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Education activities review: August 1 – 12

August 14, 2011

Public education programs

We wrapped up our Discovery Lab series last week, with 273 visitors joining us for the 3 Kachemak Bay Fish & Fishing labs. In case you missed the article featuring our July halibut labs in last week’s Homer News, you can read it online. Our summer education intern Curtis (not Chris, as stated in this article) Hightower put a lot of effort into designing this fascinating and popular lab.

This summer’s Discovery Labs were very well-attended. We tallied 2,307 visitors at 21 labs covering 7 topics ranging from ocean monitoring to life in our salt marshes to halibut. We averaged 110 visitors per lab, with numbers ranging from 62 to 251. This compares with 2,270 visitors at 24 labs last year, with an average of 95 people attending each summer lab in 2010.

Our next public Discovery Lab – Jammin’ Salmon – will happen on Wednesday, November 2nd from 3 – 5 pm.

Here is our tentative schedule for upcoming fall/winter/spring public labs:

November 2 Jammin’ Salmon
December 7 SpongeBob Goes to School
December xx (TBA) Ice Fishing on the Kenai Peninsula
February 1 Fish On! Sport Fishing in Alaska
March 7 What’s New in the Bay
April 4 Our Landscape Over Time
May 2 Growing Naturalists

We led Estuary Hikes for 19 visitors over the past 2 weeks. Our Estuary Hikes have wrapped up for the summer; these16 scheduled hikes for the public were attended by 202 people between June 21st and August 11th, with an average of 13 people joining us for each hike. This was very similar to last summer’s attendance at our Estuary Hikes (which averaged 14 people per walk).

7 visitors joined Catie last Friday for our last Beach Walk of the summer.

80 visitors joined us this summer for 7 explorations of Bishops Beach, with an average of 11 people on each walk and numbers ranging from 2 to 26. Interestingly, this is about ½ the total number and average we had joining us last summer for these excursions.

We had 2,614 people join us for summer education programs this year!

KBRR internships

We say good-bye to our summer education interns, Ericka Augustyn and Curtis Hightower, this week. Ericka returns to Minnesota next week to begin her senior year of college, and Curtis transitions to a short-term position with Lake Clark National Park before returning to college in Ohio this fall. They will wrap up their internships on Saturday, August 13th, helping with our Science Collaborative Community Monitoring event in Beluga Slough that day.

Ericka worked at all our summer Discovery Labs, led Estuary Hikes, helped with special projects, and was our harmful algal bloom community monitoring coordinator while Catie was on leave. She responded quickly to questions and needs from our team of local monitoring volunteers and processed plankton samples brought into Islands & Ocean in July.

Curtis worked at all our summer Discovery Labs, designed and led the very successful Halibut: Alaska’s Giant Flatfish labs, led Estuary Hikes, and helped with special projects this summer.

Science collaborative project

Education staff have been heavily involved this week in preparations for the 1st of our 2 community monitoring days in local salt marshes – tomorrow will be an all-day field event with 6 teams of KBRR staff and volunteers in Beluga Slough; next Saturday we will monitor the China Poot Bay salt marsh.

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