Conservation Education On the Web

30 07 2008

All this talk about getting outside is not intended to bash technology. Obviously, I embrace a little technology in my life. Here are two noteworthy websites that allow children and adults to learn more about nature through the internet:

WolfQuest is a video game, free to download on your computer, that illustrates wolf behavior and biology. Hunt, search for mates, and fight other wolves in an addictive format that’s competitive with other video games on the market today. The game has a multiplayer option, and players can talk to wolf biologists online to discuss what they’re experiencing through the game.

Developed by EduWeb, the International Wolf Center and the Minnesota Zoo, WolfQuest was designed as an edutainment tool for children in more urban environments who might not be able to visit large expanses of wilderness and gain nature appreciation that way. So far, it’s been a big hit, especially with girls (an oddity in video game-land). That being said, it’s great for adults, too. You can design your own wolf, down to the fur color, and hunt by scent tracks. What’s not to love?

Wildlife University, run by The National Wildlife Federation, is a set of free online courses for those interested in helping the conservation cause from home. Courses range from endangered species and their legal protections to how to encourage wildlife in your backyard. I’m taking the Leading Communities to Conservation set of courses right now, and have already learned much about how I can contribute to society by using my personal abilities and interests. Courses are self-paced and include do-at-home exercises. Why not take some free education when you can get it?

Anyone have more websites to share for nature-minded folks?




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