MDC gives the goods on nature field guides at online class Aug. 20

News from the region
Saint Louis
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St. LOUIS, Mo.—When out in nature, knowing the flora and fauna you see and hear really enhances the experience. From the name of the stately tree you spotted, to the delicate flower at your feet, that mysterious mushroom, or the unusual bird call in the distance, field guides can open your awareness to the outdoors. But with so many different field guides out there, which ones should you choose?

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is offering a free online class to help explorers of nature sort out the array of resources available. A Guide to Field Guides takes place Thursday, Aug. 20 at 1 p.m. and is open to all ages.

Field guides can be wonderful tools for discovering and learning about nature, especially during this time of social distancing. They can also seem overwhelming to use and there are so many options to choose from. Audubon, Golden Guide, Stokes’, Peterson’s, Sibley’s . . . there’s a dizzying array of names and options. Some guides work better for some categories than others.

This program will examine the pros and cons of the different kinds field guides, as well as how to use them efficiently. Participants will gain insights to the best field guides available for the St. Louis region and which ones work best to identify members of the many different animal kingdoms and categories. The course will look at traditional print guides as well as the new generation of electronic and online options.

A Guide to Field Guides is a free virtual program, but advanced online registration is required at Attendees will receive an invitation by email from the MDC Event Management System and a WebEx program link the day before the program.

MDC offers many free educational programs in the St. Louis region to help people discover nature, fishing, hunting, and the outdoors. Stay informed by going to the MDC St. Louis reginal events page at