Workshops-Looking for the Little Things, Nature Journaling, Exploring Animal Behaviour, Learning For The Future

Heather Hinam, or Dr. Hoo as she is sometimes known, is one of two amazing keynote speakers at the 2012 Nature Summit. Besides teaching at the Uof W she also owns an operates Second Nature-Adventures in Discovery. She is a highly-trained naturalist and experienced educator, her endless curiosity fuelled studies through three university degrees, culminating in a Ph.D. in Ecology and Conservation Biology from the University of Alberta. Over the last 18 years, she has led programs with the Universities of Manitoba and Alberta, Fort Whyte Alive, Elk Island National Park and the Radisson Hecla Oasis Resort. Having returned to her favourite corner of the world, Heather is committed to developing and delivering experiences that will engage your senses and awaken your curiosity.

Manitoba Nature Summit Inc. is excited to be working with such a talented individual who clearly understands the importance of wonder and discovery! Here are the four workshops that she will be presenting:

Looking For The Little Things

Nature often strikes us on a grand scale: rolling forests, sweeping mountains, a majestic moose: but it’s much easier to get to know it on a personal level if you start small. There are entire worlds right under our noses, waiting to be discovered in our schoolyards, local parks, ponds, forests and streams.

Stop and smell the roses in this celebration of all the things we take for granted and see the world with the eyes of a child and mind of a scientist. This workshop will get you on the forest floor and at the water’s edge exploring the details that make this world special. Take a virtual snapshot of the understory ecosystem to learn about its major groups and their roles. Discover the underwater ecosystem, then take your explorations down one more level to uncover the microscopic world.

This workshop will take place along the forested edge of the Assiniboine River and will include quadrats, dipnets, magnifying glasses and all other equipment. Guides to common organisms and suggestions of how to use these techniques with your students will be included in your workbook.

Nature Journaling

Cement your connection with nature by making it a part of your life and the lives of your students. Keeping a regular record of your experiences feeds your curiosity and encourages exploration. It’s also a great way for you and your children to share stories and look back on how far you’ve come. Nature Journaling touches a wide range of subjects from art and creative writing to science and empirical observation. It is a way to slow down, start noticing the details and to find your own voice.

Begin this workshop learning the importance of field books for scientists, naturalists, artists and writers. After a brief overview of basic journaling techniques, set out and find a spot that speaks to you, somewhere quiet to settle in. Then enjoy 30 minutes of reflection and observation while you find your voice, rediscover the world around you and explore ways of capturing the essence of your space. Heather will circulate and offer guidance when needed, whether it’s identifying an unusual plant or providing tips for translating your inspiration to paper, be it in images or words. Wrap up back with your group and share your stories and impressions, discuss how you chose to record your experience and how you might be able to apply these techniques in your own situations.

I Want To Talk With The Animals- Exploring Animal Behaviour

Kids and adults alike are fascinated by animal behaviour: but how do we encourage exploration on limited budgets in our own backyard? Discover simple ways of attracting wildlife to your space and activities that allow students to engage with animals in a safe and meaningful way.

Begin this workshop with a walk in the woods and learn to read the stories animals have written on the world around you. Explore the basics of tracking and animal sign on your way to an outdoor laboratory that has been set up ahead of time. Once there, begin a hands-on exploration of basic animal behaviour by observing the feeding patterns of common local birds. Groups will enjoy a peaceful period of observation, reflection and discovery as they collect simple data about birds’ feeding behaviour. After all the observations have been collected, regroup and summarize your discoveries and discuss ways you could modify this experience for your needs.

Learning For The Future; Making a Difference Today- Citizen Science

Create a lasting connection with nature for you and your students by making a difference for research and conservation. Enter the world of the citizen scientist and discover ways to engage your class in a variety of activities right in your own back yard.

Begin this outdoor workshop with an introduction to environmental monitoring. Why do we do it? What is an indicator species? How do scientists enlist the public to help them keep tabs on the natural world? Discover monitoring programs going on right in your own Manitoba backyard.

Then, it’s time to get your hands dirty. Break into groups and head out to collect data for a selection of local and national monitoring programs that will be submitted by the end of the experience.

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One Response to Workshops-Looking for the Little Things, Nature Journaling, Exploring Animal Behaviour, Learning For The Future

  1. Pingback: 2012 Nature Summit Primer | Manitoba Nature Summit

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