26 February 2013

Seek and Report

Fulfillment is doing what you love and having it make a contribution to the world.

For bird-watchers, doing what they love is pretty easy because birds usually aren't too far away. However, technology is even making it easier to find birds, and that same technology is providing birders with a chance to add to science by reporting their sightings.

BirdsEye is a bird-watching app for Android, iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. It is the work of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and is dedicated to providing birders with resources that help them do what they love. Through the lab's eBird program, which collects information about bird sightings around the world, BirdsEye allows bird-watchers to find places where birds are congregating. Birders who want to share their sightings can purchase the BirdsEye companion app, BirdLog.

For more information on these apps click here and discover the potential of using and contributing to the science of bird-watching.

23 February 2013

Classroom Environment

Schools give us a lot, but we often forget that we can bring a lot to our schools in return.

Looking back, school gave me many great opportunities to learn about and experience the environment. This was particularly true from kindergarten through middle school. However, it never occurred to me then that I might help improve my school's environmental connection.

This year, students in K-12 will have that chance. Global Green USA is giving students the opportunity to enter its Green School Makeover Competition, in which students propose projects that will help their schools become healthier and more environmentally friendly. Projects include energy-efficiency upgrades, reduction of water use, and minimization of waste. The winning proposal will receive $75,000 in funding. For more information about the competition, click here.

By empowering students to make a difference at their schools, the project takes learning to a whole new level, and in the process, it benefits the environment.

20 February 2013

Slam Dunk

Connecting with nature and playing sports are great ways of improving our health, but our sports can also improve the health of some of nature's other creatures.

As I have discussed many times before, a lot of my time growing up involved experiences of nature. However, another major part of my early life involved sports, so it makes sense that the following video of a sea otter playing basketball to live a healthier life at a zoo in Oregon leaves me with a smile:

Because sea otters are known for their intelligence and playfulness, I think this idea is a great form of enrichment for Eddie and represents the perfect mix of human and nature.

Eddie's certainly got game.

17 February 2013

Fun Facts

Science lights up my brain. It always has.

I remember feeling enthralled by scientific facts as a child. To me, they were like the pieces of some great story that I could put into place. At the time, most of that information came from books, videos, or television shows about nature. However, with increases in digital media, children are finding new ways of collecting science facts.

Recently, the National Wildlife Federation reviewed several apps that help children learn facts about animals.

These apps are enough to make me want to learn this stuff all over again--not that I ever needed extra incentive to listen to the stories told by science facts.

11 February 2013

Love in the Open Air

It may be my Finnish roots, but I think cross-country skiing would make a great activity for a date.

That is the thought I had today after reading about some outdoor date ideas from Tales from a Mountain Mama (Family). The site focuses on ideas for interacting with nature as a family. It also contains reviews of products that can make those experiences better.

One of my goals is to learn to cross-country ski, and I think that kind of skiing would make for a unique shared experience of the outdoors with someone.

Talk about putting a Nordic spin on romance.