Naturalists

NON-ALCOHOLIC DRINKING GAMES TO GET KIDS TO DRINK WATER

Get kids to drink water (Photo: Maxpixel)

Get Kids To Drink by Transforming Alcoholic Drinking Games into Kid-Friendly Ones

This post is a bit off the main track of what I usually do, but it's very critical to the field I work in: outdoor education. I teach students of all ages, in all weather, and I find that one of the things that children (and adults) forget to do is drink water. Never mind the fact that it's a struggle just to get visitors just to bring water (4 oz bottles don't count), drinking water is even tougher when there are exciting things to do and see outside with our guides. However, it's critical to keep everyone hydrated. If you want to get kids to drink water it can be challenging to keep their attention. To this end I have put together a list of fun games that you can play with large or small groups of people to get them to drink water. Most of these have been converted from traditional alcoholic drinking games to kids-friendly versions.

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Sonication or Buzz Pollination

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Bee pollinating flower (Photo: Wiki Commons).

Pollination and Vibration

As a child you learned about bees and how they fly from flower to flower pollinating the plants, and that they carry the pollen on the hairs of their legs while some even carry it on hairs their bottoms (called scopa). However, there's another way that bees can pollinate that most people don't know about and its immanently useful for gardeners to be familiar with. The process is called sonication or buzz pollination.

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It's All About Surface Area and Reproduction

Blue-footed_Booby_(Sula_nebouxii)_-one_leg_raised

Why would this blue-footed booby have blue feet? You have a 50-50 chance of getting it right! (Photo: Wiki Commons)

You have a 50/50 Chance of Getting the Right Answer

Let's face it, as educators, parents, and adults we don't have answers to all the "whys" that come our way. However,  I've found that there are two answers to almost any question in biology: sex and surface area (and is usually all boils down to just sex and reproductive success). I know this sounds funny, but if you remember this rubric, while leading guided hikes in the field, in class or teaching  animal anatomy, you will always have a way to root out the answer you're looking for.

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Naturalist's Apprentice Books: Exploring Unsung Naturalists and Inspiring Young Readers

pond watching

Pond Watching with Ann Morgan is one of eight books in the Naturalist's Apprentice Series by Michael Elsohn Ross.

Delve Into the History of the Founders of Natural History

As a naturalist I've always prided myself in being self-taught, then going to school, later to teach, and then continuing my learning through teaching. However, I was never taught much about the people that made being a naturalist a possibility.  There are many, many unsung heroes that contributed to the study of natural history that we have never been told about. Do you ever recall learning about the first woman to scientifically study aquatic invertebrates, or learning about one of the first Native American wildlife biologists and doctors, or maybe hearing about a famous African American entomologist? In the history of science, these important people are often glossed over.  If you're like me and countless other naturalists, you were probably never given a history of your own natural history interests. This is why I want to share with you a wonderful series of books called the Naturalist's Apprentice Series by Michael Elsohn Ross.

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The Case of the Disappearing Naturalists

220px-Beatrix_Potter1Beatrix Potter was a children's author, naturalist, and mycologist (studied fungus and mushrooms).

Those with Naturalist Skills Are Becoming Few and Far Between

During an interview I was asked about why I represented this blog as a resource for naturalists and educators. The interviewer was driving at the idea of, “What is a naturalist?" Because you rarely hear the term anymore. I started really chewing on this idea because it’s something that has been rattling around in the back of my head for a long time. I’ve noticed that naturalists seem to be a dying breed. Anecdotally it appears that there is a clear decline in those dedicated to natural history. Why are naturalists disappearing?

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