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YA Eco Mysteries, Memoirs, Novels & Travel

Environmental Education

Eco Mysteries and Earth Day

Celebrate Environmental Literature in the Time of Covid-19

Coincidence or Serendipity? Three historic events this April have coincided with a personal event that's meaningful to me and, hopeful, to my reader. This month marks the tenth anniversary of the BP oil spill, the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Wow! What are the chances of that happening? Could this be the universe reminding me of my passion for writing eco mysteries is important and should continue? I might also mention the strange coincidence of our stateroom # 1918, on our recent cruise to Antarctica, which coincided with the Spanish flue epidemic—and hinted at the Covid-19 pandemic. By sheer luck, the virus missed us, but infected the passengers on the next cruise—but that is a tale for another blog.
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How to Become a Citizen Scientist

Citizen Science Projects

When I began researching and writing my eco mystery series, The Adventures of The Sizzling Six, I did not fully anticipate the number of dedicated environmentalist I would meet along the way. I did not anticipate that I would encounter inspired and determined conservationists from all walks of life finding ways to protect the rich biodiversity of our state. Nor did I realize that had taken the first step toward becoming a citizen scientist.

Book Cover Piping Plover Eco Mystery

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Earth Day Migratory Bird Day

Helping Birds Along the Way

On a perfect spring day, citizens celebrated the first
International Migratory Bird Day at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ Earth Day festival. At the Media Mint Publishing Booth, visitors learned that birds fly thousands of miles from their wintering areas in South America and the Caribbean to their summer nesting sites in the United States and Canada. A Piping plover, for example, can travel over a 1,000 miles from the Caribbean to the breeding areas in northern United States and Canada.

Media Mint Publishing Earth Day Read More...

Women's Hall of Fame

Alabama Women's Hall of Fame
Our
midsummer jaunt with friends of the Cosmos Club began with a visit to The Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in Marion, Alabama, located on the historic campus of Judson College.
Visit to Judson College
Visit to Judson College, Alabama

As we stepped into the beautifully restored A. Howard Bean Hall, rows of
gleaming bronze plaques, honoring Alabama’s most outstanding women, welcomed us in. Pausing before the inscriptions on the plaques, we discovered the significant contributions each one of them have made to our state and nation. Read More...

Green Ribbon Schools Award

Alabama Green Ribbon Schools
On a day filled with sunshine, it was my pleasure and privilege to attend the celebration recognizing the three schools and a university as Alabama Green Ribbon Schools Award Winners for 2015.

Green Ribbon Shirely Farrell
Shirley Farrell, State Dept. of Education, with Liz Ellerson of E.A.T. South (Boris Datnow)

Congratulations to the winners:
Auburn University
Bluff Park Elementary School, Hoover City Schools 
Lincoln Elementary School, Talladega County Schools
Lincoln High School, Talladega County Schools Read More...

Connecting to Nature with Apps

Green Apps for Outdoor Classroom Adventures

If you are an environmental educator — teacher, nature guide, or parent— you will find this lesson plan,
Eco Detective Nature Hunt, exciting. In my Eco Mystery series, The Adventures of The Sizzling Six, six feisty teens solve an intriguing eco mystery in order to save an endangered species. Now students can create their own eco mysteries with the new “green” apps. These inspire kids to go outside and observe nature closely. In other words, outside time and screen time do not have to be mutually exclusive. Instead of battling to keep kids away from gadgets, why not use technology to encourage kids to explore outdoors? In this blog I outline a way to use nature-based apps that enhance kids’ experience outdoors, and then arouse their curiosity to learn more through reading and research. 

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Alabama Biodiversity in our Hands

EEAA Annual Conference Alabama’s Biodiversity: It’s in our Hands!

The theme selected for the 2015 EEAA Annual Conference, Alabama's Biodiversity: It's in Our Hands, could not be more stimulating and relevant. The presentations and field trips at the conference highlight our state’s amazing biodiversity.
Scot Duncan, author of Southern Wonder, will be the key note speaker. In addition, pre-conference, day-long workshops provide an overflowing cornucopia of resources for teachers, thanks to Shirley Farrell, Gifted Specialist, Alabama Department of Education. Read More...