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. Explore topics focued on natural history while gaining new skills to be used in the classroom. 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 4 Classes:
Summer 2018 through Spring 2019

Prairies: The ABCs of XLPs
July 13, 2018
Edge of Appalachia Preserve System – Eulett Center
Nestled in a finger of the Interior Low Plateau is one of the most unique habitats found in Ohio. Xeric Limestone Prairies (XLPs), are dry grassland habitats on shallow, alkaline soils. Home to tall grasses, interesting wildflowers and a variety of animals, these prairies are incredible places to explore, observe, and investigate the natural world. Participants will study both biotic and abiotic aspects of XLPs by engaging in field-based inquiry techniques and participate in a simulated field study of a prairie which can be used right inside the classroom.  

Insect Investigations
August 3, 2018
Edge of Appalachia Preserve System – Eulett Center
Insects make up the largest group of animals on Earth. For many people an insect is something to step on, swat at, or spray with insecticides. However, insects are truly remarkable animals worthy of a closer look and in-depth study. Insects occupy every niche on the planet and are found on every continent. This workshop will focus on identification, collecting/preserving, life cycles, symbiotic relationships, and invasive species. Ample field time, access to preserved specimens, and lots of hands-on activities will make this workshop “fly” by!

Cross Curriculum Classroom Pets
November 8, 2018
Edge of Appalachia Preserve System – Eulett Center
Guest Instructor: Marcey Shafer, Educational Services Coordinator, Fairfield County Park District
Live education animals and classroom pets bring educators an abundance of opportunities to integrate that animal into school curriculum. While traditional animals such as reptiles and mammals are fine choices, discover a wider world of interesting animals such as arthropods, segmented worms, and mollusks. Animals in these groups make for amazing study subjects and fascinating organisms to observe. In this workshop participants will investigate the merits of different organisms as education animals including but not limited to stick insects, hissing cockroaches, caterpillars, and millipedes. Live examples of several kinds of animals and field time for study of appropriate collection methods will be part of the day. Care and maintenance, lesson plans, laws, and ethics will all be incorporated into this exciting workshop!

Geology of Ohio

March 7, 2019
Edge of Appalachia Preserve System – Eulett Center
Guest Instructor: Steve McKee, Retired Director, Gorman Nature Center
Journey hundreds of millions of years into the past and discover the many stories Ohio’s geology has to tell. From alien looking creatures in ancient seas, continents crashing into each other, and icy glaciers advancing and retreating, there are many facets to what’s underneath our feet. Some concepts such as deep time and the rock cycle can be difficult for students to grasp, while others like weathering, erosion and deposition are confusing. Sorting out the different kinds of rocks and describing their characteristics can also be challenging. Enhance your students’ learning by experiencing the geological wonders of Ohio through hands-on activities with fossils, maps, and more!

Mammals of Ohio
March 14, 2019
Edge of Appalachia Preserve System – Eulett Center
Less than 3% of the world’s animals are vertebrates and of those, mammals are one of the smallest groups. Despite these statistics, mammals fascinate and engage people (being of the same class) of all ages. With 53 different species of mammals in Ohio, there are ample opportunities for discovery inside and outside the classroom. With plenty of inquiry-based activities for elementary and high school students, this workshop will study Ohio’s mammals in a variety of ways. Participants will explore identification techniques, investigate the use of trail cameras, and learn about the environmental and historical significance of North America’s largest rodent, the beaver.

World of Seven Billion
March 21, 2019
Edge of Appalachia Preserve System – Eulett Center
Guest Instructor: Cathy Knoop, National Trainer for Population Education

During this class, discover how to help students understand the ways that population, resources, and the environment are interrelated.  Amazing, hands-on materials from Population Connection, will equip you with age appropriate activities related to your subject area.  This nationally recognized curriculum is aligned to National Standards and can be used cross-curriculum.  Each participant will receive a CD of 60 activities, as well as other materials that can be used with their students.

Series 5 Classes:
Summer 2019 through Spring 2020

Biodiversity of Ohio Brush Creek – Friday, June 21, 2019
Guest Instructor – Kelly Capuzzi, Ohio EPA
Spend a day exploring the abundant and fascinating aquatic wildlife of Ohio Brush Creek. The main stem of Ohio Brush Creek has been designated an Exceptional Warm Water Habitat by the Ohio EPA and is an exciting place to study. From tiny bryazoa to prehistoric looking snapping turtles, participants in this workshop will be able to experience a wide range of aquatic life. In-depth studies of macro invertebrates, freshwater mussels, and fish will enhance participants’ understanding of the stream system.

Woody Plants ID – Monday, June 24, 2019
This intensive workshop will help participants strengthen their identification skills of trees, shrubs, and woody vines. The incredibly high diversity of plants on the Edge of Appalachia Preserve creates the perfect outdoor laboratory to study a wide variety of species. Beginning with the basics of identifying trees and shrubs this workshop will build in difficulty throughout the day. The afternoon will provide participants the opportunity to work at their own skill level with members of the EOA staff.

Avian Adventures – Thursday, November 7, 2019
Colorful feathers, beautiful songs, and a variety of interesting behaviors make birds an easy way to incorporate natural history into all aspects of curriculum. Participants will have the opportunity to strengthen their birding skills while searching for birds by sight and sounds on the Edge of Appalachia Preserve. Inquiry based activities about birds and their adaptations, information on migration, citizen science projects will all be part of this engaging workshop.

Nature Investigations in Lab and Field – Thursday, November 21, 2019
This activity filled workshop will show participants many different kinds of nature-inspired science investigations. All are scalable to accommodate different grade levels and abilities. Learning how a simple hand-lens can reveal unknown worlds, solving mysteries using geologic principals, and mapping life on a tree are just some of the interesting and captivating investigations participants will take part in.

Pioneering Ecologist, Dr. E Lucy Braun – Thursday, March 12, 2020
Guest Instructor – Cathy Knoop, Experiential Educator
This workshop will introduce E. Lucy Braun and her legacy through the excellent documentary film, A Force for Nature, Lucy Braun. Attaining a Ph.D. in botany in 1914, Dr. Braun went on to be one of the nation’s foremost plant ecologists, and her research in southern Ohio and eastern Kentucky led her to be a fierce advocate for the preservation of natural areas, including what is now known as the Edge of Appalachia Preserve System. Complementing the film, inquiry based lesson plans have been developed for upper elementary grades through high school. All academic subjects are incorporated into the lessons which focus on topics such as, women in science, plant based field research, record trees, conservation and so much more.

Wonderful World of Lichens – Thursday, March 19, 2020

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. 

To request a registration form, please email