Last month I had the privilege of representing Alabama at the North American Association of Environmental Educators (NAAEE) Conference in Madison, Wisconsin. During my stay, I met educators from all over the world and joined in on some very interesting sessions. We discussed topics ranging from, the importance of community partnerships, connecting educators to resources, and developing your centers unique nature experience in order to enhance the environmental education of children.
The conference offered a number of fieldtrips, so on the third day I set out on a Sand County Tour. It was fascinating! We visited the Aldo Leopold Foundation, home of the man many considered to be the father of wildlife ecology and the United States’ wilderness system. Aldo Leopold was a conservationist, forester, philosopher, educator, writer, and outdoor enthusiast. Next we visited the International Crane Foundation. The only place in the world where you can see all 15 of the worlds cane species! One of these species, the Whooping Crane, overwinters here in Alabama at the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge. These magnificent birds stand 5ft tall and are the tallest flying bird in North America.
The next morning, I woke up early and headed to the Madison Children’s Museum. After touring the museum, I met with some of the education staff. They were very nice and offered me some great advice on developing an exciting education experience that visitors of the Cook Museum of Natural Science are sure to remember for years to come. If your ever in Wisconsin, stop in and explore the Madison’s Children’s Museum. You will be glad you did!
My time spent in Wisconsin was both educational and fun. I can’t wait to put into practice all I learned!
Post written by: Toni Bruner, Education Programs Manager
Cook Museum of Natural Science