Daily Archives: January 30, 2013

WICHITA WILD Job Opening for Division Supervisor – Naturalist

         Great Job Opening: Great Plains Nature Center in Wichita

Job Title: Division Supervisor – Naturalist
Closing Date/Time: Mon. 02/25/13 5:00 PM CST
Salary: $45,191.00 – $80,349.00 Annually
Job Type: Full-time
Location: Great Plains Nature Center, 6232 E. 29th Street North, Wichita, Kansas
URL: http://agency.governmentjobs.com/wichita/default.cfm?action=viewjob&JobID=589118

This is supervisory and professional work directing the WICHITAWILD program. This program involves preserving natural areas, providing nature education programs and activities, and maintaining the Kansas Wildlife Exhibit. Work is directed and reviewed through the establishment of goals and subsequent evaluation of progress toward goal attainment.

Required Experience and Training:
Graduation from a four-year college with a degree in biology, botany or a related natural science, plus one year of experience as a naturalist or environmental educator, plus three years supervisory experience. Two or more years experience as a naturalist or environmental educator is preferred. An equivalent combination of education, experience and training may be considered. Offers of employment are contingent upon passing a pre-employment physical, which includes drug screening, and upon satisfactory evaluation of the results of a criminal record check.
Examples of Work Performed:
Develops, implements, and supervises wildlife information/education materials.
Coordinates the schedules and activities of specialized nature workers.
Coordinates planning, development and maintenance of habitat areas, nature trails, and new nature facilities.
Promotes, develops, and presents special programs and other activities at the various habitat areas and nature trails.
Oversees design and development of interpretive displays as needed.
Provides information on natural areas, wildlife, and nature.
Coordinates projects and programs with appropriate agencies and organizations.
Monitors natural history features in the local area.

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Program to Host Spring Workshop

Registration opens for women’s outdoor skills workshop at Rock Springs 4-H Center

Becoming An Outdoors-Woman (BOW), a non-profit, non-membership program offered through the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), will host a spring workshop at Rock Springs 4-H Center nearJunction City, May 17-19. Aimed at teaching women outdoor skills, the workshop provides nearly 25 different classes ranging from shotgun basics and archery to photography and wood carving.

“It’s a great way for somebody to try new activities that maybe they’ve thought about, and never really had the courage to try,” said Kansas BOW coordinator Jami McCabe. “It’s a ton of fun.”

BOW has recruited a core of volunteer instructors, including KDWPT employees, law enforcement officials, and even past participants, all of whom are considered to be experts in their field. Since most participants are beginners, McCabe added that instructors strive to create a safe and supportive atmosphere for everyone in attendance.

Cost for the three-day workshop is $250, which includes lodging, meals and class supplies. Three $100 scholarships are available to first-time participants based on financial need.

Early registration will be open to first-time participants through March 1. If spots still remain, past participants may register beginning March 2. Applicants are encouraged to apply early as the spring workshop is limited to 48 participants. To register, visit www.ksoutdoors.com, click “Services/Education/Becoming an Outdoors Woman,” and download a registration form.

For questions, call or email McCabe at (785) 845-5052 or [email protected]. To learn more, and view pictures of past workshops, visit the BOW Facebook page found under “Becoming an Outdoors Woman KANSAS.”

Recess ‘Crucial’ for Kids, Pediatricians’ Group Says


ABC News Medical Unit

Kids aren’t getting enough recess at school, the country’s top pediatricians’ group said in a new policy statement released Monday.

The statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics is the latest salvo in the long-running debate over how much of a young child’s time at school should be devoted to academics — and how much should go to free, unstructured playtime.

The authors of the policy statement write that the AAP “believes that recess is a crucial and necessary component of a child’s development and, as such, it should not be withheld for punitive or academic reasons.”

“The AAP has, in recent years, tried to focus the attention of parents, school officials and policymakers on the fact that kids are losing their free play,” said the AAP’s Dr. Robert Murray, one of the lead authors of the statement. “We are overstructuring their day. … They lose that creative free play, which we think is so important.”

The statement, which cites two decades worth of scientific evidence, points to the various benefits of recess. While physical activity is among these, so too are some less obvious boons such as cognitive benefits, better attention during class, and enhanced social and emotional development.

Pediatricians not directly involved with the drafting of the statement applauded the AAP’s move to save recess.

“It fascinates me … that this continues to be a debate,” said Dr. Barrett Fromme, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Chicago. “The business world repeatedly lauds the corporate culture of companies like Google who offer opportunities for play and community collaboration, and suggests that such culture is the reason for the success and happiness of its employees. Yet, we do not encourage the same culture in our children who are at a far more critical developmental period.”

“This policy statement is not only important because of the physical, but also the cognitive ability of our children,” said Dr. Shari Barkin, director of the Division of General Pediatrics and of pediatric obesity research at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “This policy has created a thoughtful, comprehensive look at what is to be gained by coming back to an emphasis on physical activity and recess.”

Research Supports Benefits of Unstructured Playtime for Kids

A considerable body of research appears to support the AAP’s stand on the issue. Among this research is a study of 11,000 third-graders that appeared in the journal Pediatrics in 2009. This study found that kids who had little or no recess tended to behave worse in class and learn less than children who had at least 15 minutes of recess per day.

A 2009 Gallup poll of nearly 2,000 principals and other high-level administrators in the elementary school setting appeared to back up this finding; it found that more than eight in 10 principals believed that recess helped boost academic achievement.

“The science indicates that these kinds of breaks in the day for recess are necessary for cognitive processing,”Murray said.

Yet, various studies in recent years have revealed the erosion of this school staple. In most cases, research finds that elementary school children are getting some — but not much — unstructured recess time.

For example, according to 2005 numbers from the National Center for Education Statistics, only 7 to 13 percent of public elementary schools had no scheduled recess for children. From a relative standpoint, that’s the good news. But this same report also found that “the percentage of public elementary schools that had more than 30 minutes per day of recess ranged from 19 to 27 percent across elementary grades.”

Another study in 2005, published in the journal Childhood Education, found that up to 40 percent of the country’s school districts have either cut back recess or eliminated it in favor of additional academic activities.