Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Gross Fun at Earth Day Columbia
Midwest Region, May 19, 2017
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Our FWS display at Columbia, Missouri's Earthday Festival.
Our FWS display at Columbia, Missouri's Earthday Festival. - Photo Credit: Scott Hamilton, FWS

As biologists at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we often are called upon to do some pretty gross things in the line of duty. I'd like to think the public admires us for these services, but frankly, I bet they think we're pretty odd. Not to prove them wrong, we crafted an Earth Day display for the Columbia Missouri Earth Day Festival that featured creepy crawly pond bugs, tadpoles, and crawdads, a diorama of American burying beetles burying a dead mouse, and an interactive game of "Who Pooped That?" featuring fake rubber poo from a variety of wildlife. The kids seemed to love our display, and that was our target audience. Maybe some of the kids will remember that dragonfly larva breathe out of their posterior, or that American burying beetles can smell dead things from 2 miles away. And maybe knowing those things will translate to caring for those things later in life. As always in these outreach events, it is rewarding to share our stories with the public and see that they have an interest in what we do.

Contact Info: Scott Hamilton, 573 234-2132 x 122, scott_hamilton@fws.gov
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