Educators attending a BirdSleuth workshop go outside looking for birds.

The BirdSleuth Ambassador Foundations Training is a free course offered to professional educators who want to help other teachers bring scientific inquiry, citizen science, and nature exploration into their classrooms. As a certified ambassador, you will be able to lead professional development workshops built on BirdSleuth content, present at your district, regional, and state levels, and distribute materials to fellow educators.

What is the BirdSleuth Ambassador Program?

The goal of the BirdSleuth Ambassador Program is to support educators who want to help teachers bring authentic scientific inquiry, citizen science, and nature exploration into their classrooms. Simply put, a BirdSleuth Ambassador educates educators. After this training you will be able to offer professional development workshops, present our resources at your district, regional, and state level, and distribute materials to fellow educators. To give you a better understanding of what our workshops looks like, check out a sample workshop agenda that you can provide once you complete this training.

Who should take this training?

This training and program is specifically designed for professionals in the education field who can provide professional learning opportunities to K-12 classroom and informal educators, such as nature centers, museums, and homeschool parents.

What to expect in this training?

This self-paced online training provides the foundation to become an official Ambassador of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s BirdSleuth K-12 program. Throughout the training, you will learn about the mission of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and BirdSleuth, the structure and goals of the Ambassador program, as well as the content and structure for hosting highly engaging professional development workshops.

To assist you in providing the best possible workshops, we will be sharing a variety of resources. All PowerPoints and resources used within this course will be available to you. You will also have the opportunity to further your knowledge of our resources with specialty trainings. The diagram below illustrates the opportunities you will have as an Ambassador. We’ve structured these trainings and specialties to expand as new resources are developed.

Ambassador Training Flowchart. 1. Learn through website and recruitment. 2. Apply through Ambassador Application. 3. Foundations Training 4. Specialty course requirements such as integrating inquiry course. 5. specialty instructor training such as Feathered Friends Instructor Training and Inquiry Instructor Training.

Though this training will be completed online, it is still interactive. Throughout the training you’ll hear from educators who have successfully implemented engaging professional learning experiences. You’ll also participate in discussions with other Ambassadors and brainstorm new strategies for using and presenting BirdSleuth resources. Finally, reflection activities will help you offer successful BirdSleuth Workshops.

Course Syllabus

Lesson 1: Introduction to BirdSleuth

  1. Understand the mission and program offerings of the K-12 Education Program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
  2. Describe citizen science and inquiry accurately in your own words.
  3. Explain the benefits of educators using citizen science and inquiry in their teaching and/or outreach.

Lesson 2: Engagement

  1. Use and describe the continuum of engagement.
  2. Identify different levels of engagement and which should be used in various classroom scenarios.
  3. Model several techniques of engagement for participants to use in their own classrooms and/or programs.

Lesson 3: Conclusion

  1. Request resources from BirdSleuth.
  2. Explore related resources that will further your learning.
  3. Complete an evaluation based on this course.

Sign up for BirdSleuth Ambassador Foundations Training today!


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Meet the Course Instructors

Lindsay GlasnerLindsay Glasner, BirdSleuth Outreach Coordinator

I’ve been working with the BirdSleuth team since 2012 managing the BirdSleuth Ambassador Program. I also collaborate with our corporate sponsors and travel around the country offering professional development opportunities. I’ll be your main contact throughout this partnership. I have a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Natural Resources and Marine Biology with a focus in Environmental Education. I am also currently pursuing my Master’s in Environmental Education and Interpretation at the University of Wisconsin Steven’s Point. My past experience includes leading youth and adults through stream ecology and water conservation, and research in freshwater microbiology. Though my background is in the marine sciences, I’ve caught the birding bug while working at the Cornell Lab and have grown to love and appreciate birds and citizen science as an educational tool!