Homeschool Naturalists 2016/17

The Homeschool Naturalist program is offered as a series of eight different two-hour long visits to the Ogden Nature Center.  These programs will be offered once monthly from September to May (no program in December) on the last  Wednesday of each month.



 Pre-registration and payment is required at the time of registration. Space is limited. Please call 801-621-7595 to register for the Homeschool Naturalist program.

Cost and Payment   

The fee for the Ogden Nature Center Homeschool Naturalist program is $95 for non-members and $80 for members per child per school year.  A 15% discount will be given to families who enroll more than one child in the program

Student Age   

Students aged 6-12 may register for the program.  


Children who are not registered for the program should not be brought to class, including all siblings.  Please make arrangements for other children on the dates of your visits. 


You are welcome to attend any and all visits with your children and act as a chaperone.  If you choose to attend, we would like to stress the importance of your active participation.  Please be willing to help with all children, not just your own.  We also ask that you turn off all cell phones and other distractions for the duration of the visit. 


Our programs will be held even if weather is inclement. Please be sure your child is adequately prepared for weather conditions including rain, snow, sun, cold, and heat. 

West Nile Virus 

West Nile Virus has been reported in the Ogden Area this year.  As your child will be outdoors for a large portion of the visit, we recommend that you protect him/her with insect repellent containing DEET.  The chance of contracting the disease or of displaying any symptoms is fairly low, but it's always best to take precautions.  

Program times  

All programs will begin at 12:30 p.m. and end at 2:30 p.m.  Please be punctual, as your child may miss some vital information at the start if they are late, and may also cause a distraction for those who are on time. If you will not be attending a visit, be sure to pick your child up on time as well. Teachers often have other assignments right after your program and are not available to supervise children waiting for rides.

Expected Behavior

Please prepare your child by helping him or her to understand appropriate group learning behavior. Raising hands before shouting out questions or ideas, taking turns, staying with the group, and being respectful to class-mates and teachers will be essential for a productive learning experience.  Students may also be asked to stand in lines. 


Homeschool Naturalists 2016-2017 schedule -Citizen Science

Real scientific research can sometimes feel beyond the grasp of ordinary people, let alone children. Citizen science projects offer amazing opportunities to take part in authentic field research. This year, homeschool students will participate in diverse citizen science projects to learn and explore the natural world of Utah.



September 28th: Field Insect Citizen Science

Students will participate in a nation-wide monitoring projects of monarchs and other field insects at the Ogden Nature Center. Students will also learn about the astounding lifecycle and migration patterns of monarchs as well as how they can track their migration from home.


October 26th : Water Quality Citizen Science

Water is one of Utah’s most precious resources. Students will explore the importance of water quality in our local ecosystems and communities. They will then launch a water quality citizen science project sponsored by Utah State University at the Ogden Nature Center. Students will continue to test the quality of the Nature Center’s ponds and streams throughout the homeschool program.


November 30th : Wilderness and Outdoor Skills

Here in Utah, we are lucky to have access to thousands of acres of magnificent wilderness. These wild places are gateways to studying and enjoying nature. Students will spend November and January exploring the history of American wilderness as well as learning outdoor skills critical to any wilderness adventure. Students will examine the 1964 Wilderness Act and discuss the role of wilderness in our society while honing skills such as fire building, tracking, and knot tying.


January 25th : Wilderness and Outdoor Skills (continued)

Students will continue their study of American wilderness and the skills necessary to explore it.


February 22nd : The Great Backyard Bird Count

Every February, thousands of veteran and beginner birders around the world take part in one of the largest citizen science projects: the Great Backyard Bird Count. At the Ogden Nature Center, homeschool students will learn the fundamentals of birding and then head out into the field to log their own bird sightings into eBird, an online citizen science database. We will then compare our findings to the results of the 2017 Great Backyard Bird Count.


March 29th : Seed Saving and Plant Heredity

As Utah’s wildlife begins to swing into spring, homeschool students will do the same by starting garden plants indoors. Students will learn about the benefits of seed saving as well as the importance of heredity for both wild and garden plants. The plants students start in March will be planted in the Ogden Nature Center’s garden in April and May.


April 26th : Nest Watch Citizen Science

A true citizen scientist not only searches for local birds, but also researches their life cycles. In March, students will learn about the nesting cycles of local birds and observe wild nests as a part of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology citizen science project, Nest Watch. The data students gather will assist researchers in understanding biology and behavior of regional birds.


May 31st : Return of the Monarchs

Homeschool students will wrap up their year at the Ogden Nature Center by returning to our fields to observe the descendants of the monarchs they monitored back in September. Students will search not only for the butterflies, but also for their eggs, caterpillar offspring, and chrysalises to continue their citizen science monitoring from the Fall.