MDC's Sam Stewart excited to work with educators in south-central Missouri

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WEST PLAINS, Mo. – Sam Stewart hopes to combine his love of the outdoors with his experience in working with schools to show teachers in West Plains and the surrounding area how conservation can provide innovative curriculum ideas.

On Oct. 1, Stewart will begin his duties as a Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Conservation Educator in MDC’s Ozark Region. He will work with elementary, middle school, and high school educators in Ozark, Douglas, Howell, Oregon, and Ripley counties. He replaces Mary Beth Factor, who is now MDC’s Curriculum Coordinator.

“The Ozarks have always had a special place in my heart, from the people to the rolling hills and spring-fed rivers” said Stewart, who graduated from Poplar Bluff High School and Missouri State University. “Serving this area of Missouri is truly my dream job and I can’t wait to get started.”

Stewart will provide opportunities for teachers to work with MDC’s Discover Nature Schools (DNS) program. DNS is a state-wide conservation-based education program that incorporates outdoors learning into a variety of school subjects. DNS emphasizes hands-on learning, teaches problem-solving and provides teachers with innovative outdoors-based options to add variety to their curriculums. Information about the DNS program can be found at:

Besides working with teachers on DNS curriculums, Stewart will also coordinate hunter education classes and certification for his five counties. He will also promote the Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program (MoNASP) to schools in his counties.

Stewart has been with MDC in a full-time position for approximately six years. Prior to accepting his current position, he was a Conservation Educator in MDC’s Central Region and he was a naturalist at MDC’s Runge Nature Center in Jefferson City. Prior to full-time employment with MDC, he also worked at MDC’s Springfield Conservation Nature Center in Springfield and at Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery in Branson.

Stewart will work out the MDC’s Ozark Regional Office in West Plains and can be reached at 417-256-7161, ext. 4755 or at More information about MoNASP and hunter education programs can be found at