Education

Field Trips

Bring your students to explore all the natural opportunities the Mississippi River has to offer!
Spiny Softshell Turtle Photo: Patricia Hagen
Education

Field Trips

Bring your students to explore all the natural opportunities the Mississippi River has to offer!

Audubon Eco-Learners Field Trips

The Audubon Center at Riverlands is a great place to bring your classroom, scouts or homeschoolers! The amount of wildlife opportunities the sanctuary offers is sure to excite and engage your students. We offer a variety of hands-on field trips that can easily be modified.

All programs are $3.00 per participant with teachers, group leaders, and chaperones being free. Program will go rain or shine (unless weather is life threatening) and all have an outdoor component. Most programs can be adapted for any age group or grade level, scout groups, homeschool, 4-H, etc. The programs on this list are suggestions. If there is a specific topic you would like to cover we can create a program to meet your needs. 

The Center is open from 8am-4pm seven days a week. Length of programs are highly flexible, but only take into consideration actual program facilitation and not bathroom use, loading and unloading of students. Please take this into account when scheduling your field trip, we want to have as much active time with your students and participants as possible.

**Chances of viewing wildlife are increased in the morning. Unfortunately we can't guarantee that you and your class will see specific wildlife.**

To learn more about field trips and get a descriptive list of programs contact the Education Manager: Michelle Wiegand at mwiegand@audubon.org 636-899-0090

Field Trip Topics:

Amazing Eagles- K-12th grade, 1-2 hours, Fall & Winter

The Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary is one of the best places in the area to view Bald Eagles. These iconic birds are easily viewed from inside the center and on the trails outside the center. Your students will learn about the natural history of the Bald Eagle, eagle adaptations, and conservation issues all through interactive and outdoor elements. NGSS: 3-LS4, 4-LS1, MS-LS2, HS-LS4

Trumpeter Swan Exploration- K-12th grade, 1-2 hours, Fall & Winter

The Sanctuary is home to the largest inland wintering population of Trumpeter Swans in the world! Over 1,000 Trumpeter Swans come to the area to spend the winter. Your students will learn the natural history of the Trumpeter Swan, Swan adaptations, and conservation. NGSS: 3-LS2, 4-LS1, MS-LS2, HS-LS4

Eagle/Swan Exploration- K-12th grade, 1-2 hours, Fall & Winter

This program covers both of our charismatic winter migrants. A comparative look at the two species’ adaptations, and also a look at their natural histories. Your students will have the opportunity to view these birds through scopes and binoculars as we go outside to get a closer look at both these beautiful species. NGSS: 3-LS4, 4-LS1, 3-LS2, MS-LS2, HS-LS4

Birding 101- K-12th grade, 1-2 hours, All seasons

Birding is one of the fastest growing hobbies in North America! Your students will be given a crash course on basic bird ID, and then we’ll head outside to find and ID as many birds as we can find. Students will learn about field marks, bird behaviors, and birds that they can find in their backyards. NGSS: 3-LS4, 4-LS1, 5-PS1, MS-LS1

Migration Along the Mississippi- K-12th grade, 1-2 hours, Spring, Fall, & Winter

Migration is one of the world’s greatest phenomena. This program will focus on migration of birds, specifically the birds that use our flyway. Students will learn about the different flyways and why birds use our flyway. They will also learn about the mechanics of migration such as: navigation, stop-overs, and why birds choose to migrate where they do. Then students will head outside into the sanctuary to get a look at some of our migrants. NGSS: K-LS1, K-ESS3, 3-LS4, MS-LS2, HS-LS2, HS-LS4

Macroinvertebrate Study- 3rd-12th, 1-2 hours, Spring, Summer, Fall

Allow your students to discover the secret world of aquatic insects. Your students will explore a body of water using nets to catch invertebrates such as crawfish and dragonfly nymphs. Students will learn about invertebrate life cycles, identification, and how water pollution affects these creatures. NGSS: 3-LS4, 4-LS1, MS-LS2, HS-LS4

Bird Adaptations- K-12th grade, 1-2 hours, All Seasons

Birds vary from species to species greatly. For example a hummingbird is most closely related to an owl, but they look very different. This program will explore why birds look the way they do and how that helps them to survive. Students will learn about the great diversity within birds and how they came to be that way. Then students will go outside to get a look at some of those adaptations at work. NGSS: 3-LS4, 4-LS1, MS-LS1, HS-LS4

Nature Journaling- 3rd-12th grade, 1-2 hours, All seasons

Nature journaling can help hone your students’ observational skills. Your students will learn what nature journaling is, why it’s helpful, and about some famous nature journals from history. Students will challenge their senses and their observation skills through various activities. Then students will be given time to use the skills they learned to make a journal entry. NGSS: Varies

Plants for Birds- 3rd-12th, 1 hour, Spring, Summer, Fall

As humans, plants are vital in our daily lives, whether it’s through the food we eat, the air we breathe, or the clothes on our back. They also play a key role in the health of birds and other wildlife in our area.  Learn how birds and other pollinators utilize the plants all around us for their survival and play a critical role in keeping our plant system healthy. NGSS: 3-LS4, 4-LS1, MS-LS2, HS-LS4

Geocache- 3rd-12th grade, 1 hour, All Seasons

Using GPS unites, students explore the sanctuary through a high-tech treasure hunt.  At each station they find, they will learn about the natural wonders of this area and be challenged to work together with classmates to answer questions. NGSS: Varies

Prairie Ecology & Quadrat Study- 6th-12th grade, 1-2 hours, Spring, Summer, Fall

Students learn about the characteristics and importance of prairies as well as the adaptations of prairie plants to the natural disturbances of prairies. Students may also learn to identify plants using a dichotomous key, use nets to search for insects in the prairie, and survey quadrants to determine species diversity. NGSS: MS-LS2, HS-LS2, HS-ESS3

Forest Ecology- 6th-12th grade, 1-2 hours, Spring, Summer, Fall

Students discover the biotic and abiotic aspects of forests and how they are connected. Students will then use a dichotomous key to ID native trees and learn about how animals and humans utilize them. NGSS: MS-LS2, HS-LS2

Water Quality- 6th-12th grade, 1 hour, All Seasons

Looking at biotic and abiotic indicators, we can determine water quality.  Students will conduct tests (pH levels, turbidity, temperature, dissolved oxygen levels, and nitrate levels) on water samples brought from Riverlands.  We will also discuss indicator species as biotic indicators of water quality. NGSS: MS-LS2, HS-LS4

Watersheds & Pollution- 6th-12th grade, 1 hour, All Seasons

Students will learn what a watershed is and how pollution moves through a watershed and affects water quality. Students will then discuss treatment and prevention methods and will be challenged to come up with their own class recommendations for positive change. NGSS: MS-LS2, MS-ESS2, HS-LS4, HS-ESS2

Please contact Michelle Wiegand at mwiegand@audubon.org or 636-899-0090 to schedule a trip!

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