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Education

What Is Snake Venom?

By Monica Macoubrie, Wildlife Education Specialist As an outdoor educator, I hear a lot of discussion about the “poisonous” snakes in Nebraska. Actually, the correct term is venomous snakes, not poisonous. Although both poison and venom can cause death or serious impairment to the function of organs and/or living tissues, these two terms cannot be used interchangeably: Poisons are toxins that are ingested or inhaled, such as a plant or substance; whereas venom is a toxin that is injected, most …

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Catch these Game and Parks education events in July

NGPC news release logo

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission educators have scheduled interesting and engaging events for the curious in July. Here are some opportunities: Nature Nerd Night to feature Aquatic Wonders on July 19 Fish, with their scales, swim bladders and lateral lines, have amazing adaptations. In the Nebraska Nature Nerd Night virtual webinar Aquatic Wonders, outdoor educators will discuss the diversity and life strategies of Nebraska fish. The free event starts at 7 p.m. Central time July 19. Registration is required through …

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Nebraska’s Crayfish

By Grace Gaard, Outdoor Educator Crayfish – also known as crawdad, crawfish and mudbug – is no fish. It’s an arthropod and more specifically, a freshwater crustacean. With their jointed legs and protective exoskeleton, crayfish are a unique part of Nebraska’s aquatic ecosystems. A crayfish’s body is comprised of three main parts: head, thorax and abdomen – similar to their distant insect relatives. Where crayfish begin to differ from insects, however, is that they have five pairs of legs, giving …

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Celebrate Nebraska Pollinator Week starting June 20

Join the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in celebrating our state’s native pollinators — including more than 200 species of butterflies — during Nebraska Pollinator Week this June 20-26. Pollinator Week, in Nebraska and internationally, is an effort to celebrate and raise awareness about pollinators and their conservation. Pollinators, including bees, hummingbirds and butterflies, add more than $217 billion to the worldwide economy through crop pollination. They pollinate more than 180,000 plant species around the world — including plants that …

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Trout in the Classroom applications being accepted

Trout in the Classroom

Trout in the Classroom, a Nebraska Game and Parks Commission educational opportunity for schools, is now accepting applications for the 2022-23 school year. The interdisciplinary, science-based program invites classrooms to explore aquatic ecosystems, life cycles, water quality and the scientific process through raising trout eggs in their classroom. Students learn about life science, watersheds, data collection and analysis over the course of the spring semester. Applications to participate in the program are due Aug. 31. Find the application at OutdoorNebraska.org/TroutInTheClassroom. For …

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Get Your Buzz On

By Monica Macoubrie, Wildlife Education Specialist I grew up believing that the western honey bee (Apis mellifera), also called European honey bee, was the god of all bees. Now as an adult, I see things differently. Sure, the species is crucial to the production of honey and a central money maker in agriculture, but let’s face it: The western honey bee is essentially cows with wings. And because they are a domesticated species, almost all of their genes have been …

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Risk Assessment in Children

Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children Do By Jamie Bachmann, Wildlife Educator The words “risk” and “children” rarely fit comfortably in the same sentence. Well-meaning parents, myself included, do all we can to protect the most innocent from what we perceive as risk. We bandage every scrape. We make them aware of every potential danger they, assumingly, can’t possibly see. We remove every possible hazard within a two-mile radius. What happens, then, when those children inevitably go out into …

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Raven’s Return

By Joel G. Jorgensen Before Nebraska was settled by European Americans, its vast open areas were inhabited by the common raven. Ravens are similar to American crows, but are larger with a more extensive vocal repertoire that includes husky guttural croaks. With the disappearance of the vast herds of bison in the late 1800s, the raven was soon to follow, retreating to mountainous areas of the west and forests of the far north. However, this adaptable and widespread species was …

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Catch these Game and Parks education events in June

NGPC news release logo

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission educators have scheduled interesting and engaging events for the curious in June. Here are some opportunities: Beginning Nature Journaling educator workshop is June 8 Nature journaling can unlock creativity, provide data to observe patterns, help people understand the importance of good data collection, reinforce the scientific process, and express art, reading and writing skills. The Schramm Education Center near Gretna will host a Beginning Nature Journaling educator workshop at 6 p.m. June 8. This free …

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Wetland Wander

A busy outdoor educator spends a day outside on her own. By Grace Gaard, Outdoor Educator When I was younger, time seemed to go on forever as I spent much of it exploring the outdoors. Now as an adult, I’ve recently realized that my time in nature has changed. While I absolutely love facilitating students’ exploration of nature as an outdoor educator at Game and Parks, I’m realizing that making time to explore nature for myself is something I need …

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