Upcoming DNR Education Programs

Indiana Department of Natural Resources


DNR Education Programs

The DNR Ed team wishes you a HAPPY 2015.
We are excited to work with you to make this a great year of education!


Go FishIN

Go FishIN is still in “Show Time.” In November, I plugged fishing to PE teachers and Girl Scout leaders. This January and February, Go FishIN rolls in at the University of Scouting, the Fishing Expo, and the Indianapolis Boat, Sport, and Travel Show. I’m promoting Free Fishing Days, Go FishIN in the City, the 10th year of the State Fair Fishing Pond, and a boat-load of workshops.

Go FishIN will be hopping around Indiana this spring. We have 9 Crew Captain workshops scheduled in Vincennes, Lafayette, Goshen, Richmond, Gary and Indianapolis. These are some new cities for me. Also, thanks to wonderful partners, we will run at least 15 Family Learn to Fish workshops at family-friendly waters across the state!

Although I’m traveling here and there and everywhere, Go FishIN tackle and materials will still be available – the 60 Loaner Sites come in handy. Please email me at gofishin@dnr.in.gov and give me plenty of time to hook you up. Last year, Crew Captains provided casting events and fishing opportunities for more than 12,000 Hoosiers, and this number doesn’t include Free Fishing Day events. Go FishIN tackle got quite a work out, but is ready for more action in 2015. Catcha lata.—ck


Project Learning Tree


Are you an Indiana educator interested in learning more about Indiana’s forest resources and how to integrate them into your classroom? The Indiana Division of Forestry will conduct the Indiana Natural Resources Teacher Institute the week of June 22-26 at the Forestry Training Center at Morgan-Monroe State Forest. This multi-day conservation education program will include visits to public and private forests, tours of forest industry facilities and an introduction to forestry research in Indiana. The purpose is to provide an unbiased look into the impact sustainable forestry has on our state’s economy, environment, and quality of life, and to equip teachers to take that knowledge into the classroom.

This workshop will advance effective teaching and learning about Indiana’s forest resources and their management. Participants will learn how to approach the teaching of STEM concepts and principles from a natural resource perspective and develop a STEM-based curriculum project to be implemented with their students. Participants will receive more than 30 Professional Growth Points toward license renewal.

Application forms will be available Feb. 1. This program is for Indiana educators only. If you are interested please send an email to drogler@dnr.IN.gov.

PLT GreenSchools

Is one of your school’s goals this year to reduce waste? Your school can use PLT’s Waste Investigation to determine how much waste your school generates and where it goes, and develop an action plan to reduce, reuse, and recycle—at school and at home. You can access the Waste Investigation by logging into your PLT GreenSchools! account at www.greenschools.org. Not yet registered as a PLT GreenSchool? Just go to the website above and register. Additional resources on reducing waste:

• Webinar: Transforming Schools with PLT GreenSchools! Waste Investigation  Check out this recorded webinar to learn how to set up a school recycling program (13:40) and hear from students about how a solar vermicomposting bin they installed has cut down on cafeteria waste (36:00).

• Need $$ for Your Environmental Project?  In Our Back Yards has grants up to $1,000 available for Green Schools for new environmental projects.        
     - A 50% match is required
     - The application deadline is January 30
     - Indicate you are a registered PLT GreenSchool in your application


Project WET

The Indiana Division of Nature Preserves produces a series of posters on the Lake Michigan Coastal Region. The newest of these focuses on the Calumet River. Nature Preserves will be sending out a copy of the poster along with the Project WET activity “Seeing Watersheds” to schools in the Lake Michigan area. To learn more about the Lake Michigan Costal Program you can visit http://www.in.gov/dnr/lakemich/.

Check out the upcoming conference section under Project WILD to see programs being offered by the Fish & Wildlife education staff. If you are interested in Midwest water and fisheries issues, look into the Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference happening Feb. 8 – 11. http://www.midwestfw.org


Project WILD Terrestrial Guide Update:

This spring State Coordinators are finishing up their reviews of drafts of the updated Project WILD Activities. Some activities are being rejuvenated and others that addressed similar topics are being combined. A few may be removed from the guide due to getting little use. This will all create more room in the guide to address current wildlife issues like diseases and invasive species. Stay tuned for updates as to when the new materials will be available.

Coyote Programs:

Informational sessions on living with urban coyotes are planned for Lafayette, Fort Wayne and Greenwood in February and March. As dates and locations are confirmed the programs will be posted on our calendar of events. If you or your neighbors are concerned about or simply want to learn more about coyotes, come join us.
Upcoming conferences:

The Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference will take place in Indianapolis from Feb. 8 - 11. Tuesday the 10th the Fish & Wildlife education staff will be presenting an education symposium covering environmental literacy, teaching outdoor skills and creating stewards of our natural resources. You can view the session schedule on line at http://www.midwestfw.org.

The Fish & Wildlife education staff will be presenting a session on citizen science, using activities from Project WILD, at the Hoosier Association of Science Teacher’s annual meeting on Thursday, Feb. 12.

Fish & Wildlife Volunteer Program

Want to get involved? The Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help in a variety of opportunities. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, expand your knowledge and skills, and do something great for Indiana’s natural and cultural resources. A webpage has been developed for volunteers to register and get more information on volunteer opportunities.
Keep a lookout for the below listed volunteer opportunities on our webpage.

American Woodcock Singing Ground Survey - Listen for “peetings” woodcock along a designated road route (3.6 miles long) only once between April 10, 2015 and May 5, 2015

Ring-necked Pheasant Crowing Count- Listen for crowing pheasants along a designated road route (20 miles long) twice between April 26, 2015 and May 10, 2015

Bobwhite Whistle Count- Listen for calling male bobwhites along a designated road route (15 miles long) twice between June 7, 2015 and June 28, 2015

Summer Bat Roost monitoring Project- Count bats as they emerge from their roost at dusk on or near your property (summer 2015)

Mourning Dove Banding- Leg band mourning doves at your home, place of employment, or nearby airfield (summer 2015). Previous banding experience required

Adopt A Ramp Program - The DFW is seeking access site sponsors to clean up and maintain public access sites. Sponsors can participate at one of two levels of maintenance-picking up trash or picking up trash and mowing. The program is open to individuals, families, and organized groups from youth groups to outdoor clubs. Those volunteering to Adopt-A-Ramp will be asked to perform maintenance for one year.

Volunteer Director Contact Information
Annie Walker
Stewardship Program Director
DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife

Beyond the Programs and Projects

Environmental Education Positions Available:

• Merry Lea Environmental Education Center in Wolf Lake, IN is hiring a Director of PreK-12 Environmental Education. More information

• Taltree Arboretum in Valparaiso has 2 positions open:
Title: Camp Counselor
Status: Full Time, Seasonal (June 8, 2015-July 30, 2015)
Salary: $10/Hour

Title: Seasonal Environmental Educator
Status: Full Time, Seasonal (March 30, 2015-Oct. 31, 2015)
Salary: $12/Hour

If interested, contact Maddie Grimm, Director of Education, (219) 742-6078 or mgrimm@taltree.org


Jr. Duck Stamp Program:

Entries are now being accepted for the 2015 Indiana Junior Duck Stamp Contest.  Entering the Junior Duck Contest is easy, and all that is needed is for the student to draw an original picture of a native duck, goose, or swan that is a certain size and format. The state “Best of Show” art is sent to the national contest in Washington, D.C., and the national winner receives a large scholarship award and has their artwork made into a stamp.

The entry deadline for Junior Duck Stamp artwork is March 15.  A complete list of rules for the contest can be found at http://www.fws.gov/juniorduck. Artwork should be sent or delivered to: Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, 12985 E. U.S. Hwy. 50, Seymour, IN  47274. Curriculum guides and some resource material can also be obtained from Muscatatuck by emailing Muscatatuck@fws.gov or calling (812) 522-4352.

Free Online Guide on Nature Play

The Pennsylvania Land Trust Association has published a new guide, Nature Play: Nurturing Children and Strengthening Conservation through Connections to the Land. You can view or download the beautifully illustrated edition or access the text-only edition at ConservationTools.org.

Unstructured, frequent childhood play in informal outdoor settings powerfully boosts the cognitive, creative, physical, social and emotional development of children. It also engenders deep conservation values-more so than any other factor. If we want future generations to carry on the work of conservation, then we need to be paying attention to what is happening in childhood. To make conservation efforts endure, we must emotionally connect children to nature.

Part 1 of this guide explores the essential characteristics of nature play, the benefits nature play provides and the societal barriers to it.

Part 2 describes the array of concrete actions that organizations may take to restore nature play to children's lives. This includes the creation of spaces for nature play, which don't have to be expensive ventures, and the various features that can be added or enhanced in a play space to make it more attractive to kids and effective in promoting nature play.

Feb. 2015

Fish & Wildlife Calendar of Events

Project Learning Tree Events

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