The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Conservation Education Program provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary fish and wildlife conservation education program to assist adults and students of any age in developing the awareness, knowledge, skill and commitment to stewardship of New Mexico’s wildlife and wildlife habitats. Anyone interested in New Mexico’s wildlife can now learn about it online.

These curriculums focus on New Mexico wildlife, wildlife management and their connections to many academic content areas. The majority of the curriculum targets upper elementary and middle school grade levels. A few lessons (Gone Fishing, Desert Bighorn, Rocky Mountain Bighorn) are adaptable for grades 6-12. All lesson plans correlate to the Common Core State Standards and current New Mexico Public Education Department Science Standards. From Pond Connections to Desert Bighorn Sheep and Cougar Management with math, there is something that will spark your interest.

These educational curriculums are designed for an online format and have a printable version. Different configurations allow individuals to learn from smartphones, computers or printed versions.

Another educational part of the Conservation Education Program is the New Mexico wildlife activities and lesson plans that include contributions from professional educators, biologists and game wardens. The lesson plans target upper elementary and middle school grade levels. They have not been peer-reviewed or correlated to the Common Core State Standards and current New Mexico Public Education Department Science Standards. Still, they offer helpful content for teaching New Mexico’s youth about the state’s valuable wildlife resources.

In the New Mexico wildlife activities and lesson plans, individuals can learn about everything from a career as a conservation officer to the life stages of a trout. This section also has many activities and how-to’s for individuals, from wildlife management to mounting a grouse tail fan. Wildlife critter boxes, on a variety of species, are also available for educators to check out and utilize. Critter boxes often contain skulls; skeletal parts, such as antlers; horns; hides; scat; tracks; videos; children’s literature; and a teacher’s guide. These critter boxes are an excellent tool for educators who want their students to have a hands-on experience.

The latest addition to the Conservation Education Program is the wildlife and fisheries careers virtual academy. Anyone interested can participate in this virtual learning experience. The 20 video segments are designed to educate and inspire participants to pursue a wildlife and fisheries career.

If you or someone you know would like to learn about pursuing a career in wildlife and fisheries, New Mexico wildlife in general or how to tie a fishing knot, check out the Department’s Conservation Education program at wildlife.state.nm.us/education/conservation-education/.

Ross Morgan is a spokesman for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

(1) comment

Michael Kiley

Great. However, wildlife and game refer to the same wild animals. The most frequent outdoors activity, buy the industry's own data, is wildlife viewing, after walking and hiking. "Game" means hunting, nearly the least commonly practiced activity, and going further down. We need to follow way behind Colorado and drop "game" from the agency name, and make it State Parks and Wildlife. The game officers can still carry guns, because the hunters carry guns. Mike Kiley, grandson of Enos A. Mills, father of Rocky Mountain National Park and former US National Park law enforcement Ranger.

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