Virginia's Waters, Woods, and Wildlife: A Conservation Education Course for Science Teachers

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) offer a teacher education course that promotes awareness of Virginia's significant wildlife and fishery resources. Virginia Waters, Woods, and Wildlife focuses on middle- and high-school science teachers. The 40-hour, hands-on program introduces 20 teachers each year from across the Commonwealth to the wealth of Virginia's biodiversity, including birds, mammals, fishes, and invertebrates, and the principles and technologies used to manage and conserve these populations. Professional wildlife biologists and environmental scientists present the ecology and life histories of Virginia wildlife through field experiences as well as effective AV and IT technology. Workshop participants gain hands-on experience in the methods used by biologists, wetlands scientists, and wildlife managers and are introduced to and work with cutting-edge technologies (e.g., global positioning systems [GPS] and geographic information systems [GIS]) that are increasingly used to study and manage wildlife populations and habitats. Course content is designed to meet the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) and related assessment outcomes, and provides participants with resources and other activities targeted for the classroom.

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