Nature’s Explorers Series: Environmental education from diverse perspectives

 In News

This spring children, ages 5 and up, can experience the natural world from diverse entry points—art poetry, birds, bugs, plants, and more—at Nature’s Explorers environmental education events to be held at the Dale-Engle-Walker property.

The Linn Conservancy, Bucknell University, and the Lewisburg Children’s Museum are partnering to present the outdoor classroom programs drawing on noted Bucknell professors, such as Chris Martine, Mark Spiro, and Beth Capaldi, whose expertise in their individual disciplines will lead children to new ways of seeing and being in the natural world.

The concept for Nature’s Explorers grew out of an Andrew Mellon Foundation grant awarded to Bucknell. The funding was directed to exploration of real-life problems (the need to find new ways to educate children in the midst of a pandemic), specifying that the recipients’ knowledge be shared outside the traditional academic outlets and with a larger audience, in this case central Pennsylvania community members, including young students.

As the grant’s Faculty Ambassador, Claire Campbell, History Professor and Affiliated Faculty in Environmental Studies & Sciences, recognized the potential for turning the outdoors into classrooms for a range of academic disciplines.

“Claire conceived the Nature’s Explorers as a way to provide safe outdoor environmental education on a Conservancy easement from various perspectives such as humanities and sciences,” said Conservancy president Jeff Trop.

Last fall Trop, Bucknell Professor of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, led “Meet a Geologist,” programs which served as a prototype for the Nature’s Explorers programs. At the geology sessions small groups of socially distanced, masked participants were led along Dales’ Ridge trail, down to Buffalo Creek, and other points on the property where they observed, tested and discussed how the landscape and human history in the area has been shaped by geology and deep time. The program’s enthusiastic reception influenced the decision to move forward with an expanded program.

Seven 90-minute Nature’s Explorers programs are scheduled on Saturdays in April through June with programs beginning at 2 pm. Registration and a $7 fee are required for each session. Register on the Lewisburg Children’s Museum website at https://www.lewisburgchildrensmuseum.org/natures-explorers

April 10 – Creative Writing/Poetry
Katie Hays

April 24 – Biology and Farming
Mark Spiro

May 8 – Biology (Birds)
Morgan Benowitz-Fredericks

May 15 – Insects
Elizabeth Capaldi

May 22 – Art
Anna Kell

June 5 – Biology (Plants)
Chris Martine

June 19 – Biology (Water)
Matt McTammany

All sessions will be conducted at the Dale-Engle-Walker property with the exception of the June 19 program, which will be held at Kelly Twp. Community Center on Fort Titzell Road.

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