Stay Awesome. We’ll talk this fall.

Stay Awesome. We’ll talk this fall.

It’s time for a long overdue update. Sorry we have been away from the blog for so long… It has been a busy summer for the Strohm Family. Both girls have been away at Christian and Cheerleading camps, traveled to a few parks with family and friends and celebrated their 13th and 17th birthdays this September. This spring, I was able to fly out and meet with our distribution company, Four-Winds Trading Co. in Denver before exploring Yellowstone National Park and getting fresh photos of some of the park’s species. Also, on that trip, I was able to visit several Colorado state parks and Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. With Janine and I working full-time jobs and the girls back in school, we have another trip planned, but not until Christmas break. More to come regarding that event as December nears. Speaking of events, we have been blessed to be able to schedule the following events between now and our Christmas break. October 8-9 in Cleveland, OH: We are presenting at the 2018 Wildlife Society Annual Conference. Our presentation is titles “Conservation is too important to leave to adults.” It should be a great experience for us. November 17 in Clarion, PA: We are teaching students from several PA schools how to play EDGE of EXTINCTION. Shintrika Weibel, an Instructor/Academic Counselor for the TRIO / Upward Bound program invited us in to teach her high school students. December 6, @ Clarion University of Pennsylvania: Clarion University is holding their Second Annual EDGE of EXTINCTION Tournament in the Gemmell Multi-Purpose Room. This event is being coordinated and co-hosted... read more

Hidden Treasure

Come on out to Parker’s Indian Trading Post and add your quarter to the treasure box! Once it’s filled you’ll have the opportunity to go on a treasure hunt. The first person to find the box gets all of the quarters. All you have to do is follow these four steps: 1. Buy something from the store 2. Sign the guest book 3. Add your quarter(s) to the treasure chest 4. Check our website (www.twosistersinthewild.com)for updates about the treasure... read more

Samantha Sullivan – Water Pollution Biologist

This is an interview with an amazing person that’s great at her job, Samantha Sullivan. My family and I had the pleasure of meeting her on a hot summer day in a river. Samantha and the Clarion University biology research team taught us how to find, tag, and check their health and sex, and release hellbenders back into the wild. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot from this experience. Where do you work and reside? – Department of Environmental Protection; Oil and Gas Program and Wampum, PA in Beaver County.   What is your educational background? -I graduated from Allegheny Clarion Valley in 2009 and received my bachelor’s in Biology at Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 2013.   What was your life like growing up? – I grew up in Clarion County in the little town of Turkey City. I was and still am very close to my family. A lot of our hobbies growing up revolved around the outdoors (i.e. fishing, hunting, and camping). Growing up I spent most of my time outside playing in the stream/woods behind our house, walking around the neighborhood with friends, cruising around on a four-wheeler, and spending the summer months at our family camp down along the Clarion River.   Did you have a nickname? If so, how did it come about? -My nickname is really just a name derived from my first name: Sammy   What are you currently reading? Why? -I am currently reading the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed. In the past few years my fiancé and I have gotten into hiking. Specifically, backcountry/through hiking. Where we pack up all our gear and our... read more
Steven Schaller – Supervisory Park Ranger at Glacier Bay National Park

Steven Schaller – Supervisory Park Ranger at Glacier Bay National Park

In October of 2016, Athia and Steven Schaller, the Supervisory Park Ranger for Glacier Bay National Park, worked together to identify a balance of species for the Glacier Bay National Park Area Starter Deck. Steven provided some much needed insights and photos, and shared some pretty cool information about his favorite animals, the seabirds, especially about the Kittlitz Murrelet, a species of seabird that has been declining in numbers recently and uses the Glacier Bay area as a primary nesting ground. So, naturally, Athia added the seabird to the deck. Steven is even in the deck as well as our Waterfowl Specialist. Here are Steven’s Answers to our Humans in EDGE questions. What is your full name and title? Steve Schaller, Supervisory Park Ranger Where do you work and reside? I work at Glacier Bay National Park and I reside in Gustavus, Alaska What is your educational background? I graduated from The Ohio State University with a BS in Wildlife Management. What was your life like growing up? My life was filled with exploration and discovery. I come from a large family, six children and very supportive parents. They always took us on trips to explore the country and to learn new things about the natural world. What are you currently reading? Why? I love reading Lonely Planet books about traveling to other countries. These books provide little snippets about each country and I enjoy planning trips to these countries to learn about their natural world. What are you curious about or exploring in your field of expertise at the moment? I am always curious about the National Parks... read more

Steven Harris, Interim Dean, College of Arts, Education and Sciences

One of my favorite people to talk with about nature is Steven Harris. When I attended Clarion University as a student from 1997-2001, Steve was my sounding board for bad ideas related to student projects. His knowledge of the natural sciences especially in his area of expertise, Entomology, is impressive to say the least. Many times, I would ask him a question about something random I was learning and he would begin with “I don’t know, I guess…” and by the end of the conversation I was given an education, or routed to an expert he knew that would have the answer I was looking for. As an employee of Clarion University over the last ten years, Steve and I have bounced ideas off each other on numerous occasions. Once he was aware that Athia and Maia were making a game about wildlife, he was not only on board with helping them research the odd invertebrates they would photograph and bring in, but he also purchased a few sets of the game and sent them off to science teachers he knew. We have much respect and love for Dr. Steven Harris, and look forward to bending his ear in the future. Here are Steve’s answers to our questions. What is your full name and title? Steven C. Harris, Interim Dean, College of Arts, Education, and Sciences at Clarion University of Pennsylvania Where do you work and reside? Clarion University What is your educational background? Master’s degree in Wildlife Biology, PhD in Entomology What was your life like growing up? Pretty normal, played sports, outdoor activities Did you have a nickname? If... read more
Chelsea and Kelsey – Student Assistants for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Chelsea and Kelsey – Student Assistants for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources

One of the best parts about watching the girls grow and learn is to see them interacting with other young people they meet along the way. Below are two student assistants that submitted answers to us. Chelsea and Kelsey both work for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. We met them through Karen Cleveland. (We are still patiently waiting for Karen to submit her answers so we can blog about her immeasurable assistance introducing Athia and Maia to the Michigan area). Chelsea and Kelsey, along with three other students comprise the five versions of the Environmental Student card. Without further ado, here are their answers. What is your full name and title? Chelsea White, Student Assistant Kelsey Fisher, Student Assistant   Where do you work and reside? Chelsea – I work for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in Lansing, MI and I live in Fowlerville, MI. Kelsey – I currently work for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division as a Student Assistant.   What is your educational background? Chelsea – I have a BS from Michigan State University in fisheries and wildlife with a concentration in wildlife biology and management. Kelsey – I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Science with a major in Fisheries and Wildlife and a concentration in Wildlife Biology and Management from Michigan State University. I attended Lansing Community College for my general education credits prior to attending MSU.   What was your life like growing up? Chelsea – I grew up in a rural area of southeastern Michigan in a town called Fowlerville. I spent most of my weekends in northern Michigan... read more
Anthony Ortega – Production Coordinator for the Center for Advanced Entertainment and Learning Technologies

Anthony Ortega – Production Coordinator for the Center for Advanced Entertainment and Learning Technologies

Getting to know the people appearing on the EDGE of EXTINCTION Human cards. Anthony found the girls on Facebook and liked their page back in its infancy. He labels himself as a game designer, but he is truly an educational game guru. Athia and Maia were looking for more experience in game development a few years ago and Anthony found out about it and invited us down as guests to see the Harrisburg University of Science and Tech’s Game Development Studio. It was quite a fun time for us. The girls were invited to a lunch with some of the schools’ leadership and professors. They were asked questions about their games and their goals as a company. Then Anthony’s students learned to play EDGE of EXTINCTION while the girls fielded questions. I think the coolest part for us what the invitation itself, but Maia and Athia said it was their Virtual Reality Simulator … They may be right. So without further ado, here is Anthony Ortega’s questions and answers. What is your full name and title? Anthony Ortega. Production Coordinator for the Center for Advanced Entertainment and Learning Technologies as well as Corporate Faculty for the Interactive Media Program, both for Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. Where do you work and reside? I work live and work in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. What is your educational background? I have a BFA in Illustration from Pennsylvania College of Art & Design and an MET in Entertainment Technology from Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center. What was your life like growing up? It’s kind of hard to encapsulate what I was like growing up without... read more
Donna Beer Stolz, Ph.D. – Associate professor of Cell Biology

Donna Beer Stolz, Ph.D. – Associate professor of Cell Biology

Getting to know the people appearing on the EDGE of EXTINCTION Human cards. If I remember correctly Donna wasn’t sure if she was interested when I initially asked, so I had to send in the big guns and asked Athia to hike a bit with her. After a few miles of chatting, she was on board. We are glad to have her in the game and along the trail. Donna has a knowledge of the natural world I find refreshing. We talk about many of the species we find along the trail when hiking. Below are a few questions we asked Donna along with her responses. What is your full name and title? Donna Beer Stolz, Ph.D., Associate professor of Cell Biology, Associate Director of the Center for Biologic Imaging Where do you work and reside? I work at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. I live in Glenshaw (Shaler), PA What is your educational background? I have a BS in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology, both degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst What was your life like growing up? I grew up in rural north central Massachusetts, close to the New Hampshire border but about 1 hr away from Boston. Our property bordered on a dairy farm. My sister and I would spend a lot of time outdoors every season, playing outside in the streams, ponds, with the cows, my friends horses, playing hide and seek in the hayloft at the dairy farm, riding our bikes to our grandmother’s house, about 2 miles away. I loved to collect insects with my dad. I also liked to sew. In the winter we... read more
Dale Luthringer – Environmental Education Specialist

Dale Luthringer – Environmental Education Specialist

Getting to know the people appearing on the EDGE of EXTINCTION Human cards. We first met Dale while visiting Cook Forest State Park. The girls had finished their first game, WILD: North East North America, and we were looking for educators who would include it in their teaching materials. Dale accepted a couple games and reviewed it with us so he knew how to play the game. Six different schools tested the WILD game that year and their feedback indicated a desire for more cards or expansion packs. We connected with several people to make that happen including Dale. In our “Nature Bites Back” expansion pack, Dale was the wild card. A year or so later, I caught him between events and shared with him the girls’ second game, EDGE of EXTINCTION: The Educational Trading Card Game. He accepted a few starter decks and took a minute to look over the Allegheny National Forest Starter Deck. After a few minutes of talking, he agreed to be a part of the game, and sent me a photo of himself next to one of Cook Forest’s largest trees. The girls got busy coming up with ideas for his Human card later that day. We had a card that would take out the human cards one-by-one (Man-Eater card) but we didn’t know how to remove that card once it was played… So Dale, being a park ranger as well as an educator, became the face of the “Ranger” card. We asked Dale a few questions about who he is and what he does. Here are his responses. What is your full name and... read more
Michigan

Michigan

A couple weeks ago me and my family set out to go see the great state of Michigan. To get there we traveled through Ohio and saw some of our relatives in Cleveland. We had a game day in weird realms and it was super successful. We met some amazing people. After that we chilled out, played Dungeons and Dragons, walked through an amazing park, and ate Gyros. (The Gyros were my favorite) Then we continued our travels up to Michigan. We saw bell isle. We went to a zoo, aquarium, and botanical gardens. Our first night in Michigan we stayed in a little town that was exactly like Brookville. That night we dined on some Wendy’s  and went to bed. The next day we had breakfast a big boy the went to a national park. we met some amazing people and walked there beautiful trails. Next we went to a zoo and saw some pretty cool animals. Then we stayed in a hotel and ate at a place called nicks. I would highly recommend it, it was delicious. Then we swam for a while at the hotel pool, and the next big day came. This was the day we met four new and nerdy people: Karen Cleveland, of the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources, Sarah Cummins, policy and regulations specialist in the Wildlife Division of the DNR, Casey O’Donnell, Associate Professor, Diana Engle, DNR’s Michigan History Center . They were astonishing and taught us a lot. The highlight of my day was when Karen took us to see peregrine falcon’s nest.  That concludes our trip to Michigan. I had an amazing... read more