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NSU Professor takes learning outdoors

(Tahlequah, Okla.)-- Dr. Mia Revels, with the department of Natural Sciences at Northeastern State University, has spent years trying to develop a way to get students involved in a learning environment where they can forget about grades and focus on fun.

During the 2015 spring semester, Revels has offered a casual, grades-free experience for interested students through her project, Ornithological Odysseys: Bird Related Adventures in Natural History and Science. Throughout the semester, Revels has cleared her Tuesday schedule for these fun-filled field trips.

“In my field classes we take field trips; however, you are still ‘in class’, “Revels said. “I wanted to offer a more casual setting for exploration. I think this allows students to make the choice to do these activities and be in small groups of equally interested and motivated people. It’s an informal, fun learning opportunity.”

The field trips Revels chooses are both pre-planned and spontaneous, depending on student interests. So far, field trips have included nature walks at the Murrell Home Nature Trail and an evening of American Woodcock mating dance display.

“I have lots of ideas and no expectations,” Revels said. “I just hope to get more students into the “naturalist” aspect of biology. I simply want to encourage students to learn about and enhance their enjoyment of the outdoors by facilitating these field trips.

Revels also hopes to leave students with the understanding that learning about the environment doesn’t have to be a major financial commitment or a long, planned trip. She plans to provide tools such as binoculars and cameras for students to utilize and document their discoveries. A Facebook page has also been created for students to share their thoughts, photos, and comments on the past and future outings.

For more information on Ornithological Odysseys, contact Mia Revels at 918-444-3824 or

Published: 4/17/2015 2:29:54 PM

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