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Education activities review: June 1-21

June 22, 2013

K-12 Education

The KBRR education team has just been awarded $5,000 from Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council to work with 5th and 6th grade students at Fireweed academy. KBRR educators will assist students as they research information about oil spills and develop their own public Discovery Lab program during the upcoming school year.

Community monitoring

Our Harmful Species Monitoring Program is in full swing as we move into summer monitoring activities. Catie recently wrapped up the spring tunicate monitoring efforts, including an examination of shipping lines in lower Cook Inlet. Additionally, she trained/retrained 17 HAB volunteers who are now busy collecting weekly water samples that will shed light on the level of plankton (both harmful and beneficial) in Kachemak Bay.

Education collaborations

This spring Kachemak Bay Environmental Education Alliance (KBEEA) members collaborated on the design, development, and delivery of a Kachemak Bay Master Naturalist Training. 27 people—mostly volunteers working with KBEEA members’ organizations this summer—attended the training from June 3rd-6th. They a enjoyed a busy week of presentations, field trips, and tours that captured the ecological and cultural essence of Kachemak Bay. An overview of interpretive techniques was woven throughout the training.

Participant feedback from this training was very favorable and included the following comments:

“Birding by ear was exciting and engaging (if slightly chilly) and Ed put a great perspective on environmental changes and the spruce bark beetle. It was nice to be in the heart of the Wynn for all of these lessons.”

“Plankton is something that a lot of people don’t really think about or ask about, but it really helps put the whole Kachemak Bay system in perspective. I gained a lot of new knowledge in this section and will hopefully now be able to get visitors more interested in plankton.”

“Creatures of the Dock was eye-opening. It was amazing that so many organisms live so close to us and we never take time to look at them.”

“Conrad was wonderful, and a wealth of knowledge. It was great that we’d had the estuary talk with Jess already in the program, and this section really helped cement and build upon that foundation.”

KBEEA members who taught segments of this training included KBRR educators Jessica Ryan and Catie Bursch, Marianne Aplin with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Beth Trowbridge with the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, Ryjil Christianson with the Pratt Museum, and Debbie Tobin with the Kachemak Bay Campus. Additional presenters included Conrad Field, Ed Berg, Rich Kleinleder, Carol Kerkvliet, Jane Middleton, and Marc Webber. The training was offered through the Kachemak Bay Campus as a non-credit class. Plans are already in the works for next year’s Master Naturalist Training!

Public events

Our summer education programs began this week. Jess and Carmen each led an Estuary Hike for a total of 36 visitors. And 9 Outside visitors joined Carmen for today’s Beach Walk.

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