Educator Workshops

Immerse yourself in hands-on, field based, inquiry learning at the 20,000 acre 
Edge of Appalachia Preserve System!

Sponsored by Cincinnati Museum Center, the Educators at the Edge program will provide participants with experiential learning opportunities. Topics focused on natural history will be explored and new skills to be used in the classroom will be gained. These exciting classes are open to classroom teachers, naturalists, and other non-traditional educators. Graduate credit through Ashland University is available as well as up to 45 contact hours.

The Richard and Lucile Durrell Edge of Appalachia Preserve System is a 20,000 acre nature preserve located in beautiful Adams County, Ohio. The preserve is owned and managed by Cincinnati Museum Center and The Nature Conservancy in Ohio. Both of these private non-profit organizations have been working in partnership to conserve the rare and unusual flora and fauna of Adams County since 1959.

Series 3 Classes:
Fall 2017 and Spring 2018

FacilitatorRobyn Wright-Strauss, Chief Naturalist, Edge of Appalachia Preserve

Can’t See the Forest for the Trees - November 8, 2017          
Can a mere tree be used to teach not only science, but math, social studies and language arts? You bet! Discover how useful (and inspiring) trees can be for educators and their students. Learn how to identify common trees and explore their inner workings. See how soil types, slope and aspect affect trees. Investigate ways that trees are measured and monitored for their growth and understand how to interpret a tree’s history by how it grows. This field-based workshop will introduce participants to a myriad of ways to incorporate trees into school curricula. 

Natural History 101 - November 15, 2017            
In a world where more and more children are growing up not knowing where an acorn comes from or the difference between a conifer and deciduous tree, it is more important than ever to make sure educators are teaching natural history topics correctly. This workshop will focus on the basics of natural history and provide a solid foundation from which nature studies and explorations can be built. Participants will also bust some common nature myths and explore misconceptions that students harbor when it comes to the natural sciences. Topics for this workshop will include but are not limited to, life cycles, habitats, adaptations, nature myths, and classification.

Endangered Animals in Your Backyard - November 20, 2017
Allegheny Wood Rat, Green Salamander, Uhler’s Sundragon, Ohio Pigtoe. Ever heard of any of these animals? These are all endangered species here in Ohio. This exciting workshop will focus on endangered animals that live close to home. Discover who they are, how they live, and why they are so rare. Learn what efforts are taking place to conserve these species and what more can be done. Participants will enjoy ample field time exploring the habitats of some of these rare animals.

Lichens - March 7, 2018
Found in all habitats and on all seven continents of the planet, including Antarctica, lichens are an overlooked yet integral component of the world’s ecosystems. As a part of many different systems and cycles including food webs and the nitrogen cycle, lichens role as an organism cannot be touted enough. Lichens are also important indicators of environmental health and have been used to monitor air pollution. Finally, cultural connections to lichens from around the world make for an interesting study on how humans are influenced by the natural world. 

Natural History 201 - March 14, 2018
Building upon what was learned during Natural History 101, participants will take their nature knowledge to the next level. An introduction to Ohio’s geologic history will give workshop participants a foundation for their nature studies. The use of dichotomous keys is not only crucial for basic identification of organisms, but can be an integral part of inquiry based learning. Using common field tools, becoming good observers, and learning how to encourage students to ask open ended, testable questions are skills that will become invaluable for students eager to learn for about nature. This in-depth workshop will provide educators with a deeper understanding of natural history topics which will enhance student’s learning experience.

Vernal Pools - March 21, 2018 
Spotted salamanders, wood frogs, aquatic insects, and elusive fairy shrimp. What do all these animals have in common? These animals rely on fishless, often temporary bodies of water known as vernal pools. These are special and mysterious places where explosive breeding, unique life cycles, and amazing feats of survival take place. The pools themselves undergo seasonal changes and are perfect places to observe cycles and patterns in nature. Journey to and investigate vernal pools in Adams County on the Edge of Appalachia Preserve System and learn how to integrate these fascinating habitats into your curriculum! 

To request a registration form, please email