Chicago Illinois Field Office
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION & OUTREACH
Education is key to ensuring we understand our relationships and stewardship responsibilities for the environment.
The Chicago Illinois Field Office is involved in a number of education and outreach activities throughout our area, and also distributes or can loan assorted educational materials and literature on fish, wildlife and environmental topics.
Contact our office for more information on any of the following topics:
Professional Development for Teachers
We conduct workshops for teachers as part of our mission to accomplish the conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats. Workshops are usually 3-5 hours in duration with educators participating in a variety of indoor and outdoor activities. Teachers are able to obtain CPDUs for workshop attendance. In addition, educators receive various materials which help them develop units of study which correlate to the state learning standards. These workshops are hosted by local partners who can provide facilities such as classrooms and natural areas. Partners include county forest preserves, village park districts, local school districts, and nature centers throughout the metro area. Examples of workshops include: Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), WOW! The Wonders of Wetlands, Flying WILD (migratory bird activity guide), Endangered Species, Watchable Wildlife, etc.
Student Field Studies
We provide assistance with instructing school students (preferably in grades 7-12) involved with a variety of outdoor field studies. The field studies are designed to enhance existing curriculums of local schools and correlated to the state learning standards. Students are provided with hands-on experiences in the use of equipment and techniques routinely used by environmental scientists. Many school districts are able to use nearby sites eliminating the need for all-day field trips which require expenses for buses and substitute teachers. Examples of field studies include: macroinvertebrate sampling to determine water quality, site assessments to analyze habitat quality and wildlife use, migratory bird identification, and surveys of plant communities.
The Chicago Field Office has developed a variety of Discovery Trunks that are available for loan to educators. Topics include: "Wetlands", "Tallgrass Prairies", "Migratory Birds", "Endangered Species", "Watchable Wildlife", and "Water Quality".
Interested educators may also consider developing their own discovery trunks. Discovery trunk checklists (including appropriate costs of items) are available from our office.
The Chicago Field Office has a wide variety of brochures, pamphlets, and posters available to the public. These publications cover topics such as: migratory birds, endangered species, wetlands, invasive/nuisance species, sources of native plants, landscaping for wildlife, and other issues of interest. If you are interested in obtaining copies of these materials, please write or call the office. Other Service publications can also be viewed at http://library.fws.gov
The Chicago Field Office provides guest speakers for a variety of occasions. Presentation topics include, but are not limited to: wetlands/watersheds, migratory birds, endangered species/biodiversity, wildlife/habitat restoration, Service policies and programs, and natural resource careers. These are not "canned" programs, we will work with you to customize the presentation.
The Chicago Field Office participates in various special events throughout the metro area.
Calendar of Special Events:
Federal Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest for K-12 students - entry deadline March 15.
Illinois Envirothon Competition for high school students - April/May.
International Migratory Bird Day Events are typically in May.
Becoming an Outdoors Woman Sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources - events are typically in June and September.
National Fishing and Boating Week Events are typically the first week of June.
National Pollinator Week Events are typically in late June.
National Public Lands Day Events are typically in late September.