Tuesday, August 8, AM

Concurrent Session #1 • Tuesday, August 8 • 9:00 am – 12:00 pm


Alaska Oil Spill Curriculum for Educators

Lisa Matlock, Outreach Coordinator, Prince William Sound RCAC
Linda Robinson, Information & Education Committee Vice-Chair, Prince William Sound RCAC

The Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council has worked with partners over the past 25 years to develop and refine the Alaska Oil Spill Curriculum. This curriculum helps youth, K-12 and beyond, who live anywhere learn everything about petroleum, from drilling to spilling. Please join us for an interactive demonstration of select activities from the curriculum.

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Large Education Events

Eric Stuart, School Programs Coordinator, BLM Campbell Creek Science Center
Molly Larmie, Science Instructor, BLM Campbell Creek Science Center

Using science, technology, engineering, art, and math, 4th grade students learn why bugs in your creek are important. Come discovery how the Campbell Creek Science Center has adaptive Water Discovery Days over the last 16 years to increase student retention and work with a variety of community partners.


Talking Trash: Wilderness, Marine Debris, and the Future of our Only Ocean

Jim Pfeiffenberger, Education Coordinator, Ocean Alaska Science and Learning Center, Kenai Fjords National Park

The National Park Service recently undertook a major survey of marine debris across 5 of Alaska’s coastal national parks, as well as establishing sites for ongoing monitoring of marine debris accumulation rates.  This presentation will share results from this survey, as well as information about marine debris on a broad scale.  Finally, ideas will be shared about involving your community or classroom in marine debris and microplastic monitoring.

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Science and Stewardship in the Outdoors

Katie Gavenus, Special Program Coordinator, Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies
Seth Spencer, School Program Coordinator, Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies

The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies (CACS) has been providing place-based residential education programs at the Peterson Bay Field Station for 35 years.  These hands-on, experiential education overnight programs serve as a starting point to begin building a connection to place and the outdoors, reaching over 1200 students and teachers each year.  CACS has been working to “grow” their special programs that are offered over the summer and throughout the school year that move to build a deeper and stronger connection and understanding through exploring three avenues of authentic learning experiences: food systems/sustainability, zero-waste/marine debris, and citizen science.  Come hear about these programs, how they work to inspire youth to make decisions that promote the health of our environment as well as promote personal growth and communication skills.

Tuesday, August 8, PM

Concurrent Session #2 • Tuesday, August 8 • 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm


This is Your Brain on Water

Marilyn Sigman, Marine Education Specialist, Alaska Sea Grant
Laurie K. Stuart, Executive Director, Pratt Museum

We explore research on nostalgia, awe, empathy, compassion, and inspiration and their implications for designing learning experiences in museums, aquaria and on field trips. What types of experiences evoke these feelings? What happens in your brain during these states of mind? Which ones will be the most transformative in motivating stewardship attitudes and behaviors in a rapidly-changing world?


Stewardship—Making our Visits to the Beach Matter

Fawn Custer, Volunteer Coordinator, Oregon Shores/CoastWatch

Looking for ways to get your students more involved with stewardship and citizen science? Join other classes and schools who have adopted a mile of beach and participate in citizen science activities– survey for marine mammals, beached birds, marine debris, sea stars and other animals, and help to document the year’s highest tides through the King Tide Project.

Adopting a mile as a class or school is a great way for children to learn about the natural world and how to protect it. Join this session to learn more about opportunities that can be continued back at your school and throughout the year.


Eyes on the Ocean—Get to Know Your Regional Coastal Ocean Observing Systems

Amy Sprenger, Education & Outreach Coordinator, NANOOS/University of WA Applied Physics Lab
Holly Kent, Director of Administration & Outreach, AOOS

The Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS) and the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS), are your regional associations for the national Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). AOOS and NANOOS have developed online data portals that provide access to ocean and coastal data. We will share interesting data and visualizations that can be used in your educational programs.

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Collaborating with Scientists to Develop Science Identity and Environmental Stewardship

Janet Clarke, Education Director, Sitka Sound Science Center
Kristina Tirman, Education Coordinator, Sitka Sound Science Center

The philosophy and strategies behind Sitka Sound Science Center’s successful collaboration between scientists, teachers, and SSSC educators in the USDA grant funded program, “Scientists in the Schools” will be presented. One of the units, “Geomorphology” will be featured for hands-on exploration. A detailed learning plan will be provided.

Thursday, August 10, AM

Concurrent Session #3 • Thursday, August 10 • 9:00 am – 12:00 pm


The What, Why, and How of  Environmental Literacy

Beth Trowbridge, Executive Director, Center for Alaska Coastal Studies

This exploration of environmental literacy is sponsored by Alaska Natural Resource & Outdoor Education (ANROE). A facilitated discussion about environmental literacy and implementing state Environmental Literacy Plans. Share lessons learned, strategies used, opportunities realized and challenges for the future.


Outdoor School in Alaska: Residential Environmental Education as a Part of Cross-Curricular Experiential Education for Grades 4-12

Kay Shoemaker, Assistant Professor, UAF Cooperative Extension Service, UAF School of Natural Resources and Extension

A discussion about why outdoor schools are critical for student learning, appreciation, citizenship, career exploration, and the future of natural resources education and stewardship in Alaska. Participate by sharing ideas on how outdoor schools in Alaska could become a reality!


The Stories Seabirds Tell

Kendra Bush-St. Louis, Environmental Educator, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge

This session introduces a sixth-grade curriculum that looks at tracking changes in the  ocean habitat using seabird monitoring data.


Understanding and building from students’ lived experiences

Katie Gavenus, Project Director, Children of the Spills

A guided conversation among formal and informal educators to share ideas for better inclusion of students’ lived experiences in science education.  How can we understand and draw from student funds of knowledge and community expertise?  What are some of the challenges and opportunities that arise when teachers strive to connect life and learning in their schools and communities? Let’s learn from each other.


Introduction to Teacher on the Estuary (TOTE)

Jessica Shepherd, Education Coordinator & Reserve Manager, Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Dana Nelson, Environmental Education Specialist, Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

TOTE is a national program developed and vetted by the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. It strives to improve teachers’ and students’ understanding of the environment using local research while promoting stewardship of watersheds and estuaries.