Tag Archives: COVID-19

Listing of Free Nature-Based Resources

The listing below is a compilation of free nature-based resources available to any citizen during the COVID-19 school closures. If you have any further questions or need ideas in implementing these resources, please reach out to your local Conservation Educator in your region at mdc.mo.gov. We want your families to stay safe and healthy during this time period while taking the opportunity to explore and enjoy your backyard areas in a safe way.

K-12 Nature Activities and Family-Friendly
Citizen Science Opportunities

  • Project Learning Tree Listing of activities to do with children inside and within a safe space outside.
  • Kid Wings Virtual Owl Pellet Dissection – Dissect an owl pellet virtually and become a barfologist!
  • Ranger Rick – Free digital access to educator guides, magazines, outdoor activities, and crafts.
  • Litzsinger Road Ecology Center – Litzsinger Road Ecology Center (LREC), has started a shared folder with resources for Outdoor Learning from Home. Simple activities suitable for teachers and parents.
  • National Geographic Kids Explore mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and fish.
  • Butterflies and Moths of North America – Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA) is an ambitious effort to collect, store, and share species information and occurrence data. You can participate by taking and submitting photographs of butterflies, moths, and caterpillars.
  • eBird – The core activity for BioB takes advantage of the bugs in your own backyard, schoolyard, or neighborhood. Students can become citizen-scientists by surveying this diversity of insects and plants.
  • Project Feeder Watch – Participants periodically count the birds they see at their feeders and send their counts to Project FeederWatch. Your bird counts help you keep track of what is happening in your own backyard and help scientists track long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance. With FeederWatch, your observations become part of something bigger.
    https://feederwatch.org/ (App available for download)
  • Budburst Budburst brings together researchers, educators, gardeners, and citizen scientists on a shared journey to uncover the stories of plants and animals affected by human impacts on the environment.
  • Nature’s Notebook – Tracking seasonal changes in plants and animals.
  • Project Noah – A global citizen science platform to discover, share and identify wildlife. Students can create and publish their own multimedia wildlife journal.
  • SciStarter – Over 3,000 projects and events are searchable by location, scientific topic, and age level, and by joining SciStarter, members can track their contributions and provide valuable feedback. Can also search for ongoing projects near you to contribute too as a class or family!
  • Grow Native! – A great resource on learning the habitat need of native plants as well as connecting to resources to further this process. Families can start planning their own native rain, bird, or pollinator garden in their backyards!

K-12 Nature-based Lessons and Curriculums

Online and Interactive Field Guides

  • MDC Field Guide – Identifies a variety of Missouri’s plants and animals, including fungi.
  • Plant Snap – Identify plants, flowers, cacti, succulents, and mushrooms in seconds with the click of a button on your mobile device.
  • iNaturalist – App for phone and tablet that identifies photographic observations of plants and animals (suggested use with middle school through adults). This information is uploaded to fellow naturalists for additional identification and then used for citizen science projects. Activity Suggestion: Download the app and identify/observe every species of flower, insect, backyard weed you can find – then you are doing a bioblitz (inventory) of your own backyard!
    https://www.inaturalist.org/ – (you will need to create an account first – video tutorials are available)
  • SEEK – App for phone and tablet that identifies photographic observations of plants and animals (suggested use with preschool to elementary students). “Use the power of image recognition technology to identify the plants and animals all around you. Earn badges for seeing different types of birds, amphibians, plants, and fungi and participate in monthly observation challenges with Our Planet on Netflix.” Simply point your phone at any living thing. Activity Suggestion: Download the app and identify/observe every species of flower, insect, backyard weed you can find – then you are doing a bioblitz (inventory) of your own backyard!
    https://apps.apple.com/seek – (you will need to create an account first – video tutorials are available)
  • Herp Mapper – Download the app to identify the reptiles and amphibians in your area. Upload to observations and contribute to the wider scientific community!
  • Arbor Day Foundation Tree Identification – Helps citizens in identifying trees in the Midwest.
  • Wildflower Identification – Wildflower Identification using the color of flower and number of petals.

UPDATE: AMI Conference 2020

After a lengthy discussion, surveying our AMI members, and working with the executive board, the AMI 2020 Conference Committee has decided to postpone this year’s conference. The committee would like to express our sincere gratitude to the northwest Missouri committee in allowing us to move our conference to 2021. Please SAVE THE DATE for the 2021 AMI Conference to be held at Lake of the Ozarks September 19th – September 23rd, 2021! We cannot wait to see all of your smiling faces when we can meet again!

Although a conference will not be held in 2020, AMI does plan to continue with awards and scholarships. If you or someone you know is deserving of an award or scholarship, please visit our webpage https://www.mointerp.net/awards-scholarships/ to find the scholarship and award forms. We are working on ways to virtually honor award and scholarship recipients this year as well as other opportunities for AMI members to socialize and gain continuing education, so please stay tuned for more information.

POSTPONED: AMI Conference 2020


Good Afternoon,

At our committee meeting this afternoon, the members were all in consensus to postpone the AMI Conference that was to be held at Lake of the Ozarks this coming September 2020.  The committee has made the decision after discussing survey results, personal thoughts, and reviewing the AMI Board’s e-mails from last week. The committee also decided to maintain the same committee and job duties and we will meet this September to discuss next year and rearrange as needed.

I will contact Lodge at Port Arrowhead and let them know our decision and see if we can get dates secured for next September 2021.

We did brainstorm ideas for virtual webinars through the year and Kendra will be bringing ideas to the board for discussion.  Amber will be scheduling and hosting social hours as well through a web platform.

Thank you for your support and please pass on to those who need to be aware of the change.