A Note from Erica Cox

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I wanted to let all of the Missouri Projects Facilitator Network know that I’ll be leaving MSU and my position as State Coordinator for Projects WET, WILD and Project Learning Tree at the end of July to return to another love of mine—classroom teaching! I’ve taken a position as a high school chemistry teacher at my local school and will enjoy working so close to home.

It was a difficult decision, mostly because I work with so many outstanding educators across Missouri! I appreciate your dedication to the Projects and to providing good quality environmental education to our fellow teachers, interpreters, and all other non-formal educators state-wide.

Please know that the Projects will continue! Janice Greene remains as the State Coordinator for Projects WILD and Learning Tree and will help out with Project WET until a new person is hired. If you are interested in the part-time Projects Coordinator position, please contact Janice at janicegreene@missouristate.edu

Project Learning Tree and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative

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We have some exciting news from the PLT national office.  PLT will now be housed under Sustainable Forestry Initiative.  This will not change anything at the state level in Missouri.  Workshops will continue as usual.  We hope you have some workshops planned or coming up!

Quote from PLT website:

SFI’s community engagement programs have long included support for educating youth and connecting youth to forests, including funding for PLT. In this new partnership, PLT and SFI will work closely together to expand environmental and sustainability education in diverse ways, both in the U.S. and abroad, with more innovative curriculum, professional development, and opportunities for teachers and students to become engaged in real-world issues transcending classroom walls.


“As PLT moves into its fifth decade of teaching students how to think—not what to think—about the environment and their responsibility for it, we look forward to expanding this renowned program under SFI’s leadership,” said Kathy McGlauflin, Executive Director of Project Learning Tree and Senior Vice President of Education with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. “Together we will ensure today’s youth are prepared for their future by developing the skills kids need to be effective leaders and creative problem-solvers for complex environmental issues.”

If you would like to read the whole press release, click here.

Great Getaway and Learning Experience

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2016 Regional Workshop

With the wrap-up of a busy 2016 for the Projects, we had a great break to connect with other facilitators from Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri.  Arkansas hosted the Regional WET-PLT-WILD Workshop in Mountainburg, AR.  It was a beautiful location that suited to learn about bats, black bears, and deer populations.  We started at the Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center near Fort Smith Arkansas.  It’s a nice visitor center and you all should plan to visit.  They have great hiking trails and even several families were fishing the lake on premises.  At this site, we heard about Chronic Wasting Disease in deer populations.  All of us were given a great booklet with activities on how to teach about CWD and the prions that cause them.  It was a fantastic start to the workshop.

The rest of the workshop was hosted at the Lake Fort Smith State Park.  I highly recommend this park for a getaway too.  We covered various topics throughout the workshop including: black bear populations in Arkansas, bat populations in Arkansas and we got to try and mist-net for bats.  We were lucky and caught a red bat.  The last day we did some water quality monitoring and collected macroinvertebrates.  Thank you to the Arkansas crew for putting this event together!

This workshop is hosted every year and rotated from each state.  This year it was in Arkansas, 2017 will be in Oklahoma and 2018 will be back in Missouri.  You can participate in this too.  All you should do is lead a workshop, helped at an event for the Projects, or promoted the Projects in some way throughout the year and we’ll invite you to this Regional Workshop.  You can also count any presentation at a conference when you are using a Projects activity as part of your presentation. It is a great opportunity to learn new knowledge that we all pass on through our teaching experiences.

Post by Tammy Trantham, Projects Assistant

Update for our Facilitators

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Fall is here! 🙂 The temperatures this week are fantastic and I saw my first neighborhood maple tree turning colors, indicating more to come in October.

I had one update concerning Missouri Project Learning Tree, for our facilitators. Missouri PLT has the support of the Missouri Society of American Foresters chapter. They have been working with us since PLT started in Missouri in the mid-1990’s. At their last meeting, they agreed that they would like to be more involved in our PLT workshops and have offered to provide a speaker for any PLT workshops that we have around the state. Speakers would be MOSAF foresters, who could talk about their jobs, along with any projects happening in each area of the state. PLT facilitators wanting to include a speaker (roughly 30 minutes) as part of their workshop can contact me, Janice or Tammy to get you in contact. Speakers can add a nice piece to a workshop and it would be great to include more MOSAF foresters in our workshops, if possible. 🙂

Introducing Project WET, Flying WILD and Project Learning Tree Assistant, Tammy Trantham!

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The Projects Family is growing! We are pleased to announce that Tammy Trantham has joined us in providing Project WET, Flying WILD and Project Learning Tree workshops and resources for Missouri educators.

Many of you in the Southwest Missouri part of our state already know Tammy, but we wanted to introduce her to everyone else too.

Tammy has been an avid supporter of outdoor education for several years. As a young child, she grew up on a dairy farm with a creek running through it. There were always good days when Tammy came back to the house all wet and muddy, much to her mother’s dismay. She realized her love for the outdoors at a very young age and thanks her family for that.

Tammy attended Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin, to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. While in La Crosse, she worked for the Upper Mississippi Environmental Services Center under USGS. This experience gained her insight into the top-notch research on the Upper Mississippi River.

After earning her undergraduate degree, Tammy moved to Springfield, Missouri to attend Missouri State University (MSU). At MSU, she worked towards her Masters of Biology with an emphasis in Aquatic Biology. She researched aquatic food webs on Table Rock Lake using fatty acids in algae and zooplankton.

After completing her masters, she worked for Table Rock Lake Water Quality as their Environmental Educator. Tammy took water education to classrooms, festivals, and any outdoor event she could find. She became a certified Project WET, WILD, and PLT facilitator.

Tammy is also the Executive Director of Missouri Smallflows Organization which provides educational programs to onsite wastewater professionals. Recently, she became the Co-Director of the Green Leadership Academy for Diverse Ecosystems (GLADE). This week-long camp exposes young high school adults to professionals that know the Ozarks ecosystems and they complete a habitat restoration project. Tammy describes GLADE as one of the best youth nature camps she’s ever been a part of.

Now, Tammy is honored to take a larger role with Project WET, WILD and PLT. She looks forward to meeting more educators around the state. She truly believes that our education efforts are helping make informed citizens of the future.

Tammy will be helping to provide materials and resources for the Projects, provide Projects workshop offerings and help to support more education efforts in our area. Erica also provides storm water education programs and assistance to Springfield and Greene County teachers and Tammy will be assisting in these efforts too.

We are so happy to have Tammy join us! Please welcome her to the team!