Linda R.F. Zaletel, project co-coordinator, has worked in
environmental education for over 27 years with special interest in early
childhood education. She works for Story County Conservation and has developed
and taught a pre-k nature camp in the summer called “Polliwogs” for 11 years.
Through her ideas a REAP-CEP funded project was developed called “Nature Boxes
for Early Childhood Educators.” This grant is still in use in Story County
Conservation educational programs. The nature box program was presented at the
National Association for Interpretation workshop in Tucson AZ, 2000, Des
Moines, IA 2002, at ICEC’s Winter Solstice, fall workshop at Strawberry Point,
and to Iowa State University’s childcare workshops. Recently an article by
Zaletel entitled “Naturalist in a Box” was published in the National
Association for Interpretation “Legacy” magazine in 2003.
B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology, Iowa State University
Current president of the Iowa Association of Naturalists (IAN)
Serves as the (IAN) representative on the REAP-CEP board
1999 Olav Smedal Conservation Award recipient (with husband Hank)
Past board member for CharACTer Nevada – Character Counts!™ organization
Board member Youth & Shelter Services of Easter Story County
Wendy Zohrer , project co-coordinator, has been involved in the
field of environmental education and natural resource interpretation for 30
years. Since incorporating in 1998, E Resources Group (ERG) has been a leader
in developing environmental education materials, workshops, and long distance
learning programs. ERG has developed materials and/or programs for the
following organizations/groups: Iowa Public Television, Iowa Department of
Natural Resources, Iowa Conservation Education Council, National Association
for Interpretation, and Minnesota River Scenic Byway. E Resources Group
received the 1999 National Association for Interpretation’s award for
curriculum development of “Prairie Connections” for Iowa Public Television.
B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology, Iowa State University
Currently Executive Director for the Iowa Conservation Education Council and
co-founder for E Resources Group
Project coordinator for “Toddling on the Wild Side.”
Has worked for Northern Trails Area Education Agency, Iowa Department of
Natural Resources, Muscatine and Polk County Conservation Boards, Clear Lake
and West Des Moines community school districts, and E Resources Group.
Ginny Malcomson , project manager, has been working in
environmental education for 10 years and specializes in early childhood
education. She has assisted in the development of an early childhood series for
Polk County Conservation Board and has been one of two key naturalists
implementing the program for 7 years. She has had additional professional
training in “Early Childhood and EE” at three National Association for
Interpretation national workshops in Syracuse, NY, Tucson, AZ and Des Moines,
IA. She has been a subcontractor for E Resources Group for three years and is
project manager for “Toddling on the Wild Side.”
B.S. in Animal Ecology with an emphasis in Nature Interpretation and B.A. in
Secondary Education certified in General Science and Biology, Iowa State
Park Ranger, with the US Army Corps of Engineers at Saylorville Lake Project.
Responsibilities included environmental education with visiting school groups
and park visitors, visitor center supervision, publications for visitor use,
recording the “voice of Saylorville Lake,” created slide show on prairie for
use at visitor center.
Naturalist for Polk County Conservation Board, 1995-present. Responsibilities
include environmental education for preschoolers through senior citizens, press
releases, kiosk, new program development, coordinate nature tots (3 yr-old) and
nature friends (4-5 yr-olds) programs, develop new education programs.
Project manager and co-founder for “Toddling on the Wild Side” and “Gardening
on the Wild Side”
Subcontractor for Iowa Conservation Education Council and E Resources Group
We would like to acknowledge the following County Conservation Boards that
Linn County Conservation Board
Marshall County Conservation Board
Polk County Conservation Board
Story County Conservation Board
Warren County Conservation Board
Woodbury County Conservation Board
We wish to thank the KinderNature advisors, Lisa Thom, Luella Kalvig, Donna
Kennebeck, and Sandy Dittmer for their time and effort.
Thank you also Thresea Kruid for many of the snack ideas.
Thank you to Iowa Public Television, Iowa Communication Network (ICN) for their
support in training early childhood educators, and interest in the environment!
THANKS TO WEBMASTER MATT WHO MADE ALL THIS WORK!
Thank you to the Iowa Association for the Education of Young Child ( Iowa
AEYC) for their knowledge and their support of this project!
Thank you to the Resource Enhancement and Protection Conservation Education
Program (REAP-CEP) for their continued support of environmental education. The
conservation education program serves Iowa citizens by providing effective
curricula, program materials and educator stipends to increase environmental
awareness and enhance understanding of stewardship and enhance natural
resources. Thanks to all citizens that buy REAP License plates!
The Iowa REAP-CEP is partially funded by proceeds from the sale of these
special license plates that commemorate the state’s nature resources.
Another thank you to Natural Wonders: A Guide to Early Childhood for
Environmental Educator prepared by Minnesota Early
Childhood Environmental Education Consortium, Marcie Oltman; Helen Bartee,
Fontenelle Forest; Children’s Museum – Minneapolis; Julie Miller, Heidi Skiba
and other leaders in the field of Environmental Education and Early Childhood
To a job well done: Ginny Malcomson, Linda Zaletel and Wendy Zohrer, what a
Thank you to Jim; Rob and Lauren; Hank, Anne and Libby for their loving support.
A special acknowledgement to Betty and Russ Ford, Isabel Wasson, Marlyn Smith
for their inspiration.
In remembrance of Rachel Carson and her book TheSense of Wonder….we
hope this website will encourage each of you to find that “sense of wonder” in
your classrooms and sites.