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Education activities review: January 10 – 14

January 14, 2011

PreK – 12th grade science education programs

This week we hosted 2 What’s For Dinner? Climate Change and the Future of Food Discovery Labs for students, which were attended by 29 Homer students and 5 adults. Students enjoyed an introductory slide show on climate change and its effects on food we eat. Then they split into 3 groups and rotated through stations where they learned about 1) ocean acidification and how it might affect our diet, 2) eating locally while thinking globally in respect to carbon footprints, healthy foods, and food security, and 3) how the availability of their favorite foods might change with global climate change and the carbon costs associated with getting various foods to their dinner plates. We had lively discussions and the students were very engaged in the hands-on (and even tasting) activities.

The education team worked this week on details and outreach for next month’s Our Landscape Over Time Discovery Lab public and student programs. The public lab takes place on Wed, Feb. 2nd, and we’ll have a full schedule of EE programs following that lab.

Public education programs

Dr. Daniel White, Director of the Institute of Northern Engineering at UAF, was unable to get to Homer due to bad weather this week. So his presentation covering the basics of short- and long-term climate change, water resources, and the impacts of change on people (especially those in Homer) has been rescheduled for Tuesday, February 8th.

Next week there will be 2 opportunities to learn about food sustainability in Homer. On Thursday, January 20 from 10:00 – 1:30 pm we invite you to a Climate Luncheon with visiting guests Phil Loring (with the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment & Policy at UAF) and Rich Seifert (with UAF Cooperative Extension Services). This will be an opportunity to have lunch with our speakers and local agency/organization folks and discuss climate change adaptation and food security efforts occurring within the state and locally. Please bring your own lunch and join us.

And on Thursday evening, January 20th from 6:30 – 7:30 pm the public is invited to a presentation by Philip Loring, Richard Seifert, and Kyra Wagner (with Sustainable Homer). These speakers will talk about the strengths and weaknesses of our national, state, and local food systems, and share efforts brewing to fuel food sustainability in Homer.

Community monitoring programs

Catie attended the Kachemak Shellfish Growers Co-op meeting on Jan. 10th.  Feedback from the growers included interest in continuing the tidbit temperature program (in which small temperature recorders are hung from their farms and periodically collected; the Reserve provides data from these instruments to the growers at the end of the year for their reports and general interest). The oyster growers were also interested in continuing participation with our Harmful Algal Bloom monitoring program. A new approach will be to have the farmers take plankton samples, label and send these to their new building on the Homer Spit, and then we will try to provide staff and/or an intern to observe/analyze the samples and enter the data. If we can get enough consistent sampling from the different bays, data over the course of the summer should be very interesting to look at. The farmers were also concerned with the invasive tunicate problem in other areas of Alaska and welcomed the idea of ‘call ahead’ staff visits to their farms for some “blob” identification this summer.

Education collaborations

Carmen continued in her role as Let’s Get Outdoors! Oversight Committee Member for the Children & Nature Network this week, meeting via teleconference with other national leaders planning April 2011 events for a month-long effort to engage multiple generations of people in outdoor service, play, and celebrations. As planning continues, we will share updates on what is being planned locally and in Alaska for Let’s G.O. in April.

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