you the knowledge, skills, and network to make it happen!

2015 is the last year training will be offered at no cost to the participant. Applications are due by Dec. 20. Interested applicants must attend one of the following hour-long informational sessions:

Thurs., Dec. 4 -- 6:30 p.m., MCWD Offices (15320 Minnetonka Boulevard, Minnetonka, MN 55345)
Tues., Dec. 16-- 6:30 p.m., MCWD Offices
The program offers extensive training from top industry professionals -- engineers, educators, planners and more. Participants will also build a network with like-minded peers, with an emphasis on creativity and collaboration.

Armed with that knowledge, Stewards build projects in their communities that protect water quality and work to educate their neighbors on clean water issues. Past certified Stewards have installed raingardens, rain barrels, cisterns, and water-permeable walkways that catch polluted rainwater before it makes it to a nearby lake or stream.

The program is a partnership between the Freshwater Society and Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD), made possible by a grant from the state Clean Water Fund. Participants must live in a city that is within the MCWD. Learn more at

Minnesota Zoo NEW Teen/Adult Programs

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Horticulture Tours
A New View of the Tropics Trail
We're not just a zoo; we're the Minnesota Zoological Garden. Botanists and plant-lovers, come on out to learn more about the amazing variety of plants along our Tropics Trail. With the zoo closed to the public, you'll get a unique tour led by one of our horticulturalist staff, as you discover plants native to exotic locale around the world but raised right here in the Zoo's greenhouses.
DATE/TIME: December 4 from 5-6 p.m.
AGES: 16 years old - adult
FEES: Members: $10 per person; Non-members: $12 per person
More information on Horticulture Tours

Photography at the Zoo
This series of photography programs includes sessions perfect for photography beginners, professional photographers, and everyone in between. Learn tips and tricks-of-the-trade from photography experts, and take advantage of the chance to see and photograph the Zoo's animals without the crowds, as the Zoo will be closed to the public. A Zoo naturalist will also assist with each program to answer questions and share fun facts about the trails and their animals. Each session offers a new focus and the chance to visit a new area of the Zoo - bring your cameras and come back often!
AGES: 16 years old - adult
FEES: Members: $35 per person; Non-members: $40 per person

Bypassing Barriers
The Minnesota Zoo is a great place to test your photography skills; where else will you find a 900+ lb grizzly bear on the other side of your lens without going to Alaska? Sometimes figuring out how to get that great animal photo without the fence or glass can be a bit of a challenge though...Come to our inaugural photo workshop to learn some handy ways to "bypass the barrier" and other useful camera tricks.
DATE/TIME: November 30 from 8-10 a.m.

Focusing on Focus: Selection Point Strategies
Whether you're shooting in the wild or at the zoo, taking advantage of your camera's auto-focus abilities is often crucial to capturing the best photos of nimble critters. Whether you're using a full-featured DSLR or a point & shoot, this workshop will explore the ins and outs of your camera's focusing options before heading out to the Tropics Trail and its aviary for practice.
DATE: January 31 from 8-10 a.m.
More information on Photography at the Zoo

Our World Speaker Series
Join wildlife and wild place experts as they share their amazing stories of working around the world on conservation and environmental issues. Free to attend! However, space is limited, so pre-registration is required.

Critters I Have Known...with Ron Schara and RavenSpeakerSeriesRonScharaAndRaven
Ron Schara, and his trusted black lab, Raven, began sharing stories of the outdoor lifestyle back in 1995. Ron will be sharing some of his more memorable stories from his travels and experiences throughout Minnesota, highlighting the fascinating critters that call Minnesota home.
DATE/TIME: December 10 from 7-9 p.m.
More information on Our World Speaker Series

For more information, please email or call the Education Scheduler at 952-431-9320

Dec 12 Member & Volunteer Open House

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Member & Volunteer Open House
Friday, Dec 12 | 5:30 - 8:00 PM
Great Hall, SJU

Join us as we honor our members, volunteers and special guests at our annual holiday celebration. Enjoy food, entertainment and conversation and bid on our silent auction! Invitations were sent out this week. If you don't receive an invitation, contact us to check on your membership

Pollinators3 (NEW Three-Part Series)

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Pollinators3 (NEW Three-Part Series)
What You Need to Know and How to Make a Difference

The news media is crammed with reports on declining pollinator populations. But what are the facts, and more importantly, how can you be part of the conversation? University of Minnesota researchers and industry professionals will reveal the truth behind the headlines. Come and explore the complex relationship between pollinators and plants that ultimately affects people. Investigate the hot-topics around pesticides and pollinators, and the impact of legislation and policies to effect change. Learn ways to support pollinators - from home landscapes to national forums. Discover what difference you can make.

Attend an individual session, or bundle them all!
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, MacMillan Auditorium
Part 1: Plants & People - Thursday, November 6, 2014, 12:30-4:30 p.m.
Part 2: Pesticides & Other Problems - Thursday, March 26, 2015, 12:30-4:30 p.m.
Part 3: Policies & Politics - Thursday, May 21, 2015, 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Learn more and register
Each Individual Session: $20 member/$25 Master Gardener & Master Naturalists/$32 non-member, includes Arboretum admission
3-Session Bundle Bundle and Save!: $48 member/$60 Master Gardener & Master Naturalists/$77 non-member, includes Arboretum admission

Certificate(s) of Attendance will be available for Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, or others who wish to verify their participation.

Details on this series can be found here

Dec. 6 Balsam Bough Wreath Making Workshop - Cloquet

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Boozhoo, The 13 Moons Ashiniswi Giizisoog program has several workshops and events coming up this fall and winter! Please go to under News and Events for more information.

December 6th--The Balsam Bough Wreath making workshop will be held at the Cloquet Community Center, 1720 Big Lake Rd. Cloquet, MN--10am-3pm.
Participants will learn about sustainably harvesting balsam boughs and learn the art of making a wreath for seasonal decorations! POTLUCK, Bring a dish to pass!

MN Zoological Gardens Horticultural Tours

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MN Zoological Gardens Horticultural Tours

Thursday, December 4th, 5-6 pm

These tours are a chance to walk the Tropics Trail after hours with one of our Zoo horticulturalists. You'll get an insider's view of the trail without the public around, as you learn all about how we get tropical plants to thrive in a Minnesota winter, where our plants come from and how they're selected, and how they interact with their environment. This will be a high-level look at tropical ecosystems and their coolest plants, and incredibly relevant for anyone interested in studying horticulture or botany at any level.

Tickets: $20/person
Learn more and register online:

Feb 27-28 Schoolyard Garden Conference

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Save the Date!
Schoolyard Gardens Conference
February 27-28, 2015
Stay Tuned...Registration available November 2014

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Forest Pest First Detector & Ash Management Guide Workshops

Rochester will host two upcoming workshops in response to recent emerald ash borer (EAB) in Olmsted County. The first will be Forest Pest First Detector on Wednesday, November 5th from 9 AM - 3:30 PM, $40; followed by Ash Management for Woodland Owners on Wednesday, November 12 from 9 AM - noon, $20. Pre-registration is required for both workshops. Money will be collected at the door. Checks and credit cards are acceptable. These workshops will begin and end in HA 102, Heintz Center, 1926 Collegeview Rd E, Rochester, MN. To register visit for one or both classes at

Forest Pest First Detectors

Forest Pest First Detector will be from 9 AM - 3:30 PM on Wed, Nov. 5, 2014, $40 lunch included.

First Detectors are a part of the Federal "National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) First Detector program (that) promotes the early detection of invasive, exotic plant pathogens, arthropods, nematodes and weeds."

The Minnesota Forest Pest First Detectors training program is designed to help identify the occurrence of Emerald Ash Borer and other forest pests in Minnesota. First Detectors are the front line of defense against likely infestations. Meeting, working with and educating the public about exotic forest pests are key activities of Forest Pest First Detectors.

Other pests to be discussed include gypsy moth, Asian longhorned beetle, thousand canker disease, and Oriental bittersweet.

Everyone is welcome to attend - even if you do not wish to become a Forest Pest First Detector! Anyone with a background in tree or forest health should consider becoming a Forest Pest First Detector.

Before coming to class participants are:
· Able to identify common tree species
· Willing to be contacted by and work with the public
· Prepared and able to visit sites if necessary
· Frequent users of the internet and e-mail
· Ready to document EAB-related activities
· Able to guard confidential information
· Able to complete on-line training modules

Examples of potential First Detectors include Master Volunteers (Master Naturalist, Master Gardeners, Tree Care Advisors, etc.), tree care professionals, forestry professionals, natural resource professions who work with trees, environmental educators, MN Conservation Corps participants, and others.

Forest Pest First Detectors must complete online training modules before attending the one-day Forest Pest First Detector training and commit to being available and involved with the program after completing the training. Involvement includes being accessible to the public, willing to conduct site visits if necessary, report forest pest-related activities, protect confidential information, and notifying organizers of current contact information.
For more information visit:

To register visit

Ash Management for Woodland Owners

Ash Management for Woodland Owners is from 9 AM - noon on Wed, Nov. 12, 2014. There will be a field tour; dress for the weather.

Ash Management for Woodland Owners will include information about emerald ash borer and managing your woodland in the era of EAB. An outdoor field tour will follow an indoor presentation.

This workshop is intended for woodland owners.
To register visit

Dec. 7 Winter Sneak Peek Field Trip Sax Zim Bog

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Winter Sneak Peek Field Trip
Sunday, December 7th, (Time to be Announced)

Meet at the Welcome Center (Directions at the bottom of this e-Newsletter). We'll depart in a car caravan (Please plan for passengers or to ride with someone else). Two-way radios will keep all cars in touch. No major hiking as all birding will be from the car or stops along the road. Dress warm!
Cost: Free to members (those who've donated more than $20 during the last 12-months). $20 to non-members who have not donated $20 during the last 12 months.

Please RSVP to so I have your email address in case we have a weather delay/cancellation.

Jan 30-Feb 1 Winter "Phenology with Larry Weber" Weekend

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January 30, 2015 @ 4:00 pm - February 1, 2015 @ 1:00 pm |
Audubon Center of the North Woods

Explore our woods, prairies, ponds, lake and wetlands with renowned phenologist Larry Weber and learn about the wonderous changes the season brings to our natural world

The crunch of snow under foot, the nostril-stinging cold temperatures and the utter silence of the snow-blanketed forest are familiar to Minnesotans during the winter season. This weekend, phenologist Larry Weber shares his vast knowledge of the natural world to give you a more in-depth, up-close look at nature as you've never seen it during this season of frigid temps and stark landscapes.

Enjoy skiiing or snowshoeing the trails and exploring the different habitats and ecosystems here at the Center during this special all-inclusive weekend.

More info to come - stay tuned

Comfortable lodging and all meals are included in the weekend's fee.

Pricing (includes 2 nights lodging, all meals and instruction):

Two people to a room: $235 person

Four people per room: $155 per person

To register, call us at 888-404-7743

About Larry Weber

Phenologist Larry Weber shares his knowledge of the natural worldNow retired, Larry Weber taught science for 40 years. In 1993, he was named Minnesota Secondary Science Teacher of the Year and 1998, he received the National Biology Teacher Association's Middle School Life Science Teacher of the Year award. Larry is the author of several books including Backyard Almanac, Minnesota Phenology, Fascinating Fungi of the North Woods, and a series of Northwoods Naturalist Guides. He also writes a weekly phenology column for newspapers, and is a regular contributor to the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer and Natural Superior.

Larry lives with his wife, Fran, on a farm in northeastern Minnesota, where he observes and pursues critters with a camera and continues to enjoy sharing his vast knowledge of the natural world with other.

Fall 2014 MN Zoo Speaker Series

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The Wildlife of Voyageurs National Park
Speaker: Dr. Steve Windels
Date: Thursday, November 20, 2014
Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) refers to products other than timber that are harvested from woodlands. NTFPs include plants, parts of plants, fungi, moss, lichen, herbs, vines, shrubs, parts of trees, and other biological material that are either personally used or sold for their commercial value. We eat NTFPs and use them for medicine. We also use them to make decorations and create specialty products. Not only are many NTFPs marketable, they also are critical for healthy woodland ecosystems. Sustainable harvesting and cultivation of NTFPs through forest farming practices can complement overall stewardship of working forests.

This webinar series highlights the remarkable and diverse world of non-timber forest products, ranging from an overview of the abundance and diversity of NTFPs to forest farming practices focused on particular marketable products.

The webinar series is sponsored by NIFA, the USDA National Agroforestry Center, Forest Farming eXtension, the American Forest Foundation, and the U.S. Forest Service.

Webinar Schedule:

All webinars are from 2:00-3:00 pm

December 12: Forest Botanicals - Deep and Tangled Roots

Registration links can be found on the webinar series link above.

Restoring MN Ecological Restoration Online Courses

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Ecological restoration is increasingly relied on as a conservation strategy in Minnesota. In order to increase project success rates, the Ecological Restoration Training Cooperative has developed five online restoration courses that teach practical in-field applications, as well as the theory behind the practice, for specific aspects of restoration.

Who Should Participate
With a goal of promoting best practices in ecological restoration, this training series is targeted at early career professionals, but even well-seasoned practitioners will benefit from the depth of the content.

Susan M. Galatowitsch, professor/head, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife
& Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota
Julia Bohnen, research fellow, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife &
Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota

January 5-February 8, 2015
This required introductory course will simulate the initial steps of planning a restoration project from gathering background information to collecting relevant data, and then use the information gathered to formulate restoration goals. This course covers how to assess the ecological condition of degraded sites, diagnose the restoration needs of a site prior to restoration, and plan meaningful project goals. This course is a prerequisite to each of the other four courses.

February 9-March 22, 2015
Many ecological restoration projects rely on re-vegetation from seed. This course discusses successful steps for designing and implementing a seed mix, from choosing appropriate species to preparing the planting site. This course covers how to: assess the need to seed, use seed biology to make practical decisions about seeding projects,
design seed mixes, acquire and store seeds, prepare sites and seeds for sowing, seed a
restoration site, and manage a site after sowing to promote vegetation establishment. *Field Training Session included.

February 9-March 22, 2015
Monitoring is necessary for evaluating the effectiveness of restoration actions. Learn how to design an efficient and effective monitoring program that yields information helpful for ongoing restoration management decisions and problem solving. This course covers how to select monitoring parameters, develop monitoring protocols, monitor
implementation and quality control, summarize and visualize data, analyze data, and keep records

Two sessions scheduled.
November 10-December 21, 2014
March 23-May 3, 2015
Ecological restorations of small sites often rely primarily on installing plants to restore the desired native vegetation. Even large sites, which are typically seeded, may be supplemented with plantings. This course covers how to assess the need to plant, design a planting and select species, choose planting stock, create a planting plan, prepare to plant, plant a restoration site, and manage a planting.

Two sessions scheduled.
November 10-December 21, 2014
March 23-May 3, 2015
Restored and degraded ecosystems may take many years to recover. During that time, they need ongoing management. Techniques used in two broad categories of management strategies for restorations: re-establishing natural disturbances
and controlling invasive species will be presented. This course covers: disturbances and introduced species as management priorities, non-chemical management techniques, vegetation management with herbicides, and long-term management of prairies, forests, and wetlands. *Field Training Session included

Field Training Sessions
Participants who successfully complete the Designing and Using Native Seed Mixes and
Vegetation Management for Restored Ecosystems online courses have the opportunity to join staff from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Parks and Trails to participate in an all-day field training session. During the field session, participants will tap into the experiences of DNR Parks and Trails Area and Regional Resource Specialist staff to gain new skills in a hands-on environment.
More information is available at

Time Commitment
It takes most students 25-30 hours to complete each course. All requirements must be completed by the last day of the course period to receive continuing education credit.

Course Deadlines and Final Exam
The course includes recommended deadlines for submitting assignments and a final exam. If you submit your assignments and exam by the recommended deadline, you'll know which questions you didn't answer correctly in time to try again.

Professional Credit
Each course has been approved for 3.0 Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) and 30 Professional Development Hours (PDHs). A CEU certificate will be sent to each participant after the course is passed and completed. The University of Minnesota maintains a permanent record of CEUs earned.

Registration and Fees
Your registration includes access to the course within the course dates and a CEU certificate upon passing and completion of the course. The fee for each course is $375.

How to Register
Online registration is available on the website at

For Further Information
Zack McGough
University of Minnesota

Online Training
For those of you who avoid online courses because they don't seem like a great way to learn - give these a try! These online courses have been designed to be interactive and as "real world" as possible. This means you'll be able to visit warm, sunny field sites even when it is 20 degrees below. How bad can that be? All courses will be delivered online and each course will have a specific start and end date.

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