The UW Oshkosh ES program offers an exceptional curriculum and educational experience. But if you want to get the best education you can, and if you want to impress potential employers and graduate schools, engaging in proactive learning is highly recommended.
What is proactive learning?
It is taking advantage of opportunities to learn outside of your ES courses. And there are many such opportunities in Wisconsin, at all times of the year. You just need to find out what they are, which ones makes sense for you, and get yourself in gear.
What are the opportunities?
Some of them are also volunteer opportunities, as you receive training in taking care of nature and you learn as you add to your record of engagement. Some of them are one-day affairs, others go for weeks. There are so many specific opportunities it is best to start thinking about different kinds and locations of proactive learning.
Proactive Learning Opportunities
Fox Valley Technical College offers courses on Agriculture, Horticulture, and Natural Resources that could complement your education at UW Oshkosh. The UW-Milwaukee Field Station in Cedarburg has weekend and week-long workshops and courses.
- Citizen Monitoring and Inventory
Through the DNR and many other organizations, you can receive on-the-ground training that enables you to inventory animals and plants and monitor environmental quality (e.g., water). There are a LOT of these opportunities in the state. Some are one day events, others last over weeks. Click here to find out more.
- Special Training
Some Nature Centers, state organizations, and the DNR offer special training, such as the Master Gardener program, a Master Naturalist series at Riveredge Nature Center, and the DNR Hunting Safety course. There are also a number of effective workshops that train students in being effective agents of positive social and environmental change. Making a difference requires skills! Check out some of these programs.
- Field Trips
Wisconsin is blessed with a variety of field trip opportunities, mostly though not exclusively in the summer. Most are for around four hours, usually on the weekend. The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, the Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Club, and the Wisconsin Society of Ornithology are some of the organizations that offer field trips.
- Special Events
Especially during spring and summer, there are special events that can be very educational. Perhaps the richest opportunity is the Horicon Bird Festival. Particularly valuable are several "BioBlitzes."
- Green Jobs
Interested in a green job? The National Wildlife Federation has a Greenforce initiative. It is aimed at community colleges, but they have some resources, including webinars, that could be useful and add to your proactive resume.