I am currently volunteering in Southeast Asia, on the island of Borneo. A rapidly disappearing and ecologicaly biodiverse "hotspot," Borneo is the third largest island in the world. It is about the same size as the U.S. state of Texas and is home to the largest mountain of any island and some of the earth's most ancient rainforests. Many of the species of Borneo are endemic, meaning that they are not found in the wild anywhere else! I have been teaching Nature Explorers programs to local children, photographing wildlife for educational publications, and will be spending six months as a long-term volunteer for Orangutan Foundation International (OFI).
In an effort to reach more children world-wide and to have an educational output for my photography, I will be publishing a series of children's books on the animals of Borneo. Very few educational resources currently exist for children about the completely unique and extremely endangered wildlife found here. Books will include: Endangered Animals of Borneo, Monkeys of Borneo, Proboscis Monkeys, Pygmy Elephants, and more!
I hope to take my time getting back around the world and bring Nature Explorers curriculum on an environmental education journey. The eventual goal is to write a book about my experiences and the natural attraction that children have to learning about nature. I imagine something like an "Eat, Pray, Love" meets "Last Child in the Woods."
I have facilitated programs on nearly every continent and find that there is an innate desire in children of all backgrounds to better understand our earth. I have always encountered a universal reaction to my educational methods that crosses language and cultural barriers . I focus on classification and conservation of local species and ecosystems (particularly those of primates), work closely with communities of rural villages, and partner with educational and environmental organizations.
Each environmental lesson is tailored to the individual region and involves a nature walk, games, and art. I believe in incorporating creative artwork, educational crafts, and performance art as important mediums to enhance lessons and perpetuate learning throughout the community. The joy and pride that children feel in having the opportunity to express their individual creativity makes them more likely to educate others while sharing their artwork.
Your generous contribution to this project will allow you to come along on this educational adventure and help to support the purchase and transport of: art supplies, magnifying glasses, bug boxes, binoculars, and books. Funds will also be used towards donations to families and organizations for home-stays and travel costs between locations. In return, I promise to keep you informed and educated along the way and to provide supplemental curriculum resources.
I have a Master of Science in Ecological Leadership and Education and a BA in Environmental Studies with minors in Marine Science and Anthropology. I founded Nature Explorers International and work to help children foster a greater understanding of their environment, an excitement for learning and exploration, and a deep set love of nature that lasts a life time. If you support this mission, please consider supporting this project and receive great rewards at every donation level!
Reward levels have now been added to this project as follows:
$5 DONATION: You will be emailed printable templates to the newest masks of NEI's primate mask series! An orangutan and a proboscis monkey mask along with accompanying educational information will entertain the children in your life while also teaching them about two completely unique and very endangered Borneo primates. You will be added to my private educational blog email list and publically thanked as a supporter on NEI's Facebook page.
$20 DONATION: Set of 8 Australian animal photo notecards!
$30 DONATION: A NEW 2016 Borneo Wildlife Calendar! Printable primate mask templates and lesson plans.
$50 DONATION: Set of 8 Australian animal photo notecards. Plus two sets of the NEW Nature Explorers Animal Fact Cards (Borneo and Australia)! Laminated, educational cards that detail the natural history of unique species.
$100 DONATION: The NEW 2016 Borneo Wildlife Calendar, the complete Australia animal set of 8 educational greeting cards, primate mask templates, plus two sets of animal fact cards, and a signed copy of the first Borneo animal book published.
$200 DONATION: All of the above and a copy of my Nature Explorers Michigan Animals Coloring Book coming out soon!
$500 DONATION: All included package with everything above and a signed copy of every book I ever publish. I promise.
*Note: Some items are as supplies last. Rewards will be shipped December 1st from Michigan.
For more information, please explore the following links:
Nature Explorers Website
Nature Explorers Facebook Page
Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) website
You Tube video on NEI's mission and history
Connect with me on Linkedin
Connect with me on Twitter
Connect with me on Google Plus
Connect with me on Pinterest
Flickr album from 2012 Central America project that involved working with 500 kids in 4 countries in 10 weeks
Successful Kickstarter project: Nature Explorers Central America!
Facebook album: 50 days until Borneo, Meet a Different Unique Animal Each Day!
Facebook Album: NEI in Sukau or recent program in Borneo!
Amalia Fernand Leather Designs Facebook Page. Repurposed leather jewelry created from scraps from my dads handmade shoe business helps me to support NEI.
Amalia Fernand Leather on etsy
Benzonia to Borneo: Local explorer to help orphaned orangutans
Educational fundraiser will help support local woman’s global mission
On the Road to Borneo A Benzie girl’s global mission to teach environmental education
MI News 26 TV Interview: Teaching Children Throughout the World About Their Environment
Please email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions: [email redacted]
- Laurie Pettengill
- Maryann Doiron
- Carol Johnson
- Anthony Smith
- cary lopez
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