Saturday, March 13, 2010

10 - OCVN Week 2

Our second class met at the old Bellbrook Ski Lodge now owned by the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Park District on Washington Mill Road in Bellbrook, OH. It brought back memories of my college days trying to learn to ski. The room was large and could hold all of us just fine. Ann Baird, from the OSU Extension Department who has a degree in biology, spoke to us on Watersheds. Ann presented a powerpoint show. Besides learning the definition of a watershed we learned that the unique geological formations in the western part of Ohio lend themselves to the creation of limestone, sand and gravel aquifers. (My drinking water comes from an aquifer in Butler County.) But Ann's main message was "It's All About the People." She is big into education and believes in reaching people by using examples that relate to their lives.

Ann gave us some handouts with pictures and labels of aquatic macroinvertebrate (creatures that live in streams like riffle beetle, mayfly, sowbug, crayfish, etc.) Then she distributed pictures but no labels and we had to identify the aquatic life. It was a bit challenging for me to identify some of the worms and snails. They all looked alike! But at least now I have the answers. We also learned what makes streams healthy and unhealthy and were given a handout called Water Canaries and another called Stream Study: Sample Record and Assessment. Now, by gathering water and looking at the life in it, I'll be able to determine if the water quality is excellent, good, or poor.

We ate lunch and some people went outside to the picnic tables. After lunch Betty Wingerter, the OSU County Director and 4H Educator, spoke on how to do a Hands-On Presentation. Then we divided into pairs and worked on presenting a brief two-minute presentation to the class. Several groups actually gave their presentations and the class critiqued them. Betty also gave us two handouts: Back To Nature, with several games and learning activites as well as web links, and Sharing Nature Activities for Families and Youth Groups. All good stuff for future volunteer naturalists. And we did go outside and play one of the games - Blind Eagle.

Near the end of the day, we dropped our names into a fishbowl. Betty drew names in pairs to see who would partner up for our fifteen minute presentation which is required for all OCVNs the last day of class - Week 12. My partner is Julia and I couldn't be happier. She is working on a M.Sc. degree at Wright State University. How lucky is that - I'm old, she's young, my brain is deteriorating, hers hasn't peaked yet. We were given time to meet, discuss a topic for presentation, determine an age group, what format/props we want to use, etc. Then class was over. Another day during the set of 10 - so far no casualties.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds interesting! Your brain must be in pretty good shape to remember everything from class well enough to write about it like you do!