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U.S. Fish and Wildlife's Virtually Wild Program

Register for Virtually Wild Videoconference sesssions herehttps://goo.gl/forms/zymCKyFBjqU47lCu2
 
When Wildlife Needs a Doctor
Each year the Wildlife Center of Texas (located in Houston) takes in thousands of injured mammals, birds, and other wild creatures. Their goal is to rehabilitate these creatures so they can go back to living in the wild where they belong. This Virtually Wild! Texas experience will introduce students to the work of wildlife rehabilitators and the challenges and rewards of working with injured wildlife. Students will have an opportunity to engage with some of the center’s current patients and ambassador species, including some beautiful native birds of Texas whose significant injuries prevent them from ever being released.
 
Location: Wildlife Center of Texas, Houston, TX
Provider: The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Houston Community Partnerships and Engagement Program, Wildlife Center of Texas, Student Conservation Association
Date: Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Session 1:  9 am – 9:45 am
Session 2: 10 am – 10:45 am
Cost: Free
Grade Levels: This program is planned at a 4th grade level, but students of all ages will gain useful vocabulary and an understanding of how watersheds help both people and wildlife, from Houston all the way to the ocean.
TEKS: Science: Grade 3 - 9A,C, Grade 4 - 10C, Grade 5 - 9A
Social Studies: Grade 4 - 7B, 9C
 

Monarchs on the Move!
Each fall thousands of monarch butterflies make their way through Texas on the way to their overwintering grounds in México. They depend on large grasslands (like prairies), suburban backyard gardens, and even pocket prairies in large cities in order to fuel up on energy-rich nectar and provide milkweed for their young. Students will learn about the biology of this iconic butterfly species, their migration, and what they can do to help them on their journey.  
Location: UT MD Anderson Cancer Center pocket prairie
Provider: The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Houston Community Partnerships and Engagement Program, Katy Prairie Conservancy, Student Conservation Association
Date: October 3, 2018
Session 1:  9 am – 9:45 am
Session 2: 10 am – 10:45 am
Grade Levels: This program is planned at a 4th grade level, but students of all ages will gain useful vocabulary and an understanding of how watersheds help both people and wildlife, from Houston all the way to the ocean.
TEKS: 
Science Grade 3 - 9A, C, Grade 4 - 10C, Grade 5 - 9A
Social Studies Grade 4 - 7B, 9C
 

Black Bears Return to Texas

The black bear (Ursus americanus) was once widespread throughout the Lone Star State. Habitat loss, hunting, and other pressures have eliminated most Texas black bears. Yet, the population is growing once again. This return can positively impact native ecosystems but can also cause fear and concern. Learn about the ecology and life habitats of these fascinating creatures, how and where they are rebounding, and what Texans are doing to help the black bear. We will have an expert on hand from the Texas Black Bear Alliance to answer any questions your students have and to provide up to date information.
 
Provider: Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Houston Urban Program, and Texas Black Bear Alliance.
Date: October 24, 2018
Length: 45 minutes
Session 1:  9 am – 9:45 am
Session 2: 10 am – 10:45 am
Cost: Free
Grade Levels: 2nd-5th
TEKS:
Science: Grade 2 - 9A,B,C;  Grade 3 - 9A,C;  Grade 4 - 10A, Grade 5 - 9A;  Grade 5 - 9A,B,C
Social Studies:  Grade 4 - 9A,C; Grade 5 - 9A,B
 

Burning Habitat to Help Wildlife
Sometimes one of the most important things you do to help wildlife is to burn their habitat. Prescribed burning is a very important tool used by land managers and biologists. It is also a very important tool used to prevent wild fires. Join members of the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s wildland fire crew to hear about the tools they use and the challenges they face on a fire. Students will learn about the profession and the role of fire in maintaining grasslands for the benefit of wildlife.
 
Provider:  Katy Prairie Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Houston Community Partnerships and Engagement Program, and Balcones Canyonlands Wildland Firefighter Crew
Date: November 28, 2018
Length: 45 minutes
Session 1:  9 am – 9:45 am
Session 2: 10 am – 10:45 am
Cost: Free
Grade Levels: This program is most appropriate for grades 3-8
TEKS:
Science Grade 3 - 9A,C, Grade 4 - 10C, Grade 5 - 9A
Social Studies Grade 4 - 7B, 9C
 

Saving Our Wild City Birds

Houston Audubon’s Sims Bayou Nature Sanctuary serves as a home for urban wild birds and as an educational destination. Learners will be introduced to some of the nature center’s education birds (owls and hawks), what they can do to make their homes more bird friendly, and how Houston Audubon works to make the world a better place for our feathered friends.
 
Location: Sims Bayou Nature Center, Houston, TX
Provider: Katy Prairie Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Houston Community Partnerships and Engagement Program, Houston Wilderness and Houston Audubon Society.
Date: December 5, 2018
Length: 45 minutes
Session 1:  9 am – 9:45 am
Session 2: 10 am – 10:45 am
Cost: Free
Grade Levels: This program is planned at a 4th grade level, but students of all ages will gain useful vocabulary and an understanding of how watersheds help both people and wildlife, from Houston all the way to the ocean.
TEKS:
Science: Grade 3 - 9A,C, Grade 4 - 10A, Grade 5 - 9A
Social Studies: Grade 4 - 9C
 


The following are planned events for 2019 that have not been scheduled as of yet. 



 

Not On My Watch! Wildlife Inspectors Working for Wildlife and You
Wildlife inspectors are the nation’s front-line defense against the illegal wildlife trade. They enforce the laws that protect wildlife like elephants, rhinos, sea turtles and even sea horses. Inspectors need to know the law as well be able to identify thousands of different species of wildlife. They use a variety of tools to find animals that are often hidden in cargo shipments, clothing -- some that are even smuggled in suitcases and handbags. Meet two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife inspectors and Dutton, the wildlife protecting dog! They are working to protect wildlife at the Houston airport and can let you know how you can help.
 
Location: Live from George Bush Intercontinental Airport
Provider: Katy Prairie Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Houston Community Partnerships and Engagement Program
Date: TBD
Length: 45 minutes
Session 1:  9 am – 9:45 am
Session 2: 10 am – 10:45 am
Cost: Free
Grade Levels: This program is planned at a 4th grade level, but students of all ages will gain useful vocabulary and an understanding of how wildlife laws and their enforcement help both people and wildlife in Houston and around the world.
TEKS:
Science Grade 3 - 9A, C, Grade 4 - 10C, Grade 5 - 9A
Social Studies Grade 4 - 7B, 9C
 

Saving a Rare Texas Woodpecker From Extinction
Scientists across the southeastern United States are fighting to save the red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) from extinction. Once common in east Texas, this bird survives in small groups on only a handful of preserves. Learn about this magnificent, colorful bird and how biologists are managing the land to improve the woodpecker’s habitat.  Meet the scientists who use technology and tree-climbing skills to monitor nests and learn how you can find a career in conservation.
 
This program will be delivered live from the field at W. Goodrich Jones State Forest near Conroe, TX, one of the nation’s largest working urban forests. The primary purpose of this forest is resource education. Sound scientific forest management that protects and perpetuates native flora and fauna is practiced. Demonstration and research areas have been installed to test various forest management techniques, forest genetics, and forest product utilization studies.
 
Location: Jones State Forest, Conroe, TX
Provider:  Katy Prairie Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Houston Community Partnerships and Engagement Program, Jones State Forest
Date: TBD
Length: 45 minutes
Session 1:  9 am – 9:45 am
Session 2: 10 am – 10:45 am
Cost: Free.
Grade Levels: 2nd-5th
TEKS:
Science:  Grade 2 - 9A,B,C;  Grade 3 - 9A,C;  Grade 4 - 10A;  Grade 5 - 9A,B,C
Social Studies:  Grade 5 - 9A,B; Grade 4 - 9A,C
 
 

We’re Built for This!: Reptile Adaptations and Why They Matter
What is an adaptation and how do adaptations enable an organism to survive and flourish in its environment?  Can adaptive behaviors protect an animal?  How can a snake swallow prey larger than its head?  These and more questions will be answered as we closely examine and interact with live alligators, snakes, and turtles. You will learn how these species have adapted to be successful in their environment.

This program will take place on Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, home to these critters and many others! The 44,000-acre refuge is comprised of freshwater sloughs that wind through salt marshes, woody thickets and prairie. It’s a great place to see, enjoy and learn about nature.
 
Provider: Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC) and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Houston Community Partnerships and Engagement Program, and Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge
Date: TBD
Length: 45 minutes
Session 1: 9:00 am – 9:45 am
Session 2: 10:00 am – 10:45 am
Cost: Free
TEKS:
Science: Grade 2 - 9A,B,C; Grade 3 - 9A,C; Grade 4 - 10A, Grade 5 - 9A;  Grade 5 - 9A,B,C
Social Studies: Grade 4 - 9A,C; Grade 5 - 9A
 

Frogs Alive - A Wild Field Trip with Local Amphibians
Each spring the wetlands, woods, and prairies of southeast Texas come to life with the sounds of local frogs and toads. Our area is particularly rich with amphibian life hosting over 26 species. Join wildlife conservationist Jaime González and learn about amphibian communication, metamorphosis, and conservation. Students will also learn where and when to search near their homes for these charismatic creatures.
 
Location: Region 4 Educational Resource Center, Houston, TX
Provider: Katy Prairie Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Houston Community Partnerships and Engagement Program, Houston Wilderness
Dates: TBD
Session 1: 9:00 am – 9:45 am
Session 2: 10:00 am – 10:45 am
Cost: Free
Grade Levels: This program is planned at a 4th grade level, but students of all ages will gain useful vocabulary and an understanding of how watersheds help both people and wildlife, from Houston all the way to the ocean.
TEKS:
Science: Grade 3 - 9A,C, Grade 4 - 10A, Grade 5 - 9A
Social Studies: Grade 4 - 9C
 

 

 
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