Conservation Education Emphasis

Missouri State University’s Elementary Education program partners with Missouri Department of Conservation to offer the Conservation Education Emphasis with Project Wet, Wild, and Learning Tree Certification 

Welcome to the information page for Missouri State’s Elementary Education Program Conservation area of emphasis with Discover Nature courses!

The Conservation Education Emphasis area within the elementary education teacher preparation program is founded upon learning goals that:

  • inspire educators to incorporate nature  to foster their students’ environmental interest through hands-on activities based on Missouri’s Grade Level Expectations. 
  • engage students through real-world indoor and outdoor experiences that encourage a deeper understanding of nature and preservation of our natural resources    
  • enrich teaching to motivate and inspire students’ understanding and performance

 Environmentally aware children become environmentally aware adults.


Required courses will emphasize wildlife’s intrinsic value and address the need for human beings to develop as responsible citizens of our planet.

The Conservation Education with Discover Nature courses area of emphasis deepens student knowledge of subject matter across the elementary curriculum while providing teaching and learning materials that incorporate research-based instructional strategies designed to meet the needs of all students. People, children especially, feel connected to nature. Through curriculum and activities designed to engage students in outdoor and experiential learning, teachers are able to gain the interest of even the most reluctant of learners.

For more details about the Missouri Department of Conservation’s approach to teaching and learning, please view their web site at:  that describes highlights of the program.            

Missouri State’s Conservation Education emphasis with Project Wet, Wild, and Learning Tree certification requires 12 hours of conservation courses taught in sequence with one 3 hour course being offered each semester over a two year period.

Conservation Education Emphasis required courses:
  • EEM 576/676                    (3 hr)   Nature Unleashed

  • EEM 399                            (3 hr)  Nature Unhooked: Conserving Missouri's Aquatic Ecosystem
  • EEM 576                            (3 hr)  Nature Unfolds
  • EEM 576/676                     (3 hr)  Conservation Education Projects Course: Project Wet, Wild, and Learning Tree

Student prerequisites:

  • Minimum of one college level science course required; BIO 100 recommended

Students completing this area of emphasis will receive:

  • Free Discover Nature materials.
  •  Improved marketability (MDC certification in Project WET, WILD, and Learning Tree).
  • Free student materials for their classroom each year, once teaching in Missouri.
  • Eligibility for MDC transportation grants for student field experiences and will receive a high priority ranking.
  • Eligibility for MDC classroom educational supply grants and will receive a high priority ranking.
  • Consulting from support MDC staff once teaching in Missouri.
  • Announcements on professional development opportunities.
  • Opportunities to teach in a natural setting with excited learners.

Individuals interested in the Conservation Education emphasis with Project Wet, Wild, and Learning Tree certification must obtain permission to join the conservation cohort. Enrollment is limited to 20 students per course to ensure sufficient hands-on learning opportunities and one-on-one instructor interaction.

To obtain permission submit the Conservation Student Information sheet along with a current transcript to the advisement office found in Hill Hall 202.

For information on the Conservation Education cohort registration process, visit the advisement office or print the Conservation Education Emphasis brochure.  Click on the following link to access the  CONSERVATION COHORT STUDENT INFORMATION document.

To obtain a permission override for these courses, contact the Professional Education Advisement Office in Hill Hall 202.