Spots still available for Teacher Ecology Camp. Contact Wanda Dean @ firstname.lastname@example.org for application and more information. Go to the bottom of this page and download the form.
- Brian Lane & Jeanne Murphy, Sensing Nature, LLC
Success that is the best way to describe the 7th Annual Teacher Ecology Camp. The plan was simple. Combine over 50 eager teachers wanting to increase their knowledge of Florida’s natural world, add energetic speakers and local scientist instructors, provide hands-on field trips to wonderful local environments, include numerous resource and reference materials, and the result is clear. As teachers increase their knowledge of our beloved natural resources, they are able to share their new knowledge not with a single student, but with a classroom of students, each and every year. Teachers know that the allure of nature extends beyond science discussions and if we do not encourage today’s youthful curiosity about our natural world, the voice of tomorrow’s environmental steward may be silent. Using nature to entice students into developing their own reading, writing, mathematical skills, and artistic expressions could be the key motivating factor in their knowledge journey. This could be why Camp attendees included math, science, language arts, and art teachers from seven local counties ranging from Sumter to Sarasota.
Dr. Gabe Vargo and Great Horned Owl giving the Bird of Prey presentation
at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve
all know that Audubon members across the globe share an inherent bond with our
feathered friends, but if the habitats are gone or diminished, entire ecosystems
with their dependent wildlife, including the birds, will suffer. That is why this
year’s Camp consisted of four, 2-day workshops with topics on Florida ecology,
estuary ecology, invasive plant and animal species, and cumulated with a
fantastic climate change workshop.
workshop incorporated indoor and outdoor learning activities. About 60% of the
teachers attended multiple workshops and many were welcomed as returning attendees
from previous Camps. After attending the first week of Camp, one teacher
completely changed her family’s vacation dates so that she could attend the
following week’s workshops. Talk about motivated teachers! These teachers were
willing to put in the effort and continue on their educational journeys and we
are proud that the St. Petersburg Audubon Society and their partners are leading
the way providing them this opportunity. We would like to thank the SPAS
Education Committee, Board members, and the Camp partners for their work and
dedication – Pinellas County Schools, the
Weedon Island & Brooker Creek Preserves, Dr. Gabe Vargo – SPAS & Boyd
Hill Nature Preserve Birds of Prey, the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, the
Southwest Florida Water Management District, Libby Carnahan – UF/IFAS
Extension, Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, Cynthia Grizzle - Cooperative Invasive
Species Management Areas Regional Coordinator, Tessie Offner – FWC Non-native
Wildlife Biologist, Dr. Tonya Clayton, Haley Burger – Eckerd College sustainability
student, and Jeanne Murphy & Brian Lane – Sensing Nature, LLC.
Dave Kandz and teachers viewing Indian Shores nesting Black Skimmer colony
Next year’s camp discussions and planning are already underway, so please help us continue this successful Teacher Ecology Camp tradition. Tell your teacher friends to save the dates June 14 – 24, 2016 for another great Florida experience!
SPAS TEC participants at Ft. De Soto
To participate in next year's camp, contact Wanda Dean at email@example.com for more information.