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Young Macs leader heads to Minnesota

I was one of two Ontarians who travelled to the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus in August to learn how to use Monarch butterflies as a teaching tool. Karen Oberhauser is the professor behind the program “Monarchs in the Classroom,” a fabulous curriculum resource for teachers in the United States. Teachers learn how to care for and raise Monarchs from eggs to adults, and how to get students involved in the process.

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I was one of two Ontarians who travelled to the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus in August to learn how to use Monarch butterflies as a teaching tool. Karen Oberhauser is the professor behind the program “Monarchs in the Classroom,” a fabulous curriculum resource for teachers in the United States. Teachers learn how to care for and raise Monarchs from eggs to adults, and how to get students involved in the process.

Ontario Nature asked me and the other Ontario participant to attend, not because we are teachers, but because the United States Forest Service, which was running the event, is planning a Monarch Flyway throughout North America. There were participants from Mexico and several eastern U.S. states. As a representative of Ontario Nature and member clubs in the Nature Network, I will be creating a program for the Young Macnamaras of the Macnamara Field Naturalists’ Club that can be transferred to clubs around the province.

In only two and half days, I learned how to identify the age of Monarch larvae, how to tell a male from a female, and how to hone my observation skills.  Workshop leaders provided all the needed resources, including my very own “pooter,” which is a great container for collecting insects without having to handle them. The whole experience provided great information to benefit my Club and other field naturalist clubs across Ontario.