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Education activities review November 8 – December 3

December 4, 2010

Education programs

November’s Salmon in the Hills education programs, which focused on the Reserve’s research projects undertaken in upland habitats over the last 5 years (Marine Derived Nutrients, Headwater Streams, and Overwintering Habitat projects), were very successful. The month’s educational offerings included 1 public Discovery Lab, a public watershed hike along Woodard Creek, 7 student Discovery Labs for 3rd, 4th, and 6th grade Homer students (local teachers had really good things to say about these classes), 1 public brown bag presentation by Coowe, and 1 offsite Discovery Lab at the Homer Boys & Girls Club. Approximately 250 participants of all ages attended these various programs.

The success of our topical education programs is achieved through great collaboration of research staff, education staff, and community volunteers. In November Coowe, Megan, Carmen, Tammy, Jessica, Steve, Catie and Terry were all in the classroom at some point teaching; and we are very thankful to our November lab volunteers from the community – tireless volunteer Martha Briscoe, new volunteer Trisha Davis, and enthusiastic student volunteer Roan Rediske.

This week’s Sharks of Alaska Discovery Lab drew 171 visitors of all ages, our largest crowd for a Discovery Lab since July. We so appreciate ADF&G biologist Dr. Ken Goldman joining us for this exciting lab, as well as volunteers Martha Briscoe, Roan Rediske, Axel Gillam, and Jeanne Parker. There are no student Discovery Labs scheduled for this topic in December.

Our next public Discovery Lab, focusing on how Alaskans are adapting to climate change, is scheduled for Wednesday, January 5th from 3 – 5 pm.

We were scheduled to provide a Careers in Marine Science program for 21 sixth grade students from Ninilchik School today; but the storm we are presently experiencing prevented the group from travelling south on the highway, and they had to cancel their visit.

Science collaborative project

Education staff attended an all-day Science Collaborative 1st Core Intended User Meeting this week with other Reserve staff and individuals from our Council, Dept. of Natural Resources, NOAA, Seldovia Village Tribe, Kenai Peninsula Borough, and City of Homer who have committed time to being actively involved in this project. Details of the collaborative learning process to be used for the duration of the Science Collaborative (3 years) were explained and discussed at length. All in attendance learned a great deal about the science of land and sea level changes related to this project from UAF scientist and project partner Jeff Freymueller. Angie and Steve also described how glacial input and land/sea elevation changes might affect Kachemak Bay salt marshes and how this study aims to understand them better.

Community monitoring

Krissy Dunker from the regional ADF&G Sports Fish office has been working here in our office for much of the past month, helping us evaluate our community monitoring programs from top to bottom. She has been reviewing protocols, gathering past data, and presenting Angie and Catie with compiled information so we can tackle planning for the monitoring projects with a good, solid understanding of where we’re at.

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