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Education activities review: February 21 – 25

February 25, 2011

Public education

We invite you to join us next Wednesday, March 2nd for our What’s New in the Bay Discovery Lab. Learn what scientists are discovering about our area – from salmon and glaciers to plankton and our community’s health.

Tomorrow education staff – joined by ADF&G Sport Fish biologist/educator Mike Booz and volunteers Glenn Chen, John Oliver, and Hal Shepherd – will take 10 local families (30 people, including at least 17 kids) who’ve never or perhaps just once been ice fishing on an expedition to Encelewski Lake, 55 miles north of Homer, to fished for rainbow trout stocked in the lake by ADF&G. We’ll be drilling holes for families and providing ice fishing gear, expertise, a bonfire to warm by, and snacks for all participants. This promises to be a very fun outing with local families!

Note: Families can now borrow ice fishing gear (hand auger, jigging rods, and ladles) at the AK Islands & Ocean Visitor Center through the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve’s Kids in Nature and Fishing Education programs. Gear can be borrowed at no cost for 1 – 3 days or over a weekend and must be returned unbroken or replaced if broken. Those interested in using this gear can inquire at our Visitor Center’s lobby desk between 12 – 5pm on Tuesdays – Saturdays.

Education collaborations

Carmen chaired a community gathering last Saturday for Nature Rocks Homer, where discussion included the launching of a new program to get used bikes to local kids whose families can’t afford bikes (Bikes Rock Homer), ways to increase kids’ participation in cross-country skiing locally, updates and ideas for new natural playground development in Homer, grant and scholarship opportunities for Nature Rocks Homer initiatives, the upcoming Let’s G.O! Growing Family Nature Clubs workshop and Wild Zone Showcase for families on April 22nd, ideas for this year’s Homer Kids Outdoor Day (Monday, June 20, 2011), the newly launched Get Outdoors Alaska website for Alaskan families (www.getoutdoorsalaska.org), and more.

One of our community partners, the Pratt Museum, has recently been chosen as an exemplary education program that other museums could learn from by the Institute of Marine Sciences; and this week Carmen spoke with an IMLS researcher involved in developing outreach (written case study and short video) for the museum’s Kachemak Bay People and Place educational programming. She shared the many benefits that the Reserve has received from collaborations with the Pratt over the past 6 years.

Community monitoring program

Catie has been recruiting monitoring volunteers and scheduling trainings for those volunteers. She has a pretty full team of monitors for the coming season, with 11 phytoplankton monitoring sites/volunteers and 11 Invasive European Green Crab monitoring volunteers.

Project planning

All KBRR staff met for ½ a day on Wednesday to discuss FY12 projects at the Reserve and their associated funding, logistical/staff needs, and other details. The upcoming fiscal year will be our most integrated year yet in terms of the many research/education/administrative staff working together on a great number of these projects.

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