Partnership with Monarchs on the Move

ICEC is proud to announce a new partnership with ISU Extension and Outreach to facilitate “Monarchs on the Move” training across Iowa. ICEC is working ISU Extension and Outreach staff, including Professional Development Specialist Lynne Campbell, Crop Sciences Youth Education Specialist Maya Hayslett, and Associate Educator in O’Brien and Sioux Counties Beth Bunkers, to reach a broad audience of Iowa youth with the new “Monarchs on the Move” curriculum.
The “Monarchs on the Move” curriculum focuses on the unique life cycle of the monarch butterfly and ways to conserve habitat to protect the monarch, the flagship species for other native pollinators. The program was designed by a team of Iowa State professionals, researchers, and staff associated with the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium.

Over a dozen Iowa high school 4-H students were trained in the STEM curriculum over the weekend of March 2-3. The 4-Hers will use the curriculum to teach other youth about the monarch, sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm to inspire fellow young people.

Modeling is one technique the newly trained high school youth leaders will use when they lead “Monarchs on the Move.” Modeling will provide young people the life experiences of a monarch caterpillar and highlight factors that impact survival of monarch butterflies. Satellite images will be used to give youth a view of the landscape from the point of view of a butterfly, making it possible to identify areas where milkweed and nectar plants could be found. These tools allow participants to identify where additional habitat could be planted for the monarch butterfly, resulting in increased biodiversity.

Each trained teen leader will share the “Monarchs on the Move” experience at local and regional events. The “Monarchs on the Move” curriculum will be implemented by 4-H programs in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska and is expected to reach 5,000 youth from rural, urban, and suburban backgrounds.

If you are interested in having a 4-H student lead a program for youth in your community using the “Monarchs on the Move” curriculum, contact Alicia Vasto at or 515-729-1047.

We are also looking for additional youth leaders to train in delivering the program content. The next training will take place on April 28th in Linn County. If you know a high school student that would be interested in taking on such a leadership role, contact Alicia. Teachers and county naturalists interested in learning about the curriculum will be welcome at the training as well. More information on signing up will be available soon.

Questions about the “Monarchs on the Move” program can be directed to Lynne Campbell at or 515-294-2076.