Zilker Neighborhood Gardens

Commentary by a National Wildlife Steward who helps Zilker neighbors establish native plant gardens

Tag Archives: research

How Academic Performance Can Be Improved By Connecting Kids to Nature (free talk, 10/5)

How Academic Performance Can Be Improved By Connecting Kids to Nature

Sun, 10/05/2014 – 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Research shows that environment-based learning is an effective means of engaging students in core subject areas such as math and science. Marya Fowler, Senior Education Manager for National Wildlife Federation will show how and why schoolyard habitats and outdoor classrooms help students learn.

Prior to joining NWF in 1999, Marya taught for several years at the secondary level. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Environmental Planning/Landscape Design and worked in the field of landscape design, creating restoration management plans for habitat and wildlife using native plants. As Senior Education Manager for NWF’s South Central Regional Center, Marya focuses on the advancement of NWF’s K-12 school-based programming in the region, including Eco-Schools USA, Schoolyard Habitats and global warming education and literacy, with an emphasis on integrating these programs at the state/school district levels and promoting environmental education as a means to improving student academic performance.


First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, Pubic Affairs Forum, Green Sanctuary Committee, 4700 Grover, Austin, Texas

Free Mobile App to Identify Plants: Leafsnap

Leafsnap: An Electronic Field Guide is a mobile application for your mobile technology (iPhone app; ipad and Android apps coming soon) that supports field-based identification of trees.

If you like this app, you can thank researchers at Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institute for developing this application. Right now, the app only has trees in the Northeast but will soon have all trees in the continental US (sorry Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico).

Leafsnap contains beautiful high-resolution images of leaves, flowers, fruit, petiole, seeds, and bark. Leafsnap currently includes the trees of New York City and Washington, D.C., and will soon grow to include the trees of the entire continental United States.

Their applications capitalize on visual recognition software for photographic identification of leaves. Seem easy? Well, there are a huge number of researchers and collaborators working on this project – and they are all listed here: http://leafsnap.com/about/

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