Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Missouri Ecological Services Represents Service at National Science Teachers Association Convention
Midwest Region, April 5, 2007
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Missouri Ecological Services intern Ashley Spratt works booth at NSTA Convention in St. Louis. 
- FWS photo
Missouri Ecological Services intern Ashley Spratt works booth at NSTA Convention in St. Louis.

- FWS photo

- Photo Credit: n/a

More than 20,000 science enthusiasts from across the nation filled the streets of downtown St. Louis for the 55th annual National Science Teachers Association Convention, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service welcomed the crowd’s appetite for environmental knowledge.


 From March 29 – April 1, the America’s Center convention building was bursting at the seams with biology buffs, chemistry kids, and environment addicts, all soaking up the inescapable spirit of science and learning.


Missouri Ecological Services intern Ashley Spratt made the two hour drive from her Columbia, Missouri field office, expecting a few teachers, a few pamphlets, and a few geeky scientists in white lab coats. Instead, she was overwhelmed by 502,000 square feet of gadgets galore, including a trumpet playing robot, live exotic animal presentations, and not to mention a celebrity spotting of the popular kids’ TV show personality, Bill Nye, “The Science Guy.”


“I have never been in a single room where every dimension of science is on display, from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to exhibitors on water quality, computer science, and geographic information systems,” she said.  Spratt, an outreach specialist for Missouri Ecological Services, represented the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the convention as part of Partners in Resource Education (PRE), an interagency coalition made up of six federal agencies.


“I was able to interact with teachers from around the country, even one from Canada, and many were shocked to know we were offering so many education tools, for free,” she said, “I would often hear comments, like ‘I’m getting ready to teach this exact subject!’ It’s great to know these tools, when introduced in the classroom, can make an impact on children’s learning and attitude towards environmental conservation.”


PRE representatives handed out posters and interactive CDs on soil taxonomy, forest fires, endangered species, and wetland ecology, in addition to information packets on environmental learning programs such as Hands on the Land, a national network of field classrooms for kindergarten through high school students.


 Partners in Resource Education (PRE) is an interagency taskforce including the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, National Marine Sanctuaries, National Park Services, and Natural Resources Conservation Service. Developed in 1994 under the management of the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation (NEETF), PRE was created to build environmental conservation education programs focused on ecology, and the benefit of healthy ecological ecosystems within communities. The coalition has attended the NSTA convention since 1996.

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov
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