Natural News

Natural News

Updated Study Guide Ready for New School Year

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Wednesday, September 02, 2020

One of our longest running and most popular educational offerings is the “Natural Divisions of Arkansas – A Classroom Guide,” the educational program, and other related materials. In time for the 2020-2021 school year, the ANHC has uploaded a 2020 updated “Arkansas Natural Divisions Study Guide” to be used with the longer classroom guide, educational program, or teacher workshop.

The original classroom guide was written by ANHC’s now retired ecologist, Tom Foti, in 1978. The guide, in its fourth printing, is one of the cornerstones of Arkansas’s natural history education. Foti worked as a consultant to the Arkansas Department of Planning on the first inventory of natural areas in Arkansas, which resulted in the 1974 publication “Arkansas Natural Area Plan” and the creation of the ANHC. Foti’s chapter in that publication was also the first time that the natural divisions of the state were defined and described in print.

When ecologists first began considering that different parts of Arkansas have different characteristics, they called those areas “natural divisions.” Today, the term “natural divisions” is synonymous with “natural regions” and “ecoregions.” A natural division is a type of geographic region. Arkansas has six major ecoregions, however none of these exists exclusively inside Arkansas’s boundaries. We share each of them with surrounding states – each one is part of a larger framework of ecoregions.

The new “Arkansas Natural Divisions Study Guide” highlights major components and unique characteristics of each natural division, including an updated Glossary of Terms and updated learning resources. It is designed to be used in conjunction with the ANHC’s educational program “Arkansas Ecoregions,” but can be downloaded and used separately. If interested in the Arkansas Ecoregions program for your classroom, teacher in-service, Master Naturalist group, or other organization, please contact ANHC Outreach Specialist, Leslie Patrick, at [email protected] to schedule a virtual meeting. Both programs and workshops provide an overview of the six main natural regions of Arkansas (Ozark Mountains, Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas Valley, Coastal Plain, Mississippi Alluvial Plain, and Crowley’s Ridge). More in-depth programs are also available on each individual natural division.

The ANHC is proud to have taken the lead over 30 years ago to produce materials to help teach about Arkansas. We continue to use and update these materials today, with programs, lesson plans, worksheets, and study and classroom guides. For more information, visit our Education page on the ANHC website.

Recent Posts