Alabama Museum of Natural History

Blount Naturalist Outreach Course

Naturalist Outreach (BUI-301) college students give free enthusiastic, hands-on biology presentations about nature and ecology to K-12 classes and community groups in Alabama.

The presenters are accessible scientist role-models who excite students about biology, nature, — and college. By presenting lively, enthusiastic, Next Generation Science Standards based, and age-appropriate, science based presentations, we work to open the world of backyard biology to young people, enrich local 2nd – H.S. science instruction, and simultaneously train UA students to communicate effectively about science.

The goals of the Naturalist Outreach Program are to improve science literacy, to help attract students into science, and enhance appreciation for the environment.  Additionally, our mission is to help train college students improve their ability to communicate science and teach effectively. Our goal is to help inspire a generation of UA students to become civically engaged in scientific outreach.

2019 Speakers

Kate Huffman

I’m a sophomore studying mathematics with a minor in physics and am broadly interested in how the world works and the impact of connections. I’m interested in studying relationships between organisms and their environments and the effects that those relationships have.






Alabama Canebrake Activity

Alabama Canebrake Lesson Plan

Alabama Canebrake Video


Brittany Jones

I am currently a senior studying Chemical Engineering at the University of Alabama. I am excited to intertwine my love of nature with my passion for engineering! I would like to focus on fluid mechanics and how it relates to the natural world. My favorite place to be is outside, whether I am reading, hiking, or hula-hooping to my favorite music. I believe my love of nature is inspired from childhood; growing up in Mississippi my father and I would take weekend trips up and down the Natchez Trace and explore all the historical and natural stops along the way.

Inflated Alabama Heelsplitter Activity

Inflated Alabama Heelsplitter Lesson Plan

Inflated Alabama Heelsplitter Video

Matthew Kiszla

Matthew is a junior from Mobile, Alabama studying biochemistry and studio art. His experience in science outreach is primarily rooted in medicine as he has served as an intern at the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell Cancer Institute and has taught bacteriophage discovery classes for high school students here at UA. In the future, he hopes to engage with his community as a physician in both the clinic and volunteer programs.




Biocontrol Activity

Biocontrol Lesson Plan

Biocontrol Video


Ember Mattingly

I am a Criminal Justice major and a Blount minor at the University of Alabama. I love animals of all kinds, and also helping other people understand new and diverse information. I am looking forward to being able to combine both of these passions!






Alabama Biodiversity Activity

Alabama Biodiversity Lesson Plan

Alabama Biodiversity Video



Katherine Nordstrom

I am a junior Psychology major at The University of Alabama with minors in Biology and Blount. I have always loved the sciences, the field of medicine, and especially the mind. I am pursuing a career in mental health because I believe that it is an often underrepresented area of healthcare, but one of the most important! I am also a founding member of the UA chapter of Active Minds, a mental health awareness organization through which I do outreach to help spread knowledge and understanding about mental health to my campus.





Honey Bee Activity

Honey Bee Lesson Plan

Honey Bee Video


Madison Romines

I am a sophomore architectural engineering major at the University of Alabama. Nature has its own beautiful patterns (like the patterns in insects’ nests or the structure of a pinecone) that we often overlook. I believe the best way we can craft our built environment is to model it after nature’s patterns. I hope to find ways to keep nature and its influence in our built environments once I graduate.




Pollinators Activity

Pollinators Lesson Plan

Pollinators Video

Mitchell Roze

I am currently a junior majoring in Metallurgical & Materials Engineering while also pursuing a minor in the Blount Scholars Program. I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and on the beaches of southern New Jersey; so, I am now stranger to aquatic wildlife, like crabs, fishes and turtles. Presently, I am involved in resistance spot welding research as it pertains to liquid metal embrittlement of galvanized automotive steels. In short, I use the big orange robot behind me to weld pieces of metal together.  Even with my current more industrial focus, I always treasure my time spent in nature, walking the beaches and trawling the marshes of my childhood, and I hope to bring that same excitement to you.

Biomechanics of Turtle Shells Activity

Biomechanics of Turtle Shells Lesson Plan

Biomechanics of Turtle Shells Video