MDC’s Prucinsky “Incredibly Excited” to be Named Cape Nature Center Manager
Laci Prucinsky has begun her second endeavor in southeast Missouri – this time as the new Cape Girardeau Nature Center manager.
“A decade ago, I spent a summer conducting bird and vegetation surveys across the entire state,” she said. “I never thought that I would return; however, I’m incredibly excited to take this step forward in my career and to work with the awesome Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) staff at the Cape Girardeau Nature Center.”
Before moving to southeast Missouri, Prucinsky worked at Fontenelle Forest near Bellevue, Nebraska; Turtle River State Park in North Dakota; and Custer State Park in South Dakota. Since 2009, she has acquired experience in the field of natural resource interpretation, having served as a naturalist and park interpreter. And for more than six years, Prucinsky served as the supervisor of naturalist staff and volunteers. She considers herself a nature photographer, ignited by a summer in southeast Missouri conducting bird surveys in the Mississippi Lowlands, on sites with MDC’s Cost-Share Program. Her passions also include organizing large public events, strategic planning, administrative reports, recruitment, hiring, and mentoring and coaching of staff – which she has already begun implementing within her new role. Prucinsky remains active in the National Association for Interpretation (NAI), serving on the scholarship and mini-grants committee for the Interpretive Naturalist Section, while also serving on the Certified Interpretive Trainer Revision Committee. She has also served as regional workshop chair.
“I’m excited to discover more about the unique natural history of this area,” she said. “Some things I recognize, like Osage orange and cardinals, and some things are entirely new, like the sand prairie and persimmon.” Prucinsky has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and a master’s degree in conservation biology awarded jointly from Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and the University of New South Wales, Australia.
She can be reached at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center by calling (573) 290-5218 or by email at Laci.Prucinsky@mdc.mo.gov(link sends e-mail). Cape Girardeau Nature Center is open Tuesday – Saturday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. and is located at 2289 County Park Dr. in Cape Girardeau. White Oak Trace Trails are open daily, from sunrise – 10 p.m.