Mary Goodyear: (603) 846-5108
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
July 21, 2006
"Wonders of Wildlife" Volunteer Training Offered
CONCORD, N.H. -- If you enjoy learning about wildlife, enjoy young people and can volunteer during the day, consider becoming a Wonders of Wildlife (WOW) educator for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. By becoming a WOW docent, volunteers have the opportunity to present programs about the state's wildlife in elementary school classrooms. Starting this year, the training for new WOW volunteers is being held jointly with training for Community Tree Stewards and Earth Team Natural Resource Volunteers, programs coordinated by UNH Cooperative Extension Service.
Training courses (11 sessions) for new volunteers will begin in early September in their choice of two locations: either the Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth, from September 5 - November 14, 2006; or the Hillsborough County Complex in Goffstown from September 7 - November 16, 2006. Classes meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., with optional Friday field days. A $50 course fee includes an extensive resource guide. Some scholarships are available, as is college credit through UNH. After the training ends in November, those deciding to become trained WOW docents for Fish and Game will have some additional training in January.
To sign up for the training, click here to visit http://extension.unh.edu/Forestry/FORCTS.htm, where you can print out a Community Tree Steward volunteer application (filling this out is also the first step in signing up to be a WOW volunteer). A detailed course listing is also posted at this site. For more information, contact Pam Doherty, UNH Cooperative Extension -- email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (603) 629-9494, ext. 120.
"By teaming with Cooperative Extension, we can offer more extensive training for our docents," said Dr. Judith Silverberg, Wildlife Education Coordinator for Fish and Game. "WOW is a great way to get involved with natural resource education. Learning firsthand from wildlife biologists and other experts prepares our volunteer docents to be effective environmental educators."
Trained WOW docents travel to schools or organized
youth groups to present programs focusing on New Hampshire wildlife and
endangered species, aquatic ecology and wetlands. Being a docent requires
a long-term commitment. WOW volunteers get specialized training covering
topics including wildlife habitat and restoration program, tree identification,
map interpretation, soils, watersheds and water quality and sustainable
landscaping. These sessions give participants a comprehensive background
in natural resources.
After the training is complete, WOW volunteers commit to providing at least 48 volunteer hours of natural resource education over the following two school years, delivering programs to schoolchildren or organized youth groups. Both the training sessions and volunteer hours take place during daytime hours.
Natural resource training is sponsored by the UNH Cooperative Extension, the New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands, the U.S. Forest Service and N.H. Fish and Game, in partnership with the Natural Resource Conservation Service and Conservation Districts.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.
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