Monday, September 23, 2013

Naturalist Newsletter: September 23, 2013

Volunteer Opportunities:

Assisting in Swift Fox Research:
Lucia Corral, PhD student in Wildlife Ecology from the Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is working with Chadron State College to quantify the population of swift fox across the western 1/3 of Nebraska. Lucia needs access to private property lands across the western 1/3 of Nebraska to set up photo sites through the efforts of trained students. These students would only be on your property for a few days and would apply some very non-invasive techniques. Please read a more complete description of the project outlined here: Project Outline. If interested in participating please contact Lucia Corral,

Salt Creek Tiger Beetle Feeding and Care:
Volunteers are still needed to assist with the Salt Creek tiger beetles rearing and propagation program. We need assistance with our field work and with feeding of larvae at Henry Doorly and Lincoln Children's Zoos. Contact Jessie Edgar at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo at or Kay Klatt at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo at

Naturalists Needed for Recreation and Outdoor Skills:
Our Pony Express District Camping Committee is in the process of planning the Fall Camporee for the Boy Scouts. The camp will be held October 4-6, at Crystal Lake, which is located at Ayr, NE. We have chosen the theme of Pioneer Days for a fun and learning experience, and are in need of a few volunteers to help make the event a success! We are looking for various furs to display and individuals who could share trapping and tracking skills to groups of scouts. We know fly-tying demonstrations would also be of great interest to the scouts! Perhaps you have some experience in making old style lures? We could always start gathering spoons etc. so the scouts could make their own! If any individuals or groups are available and willing to help out on Saturday, October 5, please give us a holler! Or if you have an idea or skill that we haven't mentioned, that you'd like to share, please let us know! Contact Roy Auen: or 712-898-1636

Master Naturalist Fundraiser:
We are planning a Master Naturalist Fundraiser for October 5th at Fontenelle Forest, and greatly need your help. Some ideas of what we would like to do are included below. I am seeking people to pursue local vendors, host interpretive programs, and assist with marketing. If this is something you would be interested in, please contact me at 402-472-8689.
Boardwalk Programs:
Master Naturalist led programs located at sites along boardwalk
Programs specifically tied to local products
Master Naturalist nature demonstration
Master Naturalist hosts at entrance and vendor area
Product tastings and demonstrations

Exhibitors are Local/Nebraska focused artists and vendors:
Meadowlark Coffee
Soaring Wings
Glacial Till
Branched Oak Farms
Nebraska Sustainable Ag Society
Shepherd’s Dairy
The Grain Place

All entrance fees come back to Master Naturalist from Fontenelle
Local photographers artwork sale or auction
Nebraska products donated for sale or auction
Master Naturalist store items

6th Annual Prairie Loft Harvest Celebration:
Sunday, October 6, 1-6pm (rain or shine)
Kids' activities, farmers market, tractor display, hayrack rides, agriculture education, art vendors, food & more. Jim King will be back with participatory music for kids! FREE admission! Bring family and friends, and please consider carpooling. Event flyer is attached.
Vendors: We still have room for more art, farm produce, and handcraft vendors who offer local, independent and/or handmade items. Email for vendor information and application.
Event Volunteers: We are looking for volunteers to help with set up, visitor greeting, parking, clean up, etc, at the event. Volunteers will help prep the site Saturday Oct 5 or work in two-hour shifts for the event on October 6. Please email to volunteer, and we'll send you more details. Thanks in advance!

Opportunity for Youth Fishing Instructors
Arbor Lodge Family Fun Festival on Sunday 10/13 during their Living History Days. The event runs from 1 - 5 PM. Please contact Laura Steinman at 402-873-7222 or at if you are interested in helping out at this event.

Howling Homestead Voluneers:
Howling Homestead is relatively Halloween themed, and is very popular with kids and families. We are located in Beatrice, Nebraska, and the event is October 26 from 6-9 p.m. We would ask you to arrive around 5 p.m. to get set up.

Here's how the event works: we break up visitors (we usually get several hundred) into groups of a few dozen and rotate them through several different stations. Each station only gives a program for 15 minutes, so we would not be asking for a full length program, just the same 15 minute program about 8 times. We're open to any ideas you might have for a nature program based on nighttime and/or "spooky" creatures.

As a start off point, here are some suggestions of what we're looking for:
-bats (Give a short program on bat facts, maybe even bring live or dead bats?!)
-bugs (Give a short program on those creepy crawlers, maybe even bring a collection of live or dead insects etc.)
-coyotes, other prairie predators (Give a short program on predator facts, perhaps focusing on nocturnal ones, using sound effects of howls etc., could combine with a prairie walk)
-nighttime nature sounds (Talk about what goes on unseen in the ecosystem at night, use sound effects and the natural sounds at Homestead to illustrate)

Would you be able to be part of this event? If so, would you be willing to volunteer or would you require some payment? We would love to have you at our event--please reply at or 402-223-1719.

Continuing Education: Workshops, Trainings & Events:

Project WILD & Aqautic WILD:
Project WILD is a national program designed to help educators teach about habitats, ecosystems, adaptations, biodiversity, cultural perspectives, human impacts on the environment, and wildlife management. In addition, Project WILD teaches basic observation skills, problem-solving and decision making skills. This interdisciplinary program teaches learners “how to think, not what to think!” All activities utilize a hands-on approach and asks students to be engaged in their learning. Activities are geared to students in kindergarten through 12th grades. All workshops are FREE and require pre-registration.

Growing Up WILD:
Growing Up WILD is an early childhood education program that builds on children’s sense of wonder about nature. This program invites children to explore wildlife and the world around them through a wide range of fun and engaging activities and experiences. Growing Up WILD provides an early foundation for developing positive attitudes and behaviors about nature and life-long social and academic skills. Activities are designed for children ages 3-7 years old. All workshops are FREE and require pre-registration.
Wilderness First Aid:
Our Wilderness First Aid courses are designed to introduce you to the concepts of medical care in a wilderness setting. The course focuses on Basic Life Support skills, minor trauma, selected environmental topics, spine assessment and the ruling out process, allergic and toxic reactions, and “common” medical emergencies. As with all our courses, the majority of time is spent in hands-on skills practice and simulations. We are a contributor and signatory to the Wilderness First Aid Scope of Practice document. About Wilderness First Aid: It requires 20-30 hours of pre-course study & successful completion of an online exam, approved by the American Camping Association, accepted by Boy Scouts of America & Philmont Scout Ranch, and can use to recertify your WAFA, WFR, or WEMT. For more information on the training, please visit Training is on Sept 28-29th at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a registration fee of $225. Space is limited and registration must go through Todd Grier: 402-472-1853 or Discounts may be available to Master Naturalists; contact Annabel Major for more information at 402-472-8689 or

Heart-Centered Teaching:
Working with children is joyful and rewarding but it also takes great reserves of strength and energy. Attend this ground-breaking workshop and see how nature can replenish your reserves and inspire your teaching. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings of a Certified Nature Explore Classroom and reflect on how awe and wonder encourage learning. Join other public school teachers and practice using a new set of "gardening tools" as you cultivate your own heart-centered teaching approach. To register, click on the following dates: Omaha, NE September 28th (registration deadline = Sept 20) and Lincoln, NE October 26th (registration deadline=Oct 18)

Gardening at Lunch Webinar:
We are now beginning the second season of the Gardening at Lunch webinar program. This program begins on October 1 and they have to register through Marketplace. This program will be available free of charge to all extension staff and faculty, but there is a charge for the public. Registration is at: For more information view the pdf.

GreenSchools Workshop:
Chadron State College, October 18th, 8am-5pm and October 19th 8am-12pm
Workshop is free and includes meals and lodging (if needed). The GreenSchools Program is an environmental service-learning program that inspires students to take personal responsibility for improving the environment at their school, at home, and in their community. Today’s youth spend most of their waking hours in a school setting. The learning environment can have big impacts on a student’s achievement and future behaviors. The GreenSchools program helps improve students’ academic performance in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); develops students’ critical thinking skills; and grows student leaders. Visit our website or our flyer for more information and how to register. Contact Jennifer Swerczek, or 402-336-2701

News & Updates:

Nebraska Master Naturalist Program Fund:
Please Donate to your Nebraska Master Naturalist Program. Since late 2010, Master Naturalists volunteers have reached out to more than 300,000 Nebraskans, contributing 15,000 of hours of service in interpretation and outreach, outdoor skills and recreation, resource conservation and management, and citizen science research.

Your contributions allow us to provide programs such as the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle Meeting and the Master Naturalist Camping Trip at little to no cost. We hope that you will continue to join us as we Explore, Contribute, and Connect to Nebraska’s amazing natural resources. For more information, visit our website at or follow us on Facebook.

Nebraska Alliance for Conservation & Environment Education and Nebraska Master Naturalist Joint Conference: Education Today, Conservation Tomorrow will be taking place at Lied Lodge & Conference Center in Nebraska City, Nebraska, November 8-9, 2013
This is your opportunity to meet other educators, Master Naturalists, and resource professionals. This is your opportunity to gain new knowledge and skills. This is your opportunity to share what you have been doing, your ideas, and your goals. This is your opportunity to learn, network, and share! Register at:

Master Naturalist Tracking System:
The Master Naturalist Tracking System is still working out a few kinks, but the program is NOW AVAILABLE for you to input your volunteer hours. Please be sure to only enter times and dates as numbers, and be aware that the time included in your summary is not displaying correctly at this time. Fixes are on the way. Please contact with any questions. Thanks.

iNaturalist Beta Testing:
I wanted to let you know we are ready to beta test the web version of the new field guide tool on iNaturalist. The mobile version will be out later this fall. If you are willing, we would greatly appreciate your feedback -- about everything. The more information we can get, the more we can improve the tool. Here is the URL for the field guides. Please go ahead and start making a guide from scratch or using an EOL Collection. Some things to jot down:

An action you want to do but can't
Something didn't behave as you expected
Your reaction to the look and feel of the site and guides
What is needed before you / your group would use this tool?
Briefly, if you can use this tool, how would you use it or for what kind of activity?
What are the most critical "help" sections or documentation needs you noticed?

Please feel free to pass this link to as many people as you wish. We would like a lot of feedback before going public.

Heuermann Lecture:
The first lecture of the 2013-2014 Heuermann Lectures season begins at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, in the Hardin Hall auditorium when our own Sally Mackenzie discusses “Beyond GMOs to a More Honest Dialogue About Our Food.” A 3 p.m. reception precedes the lecture.

Nebraska Project WILD Photo Contest:
Who: You! All ages are encouraged to enter.
What: We want your photos of exploring in nature, conservation education, and family adventures in Nebraska’s outdoors.
Where: Anywhere in Nebraska! State Parks, State Rec Areas, local parks, or your own backyard!
When: Entries must be submitted before September 30, 2013. Winners will be announced October 7, 2013.
Download the flyer for all contest rules.
Have fun exploring!!

School of Natural Resources Fall Seminar Series:
At the Hardin Hall Auditorium, Wednesdays at 3:30pm (unless stated otherwise):
  • Oct. 2: Dr. Michael Hayes, Mark Svoboda, Dr. Cody Knutson, Dr. Tsegaye Tadesse, and Brian Fuchs, National Drought Mitigation Center, School of Natural Resources: From Lewellen to Delhi: Drought Risk Management for the World 
  • Oct. 9: Dr. Dan Snow, School of Natural Resources: Good Water - A story of Great Plains water quality 
  • Oct. 16: Dr. Arthur I. Zygielbaum, Center for Advanced Land Management Technologies, School of Natural Resources: Coloring in the numbers 
  • Oct. 23: @ 2pm - Dr. Bethany A Bradley, Department of Environmenal Conservation, University of Massachusetts-Amherst: Plant invasions and global change, lessons from biogeography 
  • Oct. 30: Dr. Ulf Buentgen, Head of Dendroecology, Swiss Federal Research Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape: Frontiers in tree-ring research at the interface of archaeology, climatology and ecology 
  • Nov. 6: Dr. Steve Comfort: School of Natural Resources: My water is contaminated, now what? How UNLs Environmental Restoration Science program can help 
  • Nov. 13: Dr. Matt Joeckel, Conservation and Survey Division, School of Natural Resources: The Keystone Pipeline: Observations on geology, society, and the Nebraska Geological Survey 
  • Nov. 20: Dr. Stephen Wood, Vice President, DigitalGlobe Analysis Center: TBD 
  • Dec. 4: Dr. Lisa Pennesi and Dr. Mark Burbach, School of Natural Resources: Preliminary Results of an Assessment of a Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program 
UNL's Day of Play:
Students in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Environmental Education and Interpretation class are hosting UNL's Day of Play. They would like to inspire children in the Lincoln area to follow their dreams and encourage children's imagination and ingenuity. Cardboard boxes are a great resource for using your imagination, because it does not set any preconceived notions. Children are not limited to one idea; a box can be used for anything. Children can create spaceships, TV sets, and arcade games and become astronauts, newscasters, and, yes, arcade runners. More importantly, kids can have fun playing with and sharing their creations with others The event is on Sunday, October 6, from 1-5pm at Hardin Hall, UNL's East Campus. For more information, please read the classes event summary. Contacts and more event details can be found on the summary.

The students are also looking for people and businesses willing to donate supplies for the event. They are in need of cardboard boxes, tape, basic craft supplies: markers, pipe cleaners, etc. Please refer to the event summary above for contacts questions or donations.

Purdue Post-doctoral Scholars in Natural Resources:
Purdue University’s Department of Forestry and Natural Resources seeks candidates for 1-2 postdoctoral positions in natural resources science or management. The department has a broad environmental scope with nationally ranked doctoral programs, emphasizing interdisciplinary approaches across a spectrum of research areas including ecology, genetics, forest biology, wildlife, fisheries and aquatic sciences, and human dimensions of natural resource management ( Requirements for the position(s) include a Ph.D. in natural resources or related discipline, evidence of initiative, independence, and productivity, and a commitment to conservation of natural resources. The program is open to U.S. and non-U.S. citizens. Positions will be 2-year appointments at a salary of $45,000, plus benefits and a discretionary fund of $5,000/year in addition to any research funds that are provided by mentors.

Application Process: Before applying, interested individuals should contact prospective postdoctoral mentors in the department to discuss project ideas. A list of faculty mentors is available at Mentoring may be sought from individual faculty or by faculty teams, whichever is more appropriate to successfully conduct the proposed work.

To apply to the Natural Resources Scholars program candidates must submit a) names of one or more faculty who have agreed to serve as mentors for the proposed project, b) a curriculum vitae, c) a proposal describing the work to be undertaken, d) two letters of reference, and e) a 1-page statement of support from the proposed mentor(s). Materials should be submitted as pdf files via email to with the subject line “Application: Postdoc Scholars in Natural Resources”. Letter writers should submit their recommendations directly using the email address above. The deadline for receiving completed applications is 15 October 2013.

Applicants may propose projects that complement, extend, or synthesize existing efforts and interests of the faculty. The proposal should identify the issue to be addressed, summarize the current level of knowledge as it relates to the issue, describe the objective(s) of the proposed work, provide the study design and methods used to meet the objective(s), explain expected results and deliverables, and highlight their scientific and broader significance. The proposal is limited to a 300-word summary page and three (3) single-spaced pages, not including references, using one-inch margins and a minimum 11 point standard font.

Applications will be judged on overall quality including prior performance, support letters, and the scientific and technical merit and feasibility of the proposal.

For additional information, please contact Rob Swihart (

The Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs:
ANROSP is pleased to announce that registration is open for the 9th annual conference. The conference will be hosted in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, November 4-7, at the Gulf Hills Hotel & Conference Center. The conference is designed to provide professional development for people who implement training and service programs. Examples of member programs include: Master Naturalist, Master Watershed Stewards, Coverts, Woodland Advisor. Register now for this year’s conference at

10th Biennial Conference on University Education in Natural Resources:

Please plan to join us as we gather to present and discuss our best ideas and approaches to Natural Resource education at Auburn University, AL on March 13-15, 2014. Please visit to register for the conference and to submit abstracts for oral presentations or proposals for panel discussions and workshops.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Greetings Nebraska Master Naturalists!
There are events, workshops/trainings and volunteer opportunities coming up. If you are interested in these programs, please follow up with the contact person listed in the event/program description. We hope to see you out there!!
This email contains information about the following Events, Workshops and Trainings, Volunteer Opportunities, and Job Opportunities:
  • Birds of Prey Take Center Stage, Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center, Wood River, Saturday, March 9
  • Too Hot, Too Wet, Too Dry: Building Resilient Agroecosystems Conference, Lincoln, May 5 - 8
  • Master Naturalist March Meeting/Allwine Prairie Tour/Land Management, Allwine Prairie Preserve, Bennington, Saturday, March 9
  • 2013 Nebraska Master Naturalist Trainings and Workshop Dates Announced
  • Master Equine Manager I Certificate Training begins March 26, Online and Hands on at UNL and ISU
  • National Association for Interpretation Region V Interpreters Workshop, Aurora, NE, April 3-7
  • Nebraska Master Naturalist Citizen Science Workshop, Aurora, NE, April 7
  • Nebraska Archery in the Schools – State Tournament, Lancaster Events Center, Lincoln, Saturday, March 23 – Outdoor Skills & Recreation
  • Health and Wellness Fair, Omaha Public Schools, March 26, 5 – 7 p.m. – Interpretation and Outreach
  • Seed Collection, Dixon National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank – Resource Management
  • Master Naturalist Committees – Interpretation and Outreach
  • Summer Extension Assistant, Lincoln-Logan-McPerson Counties, April 1 Application Deadline
  • Kansas Forest Service: Program Associate/GIS Specialist, April 1 Application Screening begins
Birds of Prey Take Center Stage
Saturday, March 9
Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center, Wood River
Wood River, Neb – Hawks, falcons, vultures, and owls, oh, my! All four of these amazing birds of prey will star in a special live presentation this Saturday, March 9, at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center. The presentation, titled "Nebraska Raptors", will start at 11:00 a.m. and wrap up around 12:30 p.m.
As part of the Crane Trust's month-long "Wild About Nebraska" speaker and event series, Saturday's raptor program and demonstration is open to the public, free of charge, and promises a rare, up-close experience for adults, families, and children of all ages.  
Blake Hatfield of Raptor Recovery Nebraska will lead the program and demonstrate with live birds how these incredible hunters of the sky have evolved and adapted to become vital players on the Nebraska landscape. For Saturday's presentation, Hatfield will showcase a live hawk, a falcon, a vulture and an owl from the recovery program to demonstrate how well equipped they are to thrive along the Platte River. 
The Crane Trust's month-long Wild About Nebraska speaker and event series is a public celebration of Nebraska's Great Sandhill Crane Migration, according to Crane Trust spokesman Jeff Oates. In March, more than 500,000 sandhill cranes will descend on the Platte River in south central Nebraska to spend 3-4 weeks feeding, resting and getting ready to complete their migration to breeding grounds in the north. For some, it's a 5,000 mile journey.
"We're particularly excited this year to host what may be our greatest variety of outstanding speakers and presentations yet for the month-long event," says Oates. "When people talk about the 'arts and sciences', they'll find both in full bloom this March at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center."
The complete line-up of events and upcoming speakers, dates and times are outlined below:
  • Blake Hatfield, Nebraska Raptor Recovery Program, "Nebraska Raptors", live bird presentation (11:00  a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)
  • Wine Tasting (Noon-4:00p.m.)
  • Bill Frakes, Sports Illustrated & Outdoor Photographer, "Frakes Takes—My Life in Photography" (11:00 a.m.– Noon)
  • Rick Rasmussen, Wildlife Photographer, "Outdoor Adventures in Photography" (1:00-2:00p.m.)
  • Wine Tasting (Noon-4:00p.m.)
  • Dr. Will Locke, Hastings College, "Rocky Mountain Headwaters of the Platte River" (2:00-3:00p.m.)
  • Dr. Bill Beachly, Hastings College, "A Crane's Eye View of Central Nebraska" (3:00-4:00p.m.)
  • Wine Tasting, Noon-4:00 p.m.
  • Bill Wallauer, The Jane Goodall Institute Videographer, "Chimpanzees and Conservation" (11:00-Noon)
  • Jorn Olsen, Jorn Olsen Photography, "Discovering the Uncommon Beauty of Nebraska's Plains" & book signing (Noon-3:00 p.m.)
  • Wine Tasting (Noon-2:00 p.m.)
  • Dr. Wade Harrell, newly appointed Whooping Crane Recovery Coordinator with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (12:00 p.m.)
  • Dr. Barry Hartup, International Whooping Crane Foundation Veterinarian, "Whooping Cranes in the Wild and Captivity" (1:00 p.m.)
  • Dr. Mary Harner/Greg Wright, Crane Trust, Update on Whooping Crane Research & Overwintering Sandhill Cranes (2:00 p.m.)
  • Dr. George Happ, Emeritus Professor, University of Alaska-Fairbanks and Co-author of the Sandhill Crane Display Dictionary, "Primal Dancing and the Nurturing of Young Cranes" (3:15 p.m.)
  • Dr. Aaron Pearse, USGS on Sandhill Cranes (4:00 p.m.)
  • Rockbrook Camera/Video Showcase (11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
  • Blake Hatfield, Nebraska Raptor Recovery Program, "Nebraska Raptors", live bird presentation (11:00 a.m. - Noon)
  • Dr. Paul Johnsgard, UNL professor, author, ornithologist, "Winter & Early Spring Birds of Nebraska" (1:00-2:00 p.m.)
All events and presentations are open to the public and will be held at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center near Wood River in south central Nebraska, I-80 Alda Exit 305. Guided crane tours for the public can also be reserved online at or by calling (308) 382-1820.  
Established in 1978, the Crane Trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and maintenance of critical habitat for cranes and other migratory birds along the Platte River through science, habitat management, community outreach, and education.
Contact: Jeff Oates
Crane Trust
402-469-3436 (cell)
308-382-1820 (office)
Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center
9325 S Alda Road
Wood River, NE 68883
Too Hot, Too Wet, Too Dry: Building Resilient Agroecosystems Conference
May 5 – 8
Cornhusker Marriott, Lincoln
Recent years have seen major drought, floods and extreme temperatures affecting vast areas of the globe, including some of our most productive agricultural regions. The fifth global Water for Food Conference will bring together experts from around the world to discuss how we can increase the capacity of our food, water and natural ecosystems to adapt to a changing climate.
Please join us for Too Hot, Too Wet, Too Dry: Building Resilient Agroecosystems, May 5-8, 2013, hosted by the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, at The Cornhusker Marriott Hotel in Lincoln, Neb., USA.
The conference will feature plenary addresses by Benedito Braga, President, World Water Council; Rosina Bierbaum, University of Michigan; Heidi Cullen, Climate Central; Christo Fabricius, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa; Cynthia Rosenzweig, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; and others to be announced. Additional sessions include:
  • “Surviving the 2012 Drought: 80 Years of Innovation”
  • “A View From the Field” panel featuring an international group of agricultural producers
  • Technical sessions on “Resilience in Stressed Watersheds” and “Livestock and Water”
  • “Drought Preparedness and Planning” case studies
  • “Communicating about Climate” roundtable discussion
  • Demonstrations of “Cool Tools and Technologies”
  • Graduate Student Poster competition focused on conference themes
  • “Farm to Table” Banquet at a working organic farm
  • Networking opportunities
The Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska is a research, policy and education institute committed to efficiently using our limited freshwater supplies to ensure a reliable food supply for current and future generations. Thanks to a generous $50 million founding gift commitment from the Robert B. Daugherty Charitable Foundation, the Water for Food Institute has the resources to push forward its work on the critical issues of water and food security. Participants in the 2013 Water for Food Conference will help to inform this important work.
Please join us in this opportunity to share ideas and perspectives from many disciplines and cultures. For more information and to register for the conference, please visit:
Master Naturalist March Meeting/Allwine Prairie Tour/Land Management
Saturday, March 9
Allwine Prairie Preserve, Bennington
Master Naturalists, get your continuing education and volunteer service hours all in one! Join us for the Master Naturalist Monthly Workshop at Allwine Prairie, just outside of Omaha, on Saturday, March 9th. Be prepared to be outside and get dirty, as after we tour this unique site we will be hauling brush and removing invasives. The Allwine Prairie Education Facility will be a future Master Naturalist Training location, so I hope you’ll join us to explore, offer ideas, and make some on-the-ground impacts!
Special thanks to Alicia Mullarkey, Preserve Manager and Patrick Atwell, Certified Master Naturalist for this opportunity!
Date:     Saturday, March 9th
Time: 9:30am - 1:00pm
Location: Allwine Prairie Preserve
                14810 State St., Bennington, NE
                (You can find a link to driving directions on our website at:
Notes: As always, we encourage carpooling, bringing a water bottle, and dressing for the weather and the activity.
9:30am - 10:00am: Greetings, tour The Barn (Education & Research Facility – under construction)
10:00am - 11:00am: Walking tour of the preserve, explore fire research plots and discuss the impacts of season and frequency of fire on the prairie plant community
11:00am - 12:00pm: Assist the preserve manager with land management activities, including invasive shrub control in the prairie and hauling brush into brush piles
12:00pm – 12:30pm: Master Naturalist Meeting/Discussion – Tell us what you’ve been up to! Bring ideas for future workshops  and be ready to ask questions!
Contact: Alicia Mullarkey
Preserve Manager
Department of Biology
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Cell: 563-880-4911
Fax: 402-554-3532
2013 Nebraska Master Naturalist Dates Announced
The Nebraska Master Naturalist 2013 dates are open and interviews are happening now! Space is still available, so please help us spread the word. We’re extremely excited about our newest location at Fort Robinson State Park near Chadron, and look forward to your continued support.
Upcoming Trainings (contact Matt Jones at to assist)
  • Spring Training, March 16—May 4 (Saturdays Only), Fontenelle Forest near Omaha
  • June Training, June 16—June 22, Niobrara Valley Preserve near Ainsworth
  • July Training, July 14—July 20, Pioneers Park & Spring Creek near Lincoln
  • August Training, August 10—August 16, Fort Robinson near Chadron
  • September Training, September 8—September 14, Niobrara Valley Preserve near Ainsworth
Upcoming Workshops (contact Annabel Major at for more information)
  • March 9th Prairie Education Workshop in Omaha at Allwine Prairie
  • April 3rd – 7th National Association for Interpretation Region V Workshop at the Aurora Leadership Center, Registration Required
Master Equine Manager I Certificate
OnLine - 3/26, 4/2, 4/9, 4/16, 4/23, 4/30
Two Choices for Hands-On Training:
University of Nebraska (4/18 & 4/19) or Iowa State University (5/3 & 5/4)
Benefits and Opportunities for the Certified Master Equine Manager
  • Anyone interested in learning about horse care can participate
  • Receive 24 hours quality instruction from ISU & UNL
  • Learn to promote quality horse care and responsible horse ownership.
  • Increase skills for conducting workshops for youth and adults.
  • Increase your knowledge in behavior, nutrition, facility requirements, health care, selection and hoof care.
  • Develop new skills to enhance employment opportunities within the industry.
  • Secure web access on Blackboard to numerous equine references pertaining to each subject matter.
  • Permanent Master Equine Manager name badge
What the Course Teaches
  • Equine Behavior
  • Nutrition
  • Pasture Management
  • Facilities & Equipment
  • Equine Selection
  • Healthcare - Diseases & Parasites
  • Hoof Care
How the Course is Taught
  • Six 2-hr sessions online (Sessions are recorded)
  • Hands on training at UNL or ISU
Certification Requirements
  • Must attend the six on-line and the in-person sessions
  • Complete the Equine Quality-Care Assurance (EQA) survey
Maintaining certification:
  • 3 hours of continuing education training each year.
Cost: $325
Dr. Peggy Miller
119 Kidee
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011
National Association for Interpretation Region V Interpreters Workshop
April 3-7
The Leadership Center, Aurora, NE
Share your story with other Interpreters from around the Midwest in the land of transformations – Nebraska. Together we will weave a dynamic and innovative tapestry of interpretation. Sessions include:
- Zombies, Kayaks, and Dragonflies…OH MY!:  Let’s get creative with our programming, and I mean REALLY creative! In this section we’ll talk about how to use these great tools, and so much more to deliver quality engaging programs.
- The HUMAN Element:  Develop a strong relationship between your audience, program, and staff as we weave together different generations, find the meaning and the words, investigate career paths, and explore innovative techniques.
- Making It WORK:  This session is dedicated to all the hard working managers and administrators. We’ll discover some new skills and techniques as we explore grant writing, copyrights, assessments, and understanding your volunteer needs.
- INNOVATIONS in interpretation:  Let’s show off our unique interpreter skills as we explore the region’s natural and cultural history through conservation education, weaving rivers, and Wilder weather. Inspiration is mandatory!
NAI is a professional association for those involved in the interpretation of natural and cultural heritage resources. Join us for four days of exciting opportunities, including hands-on informative sessions, exhibits, awards, a live auction, thrilling off-site sessions, banquet, live music and much more! Experience ‘The Good Life’ while making connections with fellow interpreters in your region, as we weave the strands of our story. The Heartland Region V includes Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Manitoba, and Nunavut.
To register for the National Association for Interpretation Region V, visit us at or contact  We hope to see you there!
Nebraska Master Naturalist Citizen Science Workshop
April 7
8 am to 5pm in Aurora, NE
Nebraska Master Naturalist Citizen Science Workshop
Not ready to go home yet?? Stay one more night and join the Nebraska Master Naturalists for some Citizen Science education workshops and a special lunch presentation by Dennis Ferraro, UNL Extension.
Wait, did you say FREE? Yes, but registration is REQUIRED and space is limited. Contact Annabel Major at or 402-472-8689. Master Naturalists, please register by March 22nd. Lunch will be provided for Master Naturalists. You do not need to be registered for the NAI Workshop to attend this event. Hours through this Workshop will put count towards the Citizen Science Specialization.
Dragonfly Education Workshop
From historical dragon lore to identification and citizen science reporting, in-depth study of the order Odonata can benefit all interpreters. This workshop includes natural history tidbits, take-home activities, and outdoor dragonfly catching time (weather and time permitting). Hands on experiences and inquiry are the development of personal stories and the foundation of individual connections. My presentation uses dragonflies as the topic and hook for exploring many subjects, directed by the interests of the participants.
The main focus of this workshop is using charismatic dragonflies as inspiration for nature inquiry. The session is adaptable and will be heavily influenced by what the participants find interesting and inspiring - this also models how interpreters can use this topic with their own audiences. Curriculum will be available for purchase on site. This training will be approximately 4 hours long. For more information, contact Ami Thompson at
Frog Watch USA
Approximately one out of every three amphibian species is experiencing declining population numbers.  There are 122 species worldwide where so little information is known the species cannot be definitively listed as extinct.  FrogWatch USA is an Association of Zoos and Aquariums citizen science program designed for long-term monitoring of frog and toad populations.  This program has the ability to collect more data, over a larger area, than a single researcher or even a group of researchers.  The goal of FrogWatch USA is to provide reliable, quality data that can help describe species diversity; detect rare or invasive species or shifts in species range; and serve as a wetlands health indicator.
This training session will be approximately 4 hours long.  During the training we will be reviewing why this program is important, the specifics of the program and the amphibians in Nebraska we will be monitoring; species identification by call. Frog Call materials will be for sale on site. If you have any questions or are interested in becoming a Fontenelle Forest FrogWatch volunteer please contact Cori Tejral at or Paul Lahowetz at  or (402) 731-3140.
Contact: Annabel Lee Major
Nebraska Master Naturalist
Volunteer Opportunities
Nebraska Archery in the Schools – State Tournament
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Lancaster Events Center, Lincoln
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(Event Set-up on Friday, March 22, 1 to 5 p.m.)
We are in need of your help for…The Largest Archery Event in the State – period!
It’s March already, that means we are just weeks away from the largest archery event in the state – the Nebraska Archery in the Schools State Tournament.  This year the event could be pushing 500 archers and a couple thousand spectators.   The only way this event is even possible is with the many dedicated volunteers & NGPC staff that are willing to be a part of this special endeavor.  Set-up, registration, equipment check-in, range judges, safety officials, specialty-range coordinators and national anthem singers are some of the needs. Archery experience is great, but not required to help make a difference in the lives of our participants.
The Tournament takes place at the Lancaster Events Center in Lincoln and is a full & fulfilling day that must be experienced to be truly appreciated.  Where else do you get to see hundreds of 4th-12th graders engaged in a shooting sport as part of their school-curriculum?  If you are willing and able to be a part of this amazing day of archery please drop me an email at your earliest convenience.  Thank you.
Contact: Aaron Hershberger
Nebraska Game and Parks
Outdoor Education Specialist
Health and Wellness Fair
March 26, 5 – 7 p.m.
Omaha Public Schools
Master Naturalists needed to host an activity booth at Omaha Public Schools health and wellness fair on March 26 from 5 to 7 pm. The booth would need to incorporate an activity for K thru 4th graders, up to 600 people expected. Signage, giveaways, and some materials are available thru Master Naturalist and materials can be checked out through other places like the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. If you are interested in hosting a booth please contact Annabel at 402-472-8689. I need at least two volunteers for this.
Contact: Annabel Lee Major
Nebraska Master Naturalist
Seed Collection
Dixon National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank
The Dixon National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank is seeking Volunteers for seed collection!
A single seed holds the potential for a living and functioning plant. A seed bank preserves this potential for up 200 years by reducing the internal moisture of seeds and then freezing them. The Dixon National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank is the only seed bank in the world that focuses conservation efforts on the native species of the tallgrass prairie, one of the most endangered habitats in the world. We collaborate with botanic gardens and federal agencies across the USA in a national seed banking effort: Seeds of Success at This partnership of botanic gardens and federal agencies aims to safeguard the entire US flora, and has collected the seeds of 12,000 native species.  Each botanic garden or agency focuses upon safeguarding their own regional flora, as well as providing seed for storage at the national level via the USDA.  Seed collected and stored under the cooperating partners of SOS is available through the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) You can also be paid for each seed collection.
Contact: David Sollenberger
Master Naturalist Committees
Don’t forget, we still need your help on the following Master Naturalist committees!
Program Committee (Chair Dennis Ferraro,
·         Curriculum development and review, and program guidance.
Sustainability Committee (Chair Scott Hygnstrom,
·         Identify potential funding sources to support the program, volunteers, resources, and staff.
Membership Committee (Chair Kristal Stoner,
·         Outline guidelines, membership criteria, and resources.
Marketing Committee (Chair Jerry Smithers,
·         Develop marketing tools and promote program.
Evaluation Committee (Chair Lindsay Rogers,
·         Evaluation of program and resources.
Fundraising Committee (Chair Adrian Olivera,
·         Develop and facilitate fundraising opportunities for the program, fundraiser currently underway, May 11th.
Scholarship Committee (Chairs Mike Schrad, and Leslie Kwasnieski,
·         Identify potential funding sources for scholarships, develop scholarship criteria, and review applications.
Contact: Annabel Lee Major
Nebraska Master Naturalist
Job Opportunities
Summer Extension Assistant
Lincoln-Logan-McPerson Counties
April 1 Application Deadline
We are looking at hiring a summer extension assistant.  If you know of someone that might be interested, please contact me for a job application.  The completed application must be mailed by April 1, 2013. We are looking for someone with 4-H experience.  It’s a great summer job!
University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension educational programs abide with the nondiscrimination policies of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the United States Department of Agriculture.
Contact: Randall Saner
Extension Educator
Lincoln-Logan-McPherson Counties
348 West State Farm Rd, North Platte NE 69101
308-532-2683 or 800-200-1381 FAX 308-532-2692
Kansas Forest Service: Program Associate/GIS Specialist
April 1 Application Screening begins
BS or MS degrees in Geography, Natural Resources Management or closely related field, GIS and special database knowledge required, background and knowledge of remote sensing in forestry applications preferred, term position. Screening of applications begins April 1, 2013 and continues until position is filled. Contact Cathy Sandoval 785-532-3301. For position announcement see:
Contact: Cathy Sandoval
Office Manager
Kansas Forest Services
2610 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66502
Kansas Forest Service: Care of natural resources and service to people through forestry.