Spieles Designs and Leads Two Summer Outreach Programs

In June and July of 2001 Beth Spieles, Environmental Information Officer, designed and led two interpretive programs for Southwest Minnesota residents.

On Sunday, June 24, at the Garvin Park Open House, Spieles sponsored a "water history chain" activity for youth. Hundreds of people attended the open house, and as many as 60 children took time out to make a chain. Based on a Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) activity, participating youth pretended they were each a water droplet traveling through space and time in southwestern Minnesota. As they stopped at various stations (rivers, clouds, glaciers, ground water, etc.), they read about the region's history and added a bead to their chain. Parents either assisted or flipped through the Center's books to get their own taste of the region's rich cultural and natural history.

On Saturday July 7, Spieles presented a wildlife program at the Camden State Park amphitheater. After getting more than a dozen of the audience members involved in some Native American storytelling, she discussed the three main habitats found in southwestern Minnesota: upland prairie, wet prairie, and river corridor. Spieles continued by sharing what is known about the wildlife that have populated this region over the millennia and more specifically over the past 200 years. She drew on examples from the Rural and Regional Essays of Scott Anfinson and Janet Timmerman. With the aid of animal skins and skulls from the SMSU Natural History Museum and slides from various university collections, Spieles painted the picture of a regional wildlife community under constant change from external climatic forces and internal wildlife and human pressures.

Science and Technology 203
Southwest Minnesota State University
1501 State Street Marshall, MN 56258
Phone: (507) 537-6226
Fax: (507) 537-6147

Last updated: March 21, 2006