Nature training attracts group leaders, teachers


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Posted: 1/11/2007


Teachers, 4-H agents, volunteers and other group leaders are among those who are invited to take part in a two-day facilitator training for people interested in conservation activities.

Mississippi State University's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is sponsoring the Leopold Education Project training Feb. 8-9 at the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge.

LEP is an environmental education program based on the writings of conservationist Aldo Leopold. The curriculum uses the essays from A Sand County Almanac to help students study the natural world and develop a love and respect for the land and its inhabitants. They also learn how to protect natural resources.

John Guyton, associate professor of wildlife and fisheries with MSU's Extension Service, said the activities target middle and high school students.

"There is a growing body of research that indicates this type of activity is useful in improving standardized test scores and getting children interested in nature," he said. "A popular school of thought is that many problems, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, childhood depression and obesity, originate from our detachment from nature. LEP is a step in reversing this trend and encourages children to explore and enjoy nature.

The workshop is free to the first 20 people who register, which is a value of more than $100. Participants will be responsible for their own meal and lodging costs. For an overview of the LEP curriculum, go online to

To register for the workshop or for more information, contact Guyton at or Jonathan Peeples at

Wildlife and Fisheries