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Education activities review: Feb. 4-15

February 16, 2013

Student education programs

This week we hosted 43 fourth and fifth grade students from Homer for Alaska’s Coastal Birds & Marine Mammals Discovery Labs. Kids especially enjoyed seeing and handling animal specimens; learning and practicing how to age eagles and count wildlife; listening to whale sounds and participating in a demonstration of whale sizes; identifying sea otter food; and learning about the cool things scientists are doing and discovering in Alaska through research and monitoring activities.

It was again great to have retired teacher and educator extraordinaire Carole Demers volunteering with us in the lab this week!

KBRR staff (Kim, Catie, and Jess) once again participated as officials for the National Ocean Science Bowl (NOSB) competition in Seward last week. This year’s 2-day Tsunami Bowl competition included 28 teams of high school students from all over Alaska. Kim was a score keeper; Jess and Catie were rules judges. This was such an impressive event to be a part of and staff had so much fun trying to answer the questions (in our heads) that were posed to the students during the quiz bowl competition.

This year’s NOSB winner in Alaska was Juneau-Douglas High School’s Team Pogonophoraphobia. Homer High School’s Team Salmonids took 8th place and presented their paper entitled Management of Kachemak Bay Salmon: Preservation of Our Estuaries (the paper ranked 5th!). The NOSB students tapped into KBRR staff to help them with their research. Homer High School’s That Dam Team ranked 12th with a paper titled Optimization of Bradley Lake Hydroelectric Project: Focus on stream and estuary health.

The 2013 coaches for the two Homer teams were Homer High School science teacher Bruce Rife, NOAA Kasitsna Bay Lab oceanographer and director Kris Holderied, and ADF&G fish biologist Barbi Failor. The complete NOSB results and more information can be found at the National Ocean Science Bowl website.

Staff trainings

Jess and Catie attended a interpretive technique workshop in Seward last week hosted by the National Association for Interpretation (NAI), in cooperation with the Alaska SeaLife Center. After attending this 5-day workshop, Jess and Catie are now certified to train “Certified Interpretive Guides.” NAI, along with the National Park Service, is a leader in providing standardized trainings for environmental educators—from organizations around the country and world—who do nature walks and talks. Jess and Catie met and trained with 22 other wonderful education and interpretive coordinators from around Alaska. In addition to being a wonderful learning experience, it was also a chance to forge connections to other programs and people.

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