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Education activities review: November 5-16

November 16, 2012

Public programming

We have begun putting together the winter season’s 1st Discovery Lab – Monitoring Kachemak Bay – happening on Wednesday, December 5 from 3 – 5pm. Mark your calendars now for this fun, hands-on lab!

Carmen met last week with fellow Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival committee members to continue planning next year’s festival. The 2013 festival will take place May 9th – 12th. The festival’s keynote speaker will be American Birding Association President Jeff Gordon, and the special guest author will be Phillip Hoose. Hoose has written a fascinating account of the quest to find the last remaining Ivory-billed Woodpeckers and just published Moonbird, a children’s book about a red knot.

Education funding

We have submitted an EPA Environmental Education grant proposal that will, if funded, result in 3-day Teachers on The Estuary (TOTE) workshops during the summers of 2013 and 2014 here at KBRR, as well as at our sister Reserves in Washington (Padilla Bay NERR), Oregon (South Slough NERR) and California (San Francisco NERR). The KBRR TOTE workshops will include a close partnership with the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. Funding will be announced in February, so keep your fingers crossed!

Education collaborations

KBRR’s education staff joined fellow Kachemak Bay Environmental Education Alliance (KBEEA) members for the group’s semi-annual meeting last Friday. Topics and initiatives discussed included:

  • the development of a survey for KBEEA members that will serve to update the current status of programming for each member organization
  • updating the Homer Field Trip website
  • upcoming programs offered by each organization & opportunities to collaborate
  • new EE resources available to members and Alaskan teachers
  • the Nov. 30th deadline for comments to the draft Alaska Environmental Literacy Plan
  • potential interest for a future Master Naturalist Program in Homer
  • KBEEA’s Winter Family Fun Day (Sunday, March 3, 2013 at the Wynn Nature Center)
  • potential for KBEEA collaboration on an EPA grant for KBEEA strategic planning and program delivery

Student science education

Catie and Carmen provided Salmon Ecology education programming for 120 students at Homer High School and Homer Middle School this week. On Wednesday, they provided to Vicki Lowe’s Advanced Science students a slide show overview of Alaska salmon diversity & identification, life cycles – with a special focus on stream and estuary macroinvertebrates (salmon prey), and KBRR’s salmon-focused research projects – headwater stream work and research undertaken in the Fox River Flats since 2009. Each class included hands-on activities – investigating salmon stream habitat conditions (temperature & salinity), learning to identify juvenile salmon, and observing live macroinvertebrates. Catie and Carmen taught 5 Salmon Ecology programs to all 7th graders at Homer Middle School both yesterday and today. Those students learned about identification and life cycles of Alaska’s 5 salmon species (plus rainbow trout/steelhead), KBRR’s salmon research efforts, and macroinvertebrates. Hands-on activities included investigating salmon stream habitat conditions (temperature & salinity), learning to identify juvenile salmon, observing live macroinvertebrates, and the connection between fly fishermen and salmon/trout prey species (with a fun “Fooling Salmon” fishing fly quiz board borrowed from Kenai NWR).

Jess spent Wednesday morning at Voznesenka School, conducting mock interviews with high school seniors. She enjoyed this very much.

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