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Education activities review: April 18 – 22

April 24, 2011

Student education programs

This week’s Could It Happen Here? Coastal Habitat Mapping & Oil Spill Response Discovery Labs for students were attended by 55 fourth, fifth, and seventh graders from West Homer Elementary and Academy Charter School in Palmer schools.

We also led Estuary Hikes for 46 preschool, fourth, fifth, and seventh graders from Homer and Palmer this week.

Public education programs

Last evening’s screening of the documentary film PLAY AGAIN was attended by 20 people. Judging by conversations with viewers today, this film had quite an impact on how they perceive children’s screen time, the impacts of media on the lives of our youth, and the importance of time spent as a child or youth in nature.

Today’s Let’s G.O.! (Get Outside) Growing Family Nature Clubs Workshop & Wild Zone Showcase was attended by 20 people in 8 families – 10 adults/10 kids. Parents appreciated suggestions and ideas for forming outdoor play groups and learning about new natural play spaces around Homer. The families attending our workshop loved their free Let’s G.O.! Kids in Nature kits for outdoor play inspiration, each worth about $80!

We invite you to join us next Tuesday, April 26th at the Anchor Point Beach for our collaborative Spring Family CoastWalk at the Anchor River from 4 – 6pm.

Community monitoring

Catie assisted 27 community monitors this week – Carole Demers’ 4th grade class and parent chaperones – in their semi-annual trapping event for the invasive European Green Crab. This team of monitors found no invasive crab and had a low catch of native crab. They also discovered a small nudibranch that had not been documented on our species list or been reported here in Kachemak Bay to date. A group of girls found this nudibranch and showed it to Catie, who then brought it back to the lab classroom for identification. Our ID has already been verified by biologist and author David Behrens (who wrote Pacific Coast Nudibranchs). This nudibranch report extends its species’ range by roughly 1,800 miles, which will be added to the book’s next printing! Here is what this nudibranch – a brown spiny doris (Acanthodoris brunnea) – looks like:

Other community monitoring activities include final communications with volunteers for trainings, hauling equipment out, and getting gear ready for the season.

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