Environment & Conservation

Fifth grade students begin their nature exploration hike during their Mighty Acorns field trip to Eggers Grove.

Spiders, Leaves, and Self: What Children Find Through Nature Exploration

“Millipedes! Look - Spiders! Roly Pollies! Eww! Cool! What is this!?” Almost out of breath, a group of nine fourth graders excitedly gather around a fallen tree, relentlessly exploring every aspect of it with magnifying glasses and their increasingly dirt-covered little hands. Barely a month into my AmeriCorps internship at the Field Museum and I was suddenly in charge of making sure that hundreds of elementary students were having meaningful and educational experiences in nature—something I had never been tasked with before.

From Alaska to Argentina: ReCycling through the Americas

Cyclists Yana Melamed and Vyacheslav (Slav) Stoyanov, who hail from Bulgaria, will call North and South America home for the next two years as they make an exceptional journey from Alaska to Argentina. Slav originally conceptualized their campaign, Cycle 4 Recycle, to highlight the impact humans have on the Earth. The pair will travel 60,000-kilometers (38,000 miles) by bicycle through 26 countries in (they hope) 731 days. On their way, they will experience climates ranging from the bitter cold of the mountains to the damp heat of the rainforests.

Born from the Ashes

You know that part in Game of Thrones where the dragon eggs hatch when they’re put in fire? This is like that, but with a super-endangered flower. Illinois’s only native wildflower, the Kankakee mallow, has been missing from this state for years—it was presumed extinct in its native habitat. But this year, Field Museum scientists and volunteers from the Friends of Langham Island group were able to bring it back. Their secret? Setting fire to the ground where the plants once lived.

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