Great Field Guides for Young and Old (page 2)

By and — Nature Deficit Disorder Special Edition Contributor
Updated on May 17, 2010

For Everyone:

Nature journaling hones observation skills. If you are out and about and discover yourself without a field guide handy, jot observations down in a nature journal to try to identify the species later at home. For those of you who want to actively encourage literacy skills as well as observation and identification, we suggest My Nature Journal: A personal nature guide for young people by Adrienne Olmstead (2000, Quality Books Inc.). This hardback book is the perfect tool for nurturing a child's innate curiosity about the natural world and makes a ‘consumable’ keepsake that provides prompts and ideas for study and is excellent for family outings and backyard discovery. Easy to follow and fun! The book becomes a personal creation where children record their thoughts, feelings, and discoveries.

Online Nature Guides We Recommend:

eNature is filled with information and images of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, seashells, seashore creatures, spiders, insects, butterflies, wildflowers, and trees from the National Wildlife Federation. You can enter in your zip code and see what lives near you.
Nature Serve is an online encyclopedia of plants, animals, and ecosystems of the U.S. and Canada established by The Nature Conservancy.
Online Bird Guide from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology   provides images, sounds, and behaviors of birds, as well as tips to identify birds for beginners. Check out their online guide “Birding 1, 2, 3.”
BugGuide  can help you identify nearly any insect by species name, image, or shape. You can also upload images to be identified by experts.
Butterflies and Moths of North America  is a searchable database of butterfly and moth records in the United States and Mexico. Follow the link for “The Children’s Butterfly Website” to find coloring pages and species stories.

The nature resources page of Richard Louv's website  is full of good suggestions of books and field guides for parents and adults to use with kids' explorations of the outdoors.

Cindi Smith-Walters holds a PhD in Environmental Science, is professor of Biology at Middle Tennessee State University, and co-directs the MTSU Center for Environmental Education. Her interest in the environment and sharing outdoor experiences began as the oldest of four sisters growing up in rural Oklahoma and continues today with her husband, a forester, and her 15 year-old son, an aspiring Eagle Scout.  Karen Hargrove, MS, EdS, a life-long environmental educator, teaches in both formal and nonformal settings and is a past-president and current board member of the Tennessee Environmental Education Association. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Health and Human Performance at Middle Tennessee State University and enjoys all aspects of the out-of-doors, especially those she can share with her husband and two corgis.Hilary Hargrove holds a MS in Environmental Education, is president-elect of the Tennessee Environmental Education Association, and currently teaches environmental science at Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro, TN. Vera Vollbrecht has been involved in environmental education for over twenty years and holds a MS in Environmental Education.  She is the current president of the Tennessee Environmental Education Association, directs Warner Park Nature Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and in 2005 was awarded the TN Recreation and Parks Association’s Young Professional Award for her work with ‘young people’ of all ages.

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