Questions about becoming a Certified Oklahoma Biodiversity Steward? Email or call us!
A natural resource education and service program.
Oklahoma BioDiversity Steward Program is a science-based education and conservation program that includes hands-on learning, volunteer, and services opportunities. Participants in the program will gain a broad understanding of the biodiversity in the state and be catalyzed for an action-oriented approach through a variety of formats that fit the schedule and lifestyle of the participant. The program is organized so that participants can complete all the requirements within a year, but there is no time limit and completion is adaptable to the participant’s life.
What is the mission?
To build a network of stewards dedicated to learning about and working to protect Oklahoma’s natural diversity. Successful members of the program will become well-informed volunteers who educate others, become community conservation leaders, and participate in continued service for Oklahoma’s natural resources.
Who is this program for?
Anyone that has an interest in learning more about Oklahoma’s BioDiversity and helping to protect and conserve that natural diversity. No prior knowledge or experience necessary. The program is flexible with no deadline or required attendance to specific meetings or events. The program has been developed for adults, but we feel it is also suitable for motivated middle and high school students, as well as college students!
For children in elementary school and younger, we will suggest starting with the Oklahoma State Parks Passport program or the National Park Service Junior Ranger program.
At sign up, you will receive…
- Educational packet
- Field notebook
- Private Facebook group for communication amongst all the BioDiversity Stewards and Staff
- Opportunities to meet with other Stewards and Staff online and in-person throughout the year
- “BioDiversity Steward in Training” Sticker
When completed, you will have earned…
- Personalized Certificate
- “Certified BioDiversity Steward” Patch
- Special Celebration with other Stewards and BioBlitz! OK awardees
- Continued opportunities to learn, volunteer, and socialize with the other Stewards
- Pride in your knowledge and commitment to Oklahoma’s BioDiversity!
Once certified, you will be expected to…
- Volunteer at least 20 hours per year to biodiversity related service project(s) within Oklahoma
- Volunteer for at least one educational event (options include, but are not limited to, helping at in-person BioBlitz! events, giving a presentation at a library or school, leading a short field trip, or recording a new webinar presentation)
- Complete at least 4 hours of additional biodiversity education per year (options include, but are not limited to, attending technical meetings, watching new webinars, or participating in workshops)
Use iNaturalist to make observations of at least 80 species.
Use eBird to make observations of at least 20 species.
Attend or watch at least six Oklahoma Biological Survey webinars or virtual field trips.
Recordings are on our YouTube Channel.
Attend or watch two webinars hosted by other wildlife, conservation, or nature organizations (see list below).
Attend two Oklahoma Biological Survey field days.
Attend two field days or events held by other wildlife, conservation, or nature organizations (see list below).
Volunteer for one service project with the Oklahoma Biological Survey or other organization.
This can be any variety of volunteer opportunities.
Participate in another Community (Citizen) Science Project related to biodiversity.
Suggested projects include, but are not limited to:
- Blue Thumb
- Journey North
- Monarch Watch
- Bumble Bee Watch
- Nature’s Notebook
- Project Squirrel
- or find your own at SciStarter
Some of the organizations in Oklahoma that provide learning opportunities, field trips, technical trainings, webinars, or other events:
- Noble Research Institute
- Okies for Monarchs
- Oklahoma Academy of Science
- Oklahoma Chapter of The Nature Conservancy
- Oklahoma Chapters of the Audubon Society
- Oklahoma Chapters of the Sierra Club
- Oklahoma Conservation Commission
- Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
- Oklahoma Herpetological Society
- Oklahoma Invasive Plant Council
- Oklahoma Native Plant Society
- Oklahoma Ornithological Society
- Oklahoma State Parks
- Oklahoma State University Extension
- Sam Noble Museum
There are also many local organizations, nature centers, and clubs that provide opportunities!
You can find an extensive calendar of environmental events at the Environmentor website.
Project ideas should be submitted before completion to be sure they meet the intended principles of the program.
Choose at least two of the following:
- Write an article for the blog (500-1000 words)
- Record a podcast (15-30 minutes)
- Make a video (15-30 minutes)
- Create a downloadable biodiversity activity
- Develop outreach materials to support biodiversity education
- Take over social media for a week, posting daily about biodiversity topic
- Organize and lead an educational walk or field trip at a natural area (1-2 hours)
- Develop a presentation for the Oklahoma BioDiversity Learning Center webinar series (45 minutes)
- … or a project of your choosing, approved by program staff