Oregon Coast Education Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Well, maybe not frequently, but they have been asked nonetheless and we are providing the answers for you here! Please read through these to learn more about OCEP. You should also feel free to post your own questions below. The coordinators are on the wiki often and we will do our best to answer your questions in a timely manner.

Q: How can I get more training/help or learn more about the wiki?

Tom has agreed to hold some wiki training sessions and sent an email to everyone about how to get signed up for one. If you just have a few questions as you navigate through them and do not feel like you need a complete training session, you can feel free to contact the coordinators (Jenna—Jenna.Kulluson@state.or.us or Brianna—Brianna.Patterson@aquarium.org).

Q: Where can I get access to equipment or funds to buy my own equipment for field experiences?

Depending on where you are going on your trip and what kind of equipment you will need, the OCEP core team may have some resources for you. South Slough has most of the equipment that you might want to use for various field sampling activities and they are usually open to letting classes borrow it. If you are coming to the Newport area, the Aquarium or HMSC may be able to help you with equipment. As for finding funding to purchase your own, Tom (Tom.Gaskill@state.or.us) can help you with ideas about where funding can be found. One place to begin might be NAME (http://www.pacname.org/).

Q: Is there someone I can contact to accompany my class on the field experience so that we can have an “expert” in the field?

Depending on where your trip is, there might be. Our partner institutions (SSNERR, OIMB, HMSC, and the Aquarium) often have volunteers who are willing to lend their expertise to your class. Other places to contact might be your county Extension office, a nearby university or higher learning institution (there may be students looking for opportunities to share their knowledge), or you could even tap into small non-profit organizations in your area (environmental centers or even local chapters of national programs such as the Audubon Society). And, you can always contact Jenna or Brianna to see if they are available to attend field experiences or classroom sessions.

Q: Are there plant IDs or field guides available for use? Which are good ones to use?

For now, OCEP has a few options for field guides located in the resources column of the module pages. In the future, a separate page will contain information on resources like these for your use. In general, you should look for localized field guides (specific to your area, i.e. “Trees to Know in Oregon”) as opposed to all-encompassing guides (i.e. “Trees of North America”). This will make the guide less intimidating. Another option is to have your students investigate the local species and create their own field guides before they go to the field sites.

Q: Do the field experiences have to be specifically related to the ocean?

No. One of the main goals of this program is to promote ocean literacy within your classroom. But, we understand that actually going to the ocean may be quite difficult for some classes. So, we would like to encourage that your class be exposed to the module material in a linear fashion connecting the watershed to the estuaries to the ocean. Wherever your field experience falls on that spectrum is fine. Additionally, the field experience can be dictated by whichever habitats and activities make sense for your class. For example, if the creek behind your school is the most feasible field trip location for you, you can base your field experience on that creek (in any fashion you choose- talk about the animals, the plants, the water quality, or whatever fits). As part of the OCEP experience, you and you students can investigate how that creek (and the habitats/animals/processes involved) is connected to the larger picture of watershed-estuary-ocean connection. If you are not sure if what you are planning to do relates to the goals of the program, Jenna or Brianna would be happy to talk to you about your plan.

Q: What programs and resources are ready to be incorporated into my curriculum right now (those which require minimal planning and legwork and are appropriate for immediate application)?

The modules! Keep in mind that most of lesson plans that make up the modules were piloted in classes around Oregon over the past year. The lessons were changed to incorporate the suggestions made by Leadership Team teachers and, in some cases, the classes that did the activity. So, even though they are considered “ready-to-go,” they should also be considered “drafts.” This means that if you do a lesson and have suggestions for ways to improve or modify it, we want to hear that feedback.

Q: Are there examples of student “reflection” work that I can access?

Yes. Examples will be added to the module pages next to the related activity showcasing student work samples and photos from piloted materials.

Q: How do I fulfill the long-term expectations of the workshop? Can you provide a timeline?

Throughout your involvement with this project, we will ask you be active participants on the Wiki and provide us with feedback about the modules, guidance documents, and the work we have done thus far. We will also ask that you submit a Coastal Education Plan before we can release the funding for your planned field experience. For more details on when these items will be expected, a timeline can be found here. For more specific questions about any of this, feel free to contact the coordinators.