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Education activities review: August 27 – September 7

September 7, 2012

A message from Amy

It is with great pleasure to announce our new CTP Coordinator, Stacey Buckelew! Stacey is joining us after working at Saltwater Inc as program coordinator and Yukon River Assistant Area Management Biologist for Fish and Game. She has lived in Homer and worked at Islands & Ocean coordinating the eradication of non-native rats on the Aleutian island, Hawadax, formerly known as Rat Island. She has a M.Sc in ecology and over 11 years of experience working across multiple resource management stakeholder groups. She has extensive grant writing and project management skills, with managing a $4 million NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service program to classify protected species interactions with commercial fisheries in Southeast Alaska. Stacey has facilitation experience and has coordinated multiple training events including a 2-week National Observer Program training and a 1-month international restoration program in Micronesia. Her start date will be in early November 2012.

Pre-K through 12th grade coastal science education

Last Thursday Catie headed to two local elementary schools with a van full of crab pots, plastic crabs, calipers, and a bucket holding 7 live, native crabs. As coordinator for the Reserve’s Invasive Species Monitoring Program, Catie’s mission was to provide an in-class introduction to invasive species and have the students practice how to correctly collect data and check crab traps for invasive European Green Crab (not seen in Alaska to date) on a local beach. Teachers Sheryl Sotelo and Lyn Maslow (Lyn taking over the program from retired teacher Carol Demers) have committed their students to bi-annual (fall/spring) crab monitoring field trips to a local beach, in addition to the fall classroom program Catie shared last week.

These schools—McNeil Canyon Elementary & West Homer Elementary—and teachers have contributed a great deal to our invasive species monitoring program with their consistency and follow-through year after year. The data that students collect is returned to their teachers by Catie in Excel format; the teachers and students then spend time during the winter to work on ways to illustrate the results. At the end of the school year, essays, ideas, conclusions and graphs are shared with Catie. The most valuable outcome of this monitoring program is that each year more and more people in Kachemak Bay learn to recognize our native crabs from the invasive green crab. Who knows…one of these kids or adults may be the one to catch the invasion—while recreating, working, or living on the coast—in years to come.

Science outreach

Catie’s interview in August with reporter McKibben Jacinsky resulted in several stories being carried by Alaska newspapers. Here are links to 2 of these:

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